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Cory Allen Heidelberger writes the Madville Times blog and teaches French at Spearfish High School.
Cory Allen Heidelberger writes the Madville Times blog and teaches French at Spearfish High School.

So You Think I'm a Leftist

Aug 24, 2011

South Dakota Magazine has invited me to contribute a “From the Left” column. I am honored to answer that call... but I wonder: Is there a “left wing” in our state? Calling a fellow South Dakotan a “liberal” feels like calling Sioux Falls “the big city.”

If South Dakota has a left-wing, I wonder: do I really represent it? I oppose Governor Daugaard’s Large Project Fund because it prioritizes corporate welfare over education. Some folks consider education a leftist fetish (the poppycock! you hear comes from William F. Buckley’s ghost). But I’m just as cranky about corporate welfare because it interferes with the free market. 

I oppose the Keystone oil pipelines less out of fear of global warming (come January, I favor global warming) and more out a belief that South Dakotans’ property rights ought never be taken away by a foreign company, not even a nice polite company from Canada.

I support building more wind farms not just because wind power pollutes less, but because wind power could make South Dakotans rich and self-reliant. I oppose the No Child Left Behind Act not just because George W. Bush signed it, but because it defies the very principles I hear from Republicans that big government shouldn’t be meddling in local issues like education. And No Child Left Behind is one big-government program that I have yet to see do any South Dakota child or teacher any good.

Even in my support for universal single-payer health insurance, I groove to good capitalist arguments. Private health insurance creates friction in the labor market that prevents people from taking entrepreneurial risks (you want to leave your office job, start your own shop, and buy your own health insurance? Yikes!). A single-payer system, like George McGovern’s “Medicare for Everyone,” pay health care costs more efficiently and free up more resources for production and spending in the broader economy.

I take a fair share of left-wing positions, but I can take them for right-wing reasons. And left or right matters much less to me than figuring out what policies are good for South Dakota. If loving South Dakota makes me a lefty, then I’m a lefty. I’ll be proud to bear that banner in this corner of the South Dakota Magazine website.

Cory Allen Heidelberger writes the Madville Times political blog. He grew up on the shores of Lake Herman. He studied math and history at SDSU and information systems at DSU, and is currently teaching French at Spearfish High School. A longtime country dweller, Cory is enjoying "urban" living with his family in Spearfish.


10:50 am - Wed, August 24 2011
Heidi said:
Cory, I'm looking forward to reading more or your lefty ideas. What a great introduction to your upcoming columns!
11:09 am - Wed, August 24 2011
John Andrews said:
Welcome aboard, Lefty! Maybe we've discovered a new nickname for you?
06:00 am - Fri, August 26 2011
Thanks, Heidi and John! I'm glad to be here!
07:42 am - Fri, August 26 2011
Mr. A said:
Well aren't you just a centrist, middle of the road, everyday South Dakotan! Who Knew!?
10:47 am - Fri, August 26 2011
Bernie Hunhoff said:
Interesting to read the reaction you're getting in the blogosphere for "coming out" as a leftist. It's really not that hard to be a leftist in South Dakota or the USA these days. Ronald Reagan could probably qualify.

Anyway, thanks for contributing Cory. Look forward to your wrtings.
11:41 am - Mon, August 29 2011
Grumpy said:
I agree on the keystone pipeline property rights being taken away. And here is the but Why in the world doesn't lefty or righty pass a law in this state that limits the number of years any easement can exist. Out side of water right of way easements I don't see any pipeline, power line, water line that will last forever. why not negotiate for say 20 years and then ajust for changes in economy for the balance of the expected life of the line.. I tried that with a power company and a water company and they said no way. Then they asked what could they do and I had a simple answer go around my property. they did and everyone has the service they wanted. "Bernie" help.

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