July 13th, 2014

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We hear that phrase all the time.

“The American Dream is within reach.”

“The American Dream is alive and well.”

“Our ancestors came here in order to live the American Dream.”

Most of the time, these statements come from politicians because, in all honesty, they test well. Focus groups of voters have proven time and again that these type of statements resonate.

However, according to CNN, almost 60% of Americans now believe that the American Dream is out of reach. 63% of Millennials believe the American Dream is unattainable.

This is not necessarily wrong information. However, there needs to be a clarifier . . . the Left has redefined the American Dream. Many now believe that the American Dream is a “rags to riches” story. While this is certainly possible in our great country, it’s not the original meaning. Over time, the Left has done what it has done time after time – change the meaning of things.

The American Dream meant something completely different to those who came to this great nation a generation ago. It didn’t mean riches and it didn’t mean influence. The American Dream meant that you, regardless of your background or where you came from, had the opportunity to be successful . . . as long as you worked hard for it.

This is not a foreign concept to South Dakota. In fact, it is how most South Dakotans approach their everyday lives.

South Dakota understands the importance of working hard, day in and day out, in order to be successful. In fact, hard work doesn’t scare most South Dakotans. Just look at our farmers, ranchers, and small business owners. Hard work is the standard for these professions and many more throughout our great state. The secret? Almost all of them are successful. At least, that is what they feel about themselves. If they didn’t, why would they continue to wake up before the sun and go about their days knowing that they would not rest until long after the sun had set?

The American Dream isn’t unattainable. We see it at work every day here in South Dakota. These farmers, ranchers, and small business owners . . . these South Dakotans, are the pillars of our communities. They are the examples that we should point to when we declare, in one voice, that the American Dream is alive and well in South Dakota.

It is time to set the record straight. It is time to reignite the American Dream and, fortunately, we can do it from home.