Beadle County Republican Women donated Four books written by Nick Adams, from the Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness, FLAG, books to the Library in Huron SD. They also donated children's booklets of the US Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Federalist Papers.
A love of Community and compassion for others that Ryan Chase witnessed in Uganda last spring could go a long way in dissolving the deep partisan divide that he experienced later as a summer intern in Washington DC he said Monday.
“I think a lot of times we just don’t listen to each other as much anymore,” the Huron native and Dakota Wesleyan University senior said.
“I think that goes for everybody.” He said at the Beadle County Republican Women luncheon. “ I think community and compassion are a very big part of working toward a better country.”
Chase, the son of Roger and Michelle Chase, spent the summer break from school as one of four interns in the office of Rep. Dusty Johnson, R- S.D.
Earlier, in May, he flew to Uganda with a half a dozen other DWU students as a part of a nonprofit ministry group’s effort to, in part; foster more educational experiences for young people whose families can’t afford to pay the tuition that is required to attend middle school and high school.
Despite the poverty, lack of opportunities and unsanitary living conditions in towns that tourists don’t usually see, he found the Ugandan people to be happier that what he has experienced back home. It caught him off guard because the gross domestic product per capita there is$604, compared with $160,000 in Washington, D.C.
“It kind of made me wonder why is there a difference in happiness, why are they more happy than what I find we are when there’s that stark difference in wealthy quality and just opportunities for advancement?” Chase said.
As he talked with people, and thought about it, he seized on two concepts – happiness is determined by faith and community. The Ugandan people have a strong faith in God and a strong faith in each other.
“These people call each other brother and sister, they call elders in the town father and mother,” he said.
Even though billions of dollars in foreign aid is shipped to the country, the food gets no farther than airport hangar because of government corruption, he said. Rice, bread, and other necessities waste away, while the people must walk miles or clean drinking water.
A history major who is also working toward a minor in political science and communications at DWU, Chase became interested in politics when he joined friends helping to elect Johnson to Congress a year ago.
He enjoyed the experience and applied to be an intern after Johnson was sworn in. He was given the typical intern responsibilities of answering the phone, giving Capitol tours and attending meetings. He was also asked to write letters to constituents, often an agriculture-based issue because he grew up on a family farm.
Many of the calls he fielded dealt with this year’s flooding, and congressional hearings with Robert Mueller on his report on Trump administration.
“It was amazing to hear all the different phone calls people would make on issues that you never really heard of,” Chase said.
“So it’s amazing how many people are actually interested and passionate about certain topics because you think the people only care about the big topics that are always on the news,” he said. With House Republicans now in the minority after 2018 election, he also learned how important it is to be in the majority in Congress, particularly with the polarization of the country.
It is that national divide that Chase thinks can be eased through societal lessons from a country on another continent. Ugandans put all others first, and are there for each other. “I think in America we don’t do that as well as we should,” he said, “I think it’s kind of a me-first society.
“And so in my opinion our country’s society need to practice community and compassion to heal the partisan divide and help move us toward a better future,” Chase said. “And I believe that, who knows, in the process of finding community and compassion we might even find happiness as well.”
The Plains,, Huron SD
The Plains,, Huron SD
The Plains, Huron SD
The Plains, Huron SD
South Dakota, United States