In 2016 elections, how can anarchy take us forward?
PIERRE -- To summarize the truths of Sean Burke, America's political parties are bad, the TV news networks are profiteers, the federal debt gets worse by the year and the people who represent us in Congress are spineless.
PIERRE - To summarize the truths of Sean Burke, America's political parties are bad, the TV news networks are profiteers, the federal debt gets worse by the year and the people who represent us in Congress are spineless.
Burke is crisscrossing the nation in a bus wrapped in his Reset Our Gov logo. He grew up at Pierre, a member of a locally significant family, and last lived in South Dakota during high school. He left for the University of San Diego and now lives near Seattle.
He's urging people to vote and disrupt. He wants voters to throw out Congress.
That includes South Dakota's Sen. John Thune, Sen. Mike Rounds and Rep. Kristi Noem. In the mind of Sean Burke, they must reform or be gone.
Fair enough. But Burke formed a non-profit so that his Reset Our Gov campaign doesn't have to pay taxes.
And for most of his adult life he has been part of the Scientology organization that the federal government finally agreed is a church and therefore exists tax-free.
So maybe it's no wonder he doesn't say how Congress should resolve federal debt. Raise taxes? Cut spending?
He came back to Pierre last weekend and held a public event Monday evening. Fifty or so people attended at the View 34 restaurant that his brother, the banker Charles Burke III, created and runs.
CP3, as he's known, introduced Sean to the gathering. CP3 is the opposite of a disrupter. He helps build stronger economies in the communities that BankWest serves. He donates untold amounts to local causes. View 34 fulfilled his dream to be a restaurateur.
Most of the people who sat through the 90-minute presentation Monday night were from Pierre's current and past Republican establishment. They heard nothing novel in the financial anarchy Sean Burke foresees.
His message resonates at gas stations where he stops the bus to fuel and the Walmart parking lots where he stays in the bus overnight. He doesn't reveal his answer, but he's spending a year of travel, helped by a public relations firm, promoting fear and calling for disruption.
The Burke heritage began in South Dakota with a congressman, Charles Henry Burke, who served a total of six terms in the U.S. House spread across two periods (1899-1907 and 1909-1915). He died in 1944 and is buried at Pierre.
The other day I happened to pick up again The Republic of Conscience, a book published in 2015 by Gary Hart, a former candidate for president of our nation and a former U.S. senator.
In many ways, the facts and attitudes described by Gary Hart and Sean Burke aren't far apart.
But Hart finishes on a note of hope, writing: "What a great opportunity the new generation of Americans has to restore our republican heritage and ideals. There can be no greater challenge and no greater opportunity."
The questions Sean Burke prompts are good: What do we want to give up in government services and for what should we pay more in taxes?
The answer of neither doesn't work. Never has. Neither does disruption without a path forward.