The amazing Governor of South Dakota, Gov. Kristi Noem, spoke at the CPAC Florida 2022 Conference on February 24, 2022. Listen to and read her full speech.
Good afternoon CPAC! I’m honored to be with fellow patriots in the free state of Florida!
February in Orlando is fantastic! You should try February in South Dakota sometime, if you’re tough enough. Temperatures are almost as low as Biden’s approval rating.
In all seriousness, let me start by saying this: our prayers are with the people of Ukraine.
The families, the children, the people who are being targeted now. The hell of war has come to that country. If we ever needed a reminder that leadership matters, the last 48 hours have shown us what happens when America projects weakness. And that’s what President Biden has done.
A strong American president who put their citizens first would take a few actions right away:
They’d restart and expedite the Keystone XL Pipeline immediately.
They’d reopen federal lands to drilling and oil and natural gas exploration and revoke the bans on oil and gas leases in the Outer Continental Shelf.
They’d sign an executive order to cut regulations on domestic energy production and its transport to American and European markets.
They’d immediately work with European allies and partners to replace their supply of Russian energy with American energy.
They’d hit Putin where it actually hurts: by enacting heavy sanctions on the Russian energy sector.
They’d lead NATO and other Western allies to cut Russia off from the Western economy, banking, financial systems – including SWIFT.
If Joe Biden can’t or won’t do all of those things, he should resign immediately before his weak leadership and poor decision-making drag America into another needless war.
That’s just common sense. But sadly almost every major institution in our society today has been compromised against common-sense, truth, and freedom: The Democrat Party and their allies in big tech, Hollywood, and the media.
These ‘experts’ are the same crew who brought us mask mandates & vaccine mandates. They ignored science and trampled civil liberty. They preach Critical Race Theory. And they’re driving inflation that steals wealth, especially from poor and younger families. Violent crime is surging in cities and disproportionately hurting minority families. No one should ever forget the disaster in Afghanistan.
Despite all these failures, they look down on you. They look down on anyone who thinks for themselves. And yet, most Americans agree with you. They’re just afraid to say it out loud.
Well, conservatives are not afraid. We’re going to fight for our country.
We are not the first generation to face such a pivotal time. And that’s why today, I want to look at America: Where we’ve been; Where we are; and where we’re going.
First, where we’ve been. As conservatives, what do we want to conserve? What do we want to save and keep for our kids and grandkids? We are saving and keeping the greatest country in human history.
Our Founders built something the world had never seen before. They took the best of Western Civilization from Jerusalem to Athens to Rome to London. They brought together Faith, Reason, Law, and Representative Government. And in Philadelphia in 1787 they put all of that together to craft the Constitution of the United States of America.
They set out a Bill of Rights making clear certain rights could never be infringed upon: The right to speak and assemble; The right to worship – and act on those beliefs in the public square; The right to arm ourselves against standing armies; The right to a fair, equitable criminal justice system.
They acknowledged that our rights come from our Creator. And free people honor their Creator when they exercise those rights to govern themselves wisely.
And the Founders spelled out exactly where the government gets its power – the people. Read Federalist 49: “The people are the only legitimate fountain of power.”
Sadly, today in 2022 every one of those rights is under attack. The American people are being coerced.
When the National School Boards Association works with the White House to get the FBI to identify parents as “domestic terrorists” for opposing Critical Race Theory in their kids’ schools, you’ve got big problems.
If you haven’t read up on the Special Counsel probe of the FBI investigation into President Trump’s campaign, here’s the cliff notes version: President Trump was right — the Clintons spied on him. They paid a British spy to spy on the President; they paid a tech executive to spy on the President; and we are learning more and more all the time about how they abused our government to try to take down President Trump.
Every sane American across the country is quietly thinking to themselves: “If they can do that to the President of the United States, they can do it to me and my family.”
If you think cancel culture is bad now, wait until they force financial institutions into freezing your account because of something you said on Facebook. It’s already happening in the world. No, I’m not talking about Communist China’s social credit system. I’m talking about Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, and the “Emergencies Act” he passed. Trudeau froze truckers’ bank accounts and canceled insurance on trucks. He used anti-terrorism finance laws to cover Crowd Funding Platforms like Give.Send.Go.
This is why the Founders gave us the Constitution in the first place. They knew human nature has a dark side that craves power.
In 2020, when most states were shutting down their economies and enforcing unconstitutional lockdowns, we did something different in South Dakota. Our state motto is “Under God, the People Rule.” I followed it.
As Governor, I believed the best way to fight a danger to our country was through an informed and free American people who made decisions for themselves. I refused to use unconstitutional powers. We never issued mask mandates. We didn’t mandate vaccines. We never kept anybody from going to church. We kept kids in the classroom. I did not arrest, ticket, or fine a single individual for exercising their basic rights. South Dakota was the ONLY state that never even defined what an “essential business” was.
Looking around at the world today, we see fundamental freedoms evaporating because of the COVID lockdowns, but not in South Dakota. We drew a clear line.
And the line between tyranny and freedom is getting more clear every day across our country. The Left divides based on differences. Conservatives unite around shared values.
The Left crushes free speech. Conservatives celebrate free expression.
The Left says America is racist and evil. Conservatives know America is not the sum of her past mistakes.
The Left says only an elite class of so-called experts is smart enough to solve our problems. Conservatives know that everyone can contribute, and that experts are often the last group who should be put in charge.
Let me tell you a brief story about a man who was not an expert, but who saved America at a crucial time in our history. In 1775 in Boston, approximately 11,000 British soldiers occupying the city during the Revolutionary War.
George Washington’s ragtag army of Continentals surrounded them. But the Americans carried only their personal muskets – no cannons and almost no ammunition. General Washington knew that soon, warmer weather would come. The British would break out of Boston, storm his position, and end the Revolution.
Then, a 25-year-old bookseller named Henry Knox approached General Washington. Knox had never been in combat, but he had plenty of common-sense. He was self-educated on military matters. He sold books for a living, but he read them, too.
Knox volunteered to lead a group of individuals to retrieve cannons that were recently captured at Fort Ticonderoga in New York. Knox and his team traveled to the fort, disassembled 59 different pieces of artillery, and loaded them onto boats for a 30-mile trip down Lake George.
The lake froze solid just after they reached the far end. Next, they loaded cannons onto sleds and hitched up oxen to drag 60 tons of artillery over 300 miles of frozen rivers and mountains. And they did it in less than 2 months.
On Saint Patrick’s Day 1776, with Knox’s guns in place, General Washington and his troops forced the British to evacuate Boston. America won the battle.
That’s tough – that’s American grit. That’s the kind of thinking and doing we need today.
It’s not easy. And it won’t be overnight. But it is simple. The question is: How much pain are you willing to go through to be free?
You are part of a story that began a long time ago. It is the story of human freedom. Many chapters have been written already. You are writing the chapter of that story today. What will it say? What should we do?
First, speak the truth. The Left lives on lies. It’s part of their power to frighten people into falling in line. Take that power away.
No one in this room is afraid to speak the truth. But we all know people who are. Encourage them. Strengthen them. Let them know ‘You’re not alone for thinking that.’ Remind people there is a reality and a truth to the world. We can know it and live by it. It sets us free and makes us happy.
Second, never give up. We’ve won on mandates because people got involved in their communities.
We are going to win on Life – first at the Supreme Court and then in the States. When we do, it will be because of thousands of ordinary people across our country who simply said ‘enough.’
National politics starts on your street – in your neighborhood. Get involved. Lead. Find the best fighter you can, and have their back in the trenches. That’s the beauty of federalism. Remember what we are fighting to conserve.
When I served in Congress, I’d often walk past the National Archives. There’s an inscription on the outside of the building: “The Glory and Romance of our history are here preserved in the Chronicles of those who conceived and built the structure of our nation.”
Think about those words: Glory; Romance. The Left never talks about such things. They don’t even know what they are. We should talk about them more.
There is an old strength in our national character. We have it as Americans. Remembering this strength and calling it forth once again — that’s our calling. It’s our one duty.
We have inherited the greatest legacy of freedom in human history. We have to fight to hold onto it.
And we have some great fighters, like President Donald Trump! But he’s not alone. The American people are on our side.
We will win if we remember what we’re conserving, if we keep relentlessly focused on defending Freedom. If we never give up.
Thank you so much for your time today. God bless you and God bless the United States of America!