“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!” – Samuel Adams

SD Conservative Action Council, Republican Party Share Common Principles


Steve Sibson of Sibby Online explains today on his blog and in the Mitchell Daily Republic that the South Dakota Conservative Action Council, of which he is a founding member, pursues smaller government–one that is more in touch with and within the control of the people it serves.

Pat Powers of the South Dakota War College recently expressed a guarded concern that the SDCAC might be a divisive organization like the mostly defunct South Dakota MAINstream Coalition made up of “moderate” (i.e. liberal) Republicans. Given the attempt of that organization to lead the Republican Party astray, such concerns are understandable.

Here is what the SDCAC believes in, according to the principles listed on their website:

The action council promotes deeply held conservative principles about the nature of human dignity and freedom, the importance of family, the need for a limited role of the state, and a solid grasp of economic realities. Some people fear the days of principled conservatism may be a thing of the past.

The Republican Party has long been the party of traditional values, fiscal responsibility (though that reputation has admittedly been tarnished recently), and smaller government.

Since the SDCAC champions all these ideals, I believe that would preclude the organization from becoming the divisive force SDMC was meant to be. The Mainstream Coalition was created to try and pull Republicans away from the traditional ideals of the party. Even though it is not affiliated with the Republican Party, SDCAC intends to focus on the core ideals of the Republican Party.

For those who might have forgotten, those Republican principles are outlined:

I BELIEVE the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored.

I BELIEVE in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.

I BELIEVE free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative have brought this nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.

I BELIEVE government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn.

I BELIEVE the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations and that the best government is that which governs least.

I BELIEVE the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.

I BELIEVE Americans retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new and innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.

I BELIEVE Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.

Finally, I BELIEVE the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government.

Note, too, that those principles were elaborated upon in the party platform, affirming things such as recognizing

- our heritage of religious freedom and personal responsibility

- that our country was founded in faith upon the truth that self-government is rooted in religious convictions

- the free exercise of religion

- support and respect for the sanctity of human life, including the unborn, the elderly, the chronically ill and the terminally ill

From what I’ve seen, the SDCAC would encourage and renew the Republican Party’s focus on it’s own values, ideals and principles, rather than draw it away from them as the Mainstream Coalition sought to do.

A political party is only useful as long as it reflects and advances the the values of those who belong to that party. I believe the SDCAC will only enhance the long-term viability of the Republican Party as the chief vehicle for conservative, traditional values in South Dakota.


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2 Responses to “SD Conservative Action Council, Republican Party Share Common Principles”

  1. Why not promote Republican values within the party other than standing on the outside policing those within?

    What makes a group of people want to police an established Party having representation in every county with roots deep into precincts? Especially when that group sounds like its future is aimed at mirroring the GOP?

    I was on the 2004 Platform Committee and found that I didn’t agree with some of the planks but stood in agreement with the Committee and later the Convention in ratifying the Platform. You have my back and I have yours type of attitude.

    Let’s keep in mind the Constitution; Bill of Rights and Declaration are the better documents that must guide the Republican Party.

    So as a Party we try to agree to act on documents of detail, our State Party Platform and National Party Platform. Imagine all these planks drafted from Founding ideas to meet contemporary needs.

    The honest debate is within the Party where leadership can be held accountable. We should never leave candidates on the edge of a win as what happened this past election cycle especially when those candidates closely resemble Party values.

    With the Republican Party having a ten point advantage in Party registration over the Democrats in South Dakota the uphill battle should be for the Democrats to gain election to office instead of the Republican Party trying to keep members from cross-party voting.

    The Democrat Party fielded plenty of candidates this past cycle and I think because Mainstream took debate outside the Republican Party, making the GOP look vulnerable.

    Sam Kephart had the decency to bring his liberal views about abortion to the Convention floor while Mainstream previously skulked around on the outside. Skulking around means my back isn’t covered and leaves yours exposed as well. This attitude moves me toward becoming single issue oriented as well and also more prone to ignoring the Party Platform.

    The State GOP lacks guts plain and simple. The Founders of this Nation took their beliefs to heart and backed them up with their lives. There wouldn’t be a single signature on founding documents if their resolve looked similar to ours today.

    The National GOP lost the comfort of a Congressional majority because they spent next week’s lunch money. John Thune earned Porker of the Month! Voters rewarded the GOP by putting them into the minority and potentially losing the White House.

    South Dakota Republicans strain to gain federal seats even being in the majority. There is definitely disconnection between Party Leadership and voters. I think to heal that we need to debate issues internally and back each other externally.

    Bruce – Tatanka Ihanbla

  2. You bring up a lot of good points, Bruce, and it’s hard to disagree. Especially with your comparison between the courage and resolve of the Founders, and the leaders of today. :-)

    I’ve always thought that the “big tent” philosophy of the Republican Party was a good thing, and still do in the original meaning, which was essentially that if you have an interest that runs parallel to the Republican Party, come join the party. Where the “big tent” goes astray, I believe, is when people with SOME parallel interests in common with Republican core values start drawing the party off course, sacrificing many of those core party values.

    If a pro-abortion person believes the Republican Party is the best place to advance their fiscally conservative agenda, then I say come join the party and we’ll work together on a fiscally conservative agenda. But the fiscally-conservative pro-abortion person attempting to lead the party away from its pro-life principles and platform isn’t welcome. I don’t go into someone elses house, rearrange their furniture and throw out what I think is junk, and I don’t expect guests to do it in mine. And I don’t welcome folks who come to the big tent, agreeing with 10% or 20% or even 50% of the party’s principles, then trying to throw out the 50%, 80% or 90% they don’t like.

    I think you’re right in that SDCAC may run the risk of being seen as skulking. They’ll need to take great care that they aren’t seen as trying to divide the party. But I still think that as long as they stay with conservative values, they’ll run parallel to the Republican Party’s values, making them a welcome ally.