Wednesday, December 2, 2020


Mesonet at SD State Eagle Butte realtime weather web widget

Political Voices: Election Day and the consent of the governed


When Thomas Jefferson laid out America’s founding ideal in the Declaration of Independence, he made clear that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. Put differently, government only has the powers that it does because we the people have consented to it. And we provide that consent every year on Election Day.

November 3rd is just a few days away.  On election day, the people of South Dakota will vote to elect the government that they want to represent them. They’ll voice their consent to that government. In fact, many South Dakotans have already cast their ballots. This year, all 105 seats in the state legislature will be up for election. We’ll elect our at-large member of Congress and one of our senators. And we’ll vote for who will be our president.

On election days past, South Dakotans honored me with the tremendous privilege of serving them first as a state representative from Hamlin County, then in the United States House of Representatives, and now as your Governor. I am thankful each and every day for the trust and confidence that you’ve shown in me by putting me in these positions to serve you. The fact of the matter is that I work for you, not the other way around. It’s an important point, and one that all too many politicians forget.

We are truly blessed to live in this country. America respects the freedoms of its citizens and has a government that exists to protect their rights, not infringe on them. It is my sincere hope that that our kids and grandkids grow up in an America that continues to cherish freedom, equality, and opportunity.

Every election is important, but this particular election carries extra weight because of the crossroads that we are at in American politics. There are widely differing visions for where our state and country will go. It used to be that we had similar goals, just a difference in ideas for how to get there. Sadly, that may no longer be the case. Tensions are high in the run-up to this election. Regardless of the results, I hope that our country can come together in the following days and remember that we are stronger when we are united, not divided.

I hope that this election day, every citizen engages in their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote. We may not all agree on what direction we hope the country will take depending on the results of the election, but I am hopeful that we all agree in our love for this great country. God bless you all, and may God continue to bless the great state of South Dakota and the United States of America.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *