09 Jan 2016 - Good Luck, Iowa!

I received an email from a farmer in Iowa a few days ago and he wanted me to announce to my audience that anyone looking for manure should come to Iowa. He said they have a lot more than they need to fertilize all the farm fields in the state that produces more corn and hogs than any other state in the nation.

He was not referring to the real product, he was referring to what happens every four years, at this time of the year, when Iowa residents, ahead of their Presidential caucus vote in February, have to put up with the invasion of their state by every Democratic and Republican candidate for the White House. And I think his description of what Iowans receive as the candidates cross the state time and again asking for their vote is more accurate than calling them ‘campaign speeches’. I know some of you enjoy the attention and the opportunity to shake the hand of the next President of the United State, but it makes me wonder how you get anything done in Iowa every four years.

There are many things that bother me about our system of electing our leadership in this country, so let me list them one more time.

Debates - I have not watched or listened to any of the debates because they start them a year-and-a-half before the election. That is a waste of their time and ours. All you need to do is look around the world these days. You never know what the next day will bring in the way of a terrorist attack, a meltdown in currency, such as we have seen this year in China, and various other events and issues that will determine who gets my vote.

Campaign money - We spend billions of dollars donated by corporations and lobbyists, as well as individuals, to garner votes in the hope of getting special attention and favors from the victor. Very often the candidate who has the most money wins. That’s why I am ready to allocate the same amount of tax dollars, to spend on the campaign, to each viable candidate and see how good they are at financial management. The unbelievable amount of money we now spend would be much better spent on food pantries that really help people in need. I cringe when I hear people paying $50,000 for a dinner with the candidate to discuss helping the middle class.

Length of the campaign - It’s time to adopt the election system used in other countries - declare the election will be held in three months and then do it. If a candidate can’t convince me they are right for the job in three months, they do not deserve my vote!

Campaign rhetoric - I have yet to hear from any candidate what he or she will do to enrich my life or make this a safer country. Stop telling me how terrible the other candidates are; tell me what programs you will introduce to make this a better country and that will not raise my taxes. Finally, quit playing loosely with the truth and stop the personal attacks.

Until we make some major changes, I think we will continue to get what the Iowa farmer offered in his e-mail . . . manure.
Of course, none of my ideas will ever happen, but I can dream, can’t I?

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.