Rep. Don Kopp, Rapid City's Archie Bunker

Rep. Don Kopp, Rapid City's Archie Bunker

Rep. Don Kopp (R-35/Rapid City) is cluttering up the papers with some vague claptrap about America losing its way. In a letter posted to the Rapid City Journal, the Mitchell Daily Republic, and who knows what other newspapers lacking for copy, Rep. Kopp wastes our mindspace flogging the empty meme that America isn't listening to God... or Pat Robertson... or... someone:

Our nation has lost its way because we have abandoned our moral foundation. We have become a nation like the ancient city of Nineveh who, as the Bible says, was a people that didn’t know the difference between their right hand and left. That’s America today. A Republic that has lost its way in the chaos of an unrestrained democracy [Rep. Don Kopp, letter to the editor, Mitchell Daily Republic, 2013.03.21].

Nothing else in Kopp's letter is worth quoting. He tacks on four quotes from various historical figures, but he offers no examples of why he considers America a doomed, immoral nation. He cites no instance of bad moral choices by anyone. He doesn't explain how this "unrestrained democracy" is manifesting itself. He just throws his Archie Bunker beer can at us and expects that we'll take his inchoate rage as statesmanship.

We already understand that "Republic Not A Democracy!" is an empty, elitist argument masquerading as political philosophy, with no practical bearing on any discussion of practical South Dakota or national politics. The only words left from which we might divine some meaning from Rep. Kopp's outburst is the Nineveh reference. What was wrong with Nineveh that Kopp might be saying is wrong with America?

  • Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, the big superpower of its day.
  • Nineveh had a giant wall around it.
  • Nineveh torqued off everyone in the neighborhood with cruelty, wars, torture, looting, and drive for world domination.

Absent any other logical statement from Rep. Kopp, we can only look at his historical example and make the logical conclusions: America has lost its way by becoming a military-obsessed, power-hungry nation alienating the rest of the world with its lust for gold and blood. When we live in a bunker and think like a Bunker, we're asking for trouble.

If that were the warning Rep. Kopp were issuing, I could bring myself to agree.