Here’s why the Kristi Noem puppy story has wide-reaching fascist implications

By, now I’m sure we’ve all heard about the harrowing story put forth in Kristi Noem’s forthcoming tract about her decision to kill her puppy after the he showed signs of being “untrainable” as a birding dog. It’s a graphic, sad, and completely baffling admission that puts the Unabomber Manifesto to shame.

But the South Dakota Governor and VP hopeful doesn’t seem to feel that way: on the contrary, it feels like she would only open up about this story if she felt it would help her odds. Mary Trump has stated on Twitter that she believes Noem’s story was intended to “appeal” to Trump and put her in the lead as a potential running mate, and she’s not far off.

In a recent TikTok from New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie, the writer goes even further, explaining why Noem’s story might have more relevance to the upcoming Presidential race than we think.


what governor kristi noem’s deranged puppy story tells us about the modern conservative worldview.

♬ original sound – b-boy bouiebaisse

In the video, Bouie recounts the story in detail: how Noem took her puppy on a hunting trip, during which the puppy didn’t live up to Noem’s expectations for a hunting dog (i.e., it acted like a puppy), how Noem decided to end the dog’s life after he killed a neighbor’s chickens, and how she “hated” the dog for not being able to follow orders.

Then Bouie points out something interesting: while most of us are (rightfully) scratching our heads over why someone would want to share this information, Noem’s reasons are actually quite clear. “I think of this story as illuminating…of the worldview that defines conservative politics currently,” Bouie explains. “When faced with a living creature that did not behave comfortably within the narrow constraints that Noem set out for it…Noem decided that this creature had to be eliminated.”

Bouie is absolutely right: Noem probably told this story feeling that it would reflect well on her leadership as a tough, uncompromising Republican. As Bouie points out, Noem’s reaction to her puppy is illustrative of how she feels about trans rights, as well as any community that doesn’t conform to her ideas about how people should act.

Because we’ve all heard stories of leaders who feel justified in “destroying” the people and systems that don’t agree with their own views. That was essentially the fascist model: build up pro-state propaganda, and get rid of anyone who could raise criticism or stand up to the status quo. It’s also the attitude we’re seeing in regard to the sweeping anti-trans laws and LGBTQ+ book bans all over the country: conservatives feel that if they personally don’t agree with something or find it distasteful, they shouldn’t be forced to simply ignore it. Instead, the offending thing should be wiped off the map entirely.

“I think in telling us this story,” Bouie continutes, “Noem has actually done something valuable. She’s telling us how conservatives like herself conceptualize the world and think about society.”

She sure is: and as always, it’s up to us to listen when people tell us who they are.

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