South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem likes to present herself as a “normal everyday” person “who enjoys life.”

Appearing at FreedomFest 21, a gathering of 2,700 conservatives and libertarians, Noem said, “nobody knew who I was until liberals began attacking me every night on the national news.” She’s referring to her conservative views on economic and social issues.

Noem benefits from a roaring economy. She says there are fewer than 2,500 South Dakotans on public assistance and 28,000 job openings. The state has no sales tax. Property taxes average 1.22 percent. Annual economic growth is 9.9 percent, among the nation’s best. Houses are inexpensive relative to many other places. With such figures it’s no surprise there’s been a population growth of 8.9 percent since 2010.

We talked shortly after recent shootings in Northwest Washington, D.C., and an outraged Robert J. Contee III, the police chief in Washington, blamed judges for releasing criminals back onto the streets where they often engage in more violent criminal behavior.

Noem believes Republicans can — and should — re-take the law-and-order issue in 2022 and 2024. In an interview, she told me, “What we are seeing ... on our streets (are) the consequences of ... what’s happening in the Democratic leadership and their lack of support for police officers and those who step up and serve. (It’s) being played out in the violence citizens are having to live with. It’s going to continue if something doesn’t change.”

She says the street violence and looting in major cities is not only the fault of judges and district attorneys, but “also overcrowding in our prison system. There’s less funding for the judicial system so they release individuals instead of putting them through the process of prosecution and sentencing, or through rehab. It’s a problem that hasn’t been addressed for many, many years (and) has gotten worse as the violence has escalated. When there’s no consequence for it, law and order goes away.”

Asked about the state of the Republican Party, she responds, “It’s the party that is bringing hope. If you look at what Democrats are embracing — socialism, communism, lack of personal responsibility. Every problem that presents itself they think some bureaucrat in Washington, D.C., would handle it better than a Mom or a Dad, or a cousin or grandparent...

“The Republican Party has a unique opportunity to talk about what we stand for and have always stood for and have proven to be the policies and the values that create opportunities for families and states and businesses. ... When you look at some states that have done what we believe in you can see overwhelming prosperity and families healthier and in school getting educated and that’s what the American dream is and what the Republican Party needs to be talking about.”

Noem believes Donald Trump will run for president again in 2024. “I think (former) President Trump did a great job. ... I believe that is something we all (can) — and should — welcome back. The policies of seven or eight months ago were contributing to a booming America. We were creating jobs and addressing challenges confronting us together. I think he’ll run and if he does, I’ll certainly support him.”

She is open about her Christian faith and says it influences many of her policy positions: “What the government has done in the last (several months) is to continue to push secularism.” She thinks that will continue and is “something we will have to fight. We will drive people to us by our optimism. You turn on the news and it’s discouraging. You see the violence played out on the streets. Christians have a unique opportunity to bring hope and light...”

Noem turns 50 later this year and is a first-time grandmother. She also displays qualities for national office Republicans claim to want. Trump and others (including her opponents) should keep an eye on her.

Cal Thomas’ column is syndicated by Tribune Content Agency.

(3) comments


Kristi Noem, it turns out, is a Trump sycophant very much from the Sarah Palin school of Republican politics. Noem received her belated college degree under questionable circumstances, earning 2 years of college credit in a few months including a substantial number of 'intern' hours while serving political office in South Dakota. She served in the state legislature, then in Washington as a congressional representative, and then as governor in 2018. She adopted a "hands off" attitude toward the Covid pandemic by refusing to consider the advice of medical experts and did not enact any of the standard public health and safety protections used in other states. Noem did not implement face mask mandates, raised doubts about the efficacy of mask-wearing, and encouraged large gatherings without social distancing. She was a supporter of the Sturgis motorcycle event and offered lame excuses for the resultant Covid infections and deaths. Noem is a staunch supporter of gun rights and permit-free concealed carry, opponent of immigration, and persistent critic of the 2020 election with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. She described two newly elected Democratic senators from Georgia, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, as "communists" in an op-ed in The Federalist.

In short, Kristi Noem is a stand-up supporter of anti-scientific misinformation, a virtual Typhoid Mary abandoning her duty to protect citizens from the pandemic, and a card carrying member of the radical right reactionary Republican insurrectionists.



If the Republican party is the party of law and order, what do Republicans have to say about the radical right terrorists who beat Capitol police officers, screamed racial insults at them, and threatened to shoot them with their own pistols on Jan 6th?

And if the Republican party is the party of hope, why do they spend all their time advancing voter suppression laws and dreaming up ways to disenfranchise minority citizens--who only hope to be able to cast a vote? And if minority voters actually posses a lack of "personal responsibility", what do Republicans make of the egregious barriers to securing a loan, or a mortgage, or a farm loan, or freedom from police harassment, or any of the myriad obstacles in the workplace to acquiring a position of stability in our society?

I ran into a young man today--he wore a T Shirt that said "If you are a Negro in American society in modern times there is no way you can get through the day without an overwhelming sense of moral rage".

None of this has anything to do with Communism. And I doubt that the Governor would know any principle of socialism if it bit her in her conservative britches.

Kristi Noem certainly warrants the conclusion that citizens "should keep an eye on her" . . . for all the wrong reasons.


Is this the same Kristi who likes to dress up as a cute little rodeo princess, the governor that no one talks about all, and who needs to study her constitutional law so she knows there’s a separation of church and state? Has anyone heard of her?

No? Ok, we’ll pretend she doesn’t exist.

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