The problem of the dysfunctional family—which lies close to the core of mass incarceration as well as a host of other national ills—may well be the most confounding dilemma confronting our state and nation. Its tentacles extend far beyond the prisons, and unseen, into many of the economic, social, and cultural tensions the nation experiences. To meet the challenge it poses, we must first acknowledge its role. Our political leaders simply don’t confront these realities in public, while privately shrugging their collective shoulders and sighing that nothing can be done.
If they are right, our children and grandchildren face a dramatically altered America because they will not be able to bear the societal costs of the dysfunction that lies ahead. I disagree with the politicians. I believe the problems we face are solvable. If I thought otherwise, I would not be devoting a year or more of my life to seek this office. In the coming weeks I’ll be discussing some of these solutions – and inviting your thoughts and proposals.
First, though, there is more difficult ground to tread concerning hard realities of life in America and South Dakota and how the American Dream has been lost for many of our children. So, before I discuss some ways we can recapture the American Dream for them, and reinvigorate the American Spirit for us all, I will be sharing more of those realities in Part III in the days ahead.