South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem charged the Republican Party to listen and be willing to engage in civil conversation with others to “restore America to what its founders intended: a notion of free men and women.”
“The way we talk to each other has consequences,” Noem said at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, on Wednesday night. “My advice to the Republican Party is to get over yourself.”
“We all have people in our lives that we’ve stopped talking to,” Noem continued. “We have been offended by them, or we believe that they’re too far on the other end of the political spectrum from us that there is no sense in wasting words even speaking to them, and we need to get over ourselves. And start by listening. No one feels like anyone listens to them anymore. Listen carefully. Ask questions. Build a relationship.”
Noem echoed words spoken by former President Ronald Reagan during the Cold War: “To every person who’s trapped in tyranny, including Ukraine, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Cuba, and Vietnam. We send our love and support. Your struggle is real. Your dream is our dream, and someday soon you, too, will be free.”
The South Dakota Republican governor called the current war in Ukraine “tragic,” noting that “President Zelensky has demonstrated his bravery to the world by his willingness to speak truth and fight for freedom for the Ukrainian people.”
“Make no mistake, Vladimir Putin is an evil man, who like other dictators throughout history despises freedom and he hates those who seek it,” Noem said. “We are watching daily assaults on democracy, and they are a reminder to all of us of President Reagan’s famous words: ’Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.’”
Noem blasted President Joe Biden for being on the wrong side of every policy decision and not fighting for America’s freedoms.
“If we defend democracy in Ukraine but we lose our fundamental freedoms here at home, we will have failed,” she stated.
The governor pointed responsibility for the war in Ukraine toward Biden’s weak presence on the world stage, saying had he supported our military, stood strong against Iran, North Korea, and China, and “not facilitating a devastating, disastrous withdraw from Afghanistan that resulted in the death of 13 American patriots, then we would not see an emboldened Putin.”
Noem also called out Biden’s weakness in handling the southern border with Venezuela and China that are crippling America’s energy and food supply.
“We need a leader with vision and strength and one that can correct our nation’s current course, and we need it fast,” she said.
The governor called upon the Republican Party to answer the challenge before it and ask, as conservatives: “What are we trying to conserve?”
“It is not for us to give up,” Noem stated. “It’s for us to reach deep, to get up every day, and to build a country where men and women are free to think, speak, create, build, and believe. If we do this, we will call forth that strength that is the birthright of every American. We will meet the test in our time here at home and beyond the shining sea.”