In roughly one year (February 3rd, 2020) the Iowa Caucus will take place. In the coming months, Iowans will be afforded a rare opportunity to observe candidates running for the highest political office in the land first hand. Most serious candidates will visit Iowa in hopes of securing support here, because Iowa holds the designation of “first in the nation” status. It is an important and influential designation.
It the current political climate, you may be tempted to avoid all things political. Emotions run high whenever an opinion is expressed, no matter what that opinion might be. If you are courageous enough to express yourself, you can’t help but wonder who you might be offending just by stating your thoughts. Not everyone is cut out for politics…and that is alright. However, it is important to know that even the most timid of souls have a voice and, should they feel so inclined, should feel emboldened to use it.
On the other hand, there are those who have no problem expressing their opinions on political matters; and they do so passionately. This too is a right and can be a very effective political tool if wielded appropriately. Regardless of where you stand politically or what style of communication you choose, your voice has value. Furthermore, you don’t have to wait for the Iowa Caucus season to communicate with elected officials.
Whether you are a self-described “politico” or just a casual observer, you can engage at your leisure with your representatives at the local, state, and national level. Per our conversations with elected officials we believe that they want to hear from constituents, with an important caveat. Like you, they too are people, and should be approached with respect. A loud voice might often be heard, but a respectful voice is more likely to be heeded.
So, in this political season, we encourage you to do your best to stay educated on issues that are important to you. Choose the communication method that works best for you (i.e. email, public forums, phone calls, etc.) and share your thoughts with decision makers. Do this is a respectful manner and you are more likely to be effective. The next step might prove the most difficult. You must be prepared for the reality that not everyone will agree with you. That too is alright. If we want people to respect our opinions, we must also offer that respect in return.
-Brian Buethe, President | CEO, Grimes Chamber & Economic Development