Don’t Vote for Him: He’s Too Educated!

This is just depressing. The South Dakota Republican Party just put out an ad for their candidate Kristi Noem trying to trash her Democratic opponent Matt Varilek in the state’s only House race.

How do they do it?

They say he went to grad school.

And then studied abroad.

And wrote about and spoke out on the issue of climate change.

And worked in Washington, D.C.

(And threw what looks to be a really big party and had a few beers, I guess?)

In other words: Don’t vote for the Democrat: He’s just too educated for South Dakota!

Right now, Noem has a slight lead over Varilek.

Welcome to America.

(via Daily Dish)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://profiles.google.com/janiceclanfield Janice Clanfield

    My condolences.

    You ‘merkins are just -so- screwed…
     
    Stupidity as an edge to get elected? Just wow.

    • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

      Well, no-one knows whether this is going to work or not yet. From a campaign POV you’ve got to sell what you’ve got, and if what you’ve got is stupidity, ignorance and insularity, then you sell that and hope people are buying.

    • http://twitter.com/aynsavoy Anne Sauer

      I don’t think it’s fair or helpful to call Noem stupid or say that she’s trying to appear stupid in this video (just because someone farms or doesn’t have a degree does not mean their stupid). She’s trying to appeal to the values of her constituents, whom she/her party clearly believe are climate change deniers and loyal South Dakotans who don’t want a perceived outsider representing them politically. 

      Don’t get me wrong–those are not views or strategies I support. I wish more people would vote for representatives who are better educated than themselves rather than people they feel are just like them, but there is psychology behind it, and I think this ad demonstrates a pretty good understanding of that psychology.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/A37GL7VKR3W6ACSIZPH7EID3LI rlrose63

        I agree with you completely… this ad, while disgusting to those with common sense, plays completely to the farming demographic for Noem.  It is politicking at its best, and unfortunately, her audience will drink the koolaid to the last drop and beg for more.

        • NickDB

           One of the short comings of a democracy.

      • J A Hendrickson128

        That is exactly what I was thinking. I live in Kentucky and see ads for Missouri and Illinois and many follow the same idea: I’m a born and bred country fried redneck who holds your religious  and social values! It’s sickening.

  • BrianUtterback

    That would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Worse still is the fact that it will probably work. I know who I would vote for based solely on this ad, but I don’t live in South Dakota. Obviously the Republicans don’t think much of South Dakota voters.

    I mean, a sophisticated policy wonk that also throws great parties? Where do I go to meet him?

  • Eric M Boucher

    “Noem owned a puppy”  “She was called ‘quite nice’ by a local waitress”  ” ‘Something ordinary and wholesome with nothing to do with qualifications’ ”

    Was that satire?  That ad could have been made by the onion.  Since when do attack ads follow this logic?  “he studied for four years on a subject, then worked in that field” “studied for an additional four more years and got another job in his field of study”  “he wrote a paper on his field of study”  And when did corn dogs get such a bad rap in North Dakota?

    • Sparkstalker

       Don’t you know, Eric. Corn dogs are made with corn, and that’s grown by those bastards in Nebraska.

      • CelticWhisper

         Why did I just flash back to Hank Hill saying “Butane is a bastard gas”?

      • http://tch3.com C High

        Not for much longer as the corn crops are having to move north. 

        Matt is trying to keep the corn market in Nebraska, not let it move into the Dakotas! *shakes fists with rage*

  • Live from Hee Haw Hell

    “Please, please, PLEASE vote for Kristi Noem!  Matt Varilek has already gotten to travel everywhere and Kristi’s never gotten to leave South Dakota.  She REALLY wants to get to go to DC and see something else.  And eat corn dogs.  And the Jager luge sounds SO cool.   AND it’s so not fair that Matt gets to EVERYTHING!!!”

    WTH is wrong with people? I can’t believe that it’s now considered a bad thing to be well-travelled and accomplished.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/A37GL7VKR3W6ACSIZPH7EID3LI rlrose63

      It’s not just that he’s well travelled… his accomplishments, according to the ad, is researching and trying to eliminate greenhouse gases, which goes against the farming mentality.  They are saying he’s a traitor to all that North Dakotans hold dear.  She’s a homegirl farmer… she understands them, has lived in their shoes, while he will try to eliminate anything that they that contributes to greenhouse gases… oh, and he drinks and eats corndogs… he’s of the Devil.

  • http://goddoesnt.blogspot.com/ James A. Lindsay

    It is an absolute fact that the statement that motivated me to write my book (which appears in the introduction) was “Thank God I don’t have to be educated because I’m a Christian.”

    As I note–people like that vote, and being “values voters,” they vote for people that share their values, like similar religion and not trusting education. We see the results around the country: Todd Akin, Paul Broun, Richard Mourdock, etc., and now yet another name to add to that very long list.

  • Octoberfurst

     I almost laughed watching this video.  It’s interesting what the GOP thinks makes one candidate better than the other.
      Lets see, Varilek has traveled the world, is highly educated, has written research papers, was president of an organization that fights global warming and knows how to have fun & throw a great party.
      Noam has never left South Dakota, only has a high school degree, works on the family farm and is a housewife. She has also worked as a waitress in a restaurant! Her claim to fame is that she was voted “Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year” in 1997.  So OBVIOUSLY she is a much better choice than Varilek!  Hell I’m surprised they didn’t mention what a faithful church-goer she was too. (That would really seal the deal!)
       In GOP land the dumbest candidate is the best one.  Yeah why would you want someone who is educated and has seen the world? That obviously makes them too liberal.   Idiots.  

    • Luther

       I note the lack of anything toting any accomplishment in the legislature. The best we  can say about the ad is that it is pretty corny. But if she sells that corn to make biofuel then we can say that she is contributing to global warming.

  • krell95

    I can see how this could appeal to “good ole boys” type voters.  The lady has lived and worked in South Dakota all her life, while this other guy was out learning his big city values and forgetting his roots.  

  • more compost

    They ain’t no daggone global warmings!  Y’all don’t vote for that daggone Yrpeen eleetist!

  • burnsbothends

    I’m a fan of how the map of the US  state borders they used doesn’t match the geographic outline of the country in their world map.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Judith-Bandsma/1539649418 Judith Bandsma

    If you can read this, you’re too educated to be a member of the legislature.

  • http://twitter.com/aynsavoy Anne Sauer

    Watching the ad, I get the sense that it’s trying to appeal to people who outright reject environmentalism and global warming–which has become a values issue for many people on the right–as well as make the case that Varilek wouldn’t represent South Dakota as well as someone who has been living there her whole life. These are the main points, not that education and travel are bad on their own. (Although I think the weird corn dog and beer party thing is trying to paint Varilek as an elitist…somehow…)

  • http://cryofly.myopenid.com/ anuran

    I am from around these parts and it is quite true that for decades many have gotten elected to various offices by just using a one-liner – “I am a local farm boy/gal.” However, now-a-days it is anything your opponent says nice about Obama or environment, that works best.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Is it just me or does Noem kind of look like a young Michelle Bachmann?

  • cipher

    I agree; he is too well-educated for South Dakota. He should take his family,  get the hell out of there and leave them to their ignorance.

    • Agent M

      Because everyone in South Dakota is a dumb hick? Take your stereotypical views elsewhere.

      • cipher

        I could take them to South Dakota, but I’m afraid they’d make a video about me.

  • Missbizzylizzy

    I can’t believe this isn’t a Saturday Night Live skit. I’m not sure if the people who produced this ad are stupid (because they really believe this) or very clever (because they people are convinced that people from SD think this way). Hmmmmmm…..

    Scary to think that people would criticize him for his education and/or first hand knowledge of the world outside of the US.

  • Tom_Nightingale

    For the average South Dakotan, this is less about education and more about privilege.  Anti-intellectualism shouldn’t be a surprising thing anymore for certain demographics, it’s almost a given that you distrust those who seek to represent you but come from different backgrounds.  Not defending this ad, but hoping to show that the people who identify with it are more scared than stupid

  • Annie

    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.”
    -Mark Twain in ‘Innocents Abroad.’  Still timely today.

  • Agent M

    *Face palm* Whenever South Dakota catches the attention of people outside of the state, its for this kind of stuff. 

    • Annie

       How do you think I feel?  I live in Florida…

  • pparf

    I found the differences in tone of voice to be quite telling: deep and laced with menacing inflections when speaking of Varilek, and light and upbeat when speaking of Noem. Or did I merely imagine such a difference because the the “bios” were so obviously biased?

    • Deven Kale

       It was subtle, but I noticed it there too. The funniest thing about the whole thing, if you ask me, is that if I didn’t know in advance that it was supposed to be against Varilek, I would’ve thought it was for him up until the end when they say to vote for Noem. That’s even with the differences in tone. I think the Noem camp may have shot themselves in the foot with that one.

  • Foster

    You can scoff all you want, but if I want someone to represent my interests, all other things being equal, I’m going to choose someone who is heavily invested in my interests.  Varilek’s record of biospheres, foreign academia, and D.C. bureaucratic positions do not align his interests well with that of the average South Dakotan.  He looks like he’s never done a day’s physical labor in his life.  Kristi ran a farm, and knows intimately the interests of the populous farmers in South Dakota.

    • GribbletheMunchkin

      Me, I’d prefer someone with a broader experience, some real intellectual ability and the kind of exposure to the world that might prepare them for working in a place like DC.
      Knowing how to milk a cow does not make one best suited for representing your state at a federal level. Even if everyone in your state was a cow milker.

  • Liqualmier

    I can’t even tell who this add is supporting at first. The beggining half sounds pretty pro Varilek.

  • Marella

    Except for the ominous tones when talking about Matt, the whole thing was remarkably tepid really, considering the sorts of things political campaigns often get up to. If the worst thing they can find to say about him is that he likes corn dogs he really can’t complain.

  • vwbus76

    I was completely sold when it mention an ice luge for Jager! I would have voted for him if I lived in South Dakota!  It was icing on top of the cake! 

  • http://geekymonkey.myopenid.com/ Russ Painter

    He had me at “beer and corn dogs”.

  • Sarah

    Matt Varilek: educated, environmentally conscientious, experienced at speaking on a world stage, and throws an awesome party! But you definitely don’t want to vote for him…


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