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Vote to Serve Your Community, Not Bully Your Neighbors

Jonathan Ellis says that, if the Alito Supreme Court clears the way for South Dakota to ban abortion and reduce women to wards of the state, Planned Parenthood “has vowed to take the issue to voters.”

Back in April, SDPB’s Kevin Woster said he thought Planned Parenthood and other women’s rights advocates would have a harder time beating an abortion ban at the polls now than they did in 2006 and 2008, when South Dakota voters turned back abortion bans by clear 55%+ majorities, due to the decline of registered Democrats and the rise of a culture-war Governor.

Poli-sci prof Jon Schaff, whom Woster cites in his essay, concurs that an abortion ban might fare better with today’s more polarized South Dakota electorate, not because there are any better moral or policy arguments for government intrusion on women’s healthcare decisions, but because more voters are willing to cast votes for no greater purpose than to score points against their perceived enemies:

Jon Schaff, a political science professor at Northern State University, thinks the political parties have become more polarized in the 14 years since 2008.

“I could imagine more South Dakota Republicans supporting a fairly comprehensive regulation of abortion just to get a pro-conservative win,” he said in an email. “In the parlance of our day, to ‘own the libs’” [Jonathan Ellis, “Why South Dakota Voters Could Relive Abortion Battles of 2006, 2008,” Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 2022.05.10].

Own the Libs—that’s the kind of thinking that led a minority of voters nationwide to ignore moral, intellectual, and managerial fitness and give an Electoral College majority and the nuclear football to a boorish billionaire idiot from Manhattan in 2016. That’s the kind of thinking that could lead more South Dakota voters to ignore the fundamental autonomy and equality of women and support a policy that lets government snoop on sexual histories, punish women for miscarriages, and reduce mothers and daughters to second-class citizens. By Professor Schaff’s read, some voters would hurt women just to thumb their noses at “libs”.

When public policy is decided by bullies, our elections and culture have broken. As South Dakotans go to the polls today and as we contemplate future elections that will involve abortion and other serious policy matters, we must rededicate ourselves to the proposition that voting is a sacred civic duty and that we should cast our votes to serve our community, not satisfy our basest impulses and bully our neighbors.

14 Comments

  1. Donald Pay 2022-06-07 10:04

    Cory writes: “When public policy is decided by bullies, our elections and culture have broken.” Yup, at least it’s true of half of our culture. Elections in many places are still free of overzealous bullies, but that is not true in South Dakota. The bullies have largely won there.

    Jon Schaff unmasks the moral decline of the conservative movement, perhaps unwittingly, since he is a conservative.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-07 14:07

    The bullies seem to congregate on Dr. Schaff’s side of the aisle. How is it that one party can make itself more appealing to bullies than another?

  3. P. Aitch 2022-06-07 15:30

    How is it that one party can make itself more appealing to bullies than another group?
    That appealing political party targets those voters who:
    – Feel powerless
    – Suffer from insecurity
    – Need to control others
    – Enjoy the rewards they get from bullying because their life situation is mostly void of the rewards, we others enjoy.

  4. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-06-07 15:52

    Slightly related to poll day: I noticed when I drove to the Hot Springs Public Library this morning, there weren’t many vehicles in the Mueller Civic Center parking lot where our Reptilian patriots vote. Wha….? However, when Hot Springs has a “Keep Hot Springs Beautiful” jumble sale, a person might be forced to park blocks away.
    I notice things that don’t add up, but rarely anything important.

  5. Arlo Blundt 2022-06-07 16:21

    Well…Bonnie, your perception is correct, I think. In a county like Fall River where the Republican Party is beyond dominant. I think folks take on an attitude that voting doesn’t matter when all candidates are of one party. There is also a predominant attitude of “It doesn’t matter who you vote for, they are all crooked.” How this very low voter turnout will impact C is in doubt but the fewest possible votes in Fall River County is probably favorable to its passage statewide.

  6. mike from iowa 2022-06-07 17:35

    My visit to the poll today was an embarrassment of riches. A guy even older than my 69 years held the entrance door open for me and the poll workers, who were eating donated pizza for lunch dropped everythi -ng and made my voting experience a pleasure.

    When I had filled out my ballot I asked one of the ladies about getting a new voter I.D. card. She took my card and ran upstairs to see if I could get a new card. She came back down and said the courthouse would mail me a new card. Then, as I was preparing to leave, one of those ladies offered m e an arm to steady my walk out of the courthouse and offered to help me get back to my Jeep.

    I was told I could drive up the paved incline and park considerably closer than where I did. I do have the handicap parking sign. My journey today was a lesson in navigating on foot with a small oxygen tank on a shoulder strap and a regulator that only dispenses oxygen when I take a deep breath. I have yet to figure out to breathe deep and walk at the same time. I like to vote in person, but this hobbling around with out stumbling is a drag..

  7. larry kurtz 2022-06-07 17:43

    Indeed. Jon Schaff is the Erick Erickson of Lou Dobbses.

    Anyone who believes the SDGOP is anything other than a guard dog for the trillions in South Dakota’s banks and trusts is delusional.

  8. DaveFN 2022-06-07 17:52

    revanchism

  9. All Mammal 2022-06-07 18:29

    Mz. Fairbank and Mr. Iowa- thanks. I like getting that firsthand depiction of how others are fairing and how some other places are getting along. Gives me a sense of the outside-my-self-absorbed-disco ball.
    As far as my neck of the woods; shoot. Some real King Kamea Mea beeotch shot at construction workers south of Rapid City on hwy 79:/ he missed, thankfully. Some folks been drinking that haterade. That’s why I spray myself with hater repellent. daily.

    Shout out to the adorable ladies and gentlemen showing hospitality and working hard at the polls! Thank you!

  10. mike from iowa 2022-06-07 18:35

    Thanks, All Mammal. BTW, I voted a straight Dem ticket.

  11. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-06-07 18:36

    Thank you, Arlo.

  12. mike from iowa 2022-06-07 18:40

    One last thing, kinda OT…. iowa’s fossilized sinator Grassley held NW iowa town halls and was getting reamed on gun control. He tried to control the narrative and lost it when teachers started eating his lunch about school safety and what he planned to do about it. Of course he didn’t answer any questions. He didn’t have any sensible answers. His M.O. is to apply a liberal application of bullspit and hope no one notices.

  13. TT 2022-06-07 21:10

    South Dakota didn’t do a thing for reservation voters. With gas prices and difficulties in voting I doubt they will have a good turn out. I hope I am wrong.

  14. Kurt Evans 2022-06-08 02:56

    Cory writes:

    Own the Libs—that’s the kind of thinking that led a minority of voters nationwide to ignore moral, intellectual, and managerial fitness and give an Electoral College majority and the nuclear football to a boorish billionaire idiot from Manhattan in 2016.

    In December 2020, President Trump wrote about “RINO John Thune” on Twitter:

    South Dakota doesn’t like weakness. He will be primaried in 2022, political career over!!!

    Own the RINOs? Even if Tamara Lesnar defeats Senator Thune in November, it seems President Trump’s prophecy has already failed.

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