These words are my general assessment of the recently concluded legislative session. Perhaps that title could be used at the end of every session, both past and in the future. But what is deemed “good” or “bad” is invariably in the eyes of the beholder.
The public’s perception of government is active and ever-changing, primarily attributed to partisan bickering and the “gotcha” syndrome. In other words, the partisanship and daily activities of individuals to gain media attention and power have become common-place, with infrequent cooperation between ideologies, and a never-ending effort to embarrass the other party or individual members. Little wonder the public’s general perception of those who serve at the public’s pleasure has resulted in a metamorphic conviction that politicians are suspect, whose motives are to only serve their own selfish interests and ambition.
Far be it for this to be endemic to Iowa! It all started just under a couple of decades ago with America becoming a vastly divided nation, resulting in a huge population of “tweeners” who quickly left the two major parties, both of which had gravitated to the fanatical fringes. At the present, gone are the days that the likes of Governor Bob Ray could call leaders into his office, and have consensus on an issue even before they arrived! Those were the good old days, and I had the joy and honor of legislative service when everyone worked together for the betterment of the state, regardless of party affiliation.
Divided state government across America has become so partisan and such a mirror image of our own congress in Washington, that I truly fear things will become worse before calmer heads finally sit down and analyze their failure, voter disdain and virtual waste-of-time of embarking down the current path. And you, the people, who are tired of it all, must be the catalyst for change. If you sit back, and do nothing, then you get what you deserve. One must not forget our founding fathers conviction that government was to be “of the people, by the people and for the people.”
I have always had confidence in the actions of the voting public. Politics is local, and when a person has performed well in a non-elected position, odds are they will serve you well as your voice in government. Needless-to-say, there are situations where this is not the case. We read about them every week. However, what we seldom hear are the good things about our elected officials, and all the hard work and conviction they have for their public trust.
Unquestionably, we still have the greatest form of government in the world. Yes, it needs tweeking now and then, but the tweek can come without conflict. The ballot box is the place to start that process.
With the session over, call me at 515-975-8608; write me at box 1271, Newton, 50208; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org I shall continue to serve your needs through the year.