The Fantasies of Weiland

by Tiberius Gracchus on May 12, 2014

Let me cast an eye and opinion upon Senatorial candidate Mr. Rick Weiland’s campaign website. Mr. Weiland is running for South Dakota’s U.S. Senate seat, meaning to replace Senator Tim Johnson who is retiring. Weiland declares “Take it back!” as his campaign slogan. His single stated priority is the desire to take our country and government back from corporate interests. The entire website is a vast siege of the sentiment that we have fixed classes struggling against each other. According to Rick, I can easily assume every plague on South Dakotans during recent times has been from corporate lobbyists and their checkbooks which has affected “…every small business, every family farmer and rancher, and every working person in South Dakota.” Rick waves a political banner with the most dusty class warfare rhetoric that hopes to bring into existence once again the mass demonstrations of the past to create his vision for America. How will he do that? He doesn’t mention on his website, but it would be anti-capitalist otherwise it would be out of character.

A few months ago I reviewed Mr. Weiland’s website and since then his website has been changed. Before the revamp of his campaign website Mr. Weiland saluted an article, “Cynicism Is Corporate America’s Greatest Weapon. Disarm It.”, and states that the author “…highlights the growing cynicism of the American public, a cynicism that has grown in lock-step with the rise of big money.” The author writes with great interest about popular upheaval through the generations and beckons the need for it again because he reminds the reader, “They were afraid of Occupy. They’re afraid of you.” All the while and throughout Rick’s old website he pledged to get government working with no more disruptions like that seen with the government shutdown – supposedly caused by Big Business, Big Oil, Big Ag, and perhaps anything Big as long as it’s not Big Government, but nobody and nothing specific. Who started the political fight in Washington and who reacted to who’s poor decisions are questions we continue to fairly debate in political circles, but instead of pointing fingers directly at a House Member, Senator, or President, Rick simply says blame Big Business. As for the undefined “they” who are supposed to be afraid of the anarchist and socialist protesters squatting in city parks, the writer has obviously forgotten about the Red Mayor and the “Hard Hat Riots” of 1970. Americans are just as serious about their freedom today as they were then.

The article “Cynicism Is Corporate America’s Greatest Weapon. Disarm It.” is no longer found on Mr. Weiland’s new campaign website, but he’s still completely focused on Big Money. The new website is careful not to vilify capitalism and instead it vilifies the so-called “1%” as opposed to Big Business. The great majority of everything penned on his campaign website, regardless of topic, condemningly points the finger of blame at the Big Money Super Rich that he feels has hijacked our nation, and this class warfare is the single silver bullet needed to revive America.

Mr. Weiland’s campaign website contains no statements on the federal debt burden, agricultural policy, foreign policy, border security, government surveillance, gun rights, or the military, but does address multiple times the topic of destructive unbridled corporate interests. (He never mentions the necessity of complicity on the part of Big Government necessary for corporate interests to become a problem.) Tom Daschle has grandly endorsed Rick in this election for Rick’s belief in the right to have abortions, the President’s healthcare reform, affirmative action and “equal pay” for women. Nothing is mentioned on Rick’s new campaign website about his views on abortion. Where is Rick’s courage that he has to take on Big Money when it comes to fighting for, as Daschle would suggest, for a woman’s right to choose in our state during the election? Also, as the State Director of AARP he established a Senior Bill of Rights that sought to strengthen Social Security payments yet he refuses to consider any reforms to promote the program’s solvency. Although the government will always send out Social Security checks I’m quite certain that money won’t be worth half as much in the future without reasonable reforms now on government spending. Mr. Weiland has also stated his dislike for Big Ag (I assume he means Cargill and ADM but maybe he means the Sheehans), but then supports the full ethanol mandate to the shock of those that believe that directly causes their grocery bill to increase. The best thing the Democratic Party of South Dakota could have done was find a centrist, but alas Rick is publicly left in political philosophy of President Obama.

I assume for Rick’s political electability that he supports small business owners. When does small business become Big Money? At what size of employer-ship does a business become untrustworthy in a free republic? What is the capital requirement necessary to go from patriot to traitor of the people? Based on Mr. Weiland’s statements, we would assume lobbying arms of corporate entities are the chief villains working against our noble government. Back in reality we know a leading company in an industry can be expected to be an authority on the product or service they provide. It’s in that company’s best interest to promote that industry and to defend it against potential misinformation perpetuated by a competitor or interest that stands to gain from the company’s or industry’s demise. For instance a non-profit organization, labor union, or a government administration with a large war chest may be at odds with a successful and law-abiding corporation and all the power of the corporation may be needed to defend itself and not be crushed. Mr. Weiland would see such a voice smothered. The ability of a corporation to exercise its free speech is essential in a free society.

What Rick never mentions which is the truly “Big” culprit of a free society is Big Government. When elected or appointed government officials have the power to artificially create success or failure for an American business then businesses have no choice but to cater to the inevitable corruption that competition for such favor will give rise too. Simply stated, government manipulation of the free market shifts power to the bureaucrats and they become industry king makers. What we know as Crony Capitalism is at its worst in a controlled economy. Favoritism towards businesses through government interference and discrimination is in the same vein as a feudal society, which sees the country’s resources and justice redistributed by a central authority which can and will create an embedded class system. We have only look at Communist China with its permanent rich upper class and permanently poor lower class to see the end result of centrally planned Big Government. Monopolies become achievable goals when the government is your business partner. Mr. Weiland should realize that by expanding government, which is his ardent wish, he’ll welcome the exasperation of the same problems which disappoint all honest Americans.

Rick also wants to limit campaign contributions supposedly to make elections fair. Rick does offer at gatherings a suggested Constitutional amendment to consider limiting campaign contributions in federal elections. Let me ruminate on his ingenuous proposal. Perhaps the silliest hypocrisy of that belief in limiting campaign contributions is his sponsored petition against particular government shutdowns. I wager Rick would claim politicians were guilty by association when surrounded by corporate lobbyists, but why can’t I rule the same judgment on him when has no history of supporting campaign contribution limits and were fined for it in the past? His close companionship with Tom Daschle over the years is filled with irony since Mr. Daschle works for DLA Piper which handles many corporate clients with great influence and success. Such a search for democratic justice is familiar territory with our current President’s similar, and now broken, campaign promises. As has been stated elsewhere and will now be again, political donations are a form of our freedom of speech in an open and fair election.

Rick Weiland’s opus of discrimination and suspicion towards our nation’s most successful, the titans of capitalism, only fantasizes of an America that never existed where nobody with a fat wallet tried his or her hand at political change. The romance of the Have’s and Have Not’s struggle shape his radical political character and in all discussions about the nation’s issues he promotes only classic monoscopic class warfare, which results in economic despair, even less bi-partisanship, and less respect and tolerance for your fellow man or woman. Without the wealthy boogeyman or abstract “Big” villain Rick’s entire platform collapses since there is no one left to blame and therefore nothing left for him to say.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tim May 15, 2014 at 7:09 AM

And Mike Rounds is your answer to all of this? More of the same, and as conditions in SD continue to decline we get yet more of the same. Great


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