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Don Kopp’s Archie Bunker Mentality: America Is Doomed! No Explanation Necessary!

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.


  1. Dougal 2013.03.23

    Kopp is symptomatic of the Stupid Caucus' effect on the last decade of state legislative sessions.

  2. Owen Reitzel 2013.03.23

    When I read that I couldn't figure out what Kopp meant as well. Sadly you see a lot of letters to the editor's like that. Some add, of course, that its Obama's fault and the liberal media's falt as well. Lots of general statements and no facts or at best made up or twisted facts.
    Ignorance is NOT wonderful thing.

  3. Bill Fleming 2013.03.23

    Isn't Kopp the guy who blames climate change on astrology? The guy is dumb as a post. Maybe dumber. Posts aren't arrogant about their stupidity.

  4. Charlie Hoffman 2013.03.23

    I would call Don "Pete" Kopp a gutsy guy who fears nothing. Did you know he mapped more caves in the Black Hills than anyone else; most of it on his belly crawling through slivers of space most would avoid like the plague?

    And for the "astrology" instead of "astronomy" word misplaced by the LRC into the bill; we really just need to get over it and call it what it was. A mistake.

    Pete is a great guy and if we start tearing apart the moral fiber which makes him click what self-absorption of perfectness should the rest of us be charged with?

  5. Robin Page 2013.03.23

    Isn't it sad to remember that he represents the good people of Rapid Valley, Box Elder and half of North Rapid in the State Legislature! Hopefully his constituents will take a good look at his comments and voting record before they vote in 2014.

  6. Rorschach 2013.03.23

    He wasn't mapping caves. He was hunting wabbits. Still is. Shhhh!

  7. Owen Reitzel 2013.03.23

    But Charlie he should give examples of what he's talking about. What moral foundation?

  8. Barry Smith 2013.03.23

    Here is a good article on the "declining morals" phenomenon.

  9. Owen Reitzel 2013.03.23

    good article Barry

  10. LK 2013.03.23


    Koop is blowing a right-wing dog whistle.

    His intended audience is going to look at the Adams quotation and take in the message that only people who believe in God will be moral. That same audience will then look at the Franklin statement and conclude that lack of belief produces vicious people. (Those same readers will conveniently ignore the fact that Franklin's faith or lack thereof is subject of some controversy among historians.)

    They will then read Lee’s words to mean that too many evil non-believers exist in the US and that these non-believers will destroy the city on the hill that was created for the good folk who believe. Further, it’s probably a hint to Koop's audience that the evil non-believers outnumber believers and will soon persecute them by electing people who pass laws designed to destroy religious freedom.

    The Bradley quotation is a reminder that there is powerful evil with the intent to good folk harm around every corner, so the good folk must always be diligent and ready to fight like good soldiers for all that is true and good. Those who are unready to stand by folks like Koop and his cause are, of course, moral cowards.

    Koop didn’t have to explain anything because audience he wants to reach will take his meaning immediately. Those who miss his message are people he doesn’t want to communicate with.

  11. Owen Reitzel 2013.03.23

    I see your point LK and I agree. But I'd still like to see a breakdown of moral decline from his point of view. Far right consevatives love doing this. They want to repeal Obamacare and cut Federal spending but they don't offer any solutions of their own.
    It's all the same generalities.

  12. Donald Pay 2013.03.23

    The whole morals decline argument has been getting progressively more ridiculous with each generation since Socrates. If anything, public morality has progressed greatly, if with some steps backward now and then, over the last 2000+ years and over the last 400 years in this country. Kopp, of course, is someone who wouldn't want to ever associate with anyone with a questionable moral character, unlike, oh, Jesus, just to bring up someone that people of Kopp's ilk would have crucified back in the 000s.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.03.23

    Excellent analysis, LK. Charlie, I wish Don Kopp had the guts to talk to all of us and really legislate rather than just sing this right-wing karaoke into the echo chamber.

  14. G-Man 2013.03.23

    In the words of Maude: "Archie you can have your chair back, but, don't move around too much, you might crush your brains!"

  15. grudznick 2013.03.24

    Herb Conn mapped like 50 or 60 miles in Jewel Cave alone. If Mr. Kopp mapped more than that I have to say that the double nonvowel on the end of a 4 letter last name makes for a heck of a troglodyte.

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