We're entering into the worst six months to be an Iowan.
The unofficial launch of the 2012 Presidential Campaign happens February 6 at the Iowa Caucus. For the next 180 days, aspiring presidents, national news media, and far too many advertisements will descend upon our fair state. The caucus is good for the economy and gives lots of free publicity to our businesses, schools, and people.
Sadly, there is some residual damage as well. Every day, attention-seeking wackos come out of their compounds with big signs and loud megaphones, single-handedly casting Iowans as buffoons with no sense of social decorum. The caucus also means Iowans spend 15 months wading in the murky, toxic waters of the American political system...which gives a lot of time for families, friends, neighbors, and church-goers to focus on our ideological differences.
Backlash has been mounting for years from people who think Iowa (a state with fewer than 3,000,000 people and only 7 electoral votes) is given too much power by being the first state to begin narrowing the field of presidential candidates.
Even religious folks, like Tony Jones, are hopping on the anti-Iowa bandwagon. He recently decreed that he's "sick and tired of Iowa" and that "Iowa needs to get over itself."
"Iowa is really white" and "Iowa's Republicans are primarily conservative."
NPR debunks some Iowa myths in the Five Things You Got Wrong piece. Certainly worth the read.
The growing Des Moines metro area has a lot going for it as well. (Did you know Des Moines, IA is the #1 city in the nation for Young Professionals and #2 for Business and Careers according to Forbes?)
Iowa is a great place to live, work, receive an education, and raise a family. There are a lot of intelligent people who are prepared to make thoughtful decisions at the caucus next February. I hope we'll prove the haters wrong in the next 180 days.
then again...when I see stuff like this, I wonder if the haters might be right about us.