In her latest failure to protect her citizens from the left’s attempts at control, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem surrendered workers in her state to the constantly changing COVID-19 control agenda after she refused to act on businesses’ vaccine mandates.
With a tone-deaf statement posted from her personal, campaign-focused Twitter account, the Republican governor told employees concerned that their employer will force them to choose between getting the COVID shot or losing their jobs to take a hike.
“Workers whose employers are mandating a vaccine for continued employment have the power to say no. Our robust economy and job market gives them the option to find a new employer that values personal choice and responsibility, and doesn’t force mandates on their employees,” Noem wrote.
Workers whose employers are mandating a vaccine for continued employment have the power to say no. Our robust economy and job market gives them the option to find a new employer that values personal choice and responsibility, and doesn’t force mandates on their employees.
— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) July 31, 2021
Noem’s tweet is specifically worded to pretend that she believes the businesses that do mandate the shot are wrong, but it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to realize her emphasis on “power,” “personal choice,” and “responsibility” really means she’s not interested in stopping employers in her red state from making health decisions for their employees. Noem just doomed her citizens who are eager to work when others aren’t to choose between their convictions and their income.
Noem was once considered a possible GOP frontrunner for the 2024 presidential race after she built her brand on her free-will pandemic policies. Instead of using her government power to quickly mandate masks and lockdowns that she knew would hurt the economy, Noem leaned into encouraging her citizens to social distance and practice good hygiene. For months, she basked in the glory of being one of the few Republican governors to reject the harmful lockdowns and tout truly following the science as an appropriate response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her response received heat from the corporate media, which shamed her for allowing South Dakotans to choose whether they would shut down their businesses and wear masks while ignoring the then-rising numbers and deaths in Democrat-run states such as Illinois. Noem stood by her promise to protect her citizens, however.
“As governor, I did not dictate to the people of South Dakota, tell people which activities are officially approved or not, or begin arresting, ticketing, or fining people for exercising their rights. Nor am I doing that today. I will, however, continue to lead and help South Dakota navigate a path forward in this uniquely difficult and challenging time,” she pledged in April 2020. “The people of South Dakota are the source of the power and legitimacy of our government — not the media, not politicians and not political parties. That’s a healthy perspective for any elected official to keep in mind.”
That “healthy perspective,” however, obviously took a turn. In statements eerily similar to the failed libertarian argument against regulating Big Tech companies that are trigger-happy to censor and deplatform dissent, Noem all but hands over the powerless people in her state to companies that infringe on the exact same freedoms she claims to devote herself and her administration to securing.
The governor regularly posts tweets pushing back against mandatory masking and a possible second wave of lockdowns as endorsed by the Biden administration, but the all-talk governor now regularly stops short of enacting true policies. Just this week, Noem sputtered about the distrust sowed by the CDC’s mask flip-flop before saying she would not join a host of other GOP states to ban schools from requiring masks.
It is government’s role to guide the public by providing them the science, facts, and data to make their own educated decisions. I will not be issuing any statewide directive either requiring or prohibiting masks in our schools.
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) July 28, 2021
This same kind of staunch refusal to actually act on her word landed her in hot water just a few months ago after she failed to sign a bill that would have protected female sports from males. When her conservative base and conservative media called her out for caving to corporate pressure and backtracking on her promise to sign the legislation, she issued yet another tone-deaf statement claiming she was being canceled.
Now more than ever, conservative elected officials need to have the guts to stand up to the COVID-19 control battle fueled by constant flip-flopping by the CDC, White House, corporate media, and businesses on masking. For a year and a half, Big Tech teamed up with corporate media and Democrats to disseminate COVID-19 propaganda in the left’s latest attempt to control the culture. Noem showed promise of being a strong GOP defender in the front lines of the culture war, but after numerous failures to stand up to the left’s demands, she has quickly become a politician who is all talk and no bite.