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Kephart 6: GOP Stuck in Group-Think Image Contest; Third Party Needed

Last updated on 2013.09.04

The point of my interview with Sam Kephart was to tap his experience as a GOP Senate primary candidate in 2008 to offer guidance to candidates walking that road in 2014... and to get some smart and salty quotes.

Kephart does not disappoint. In Part 6 of our conversation about South Dakota politics, Kephart says he sees a GOP primary electorate becoming disenchanted with its own machine. To beat the "weak buffoons" currently winning our beauty contests, Kephart says serious candidates should bolt from both parties and start a third party.

And in clear proof that he's not running for anything this cycle, Kephart says we voters are generally uninformed dumb-asses. Primary candidates, here's Sam uncensored!

Heidelberger: Has the GOP primary electorate changed since 2008? If so, in what ways?

Kephart: Yes, I believe the GOP primary electorate has, indeed, changed since the 2007-2008 primary season. I know at least a dozen very savvy and hard-working former party loyalists, officers, and elected officials who have walked away from the party. I did in August of 2010. I no longer attend ANY party functions, nor do I give ANY money to the State GOP. It’s an utter waste of time and resources.

While there are many dedicated individuals and candidates (many of whom I still support) within our party, the GOP group-think is now simply utterly repulsive to me. Both major parties, D’s and R’s alike, are completely dysfunctional and out of touch with America’s all to obvious “real and present dangers.”

The Tea Party-types have splintered off from the conservative Republican wing. Their hearts and minds are in the right spot, but it’s been damnably tough for them to field enough successful candidates to wrench back control from the hideously compromised leaders who fill most of the power slots in D.C.

Traditional GOP party loyalists view the Tea Party folks with a healthy dose of both grudging respect and arrogant disdain. They are admired for having the strength of their convictions, but dissed at the same time for being too doctrinaire and uncompromising.

HINT: How can you be too tough when it comes to protecting the inherent values and rights enumerated in the U.S. Constitution?

Here in South Dakota, the Tea Party is strong enough to give wishy-washy phony conservatives and RINOS primary competition. But they seem to have a very difficult time organizing their efforts for the long haul.

Aside from the Tea Party folks and a handful of other serious players, I’d say we have a generally uninformed electorate here in South Dakota. Our election results skew towards looks and likability, rather than vision and substance. How do I know that?

Ask yourself WHO was the last statewide or Federal elected official whose vision, words, and follow-through actions actually touched, moved, or inspired you. I’ll bet you’ll be stumped for an answer.

According to the latest Rasmussen Poll (July 5th. 2013), just seven percent (7%) of likely US voters think Congress is doing a good or excellent job. This shameful number says way more about the dumb-ass folks who stupidly vote without doing their due diligence than it does about the weak buffoons they keep re-electing. As a group, we don’t like what’s going on, yet we keep sending the same party players and insiders back to their jobs.

Duh! How’s that working for us?

I’m totally convinced that both major parties need a clean sheet re-design of their entire power structure and players. That’s very unlikely to happen. In its absence, I think the ONLY possible salvation for our country is for some savvy and well-heeled folks to launch an effective third-party effort.

Our current two-party system is an abject failure. How do I know? Just look at where we are. As the Bible clearly states, you shall know a tree by the fruit it bears. Our Federal governmental fruitage is clearly rotten and poisonous.


  1. mike 2013.09.03

    I'm growing in appreciation for Mr. Kephart by reading his thoughtful discussion with you Cory.

    He would be a very good candidate as a third party challenger against Kristi Noem. If he were to run for that many would vote for him. He knows much more than B. Thomas Marking and has spent the last few years growing as a candidate. I see the season as ripe for a libertarian minded independent candidate. The times are unlike any we have seen in a long time. Kephart would appeal to many with his positions on banking, Syria, NSA, Farm Policy etc. He has the positions Noem says she does.

    We saw Marking get 6% (and the best part about running in the general as an independent is he would reach the masses with his ideas at the KELO debate).

    It looks like Noem will go unchallenged by the Democrats at this point so why not give it a go?

  2. Rorschach 2013.09.03

    I would agree with all but Mr. Kephart's last sentence. The fruit of the federal government is the financial support it provides, which sustains many mouths.

    The fruit of the federal government tree is neither rotten nor poisonous but as sweet as it ever has been. However the tree itself is weakened by unsustainable growth. It's branches have spread wide, and their excessive weight promises in time to split the trunk allowing in pestilence and threatening the tree's very existence. Its gardeners can't agree on how to prune the extended branches from the tree to strengthen the tree and ensure that it continues to grow tall and strong ensuring that it will bear fruit in a sustainable way for countless future generations.

    Some of the tree's keepers would not prune the tree at all, or very little - instead re-directing its harvest to the hungriest among us. Others would prune the tree down to the trunk alone and apportion its remaining fruit between the most powerful woodworkers - trusting them to distribute the fruit where they see fit.

    Mr. Kephart would agree with me that what we need is to elect more thoughtful gardeners.

  3. Douglas Wiken 2013.09.03

    How am I, a mere peddler of words, to compete with poets making points with trees?

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