MOORHEAD, Minn. — Last week's words in this space about a grandstanding rural Republican legislator from Minnesota triggered a reaction, as expected. Just not the expected reaction.
The column was intended as a shot at Minnesota Republicans who, like their national brethren, are so bankrupt for popular ideas they must resort to attention-seeking tactics like calling for rural counties to secede and join South Dakota. That's what Rep. Jeremy Munson of Lake Crystal did.
The larger point of the GOP's lack of substance was lost on some readers who instead were focused on their obsession over 1) the Twin Cities not caring about rural Minnesota and 2) my digs at Munson advising that he could actually move to South Dakota if he so desired.
This led to several messages, including a finely crafted letter to the editor, suggesting I move to Minneapolis if I love it so much there. Point missed, again. I'm not unhappy living where I live, nor am I looking to move.
Many Minnesotans of conservative bent are, apparently. And South Dakota and North Dakota seem to be appealing options, given they are run by conservative Republicans who toss around words like "freedom" and "liberty" like Fox News tosses around fear of immigrants.
So let me focus today's message on this point: If you don't like living in Minnesota, you literally can move to South Dakota.
Or North Dakota.
Or any of the 49 states not named Minnesota.
I say this without snark or condescension, because it is irrefutably true.
You can move to any state you want if you don't like living in Minnesota.
Conversely, if you don't like living in the state in which you currently reside, you can move to Minnesota.
This is the beautiful thing about living in these United States of America. If you tire of living in one state, for any reason, you can move to any other state.
Politics, taxes, demographics, weather, geography, jobs, education, food, cellphone service, cable TV prices. Don't like those things where you live? You can move. And you don't even have to pass legislation. You can just up and move. Pack a bag, throw it in your station wagon, head west. Or east. Or south.
Nobody's stopping you.
Conservatives, though, seem less interested in actually moving than they are telling the world their intent to move.
"I swear, if Emperor Walz and those libs in Minneapolis don't watch it, I am going to move to South Dakota. Seriously. I will. They better not push it."
To which the rest of Minnesota responds: Yawn. OK.
"No, really. I'm not kidding. I will move to South Dakota."
So, again, let us reiterate: If you want to move to South Dakota, or any other state, you can do so whenever you wish.
The only one stopping you is you. That's the freedom and liberty you allegedly so desire, mixed with a heavy dollop of individual responsibility.
As for the rest of us, gotta be honest. We don't care. We'd just like some freedom and liberty from your whining.
Readers can reach Forum News Service columnist Mike McFeely at (701) 451-5655