Spring Break Isn’t the Time to Put Your Head in the Sand


Time and again I hear people make comments like, “It doesn’t matter who’s in office.” or “Why bother voting because one vote can’t make a difference.”  If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard such apathy, I wouldn’t have to be engaged in the political process either because I could buy my own private island! But the reality is this…

World affairs are getting very dicey. Major problems in the Middle East have taken a back seat to problems in Ukraine, where a head-to-head power struggle has surfaced between the U.S. and Russia – and U.S. farmers are in the crosshairs.  China has shown it will cut off exports from the U.S. to buy from Ukraine. Russia has been rejecting U.S. products for unfair political reasons. Japan is trying to put tariffs on U.S. produce to protect Japanese farmers.

Agriculture has been the one bright spot in our economy over the last five years. Our trade balance has been greatly helped by ag exports. Iowa has fared better than other states during the last economic downturn because of our strong agriculture base. While we are still far from having a healthy economy, my fear is that it’s going to get worse due to shifting export markets.

This brings me back to politics. We must change how our country operates by getting involved in elections! At the very least, cast an informed vote. Better yet, get involved in the political process. Grassroots efforts lead to better representation.

This year I was a delegate to the County, District, and State conventions. I have been elected to the County Central Committee and the District Organizational Committee. This admittedly takes a great deal of time and effort, but our country is self-governed! If we don’t make time to govern ourselves, who will? There’s a reason President John F. Kennedy said, “”My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Being part of the political process has been an eye opener for me! Common people, just like you and me, decide how our elections operate and the order our conventions run. While serving on the Organizational Committee last Saturday, I helped decide who got to speak and for how long. We decided seating arrangements, what time the convention would start, who would sing the National Anthem, and the list goes on.

Why would I chose to spend my Saturday on politics? I’m not someone seeking great political power. I don’t even like politics! I’m just someone, a farmer, who believes we need to make some positive changes in this country!

It is both our right and our responsibility to become involved in the political process. Exercise your freedoms or lose them! In the Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln said, “… and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

America is at a turning point. We can’t afford to think that everyone in this world thinks the same way we do. Many in this world do NOT think we should all be equal and all live happily ever after! Remember, the airplanes that flew into the Twin Towers on 9.11? That’s just one recent example of how people around the world would like to cripple the U.S. and grab some of our power.

It’s important that we elect leaders who have learned from history. We need leaders who understand how others in the world think. We need a leader committed to protecting America and American interests because our future depends upon it.  I know the future of my kids, my grandkids and our family farm depends on moves the U.S. government makes. Your future – and your family’s future – does, too.

Become part of decision-making process. Elections start in your neighborhood with people you live beside. They may or may not share the same opinions as you do. If they join the process and you don’t, however, whose opinions gets counted? Whose candidates get elected? Our government is a representative, which means your interests may not be represented unless you’re involved!

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