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Don't Hate On Kristi Noem So Quickly

AP Photo/Stephen Groves File

Let me head off some assumptions at the pass here. I do not want mandated vaccines in any way, shape, or form. I think forcing anyone to inject something into their body is wrong and that we have businesses mandating, or strongly considering, forcing needles to inject life-altering drugs into people’s bodies is a testament to how far humanity can be driven through fear and lies.

Listening to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s refusal to reject bans on private vaccine passports, I’m torn, and not on the issue of whether or not forced vaccines are wrong, but how far government should be able to go in terms of mandating something for a private business, whether we like it or not.

I realize this is going to upset a lot of my readers to hear me say this, but I think it’s worth considering under the knowledge we all have about where things go once it begins down the proverbial slippery slope. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and even the good intentions of Republicans can lead to massive breaches in personal freedoms and normalized tyranny.

Lest we forget, the TSA was created under the Bush Administration.

Noem was already on a lot of Republican’s sh*t list thanks to her caving on the transgender athlete issue and refusing to sign a bill banning men from competing in women’s sports. It wasn’t her best moment and one many on the right will never forgive her for. Any time she posts anything, you’ll see a deluge of comments condemning her for that or something else. Her latest position hasn’t helped that either.

“I don’t have the authority as governor to tell them what to do,” said Noem in a video she posted on Twitter. “Since the start of this pandemic, I have remained focused on what my authorities are and what they are not. Now South Dakota is in a strong position because I didn’t overstep my authority. I didn’t trample on the rights of our people, and I’m not going to start now.”

Noem isn’t going to win any awards from the populists but libertarianism rarely does. What the governor is doing is exactly what conservatives profess to believe in even at a point where that belief is inconvenient.

To be sure, we can take a look at any other scenario and find Noem on the right side of it. Gretchen Whitmer was only too eager to tell businesses that they must close and stay closed under penalty of law. Noem would do no such thing and she was applauded for it, as well she should be. Now, when confronted with an opportunity to make businesses do something again, Noem is once again refusing to exercise that power, even making it clear that she doesn’t have it.

A rarity in governors these days as was the wisdom she continued to exhibit.

“When leaders overstep their authority, that is how we break this country, and if government starts acting unconstitutionally, even if it’s doing something that we like, that’s a dangerous path to walk down,” she said. “It is not conservative to grow government and to tell businesses what to do and how to treat their employees.”

She’s not wrong. While banning vaccine mandates from private businesses seems like a solid move it opens a door that will become nearly impossible to close. Being able to tell a business what it can and can’t do is something we on the right abhor, and the only reason it seems okay now is that it rubs another one of our conservative principles the wrong way.

But if we take a step back for a moment and really look at what we’re doing, we’re asking the government to step in and save us. We’re running to them and telling them to craft laws to control private citizens so that they’ll act in a way we want them to.

We should be careful not to become the very thing we despise because it becomes convenient for us to do so at that moment. We either have principles or we don’t. We’re either conservatives or we’re not.

I realize the complications associated with freedoms, but people are free to seek employment elsewhere. They’re not free to disobey laws.