During Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address in 1981, he spoke of the significance of American values. He said, “it is time for us to realize that we’re too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams… Let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope. We have every right to dream heroic dreams.”
This Fourth of July marks America’s 247th birthday. And yet modern politicians too often struggle to rely on our founding values. They decide that small dreams are good enough – small dreams like simply throwing more government money at challenges that we face. But, as President Reagan said, America is too great a nation for that.
In South Dakota, we do not limit ourselves. We dream heroic dreams. We are the state that carved an entire mountain in dedication to America, our leaders, and our Freedom. And we continue to dream heroic dreams, today.
As Governor, it is my job to make sure that our kids and grandkids have the knowledge they need to continue the legacy of greatness we have in South Dakota. The best way to do this is to make sure we pass down our traditional American values.
South Dakota has embodied the American values of hard work and Freedom for generations. We do not need to renew our determination, courage, and strength because we have never lost it. We held true to that South Dakota grit and grind through a global pandemic, and we came out stronger than ever. We did not settle for the small dream of just surviving through the pandemic, we strived for the heroic dream of thriving through it.
Now, with the lowest unemployment in the history of the nation and open jobs to spare, South Dakota is dreaming big once again. We are showing the rest of America that Freedom Works Here. Keeping our state open worked, allowing folks to exercise personal responsibility worked, and staying true to traditional American values worked.
Since launching our nationwide workforce recruitment campaign just over a week ago, we’ve received more than 1,650 inquiries from folks who want to call South Dakota home. People are seeing South Dakota’s success – and they want to be a part of it.
Our unique success is because of our unique people. South Dakotans haven’t left tradition on the sidelines. Rather, we’ve embraced tradition and proven that true American values still have a place in modern society.
But what really sets South Dakota apart from the rest of the nation is our faith and our hope for the future. In Matthew 17, Jesus said, “if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Nothing can ever be impossible for South Dakotans because we have a strong faith. Our faith is what gets us through hard times – our faith in God, in people, and in the founding values of this nation. And our faith allows us to have such great hope for the future.
South Dakota will always dream heroic dreams – because America is simply too great a nation for us to offer anything less.