Maybe it’s just me, but I expect a certain toughness and… dare I say it… integrity from my elected leaders. People often say that they want average people as their elected representatives, but I do not. I want someone who is better than me. Not better in their own mind, mind you, but better in real ways that matter. I want them to be people up integrity. I want them to stand up and do the right thing, act like adults, even when they don’t want to, even when it’s inconvenient.
A tall task, I know, because after all our leaders are just human flesh and blood just like we are. So, can they reasonably be expected to be held to a higher standard? Yes, I think they can. You see, when I say I want representatives better than me, I mean that I want representatives that are above average, and I’m sorry, but above average people do exist.
A couple incidents here in Iowa since last week’s election stuck out at me as prime examples of a thin-skinned leader in action. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?
Iowa House District 1: Rod Blum (R) was running for re-election, and lost to Abby Finkenauer (D). Politicians routinely reserve a restaurant or some sort of gathering place for what they hope will be a victory party, and Mr Blum (and/or his organization, same thing) did so as well. Normally, at some point the politician will come out and address their crowd, either to bask in victory or concede defeat and thank their supporters.
Mr Blum did no such thing. Mr Blum did not appear publicly, leaving his supporters high-and-dry.
At Blum’s watch party at Trackside Bar and Grill in Peosta, his supporters were jovial before polls closed across the state, cheering along as projections came across television screens that Republicans were projected to hold the U.S. Senate.
Even after the results were known, Blum, who didn’t show up at the event, still had supporters.
This is the epitome of a thin-skinned person. It is not only an insult to his constituents, but it is a severe slap in the face to his supporters. These people, at the very least, earned an in-person visit, no matter how uncomfortable or unpleasant.
Iowa House District 4: Steve King (R)… yes, that Steve King… is hosting his own post-election shindig, and chooses to deny access to the state’s largest newspaper, the Des Moines Register, on the premise that they’re not trustworthy news reporters, “…leftist propaganda media outlet with no concern for reporting the truth.”, he called them.
Is this the best we can do? Is this to what we have degenerated? In a free society with a free press, and we’re going to play petty games like this? And let’s leave alone Mr King’s regard for ‘the truth’, which makes this whole affair even more hypocritically laughable.
Until we as voters figure out that we DO have the ultimate power, then yes, this is the best we will do.