This is not a political blog. I repeat, this is not a political blog. I feel we have plenty of those. I enjoy reading them, especially from the pure hack-ish behind the scenes perspective.
While I don’t work in politics for a paycheck anymore, I find it always seeping into my life here and there. And I will always be involved at some level, since one can never really get out of it once you have the bug. The last time I discussed anything political in Mel’s Musings was during Trump’s flirtation with a presidential run. So, having the bug, the political is bound to sneak into my writings now and then. I’m trying to limit it to three times a year max. So far, I am right on track.
Yesterday I went to a Romney event at LeClaire Park in Davenport. And it’s fun to attend these events as the average joe standing in line, waiting to go through the metal detector, watching the staffers scurry about.
While at an event as large as this one, it is tough for me to stop analyzing the play by play of the advance team and staff long enough to let myself really think about the issues. Elections are supposedly about issues, right? So now, I step out of my box and onto it…..
One of the issues that I have become increasingly passionate about is energy. I was a bus captain for one of the Iowa Energy Forum buses at the Ames Straw Poll last summer. I sported a bright orange shirt all day long that day. Since I hate wearing the color orange, this wearing of the orange shirt shows just how much I care. 🙂
The energy issue seems pretty simple to me: If we have resources here close to home, we should use them. With all of the advancements in technology, we have cleaner and safer ways than ever before to make the most of our resources. I was ecstatic when Mitt took a moment to talk about energy yesterday and remind us that our leaders should focus on taking actions that promote economic recovery and job growth, not impose punitive tax schemes that hurt us all.
Opening up new areas for energy exploration will produce good jobs for many Americans who are struggling. That in turn will help our economy. And I say this as someone who likes to hug a tree every now and then. Energy exploration and protecting the environment are not mutually exclusive. (I feel I could leave it there a la The McLaughlin Group and say, “Discuss.”)
On the flip side, we had President Obama visit our great state just before Memorial weekend. And of course, as with any good presidential event, this was a great photo opp. This time we had the wind turbines a-going. Wind is great. But wind can’t do it all.
While Obama was chilling with the wind turbines, I was enjoying the wheat field on my dad’s farm in Northeast Iowa:
One of the reasons I stay involved in politics is because I feel like too few people stand up for what is right, or even what they perceive to be as right. I am tired of class warfare and the expectation of a zero sum game. Energy producers are already some of the highest taxpayers in the nation. In order to lessen the price at the pump, boost our economy, and get families back to work, we should look favorably upon the contributions of our energy producers. They are not villains.
And, harnessing our own fuel sources domestically would allow us to become more energy secure and create a greater national security in the process. I am tired of messed up situations abroad. While using energy at home wouldn’t get rid of all of the crazies in the world, it would sure help us deal with them a lot less than we do now.
While this energy thing is a political issue – especially during an election year – it is more importantly an independence issue. Summer is the season of red, white, and blue. We are in between Memorial Day and Independence Day. When I see the flag, I am reminded why I get on my soapbox every now and then.