Are South Dakota Conservatives in danger of losing the U.S. Senate race by dividing the vote?

January 22, 2014

As promised, I’ve at least managed to do a little extra research into the candidate running as an independent in South Dakota’s U.S. Senate race, Larry Pressler.


The first thing I found out is that Pressler served South Dakota in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 to 1979, and in the U.S. Senate from 1979 to 1997.


I am personally intrigued by some of what I’ve read.  The first thing that really jumped out at me is relatively old news, but interesting nonetheless.


I guess in 1980 the FBI conducted a sting operation.  Agents posed as Arabs and attempted to bribe members of congress.  Although another turned down the bribe, but indicated they might be open to such at a later time, Senator Pressler is reported as being the only member of congress to flatly refuse.


Unfortunately, whether or not the former Senator has maintained this level of moral integrity, in the 30 plus years since that investigation, doesn’t speak either way to his present political intentions.


I think we all know by now, the American political process is more often than not, a vicious dirty game of deception and manipulation.  I am skeptical of all politicians, as we all should be, but I try to keep my eye out for things that seem just a little too suspicious.


One of the first things that stick’s out from my research into Senator Pressler is his age.  I understand the former Senator to be in his early 70’s.  Although he served 2 terms in the U.S. House and 3 in the U.S. Senate, he hasn’t held a public office in more than 10 years.


An article I read indicated the Senator has expressed, that if elected he would not seek reelection, and that instead the citizens of South Dakota would have his full attention, absent the distraction of reelection concerns, for his full term.


When you put it that way, it sounds pretty good, maybe even a little too good to be true.  I’m not saying it isn’t true, but I feel compelled to encourage the voters in my neighboring state to speculate.


My own research brings other elements related to the former Senators elect-ability to the forefront of my mind.


I understand the former Senator has acknowledged personal acquaintance with, and support of, President Obama, with a specific reference to the Presidents declared intention to readdress the Patriot Act.


Some conservatives of course are going to be completely deterred by this, but not all.  I for one don’t care who a person’s personal friends are.  I have liberal acquaintances, I just wouldn’t vote for one of them.  I also personally despise the Patriot Act.  I did not vote for Obama, but I’m not ashamed to admit, when he was first elected President I did hope he would do something about it.


Now I admit I’m not really directly familiar with the unique culture of South Dakota.  I’m under the impression that we have a lot in common.  If this is even remotely accurate, I wouldn’t think Senator Pressler doesn’t have much of a chance of actually winning the election, but that’s up to the voters in South Dakota of course.  I have another concern.


Although I’m sure the concept of divide and conquer has been applied in countless political races across the country, probably for as long as we’ve had elected leaders, I got my first real taste of it in 2012.


In Montana’s 2012 U.S. Senate race, Congressman Denny Rehberg (R) came very close to unseating incumbent U.S. Senator John Tester (D).  When the final vote was tallied, nearly 31,892 votes, 6.56%, went to the Libertarian candidate Dan Cox.


All be it 6.56% is a small percentage, in terms of actual votes this was nearly twice the margin between Rehberg and Tester.  Looking at Cox’s campaign material, it is presumable that most of the votes he took were conservative.


However, it was brought to my attention by a private resource that I trust, a fair portion of the financial contributions to Cox’s campaign, actually came from the Tester camp.  It was a textbook divisive maneuver and it worked.


I’m not saying I have any direct evidence that this sort of thing is going on in South Dakota right now, but with 5 declared GOP candidates and a former Republican running as an independent, I would strongly caution my neighbors against dismissing this particular tactic altogether.


As a former Republican, it’s almost a certainty, if the former Senator sticks it out through to November, at least some who supported him in the past, will do so again.


As a conservative, my number 1 priority is applying the break, and hopefully eventually reversing the course, of this liberal progressive bulldozer that has been systematically tearing through the very base foundations of freedom, personal responsibility, and morality in our society, and plowing a new road that seems to be headed toward nothing short of totalitarianism.


1181px-South_Dakota_in_United_States.svgI recognize the need to reassert and reinforce some of our most basic conservative values on our own side of the aisle, but if you’ll forgive the use of such an analogy, sometimes you have to stop the enemy from destroying things, before you can start rebuilding.


South Dakota is one of a handful of states with an incumbent Democrat who has chosen to retire, rather than face the voters this year.  I can’t over-express the value of the opportunity this presents.


We all know how ruthlessly and precisely the Democrats used their trifecta to trample individual liberty.  In the time since the voters gave the house back to the Republicans, the Democrats have consistently refused to even consider conservative input in any substantive way.  They have made it clear in more ways than one, the days of meaningful compromise are over, and now their front line is starting to buckle.


Although I wish the situation were different, it isn’t.  Our opponents are at least effectively unified.  We owe it to our children and our grandchildren to make sure we come together to take advantage of the opportunities presented to us.


My advice to my neighbors in South Dakota is to pay close attention, not only to the rhetoric, but it might be particularly useful to take a look at any available campaign finance information, as well as which side seems to be more predominantly drawn to this candidate, and speak your mind whenever possible.


Glenn W. Uncles Jr.


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