South Dakota’s Kristi Noem refuses to impose a stay-at-home order, citing a deeply held ideology – one supported by many in the midwest
To much of the rest of the country, South Dakota’s governor looks awfully like an ideologue sacrificing lives on the anvil of Trumpology.
Kristi Noem has been denounced for refusing to impose a stay-at-home order, even after her state saw a large flare-up of Covid-19 cases when the virus struck hundreds of people working at a slaughterhouse in Sioux Falls.
Noem is an unabashed supporter of the president, and her stated commitment not to let the coronavirus pandemic intrude on American liberties coincided with Donald Trump’s Twitter attacks on other governors for maintaining lockdowns, and the orchestrated streets protests dotted around the country.
But South Dakota’s governor is not out of step with large parts of her own state, or even other areas of the midwest, where support for the severity of the shutdown is fraying amid mass unemployment, businesses going to the wall, and a sense that the pandemic is more of a New York City problem – even if Noem’s own position is underpinned by a deeply held ideology.
“There is a governing ideology that says that people are free to make their own choices, and if people want to engage in some behaviours that in other parts of the country would be restricted, they’re not restricted here,” said Schaff.
“I think the governor is seeing that for most of the state, we’re not in any kind of crisis mode, so why give an order to the entire state, when it’s really this one very specific geographic spot? In that sense I think the governor is probably where most South Dakotans are, in that they don’t want to be dictated to that they have to follow highly restrictive rules when the virus is yet to make a major impact on most people’s lives.”
EDITOR’S NOTE – ‘Noem 2024?’