‘We Have Met The Enemy, and He Is Us’ [OPINION]
At the state capitol in Pierre, the moat has been built and filled with water. Alligators are being added each day. Some entrance gates have been blocked. Those still "open" are heavily guarded. Some legislators are literally arming themselves. Who is the enemy? What is the battle about?
The legislature is declaring the citizens of South Dakota the enemy. The battle is over democracy and our republic. A mob mentality has overcome most of them.
They don''t like "Under God, the People Rule."
They seem to like "Under God, Only We in Pierre Are Smart Enough to Rule."
Numerous bills blocking voter access to initiating and referring laws and changing our constitution have been introduced and are speedily moving through the process. Emergency clauses are being added which prevents you and I from referring these hastily written assaults on our vote. Each legislative meeting and each vote, adds more alligators and guards.
The governor said in his "State of the State" address the voters were "hoodwinked" on one of the initiated measures which passed.
I submit the Legislature is attempting to hoodwink us into believing that only they know best.
Changing laws on initiative and referendum and the constitution requires thoughtful deliberation. That is not happening in Pierre.
The governor and legislature have effectively used the "Task Force" concept bringing in citizen experts to help develop important policy changes in the state. It takes months for that to happen.
My suggestion to our "leaders" is take the alligators out of the moat, drain it, and fill it in with grass and flowers, remove the guards from the gates, turn them into greeters, and put away your weapons.
The people are NOT the enemy. YOU are becoming your own enemy.
Let's have a calm, rational, long conversation about democracy and our republic with the people, not just yourselves.
I remember the famous Pogo cartoon from years ago. You should look it up and pin it to your mirror. It says:
" We have met the enemy and he is us."
Legislative coffees are coming up. If the legislature continues down this path, those coffees could get loud..