David Newquist hopes his one-year-old grandson can find his way out of Aberdeen and South Dakota. Dr. Newquist deems South Dakota hopeless for Democrats of ambition and good conscience. As usual, his full essay is worth reading, as it ties many issues together. Here are some key passages:

...South Dakota is mired down by prejudicial, bigoted attitudes, and people who want productive and contributory lives come to the realization that they must either move or resign themselves to hoping that they can make changes that make such lives possible.

...Accomplishments in academics and professional life outside of South Dakota are lethal, particularly if those places carry the aura of prestige. Many South Dakotans hate accomplishment and performance that exceed anything that might raise the level of expectations in South Dakota. The GOP has been successful in fanning that resentful sense of inferiority into a political rage that wins elections. If you hold degrees from institutions that demonstrate excellence and you manage to accomplish things in high places, you have committed the unforgivable sin against South Dakota. Unless the state needs someone of such attainment and accomplishment to go to Washington to bolster the federal subsidies on which the state depends for its existence, it will not elect such a person to Congress.

...And there is the matter of opportunity in South Dakota. The Governor actually went to the Mall of America to try to recruit young people to the state. There are number of groups touting life in South Dakota and attempting to lure young people to return. I spent the past week with a large number of young people who have left South Dakota. When telling them of the efforts to lure young people, the inevitable reply is, "To do what?" One of the emigrants said it was her intention to return, but after the elections of 2004 and 2010, she said the state showed an aspect of life that is simply too discouraging. She is among those who started her education in the state, but finished out-of-state. She said there is no opportunity in the state to use her degree, and the fact that she earned hers out-of-state would always be a demerit. She will build her life where she has opportunity to do so [David Newquist, "Where Are All the Young Democrats?" Northern Valley Beacon, 2013.05.20].

I sometimes feel like we South Dakota Democrats are bowling alone. Can we Dems get a league together when culture and demographics and crony-corporate political money keep busting our balls?

I invite my readers to submit their signs of hope for building a state where Dr. Newquist would not be afraid to see his grandson live and work.