The Fourth of July is a big deal in our house. More often than not, you can find Jacquelyn, our boys and myself out in the Black Hills around a campfire, toasting marshmallows in honor of our nation’s birthday. And plus – I’m not one to turn down some good fireworks.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death, I’ve spent hours listening and learning from community leaders, as well as law enforcement officials, about how we can bring about a more-just nation. These conversations have been productive and insightful as I prepared to return to Washington this week for police reform debate.
I knew becoming a parent would be an incredible moment, but I’m not sure one can ever be fully prepared to become a father. There are responsibilities not only to help with homework and make sure kids get to their ball games, but the more important responsibilities – like raising great men and women.
Many may not know that Members of Congress are able to nominate students to our nation’s military academies. It’s a real opportunity to ensure South Dakota values help shape military decisions – and it’s also a real opportunity to make sure the military looks like the American people it’s responsible to defend.
George Floyd’s murder was unacceptable. Racism is unacceptable. Violence is unacceptable. Trampling on the rights of journalists, protestors, property owners and others is unacceptable. Using language that divides, rather than unites, is unacceptable. Ignoring the problem is unacceptable.
Last I heard, 20 million Americans had not received their stimulus checks.
In the three months since the CARES Act passed Congress, I’ve been patient. South Dakotans have been patient – all while waiting for the help some of them desperately need.
People like to compare the U.S. and China, so much so I think many people have forgotten a key point – our values are not the same, not even close. Large economies, yes, but China is a communist, authoritarian nation with a state-run media and a government obsessed with surveillance and control.
I’ll say it right off the bat, the Class of 2020 graduation looks different than those of the past – that’s no secret. Graduating amid a pandemic shouldn’t make your day any less special, though. A graduation day is still something to celebrate and all of South Dakota knows our 2020 graduates worked hard to get to where they are.
Mother’s Day will look differently this year. Families will have their Sunday brunch at home and our kids won’t be bringing back handmade crafts orchestrated by their gracious teachers who have saved many a dad throughout the years. Friendly reminder dads – Mother’s Day is a few days out.
Over the past weeks and months, we have stress-tested our economy, our health care system, and the resilience of the American people. This pandemic has also tested our food supply systems. While we fully expect grocery store shelves to remain stocked, it does not mean there won’t be impacts further up the chain, especially for South Dakota farmers and ranchers.