Friday, September 23, 2005

This blog is rated OINK:

Last week Iowa Ennui fell out of the realm of politics and into a realm where we just post synonyms for extortion and talk about what we made from our gardens. I was sad.

This week, Drew Miller has fallen off the face of the Earth. I'd say the pressure is on me now to hold up my end of the political spectrum.

Something came way out of nowhere today. When I started watching the Governor's race, Gregg Connell would get a mention every now and then as someone who "might" consider running. I can't link him, he doesn't even have a website. Then people stopped talking about him, and he disappeared. Today, months later, he announced his candidacy. If you'd been putting odds on the next person to announce, they'd be something like:

Blouin 3:2
Culver 5:1

Gregg Connell is the mayor of Shenandoah, which isn't close to anywhere you've ever been or would even consider going under most circumstances. It's a town of just more than 5000 people in a highly Republican county in the middle of nowhere. His move makes no sense for 3 reasons:

1) He's the mayor of a small town in the middle of nowhere.
2) He announced on a Friday. Any news of his decision will be swept under the rug before the weekend's over.
3) He announced on a day when one of the frontrunning candidates, Ed Fallon, IS IN HIS TINY TOWN.

I don't get it.

This has been KL Snow


Anonymous said...

Just a short note to you K L Snow. Shenandoah is not a town in the middle of nowhere. We are here, and a very nice community. You should come and visit us. We all may have differences of opinions regarding the governor of Iowa Choices, but I am proud to say that Shenandoah is a great town to live in. I am not a supporter of Gregg Connell, and I am also proud to say that I will most likely vote the Republican ticket. I am sure that you are a democrat, living in the red town of DesMoines, well known for its liberal and spendthrifty ways. Come visit us here in the SW part of Iowa and we will show you what it is like to live where you are appreciated and worth something.

Alan Armstrong

Kami in Co. Bluffs said...

Well, keep voting the Republican ticket, genius, and watch your nice community disappear. The decline of the population in 85% of the communities in the Great Plains is directly due to large subsidies for corporate farming. Talk about spendthrifty. Or how about your small town Wal-Marts, eliminating all manner of mom and pop shops in the small towns and virtually eliminating the much of the middle class. No wonder the meth problems are so rampant. People who talk this spendthrifty line are such sheep. They fathom themselves as frugal or deeply religious and instead of investing in the well-being of future generations, they are content to watch it all crumble and imagine themselves pious. Sooo disturbing and so rampant. I lived in nearby Clarinda growing up and can assure you that "appreciated" and "worth something" is a state of mind. I feel much more educated and valuable outside of a small town mindset; in a larger town where people are not so afraid to point out the Emporer's New Clothes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kami,

If I read you correctly, you seem to be making two points: (1) Small towns are often dominated by small town politics, where people are afraid to question the powers-that-be, and (2) Democrats are Good, and Republicans are Evil.

With regard to the first point, I tend to agree. As a Shenandoah native who now lives in a much larger community, I agree that there is some unattractive "small-mindedness" in small towns. But to be fair, there is also some unattractive small-mindedness in big towns. People are people, and people can be cruel and self-serving wherever they are. But I'll concede that in big towns these ugly little realities don't seem to intrude so much in daily life. In a small town, there's nowhere to escape.

With regard to your second point: Are you suggesting that Democrats would drive out WalMart, eliminate the scourge of meth, and reverse the demise of the family farm? If they can do that, will they also outlaw disease and tornadoes? It's fair to ask why the Clinton administration didn't make a dent in these problems during its eight years in power.

I submit that these complex problems have their root in the human heart, and no political party can simply wipe them away with a new policy. Leaving politics aside, the inescapable truth is that we live in a broken world. The problem is sin.

Your reaction to Mr. Armstrong's comments prompts me to ask these questions: If people disagree with you, does it necessarily mean that they are ignorant sheep? Is it fair for you to adopt a dismissive and superior attitude, when these are the very characteristics you find contemptible in others? Isn't it a cheap form of tolerance, when your tolerance extends only to those who agree with you?

But I can't complain too loudly, because of course I have the same tendencies. The human heart, with all its frailties, is something you and I have in common.

You express contempt of those who "fathom themselves as ... deeply religious." As a Christian, I share your deep dislike for empty religiosity. Self-righteous religious people killed Christ, after all. Someone once said that religion is like a polio vaccine: You get just enough of the killed virus, that you can't catch the real thing. But the good news is that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ transforms the human heart.

Jesus sets free the meth addict. He compels the thief to return what he has stolen. He humbles the self-righteous. He heals wounded families. He mends broken hearts.

I came to personal faith in Christ after years of attending a mainline church in Shenandoah. The guy who led me to the Lord, ironically enough, was a hippie-looking ex-con from California. He was precisely the sort of person that most self-righteous religious people would reject. He was scarred up and rough around the edges, but his heart was filled with peace and a love for the Lord and for others. We became friends, and he patiently shared with me over a period of months.

When I finally surrendered to Christ, my life was completely transformed through a series of baby steps. I'm still far from perfect, but I have peace and joy in my life that I never thought possible. I am nothing without Christ. (By the way -- I now attend an Assembly of God church in central Iowa.)

You are absolutely correct in your observation that the world is filled with injustice and unnecessary suffering. But true change cannot come from political parties: The world is changed one heart at a time. Only Jesus can change your heart.

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him [Jesus] the iniquity of us all." - Isaiah 53:6