Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Iowa; America's "Town Hall"
I love Iowa, and Iowans. They are called "America's Heartland". The elite intelligentsia of Northeast, the Harvard and Yale grads, love to denigrate Iowans and their "caucus". They say the Iowa Caucus is of absolutely no importance; only the big election primaries carry any weight with them. I disagree.
The term "caucus" is as American as can be. Taken from an old Agongquinian word, it means to "counsel" and is the basis for America's once honored history of community involvement and active citizenship. As portrayed in Rockwell's famous painting, town hall meetings were actively attended in earlier times. Note the fellow's pocketed and rolled town hall agenda in his jacket. Note, the citizen standing up before his community to bravely state his case in the community discussion. Priceless!
America has fewer and fewer town hall meetings these days. Two years ago the Tea Party held dozens of town hall meetings. They voiced their displeasure with the ever-heavy hand of government in their lives. They let their representatives hear them clearly. Unlike the "Occupiers", the Tea Party held their meetings and went home. They did not commandeer public lands, pitch tents, disrupt business activity, rape women or defecate on police cars. They spoke their piece and went home. And while Obama and Pelosi and Reid denounced the Tea Party as "wild-eyed radicals", they cheered on the Occupiers as "concerned citizens".
But, we were talking about Iowa....and caucuses, weren't we? Last night I witnessed Iowans brave the winter cold and venture out to meet, discuss the merits of their respective candidates, argue the importance of the political issues, and vote for their chosen candidates. In doing so they honored the greatest American tradition; performing their duties as "citizen". I love and admire them for that. How much greater would America be if all of our citizens practiced that same level of citizenship.
As I followed the vote on CNN and Fox, I was bemused by the dozens of political pundits placing their own "spin" on the Iowa election. CNN had a form of "behavior boards" which attempted to "profile" every facet of the Iowa voter. The voting results were dissected in a hundred different ways. But not once did I hear a nod of admiration for these Iowans and the spirit of their citizenship.
My son does business all over the United States. He encounters a host of liars and long lines of broken promises in his business dealings. But he told me once he loves doing business with people from the midwest. He's always impressed with their honesty and spirt of hard work. I'm not surprised. Last night Iowans showed what America once was and what she could still be.
God Bless Iowa,