Aggression & Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

The Libertarian Party of South Dakota wants to make at least one thing clear: Aggression and anti-Muslim attacks are not part of our party platform.

This entire country is built upon refugees. Good, honest, hardworking people that just want to leave the evil and devastation of their home land in hopes of just increasing the chances their kids will have a better life. As natural born citizens, we all want immigrants to become citizens. We want immigrants and refugees to become part of our community and contribute to our local economy. If you’re against that, then you’re against liberty, you’re against freedom, and you’re against everything this nation was founded upon.

The behavior that South Dakota residents showed at this anti-refugee rally was appalling. Cory Heidelberger is a good reporter and a defender of civil liberties in our state. He was defending himself and his own journalism in front of 150 people. While the SDLP and Cory do not always agree politically, he did not deserve to be screamed at and bullied. It is shameful how a few of those audience members treated Cory. You can see and read more about that incident at SoDakLiberty.

The speaker, Ron Branstner doesn’t have a lot of information out there about himself. It is difficult to find out about him, he doesn’t have a website, he doesn’t have much going on except he is a former California resident that is apparently touring the mid-west and spewing anti-Muslim and anti-immigration falsehoods.

Ron Branstner showed some YouTube conspiracy theory videos, notably an Alex Jones video from his own lunatic website InfoWars. That would normally ruin the credibility of any one speaking on such an important issue, however that does not seem to be case for Branstner.

There are a LOT of issues that need to be hammered out regarding immigration reform and refugee programs. There are a LOT of logistics that citizens and local governments need to debate before we spend our tax dollars on something as big as a refugee program.
The LPSD does not wish to prohibit any refugees from joining our community, but we would like to discuss (calmly) the details and finances with community leaders.
We will not listen to crack-pot conspiracy theories fueled by bigot rhetoric.

The case for refugees can easily be made. Besides it being the right thing to do, there is a huge economic advantage. As of 8/12/2016 there are over 600 jobs available in Brown County South Dakota (and that’s ONLY on the Department of Labor site). Aberdeen is begging for people to hire at all levels and educational backgrounds. We don’t have people leaving their cities in droves to move here and all the notable employers in town are scrambling for employees to train.

And now the data shows that immigrants are exponentially less violent than natural born citizens. Refugees and immigrants are individuals, they’re families, and they’re willing to do jobs that a large majority of Americans won’t do. If you generalize refugees and immigrants as violent and criminal then you might as well generalize all black youth as gang members, all latino’s as job thieves, and all white males as mass shooters.

The Libertarian Party is a believer in non-aggression and inclusion. We do not condone or support this type of rhetoric or behavior. We see the value in human dignity and wish to provide an opportunity for refugees to make their home in South Dakota.

Our goal is a world that doesn’t need refugees, a world that can support itself by each country having a free market and open trade. A world that doesn’t always have nuclear weapons pointed at each other. A world that doesn’t support perpetual war.

One of the reasons refugees exist is because of war. Our wars. Our involvement in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya has created more refugees with drone strikes then their own government ever could. We can’t un-bomb those sovereign nations but we can stop it now. We can stop the perpetual war machine and do the right thing and the humane thing.

If you agree, then you should join us and join the pro-peace party.

Thank you.

Jon Boon McNutt
LPSD State Chair