I’m alarmed by Representative Jon Hansen’s plan to deploy theocratic thugs to harass South Dakotans petitioning for the right to abortion. So is guest columnist Bob Newland:
I’ve been through Dell Rapids a few times. I’ve bought gas there. I’ve browsed a store or two. The folks I met seemed like most other South Dakotans; friendly, amiable, helpful. But something is wrong. The people of Dell Rapids elected and re-elected a fascist named Jon Hansen to the SoDak legislature.
We have a problem retaining educated young folks in SoDak. There is a disproportionate population of homeless folks in our largest city. We are looking for funds to expand prison cells, while being unwilling to pay prison guards a livable wage. Our governor recently hurt her back, probably from wrestling with the truth. She can’t even seem to tolerate life in this state for more than a few days at a time.
Amongst all that, and more, Jon Hansen is worried that, if a ballot question that asks whether women should be allowed to have a measure of control over their own bodies achieves ballot status, SoDakians will say “Yes.” Therefore, he suggests that people who agree with him should stalk circulators of the petition to place that question on the ballot and intimidate them, along with anyone who is trying to converse with them.
There is no other word to describe this form of advocacy than fascism. It, in its mildest form, is reminiscent of Brownshirtism in Germany in 1933. There is no doubt that, if his followers adhere to his suggestion (and there’s no doubt they will), violence will erupt. At that point, it will start to closely resemble daily life in Berlin in 1934.
An elected representative of the People of South Dakota is so worried that women will be allowed the same freedoms as are men that he thinks they should not even be allowed to voice their opinion on the matter.
In any bucket of deplorables, Jon Hansen might be found eating droppings near the bottom.
I quote him, from a newsletter his group, “Life Defense Fund” distributed recently: “Beginning this November, we must stand next to their petition circulators, explain to the public how radical this amendment is, and encourage our fellow citizens not to sign the petition.”
Those who accept his invitation to be that sort of creep are also the exact sort of ante-diluvians who have no sense of social boundaries. Citizens will object. Knuckle draggers will erupt with knuckles. Blood will flow.
Jon Hansen has a number of choices. He can proceed with his Brownshirt plan. He could initiate his own petition drive to promote female submission to male Christian rule. He could try to figure out a way to maintain infrastructure without subjecting SoDakians to the same socialist programs from which he obtains financial support. He could mind his own business (oh, wait, his business IS pushing you around). He could perform a socially-unacceptable act on me.
But he’s such a nice-looking boy. How could he be a fascist?