IN A world gone mad and falling over itself to see which country can inflict the craziest and most dangerous policies, we, the people, have become the virus in the Petri dish, the experiment for governments (with their colleagues in the media aiding them) to toy with, to demoralise and finally to force us to acquiesce.
Here in Britain in particular, conservatism has taken a nosedive, with the once Conservative Party going full-on far Left, with fascist policies intent on destroying businesses, policing thought and action, and turning communities against each other by blaming the people for its draconian measures.
In America, conservatives are being vilified and blamed by politicians, Big Tech and a media whose intentions are shockingly clear: to stamp out any and all conservative voices and questions over the election, and ensure that the propaganda keeps rolling long enough for them to assert complete dominance over the country.
We conservatives are taking a beating. But this is a war and though the Left are winning the small battles, there is hope that we will triumph in the end.
I admit, I tend to flip-flop on the state of play in our countries. But I watched a speech the other day that picked up my mood and made me optimistic about the future, even though the speech came from across the Atlantic. It was so refreshing to listen to commonsense conservatism – I haven’t heard that from a politician in years.
Kristi Noem, the Republican governor for the state of South Dakota, embodies all that small c conservatism is, and every member of the party that calls itself Conservative should watch this speech and remind themselves not only how far they have fallen, but what being a conservative looks like.
In terms of lockdowns, where the majority of the US (and the rest of the Western world) allowed fear to rule their policies, Noem bravely allowed South Dakota to carry on as normal, diverting resources and money to the vulnerable who needed care, while allowing the state’s economy to thrive and maintaining civil liberties.
In essence, she did what every part of the world and the United States should have done and we must applaud her for that. Here, she outlines South Dakota’s unusual position:
‘We made different choices from virtually every other state over the past year and to be fair, I never once thought that the decisions we were making in South Dakota during the pandemic would be unique, but other states based a lot of their decisions on fear and on emotion and now they’re seeing the results of that.
‘In South Dakota, we do not make policy out of fear. We prepare for the worst, but we always remain optimistic that the best is yet to come.’
She adds: ‘We’re in a much stronger financial position than other states across the country. States that shut down their economies are now looking for tax increases or drastic spending cuts to make their ends meet.’
South Dakota, by the way, has seen only 1,656 deaths from Covid (according to official figures) in comparison with New York state where despite heavy lockdowns and draconian restrictions there have been 40,570 deaths.
While not at the lowest ebb of cases and deaths, South Dakota’s strategy of not closing down the state has undoubtedly saved lives, certainly in the long term as the health and wellbeing of its people will be drastically improved by not being under house arrest.
In her speech, Noem champions free markets, low taxes, small state and the importance of strong families and communities.
‘We don’t have a corporate income tax, there is no business inventory tax, we have no personal income tax, and we also don’t have a personal property tax or an inheritance tax,’ she says.
‘The taxes that we do have fund state government and they are stable and they are predictable. In short, for those who might be worried about tax increases, you don’t need to be.
‘The government in South Dakota, we live within our means. We balance our budget without accounting gimmicks or tricks. We proudly hold the AAA credit rating and our state pension plan is fully funded. Our state believes in smart regulation and we roll out the red carpet, not the red tape.’
No red tape? Low regulations and personal responsibility? No inheritance tax? Established businesses should be flocking to South Dakota, and what a brilliant way to encourage new starters. You don’t often hear that sort of commonsense fiscal responsibility from politicians.
Noem promotes technical education, the value of education first starting at home with a strong family unit, and encourages children to involve themselves in the Great Outdoors, thus improving their mental and physical health.
‘Getting our youth to put down the Xbox and to pick up the tackle box has been a priority of mine for many years,’ she says.
Nice to see that Noem places the Great Outdoors as a priority –unlike this country, where children are being actively discouraged from going outside.
She is pro military and police and recognises the value that people within and without South Dakota place on its growth and future prosperity. She is, in short, something this country and many parts of the world have been missing – a small c conservative whose role in proving stability for her state has aided it rather than reducing to it to a shell afraid of its own shadow.
The closest we have to Noem in the UK is London Assembly member David Kurten, leader of the Heritage Party. On policy and outlook, they are very similar in their beliefs and their aims.
When I look at what Noem is doing in South Dakota, I feel envious that we don’t have someone like her doing the same in this country. Imagine if Kurten had more power than he currently has. We’d be in a much better place for it.