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Florence Thompson Campaigns Against Socialism

I want to be proud of all my fellow citizens who take on the challenge of running for public office. But far too many kooks are mistaking the opportunity to craft public policy for the chance to submit audition tapes for third-rate talk radio.

The latest self-absorbed embarrassment to democracy: Florence K. Thompson. The Caputa woman wants to replace Mike Verchio in District 30 House... because we must stop socialism!

Thompson says her whole campaign is about stopping socialism in South Dakota. Her three-minute video is devoid of serious or specific discussion of any real issue facing the Legislature. Her bleatings about ObamaCare have no grounding in reality. She doesn't say what specific policies South Dakota has implemented to put the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into practice; she just shouts "ObamaCare/DaugaardCare!" and hopes that scares enough people into voting for her.

Thompson's website is no better. In stunningly bad marketing, she brands herself not by name but with "StopSocialismSD." She has no issues but "ObamaCare," drivers license requirements, and "Crony Capitalism."

Send this woman to Pierre, and she won't have a clue what's going on. She won't have any idea how to craft a working budget. She won't have any interest in discussing practical matters like building roads and bridges, improving our schools, or revising our drainage regulations. I can only assume from her obsession with rooting out Reds that she would simply vote to kill all of those programs, since roads, schools, and water regulation are all socialism.

Candidates like Florence K. Thompson and Steve Rosenberger arouse my ire because they remind me of me twenty years ago. I thought reading a little philosophy, listening to Rush Limbaugh, and boiling every issue into a few facile abstractions made me a political genius. But then I grew up. I realized I was only rehearsing scripts, much as my six-year-old parrots the scenes she hears from her parents and friends and TV characters in her own little tea parties with her stuffed critters.

I started paying attention to the practical complexities of issues like health care and K-12 education, and my worldview changed. More accurately, I stepped out of the mostly fantasy world of my slogans and abstractions and entered the world of real policy and real people.

Florence K. Thompson is trapped in her own fantasy world, auditioning to become the next Joe McCarthy. I hope District 30 voters will ignore her war cries and choose Representatives ready for practical law-making.


  1. Hubba 2012.05.04

    You let your daughter have tea parties?

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.05.04

    As long as she invites donkeys and elephants alike... even the ones wearing pink.

  3. LK 2012.05.04

    She could always run for Congress and join Allen West in the Nostalgia for Joe McCarthy Caucus

  4. Steve Sibson 2012.05.04

    "She won’t have any idea how to craft a working budget."

    Cory, most of our current legislators don't have a clue on the budget. When I show them my analysis they refer me to appropiations. What percent of the legislators are on appropriations? Again Cory is carrying water for the fascist SDGOP corporatists.

  5. Donald Pay 2012.05.04

    Where do they dig up these people?

  6. Bill Dithmer 2012.05.04

    405 - HTTP verb used to access this page is not allowed.
    The page you are looking for cannot be displayed because an invalid method (HTTP verb) was used to attempt access.

    I tried to ask her a couple of questions and that is what I got.

    The Blindman

  7. Owen Reitzel 2012.05.04

    Florence I don't think you have to worry about spending your retirement in politics. I think, hopefully, it's one and done.
    Just like the other right-wing crazies she screams socialism and blasts Obamacare but doesn't offer any of her own solutions. Or maybe you think there is nothing wrong with it.
    Thank God she's for the second admendment so people can blow everybody away.
    The people of District 30 have to be smarter then that.

  8. mhs 2012.05.04

    Cory, I get it now. Howie and company are the Ark Music Factory of South Dakota. For a small fee, you get to be a candidate and make your own campaign commercial! He supplies the script, the petitions, the issues: everything!

    While watching this, just keep repeating "Rebecca Black" to yourself and it'll all make sense.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.05.05

    Maybe we just need to elect Florence and Gary Coe and every other candidate who mentions socialism more than once during the campaign and just get our little Red Scare out of our system. Elect the new McCarthy/Wests, watch the budget and Legislature collapse in insanity for two sessions, then watch Democrats win every darn seat in 2014.

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.05.05

    Steve, you must know on carrying water, I'm just like you: I don't do it for anybody. And Bill, yes, she needs to fix up that web page. Her web presence is as shoddy as that of the company takes credit for it.

  11. Carter 2012.05.05

    Cory, that's how I felt about Rick Santorum. I was sort of hoping he'd have become the nominee and get elected, just so things would become so completely insane that everyone would come to their damn senses. But that would never happen.

    That said, I rarely let people like Florence here ruffle my feathers. Much like Santorum, she'll appeal to a very extreme part of the party (mainly the part incapable of actual reasoning) but lack support from the broader electorate.

    Then again, we elected Kristi Noem. But all the same, as long as the super-right, super-unintelligent people are not the majority in District 30 (or rather, not a big enough minority to win her the election) things should be fine.

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.05.05

    Kristi Noem is this problem writ large: smart enough not to say shout socialism as much as Florence, but still not smart enough to lead a serious policy discussion. Noem's main advantage over Thompson: Noem knows how to market with image.

  13. Carter 2012.05.05

    Regarding marketing with image, I wonder if there should be some sort of mandatory logical reasoning class people need to take in order to vote. Some kind of thing teaching people to think about issues instead of image. Shiny campaign ads and a nice smile are all well and good, but aren't an indication of qualification. It smacks a bit of authoritarianism though.

  14. Bill Fleming 2012.05.05

    Carter. No. But perhaps there should be such a test for running for office ;^).

  15. larry kurtz 2012.05.05

    Market Image Limbaugh's Florence?

  16. Carter 2012.05.05

    Well, Bill, I think most of the "stupid" candidates and officials aren't as stupid as we like to make them out to be. It's not that they don't understand, it's that the things they're fighting for are, in most cases, either making them filthy stinking rich, or garnering them more political power. I'd be willing to bet people like Santorum and Noem could pass a critical thinking test quite soundly. That doesn't make them good candidates. It's all about lack of empathy, there. Also insanity.

    Alas, Bill. Your good friend Mr. Chavez would have made a good candidate.

  17. Bill Fleming 2012.05.05

    Most really effective people like Cesar, MKL, Gandhi and Jesus never run for office. They transcend politics. One man's ceiling is another man's floor.

  18. Carter 2012.05.05

    Quite so. But unfortunately the time where activists have any push in politics is passing. People like Cesar couldn't afford to pay the government millions to pass their reforms, so they wouldn't get far today.

  19. Bill Fleming 2012.05.05

    That form of organizing has transformed into social media. It's pretty effective actually. (See "Arab Spring," "Rush Limbaugh Boycott," "ALEC Sponsor Exodus," "Zimmerman Indictment," "Occupy Wall St." etc.)

  20. Carter 2012.05.05

    Social change, sure. But I'm not yet convinced that OWS, as much as I support it, will result in bills passed in our favor. It doesn't matter much if you and I, and 5,000,000 other people are in favor of great reforms in government when the people making policy are only concerned about what the super-rich want.

  21. Bill Fleming 2012.05.05

    Agreed, Carter.

    The thing people keep getting talked out of, for some strange reason, is voting.

    Perhaps people equate apathy with resistance, which of course, it is not.

    The message to youth needs to be "you can't bring change by just voting once. You need to vote every time you have a chance."

    If we can just get that to sink in...

    Anyway, that's why I discourage comments about people not being smart enough to vote. I think it's precisely the wrong message, and perhaps even the one our politcal opponents are counting on our sending.

  22. Bill Fleming 2012.05.05

    p.s. social change = revolution which usually = violence.
    The alternative is continual vigilence and routine voting in ALL elections by the majority of individuals in an engaged Democracy. Every time a person doesn't vote, s/he gives someone else's vote twice as much power.

  23. Carter 2012.05.05

    The problem with revolution is violence. It's not bad enough, yet, to warrant physically harming innocent people.

    As for regularly voting, I'm losing confidence since Obama. Democrats and Republicans are the only two parties with any real chance to win, and they're not all that different. Certainly, neither one is the revolutionary people's party we need. If people would vote for the best candidates, instead of the ones most likely to win, that might change, but I don't see it happening, at least not any time soon.

  24. Bill Fleming 2012.05.05

    Carter, look at the voter turnout in the off years (non-presidential) nationwide. THAT's the problem. You can't give up on voting until people start actually doing it. In most cases our elected officials were put there by less than 20 of the voting population. That's disgraceful.

  25. Bill Fleming 2012.05.05

    (...I guess I shouldn't say "you can't" because of course you can. I should say instead, "please don't!")

  26. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.05.05

    Bill, at peril of comparing my self to much greater men, your Gandhi/MLK point makes me feel a little better about not being on a ballot this year.

  27. Carter 2012.05.05

    The problem, either way, is that people don't vote for the best candidates. The people who do vote either vote Republican or Democrat, neither of which will help the country much.

    The people who don't vote either don't care (in which case, they shouldn't vote. I'd rather have a low voter turnout of people who care than a high turnout of people who just vote for whoever just so they can say they voted), or who think, "Well, my candidate won't win, so I won't bother."

    Out of those groups, the ones that really matter are the ones who vote Democrat or Republican because they feel like they have to vote for someone who can win, and the people who don't vote because the person they like won't win.

  28. Bill Fleming 2012.05.05

    Cory, yes, if you're a zealot and not inclined to compromise, political office is not necessarily the right place for you.

    Or as MLK said:

    "The question is not whether we will be extremist, but what kind of extremist will we be."

    — From "Letter from Birmingham Jail," April 16, 1963

  29. Bill Fleming 2012.05.05

    Carter, good general overview of the current apathetic voter mindset. There are a few other excuses for not voting, but you covered most of them. I'm not buying any of it! LOL.

  30. Carter 2012.05.05

    Well, Saturday voting would help, too.

  31. Carter 2012.05.05

    Also, to play the devil's advocate here, don't worry about comparing yourself to Ghandi. He did some great things, to be sure, but he was also a caste-supporting racist. So there's that.

  32. Bill Fleming 2012.05.05

    Gandhi was a man of his times, of course. As were all the other "greats." I've seen plenty of "racist" accusations of Lincoln too. I don't recommend finding solace from our own shortcomings in other people faults. Better to be inspired by the best in them than to be desparaged by the worst.

    And yes, Saturday voting. Why not online voting? I mean if they can keep track of our credit card transactions...

  33. Carter 2012.05.05

    Ghandi, I merely point it out because he was very outspoken about racism against Indians, though he himself was quite racist against Africans. Not that he was a bad guy. He was just hypocritical. He still did an immeasurable amount for Indians.

    We have this way of viewing people as either black or white. MLK, Lincoln, Ghandi were all saints, and we can ignore the little bad they did. Che Guevara, Vladimir Lenin, and Richard Nixon were all horrible people, and we can ignore the little good they did.

    I decry people are all bad all the time, so it's pretty hypocritical for me to say this stuff, but there it is. Anyway, back on topic...

    Online voting would be horrifically insecure. Ballots delivered straight to the ballot box are the safest way.

  34. Bill Fleming 2012.05.05

    Well, I like Che, but I hear ya. Someone said the other day that Nixon may have been the last liberal president we've had. Interesting?

    Why couldn't online voting be made as secure as online banking? One transaction per person, two times a year? Somebody steals your vote, you call the cops. Piece of cake. The whole economy is running that way, all (or most) of the world's financial and stock transactions. Why not the political ones?

  35. Carter 2012.05.05

    Unfortunately, Bill, online banking is only as secure as "There isn't a hacker specifically targeting you". If a hacker wants in to your back account, he'll get in, and no security can stop him. He probably won't get caught, either.

    When it comes to voting, there are countless ways people could attack the system, and the only real way to fix an attack like that would be to have every single person vote again (and then another attack would happen).

    Cyber security is all about staying one step ahead of the hackers, and when it comes to something as big as an election, that's just not feasible.

    Anyway, I like Che, Lenin, and Nixon (Nixon least of all, but still, he did quite a bit of good), but the point is the most people don't for the same reason they like MLK, Ghandi, and Lincoln. They just take what they hear in school and assume that's all there is.

    Hey, speaking of which, does anyone know a nice source of information about Chavez? US sources say he's the devil, Venezuelan sources say he's a saint. I trust neither, but I'd like to know more. Links?

  36. Bill Fleming 2012.05.05

    I assume you mean Hugo Chavez, not Cesar. If so, I don't Carter. Haven't really been following his deal much. Just what's in the news.

  37. John B. 2012.05.06

    This video made me laugh so much. But on the other hand, this woman is dangerous. Her thoughts and stupidity is easily transferable on other people. The article states the obvious truth - ignore her. She probably wants to get into a company of Influential Women more than do anything useful for the society. She has no capacity to do so. It is more than obvious.

    Don´t vote for her and don´t invite her to public debates.
    Her idea about politics is completely flawed. She has no idea about how to deliver services to her voters. We live in post- modern era where the old school type of politics, raging against socialism, for war etc. is no longer necessary. People care more about their own good than about some stupid ideology. It is time to let professionals to replace such people in the elections. Right or left does´t exist, there are just problems that have to be solved.

  38. larry kurtz 2012.05.06

    Wake up, South Dakota. The 1% will stop at nothing to destroy Turtle Island and the West: tribes.

    Howie and his little band of militia are a desperate diversion from the earth haters gathering behind our backs for a full frontal assault on the High Plains.

  39. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.05.06

    John B., I take your point well. I only dispute one line: I doubt Thompson has any sort of power-climbing ambition, at least not of the sort expressed by Kristi Noem as she has whored herself out to the media and real power brokers. I suspect the only list Thompson imagines herself aspiring to is some ill-informed fantasy list of historic women like Betsy Ross and Dolly Madison. Rather like me, she has no practical vision of how to gain power.

    I have minor qualms about completely ignoring such individuals. I agree that the thinking is dangerous and should be discouraged. However, I see value in spotlighting it occasionally to show people what is wrong with our politics... and perhaps to disinfect with sunlight.

  40. Cluck Norris 2012.05.06

    Wow. Thanks Cory, for turning me on to Howie's "Liberty Today" Youtube channel. This stuff is rich...I have spent the better part of a cloudy morning watching the various candidates (as well as Howie/Randazzo) present positions on a whole host of issues.

    It reminds me of a modern-day political Legion of Doom seeking to change the world one superpower (issue) at a time. Guided by crystal-balled Randazzo (Lex Luther) and business magnate Howie (The Penguin), each member appears to threaten the public with their own brands of superpowers: Don Kopp's confusing connection between illegal immigration and no-bid contractors (The Riddler), Dave Eatherton's "Taxes are your money" (Brainiac), and Stacey Wollman's pro-life uterine freeze-ray (Captain Cold) should have us all shaking in fear. I do hold out hope that (Bizarro) Stace Nelson - I do like the guy after the last legislative session - will find an ally from the Justice League ("Superman" Bernie Hunhoff or "The Flash" Billie Sutton) but I'm not overly optimistic.

    Fitting that the weekend Marvel releases it's mega-hit "Avengers", that DC should let loose it's own comic reality - in the form of political candidates.

  41. Carter 2012.05.06

    In regards to online voting, I'll add that I have significant privacy concerns in that area. According to the article Cory posted, Estonia uses the same ID cards they use for online banking. This means several things to me.

    1) Your vote is directly connected to your identity. Unlike here, where you are recorded as having voted, a system like that would log who you voted for, as well. This means the government (or anyone with access to that particular database) could find out who you voted for.

    2) Your vote is tied directly or indirectly to your bank account and other personal information. Once again, anyone with access to that database would be able to see your information. This time, they could very easily use it for identity theft.

    3) There is no real way to ensure the person voting is who they say they are. It would be no hard task to get someone's ID device and use it, or once again, use the information in the database to simply falsify that information and vote for them.

    The problem is that everything needs to be stored in an online database, which could very likely be manipulated. The risks seem to outweigh the benefits, to me.

  42. Bill Fleming 2012.05.06

    I respect your concerns Carter, but seriously, for as sacred as you hold your right to cast an uncorrupted, secret ballot, there are those who hold their wealth and financial transactions equally as sacrosanct (if not even more so, truth be told.)

    And in order to guarantee that security, so people could conveniently bank, shop, and invest online, there have been some really sophisticated systems developed. People us them daily without giving them a second thought.

    I'm going to guess those systems are more sophisticated in terms of ensuring privacy and accuracy than our current, county-by-county, cobbled together voting methodology in the US by orders of magnitude... ten, maybe hundreds of times more secure than our current system.

    Just sayin'.

  43. Carter 2012.05.06

    I'm not sure you realize how hilariously easy it is to get access to someone's online banking account, Bill.

  44. Bill Fleming 2012.05.06

    That's right, Carter. I don't have a clue. And don't realy want to.

    I do, however realize how hilarously easy it would be for a group of poll workers processing absentee ballots to "accidentally" lose a whole bunch of them from certain key zipcodes. Or even groups of Postal workers before that. And nobody would ever know about it. Ever. Our current voting system isn't really all that secure, you know, Carter?

    And yet we've been counting on it for hundreds of years now and trusting the people who work it to tell us who our elected officials are, and we accept the results.

    I think the lesson might be to never let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  45. Carter 2012.05.06


    They assign you a random, unique identifier unconnected to anything except your ballot at the ballot booth. You fill out your ballot like a standardized test, filling in those bubbles with a #2 pencil. The results are then recorded electronically by a local machine with no internet connection. Mostly tamper proof, right there. After the election, the ID numbers and who they voted for are shown online so you can check to make sure who you voted for is who is recorded, but since your name isn't associated with the number, then no one can know it was you. Safe and private. Uses technology but avoids the massive security problems present when using the internet.

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