KATIE ZERR: Colonists wouldn’t have allowed this

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South Dakota Republicans will go to the polls on Tuesday to choose their candidates who will face Democrats and Independents in November. In most cases in South Dakota, they will be choosing who will be serving this state in the next two and four years.

The fact that most races are determined in the primaries is just the way it is in a state where the majority of people are born and raised in one party. We South Dakotans are a fiercely loyal group and our politics are like a religion to some.

That is both good and bad. Being a staunch Republican, Democrat, conservative or liberal is admirable, but it can also be a hindrance to listening to other ideas and views.

Being blindly loyal is not always a good trait. Letting others tell us how we should think, how we should vote and how we should view others who don’t have the same political ideals as we do is not a free society.

And yet it is where we are today in this country. Through the magic of 24-hour news networks and slanted broadcasts disguised as news, we are told that those who think differently than we do are dangerous enemies who are hell-bent on destroying the democracy.

What a shame that so many people listen and believe this.

We live in a country where the difference of ideas is what has made this one of the most powerful and respected countries in the world. The difference of ideas is what built this nation. The meeting of minds, many differing minds, built the base of our government.

Would we be where are today if our founding fathers refused to consider what representatives of the fledgling nation had to say during those first gatherings of determined colonists?

What if George Washington and John Adams had refused to listen to Patrick Henry or John Jay because they were not on the same page in the first steps of this nation?

What if, like our Congress today, those who didn’t have the same ideas or the same solutions to problems, were brow-beaten, pushed out of meetings, shouted down publicly and made to bow to the ruling party?

What would have happened to this nation if only one manner of thought were allowed?

We would not be a democracy. We would be ruled by one power, one mind set, and punished for wanting to have free thought.

Think about what is happening in our country at this time.

We are being told, 24-hours a day, that those who do not have the same political ideas are the enemy. If you are a conservative, you are the enemy. If you are a liberal, you are wrecking this country.

This is not how a democracy is supposed to work. Disagreement and the exchange of thoughts and ideas are essential for a democracy.

That convention of delegates who gathered for the First Continental Congress at Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia did not all agree. In fact there was certainly shouting and insults, but in the end they melded their ideas to create a system that works.

Squashing those whose ideas are different and refusing to consider compromise is detrimental to this nation.

We should not allow the few with power and money to rule our Congress with wealth and intimidation.

The colonists wouldn’t have allowed it. Why are we?

On Tuesday, we will be picking a candidate who will more than likely represent this state in Washington. In two years we will be electing a new president. Because of what we have allowed to happen in our country, those few and powerful people will be able to use their money to influence our choices. We see it happening in South Dakota and nationwide.

Those few can pay others to tell us how to think, who to hate and how to vote.

Let’s not allow them to rule this country. We need to encourage those with fresh thoughts and free minds to want to serve our nation. We need to inject a revolutionary vein back into our Congress to make them want to improve this country, not just their own bottom line.

We do still have the right to elect those who will work to change this course. Let’s not lose that to wealthy and powerful in this country.

 

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