Guest Post, Bruce Danielson

As we consider our declaration of freedom born in July 1776, consider the remarkable citizens who helped us create a government owned by the people. These citizens would later help define a way to grant more and more rights to more and more people. The more amazing thing that followed their courage, was their efforts helped them lose more personal wealth or their lives because they chose to be leaders, not followers.

Authoritarians are not leaders, they are bullies taking away from most of us in the short-run and all of us in the long-run. The reversal or taking away rights whether the initiative, referendum, or personal responsibility rights always makes South Dakotans and the silent majority to the streets and ballot boxes.

The gathering of our fellow citizens last Wednesday evening showed one glaring thing more than anything else, Sioux Falls city government has no leadership. None, zip, nada, black hole. What is leadership? Consider this list:

Qualities of a Great Leader

1. Vision

2. Inspiration

3. Strategic & Critical Thinking

4. Interpersonal Communication

5. Authenticity & Self-Awareness

6. Open-Mindedness & Creativity

7. Flexibility

8. Responsibility & Dependability

9. Patience & Tenacity

10. Continuous Improvement

How many of the qualities on the above list were shown last week or are shown by our officials in Sioux Falls and South Dakota?

We have elected officials who claim to be leaders but in reality they are primarily authoritarians who would rather hide in their suburban fortresses on Whitechurch Lane, in Grand Prairie or Canton.

A real leader would have immediately arrived on the scene and helped calm a situation. A real leader would have followed the April 1968 example of Senator Robert Kennedy on hearing of the murder of Martin Luther King by going into the crowd to announce it and then calm the crowd that would have emotionally grabbed it leading to a riot like what happened many other burning American cities.

Why did the police have to get out the riot gear? Why did the gathering of our fellow citizens have to rise to a heated situation where fearful police decided to put on swat gear? There will always be agitators in any crowd, but a real leader would have been creative enough to calm the noise.

Robert Kennedy showed us all what a positive leader could do, why do we have officials pretending to be leaders but are in fact authoritarian sheeple, hiding until the coast is clear?

This is to be dealt with, Sioux Falls city government has no leadership. We are a rudderless ship where the engine room is running full-bore into the iceberg because the captain is hiding. I compliment the police chief for the honesty shown after the event but where was our mayor? Our elected officials let untrained, inexperienced directors and line employees run the government while the elected officials we the people hire, are stuffing their resumes to make themselves more self-important. Whether you approve or not, riot gear against our mothers, fathers, children and grandparents who just want to express their emotions is a disgusting lack of real leadership from an absentee leader.

An actual campaign slogan in 2022 (she lost, BTW)

There has been a push over the years that our founding fathers based our nation’s creation on theocracy. While many of our FF were Christian, many were not. Our foundation was actually based in Roman and Greek traditions combining democratic and republic ideals;

The United States of America should have a foundation free from the influence of clergy. – George Washington

Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law. – Thomas Jefferson

The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries. – James Madison

Lighthouses are more helpful than churches. – Benjamin Franklin

Erecting the ‘wall of separation between church and state’… is absolutely essential in a free society. – Thomas Jefferson

I bring you these words NOT to discourage your personal faith. That is one thing that makes this country so wonderful, we have the freedom to practice our faith anyway we want to FREE from the hands of government.

This is why I get increasingly concerned when politicians from the Radical Right start to tell us Americans have lost their way when it comes to religion. Religion, especially Christianity was NEVER a part of the foundation of this country.

In order for this great experiment to move forward, we must cling to original foundation and stomp out any dogma from the radical right that our country was based on religious doctrine.

The fee is payable to the Sioux Falls Parks & Rec and you get a free T-Shirt. Not sure why you would have to pre-register and pre-pay for a publicly endorsed run, especially on Independence Day? It is all to gather information on the citizens. This administration has been doing a heckuva of a job over the past 4 years making citizens RSVP and pre-register for public events and meetings, and it is wrong. You should NEVER have to RSVP or pre-pay for a public event. I encourage you to just show up and participate. It’s being held on public property and no one should force you to pay a FEE to walk on a taxpayer owned bike trail.

I have suspected one of the reasons the mayor and his council endorsements were so successful this past election is because the campaigns have been using the data the city has collected by cross referencing it with voter registration and Facebook followers. There was a reason the other candidates got their asses kicked, they didn’t have access to this data.

The crazy part is I don’t even know if this illegal in the State of South Dakota.

Oh, and the FREE lunch is now for only 3,000 people instead of 5,000 and instead of a pork sandwich we get a hot dog. Someone told me it is likely we no longer have a sponsor for the FREE lunch and this money is likely going towards that.

“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.” – Patrick Henry

“Information is the currency of democracy.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech.” – Ben Franklin

“Let the people know the facts, and the country will be safe.” – Abraham Lincoln

“A popular Government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.” – James Madison

“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Ben Franklin

“Secrecy is for losers.” – Daniel Patrick Moynihan

“Sunshine is the greatest disinfectant” – Louis D. Brandeis

“Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.” – Lord Acton

Noem claims the Biden Administration is making this political? Really? Who is the one suing using taxdollars to spend more taxdollars on something most people don’t give 2-Sh!ts about. Noem has zero grounds to sue. The property is Federal not state, which she admits and she has no control over. As for a memo from Trump, that isn’t worth the paper it is written on. He is no longer the president, so it means nothing.

As for last year’s display, that was simply a taxpayer funded campaign rally for the Orange Menace and little else.

As for the fireworks, most people can’t attend anyway due to the lottery and most people don’t care. When I think of Independence day, I think of the great people in this country, it has little to do with a rock sculpture and Chinese explosives. Noem needs to concentrate on making the lives of working people in this state better and knock off her grandstanding.