Opinion Piece By Mike Zitterich
We are seeing a fight for power developing all across the State of South Dakota that seemingly is pitting the Freedom People versus the Established Political Individuals within the halls of the State Capitol. If you look closely, all those of whom supported Senate Bill #40, are today, going after the members of whom did not support the bill, let alone other topics of discussion.
Could it be, the likes of Kristi Noem, Lee Schoenbeck, Casey Crabtree, Helene Duhamel are in a political battle with a new up and coming group of individuals of whom are bound more closely to the constitution, the people of their districts, personal rights and obligations?
What we are seeing is this war for power, and control of Statewide Political Affairs fast developing, creating essentially a ‘war’ between two classes of people. One one side, you have this established group of individuals of whom have effectively held power in Pierre, S.D for years, dating back to the early 1990’s. On the other side, you are seeing this Grassroots Movement of Individuals beginning to organize, and rise to the top levels of the State from within the local subdivisions, where more of the citizenry is effectively taking a hands on approach within their precincts to engage with other citizens. And we are seeing this occur more and more as more counties form alliances, in a fight for political freedom.
Scholars of American politics differ in their understanding of political power. Some, such as Mr. Lee Schoenbeck, assume a largely procedural notion of power, that is, the capacity of one political actor to convince another to do something he or she otherwise would not do. When gauging the exercise of power, we focus explicitly on outcomes, be they laws written, policies implemented, or actions taken. Power, thus conceived, is the capacity to shape government policies through political action, whether threatened or taken.
Power may be exercised in the service of any number of objectives, sometimes altering existing government practices, sometimes thwarting the efforts of the other political actors. This power is often harnessed to change the status quo, to reshape and redirect government and to legitimize new uses of public authority. Rather than change policy, political actors may use their power to keep their political opponents from doing so.
What we have seen since the year 2010, is an entire new class of individuals becoming more inclined to take drastic steps to change the political power in their State Capitols, with the intent to change the administrations of our statewide political officers such as the Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Auditor, and our Land (or utilities) Commissioner. By doing this, the people can change the administrative tasks, agenda, and form a new identity, which begins to reshape the ‘State’ itself.
There seemingly appears to be this war between the Republican and Democrat Parties, where the republicans are mostly made up of individuals who believe in state rights on the national level, and personal rights at the state level, the Democrat Party tends to be made up of individuals of whom want more government interaction into our public and private lives. The two can be mixed, where individuals begin to cross from one party to another. And here, ‘we’ seem to be seeing this class warfare brewing here in South Dakota, within the Republican Party itself…
There are some, who believe, the Republican Party Establishment has gotten to far removed from its original core morals, values, and beliefs, being hijacked by their counterparts, those from other parties who felt the only way to beat them, is to join them, while in return, this has moved the party closer to the left.
In recent years, we have seen this massive shift take place here in South Dakota, this expansly formed grassroots movement, under the guise of the Precinct Strategy – has led to a movement to engage more publically with the people residing in the precincts themselves, to reshape, and take back some form of control of their government, both as in administration, investigative, and in policy making.
According to Dan Schultz, the Precinct Strategy is a great way to restore our Republic by transforming our Party from currently at less than half-strength at the precinct level into a full-strength Get Out The Vote powerhouse, as it should be. You want ‘people’ engaged in political affairs together, not apart.
You have to establish a philosophy, you wish to become God first, You Family Second, Your Neighborhood Third, while that leads to developing a better understanding to what the people of your precinct believe, and desire, more so than others outside that group. The long term goal is to create coalitions with other precincts, forming bonds county by county, thus, you form a newfound administrative approach to operating the “Republic” itself.
Think for a minute, what does it mean to “Republic Together” – the ancient Greeks formed their polis, which is nothing more than a political subdivision to which they established their administrative and religious centers. Known as a “Body of Citizens” under the authority of the political subdivision, it refers to a specific class of individuals of whom were propped up, or elected to represent the citizens as a whole to attend committees, conventions, thus guiding public discussion. When the people republic together, they stand most united on a common goal, principal, front.
When this movement begins to occur, there really is no need for political parties, or factions, cause your ‘representative’ remains close to home, closer to the people themselves, where the people get to act together, to adopt initiatives, resolutions, let alone choose their at-large representatives, of who are tasked with representing all of those political subdivisions equally, if not as one. Ensuring that not one subdivision rises above the other, allowing for each to form their own means of self governance, within the subdivision itself.
In a perfect world, there would be no political parties. Just individuals who are nominated by means of committees, then supported through conventions, and then chosen to become At-Large Representatives such as Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Auditor, Land (or utilities) Commissioner. The people who are elected within their political subdivisions, precincts, legislative districts are the people who we send to the committees to discuss statewide affairs, to discuss potential candidates, initiatives, resolutions, of which represent the statewide political affairs. These people are Legislative Delegates, County Committeemen and Women, and Precinct Committeemen and Women, and sometimes they may include Presidents of your Local Subdivisions as was the case prior to 1920. While the General voters often went to the polls to elect their Legislators, County Sheriffs, Local Judges, District Attorneys, County and Precinct Committeemen, and Delegates, a smaller class of those individuals were elected to meet with, and hold committees and conventions to debate, and speak on public affairs of the State itself, giving to each political subdivision an equal voice, or opinion to each other. If the political process worked as intended, there is no need for political parties, and where the districts are kept small enough, with populations of 5,000 or less, the people would have a greater appreciation for who best represents those districts, those subdivisions, etc. The Established Political members of this State Legislature seemingly want to end this so called process, cause they fear the people. But this is why we get together, meet in committees, and choose our at-large representatives, statewide initiatives, and resolutions. These things are often better done in close confines to the people, not by means of a statewide popular vote.
And while, under the Precinct Strategy, the people have the utmost, center power and control over initiatives, resolutions, and candidates, they begin to form coalitions with those other counties, to which they begin to submit proposals, recommendations, to which they want discussed within the Halls of the State Capitol Building – the State Senate and the State House.
This is a true “Grassroots Movement” – where ideas of the local political subdivisions become concepts, and those concepts become initiatives (or resolutions) of which now become discussed by our elected Legislators, let alone may in turn, end up being placed on a public ballot simply allowing the ‘voters’ to discuss them, let alone vote on them statewide.
This is how a true republic works, whereas the legislators or the voters adopt specific laws and codes, now law can stand forever, where the people of their local subdivisions begin to raise concerns, questions, and file redresses, where those laws adopted, do not faithfully represent them or other groups of people. And we are seeing this occur here in South Dakota, where the People of Butte and Lawrence Counties are organizing together to rethink, and bring back to the voters, the issue concerning Medical Marijuana. In fact, this is a perfect example of how the “republic” works here in America.
As the likes of Kristi Noem, Marty Jackely, Lee Schoenbeck together ‘act’ in such a manner to shut down this ‘grassroots movement’ of the people, thus trying to remove the Freedom Caucus from the State Capitol, they present themselves as a direct threat to the republic itself. For they will stop at nothing to corruptly remove people, let alone change the process of which the people, together can discuss initiatives, resolutions, and candidates by means of committees.
As I go out and speak to people within my Precinct, I am reminded everyday of the many different ideas, and thoughts held by the people in my precinct. We do not always have to agree in thought, however, we must share by opinions and actions, the ability to best represent all ideas of our precinct, thus sharing those ideas with others groups of people, where we begin to mold, and form a collective, statewide moral, value, belief, let alone respect everyone’s core opinions. Not just the idea of one person, nor one group, but we must adopt a policy that protects all groups equally, giving to them the means of self government.
The political establishment of Kristi Noem, Marty Jackley, Lee Schoenbeck will stop at next to nothing to destroy any political movement who gets in their way. If you support a true grassroots movement, then you should stand united, to support the likes of Jessica Castleberry and Kevin Jenson and any one else who chooses to rise above, and to protect the beliefs, and values of their local communities, of whom reside within your political subdivision(s).
The real power always begins with your local subdivision, your local precinct, the place of which you can best control yourself.
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