Leadership: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem Explains Why Monuments to Past Presidents Should Be Protected

AP Photo/Stephen Groves
AP featured image
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announces on Monday, June 22, 2020, that city and county governments will be able to access federal coronavirus relief funds as she speaks at the Sioux Falls city hall. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)


Earlier this week, I wrote about how South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) responded to a question from Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro, who wondered when “our woke historical revisionist priesthood” planned on making Mount Rushmore their next target: “Not on my watch,” she tweeted back to him.

Noem’s Twitter post was amplified by people across the country who have become frustrated by the lack of leadership shown in cities and states where historical statues and monuments continue to get vandalized and pulled down by angry leftist rage mobs while law enforcement officers stand back and watch, and mayors and governors make lame excuses.

The day after her tweet went viral, Noem appeared on “Fox and Friends” to further explain her position. She noted that the targeting of statues of past presidents was proof that the protests are “no longer about equality” but are instead about “a radical rewriting of our history.” She then vowed that South Dakota was not going to stand for it.

Gov. Noem also talked about something more Republicans need to be doing, and that’s explaining why statues and monuments to past presidents should be left alone:

“This whole conversation has changed,” Noem noted on Wednesday. “It’s gone away from equality and it’s a radical movement that’s rewriting our history, that will take away all the lessons that we want to teach our kids and our grandkids.”

She said that George Washington “was a unifier.”

“He brought this country together to lead us at a time when we needed the birth of the nation to get started,” Noem said.

She pointed out that Thomas Jefferson “was an author of the Declaration of Independence,” which noted that all men are created equal.

“[Theodore] Roosevelt was the first man to dine with an African-American at the White House,” she continued.

Noem acknowledged that “these men have flaws” and that “every leader has flaws,” but added that “we’re missing the opportunity we have in this discussion to talk about the virtues and what they brought to this country and the fact that this is a foundation that we’re built on and the heritage we should be carrying forward.”



In a tweet that included a clip from her Fox News interview, Noem made a similar point:

Noem is one of a few Republican leaders whose voices have gotten louder as the destruction has continued. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) took to the floor of the Senate on Monday and gave a speech for the ages on the dangers of mob rule and cancel culture, and called for the DOJ to prosecute those who have pulled down statues to “the fullest extent of the law” where federal law is applicable.

And earlier this week, President Trump gave anarchistic left-wing mobs a warning that arrests and up to ten years in prison were coming for anyone caught “vandaliz[ing] or destroy[ing] any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S.”

Trump is scheduled to visit Mount Rushmore on July 3rd to help kick off Independence Day celebrations, which will include a fireworks display and a military flyover.


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