‘Can’t Go Wrong’ With US Founding Documents as Guide: Gov. Kristi Noem

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says that her respect and adherence to the Founding Fathers’ vision for America, outlined in its guiding documents, has been a strong thread running throughout her early life—as well as in her role now as a state governor.

Growing up on a farm helped South Dakota, Noem truly appreciates the value of responsibility and freedom, she told EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” during a recent interview about her new book, “Not My First Rodeo: Lessons from the Heartland,” in which she explains her influences.

Her respect for the U.S. Constitution and her upbringing on the land also contributed to her being the only governor who didn’t follow the federal government’s lockdown policies when COVID-19 arrived on U.S. soil.

Instead, Noem decided to allow South Dakotans to decide how to best protect themselves and their families, allowing businesses and schools to remain open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“So for me, the one thing that’s consistent, that’s protected this country for hundreds of years, is literally the framework that our Founders gave us, and you can’t go wrong as long as you start with a good foundation,” she said.

“It’ll keep you even during the shakiest time. So many, many times throughout the last several years as governor, that was my guiding light, to come back to our state Constitution, our U.S. Constitution, to really understand what my role was as governor.”

As governor, Noem said she only wanted to implement laws that were allowed by her state and U.S. Constitutions and nothing more. By taking this approach, Noem withstood negative publicity and accusations of being “anti-science.”

“It was a pretty lonely job for a period of time because, while I was making the decision not to shut anything down—not even define what an ‘essential business’ was in my state because I didn’t believe that governments had the ability to tell you your business wasn’t essential—I was getting criticism not just from Democrats,” she said, noting that other Republicans and also her supporters were warning her that she would ruin herself politically.

By Masooma Haq and Jan Jekielek

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