To most of the country, the 2020 election season is just beginning. But here in Iowa – where I moved back to this summer – we are knee-deep in rallies, email appeals, door-knockers, and TV ads. And after February 3 (the Iowa Caucuses), this excitement is coming to a town near you.
Being in Iowa during this historical event – something surprised me. The level of anxiety my friends, family, and neighbors are feeling. Instead of excitement and a sense of service- they are anxious about choosing the right candidate, about making the right choice for the rest of the country.
AND I LOVE THAT. THEY TAKE THEIR ROLE IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS SERIOUSLY. THEY REALLY THINK DEEPLY ABOUT THE ISSUES AND HOW FUTURE POLICY DECISIONS COULD IMPACT THEM, THEIR FAMILIES, AND THEIR COMMUNITIES. I LOVE IT.
But I am also noticing a ton of anxiety. With so many candidates – whose policy proposals are more alike than different – how do we choose the right one? Who do I support during a long, cold evening in a school gym?
AND IT GOT ME THINKING – THE ELECTION IS ONE DAY IN THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS. IF WE WANT TO SEE THE POLICY CHANGES WE NEED TO BETTER OUR COMMUNITIES – WE NEED TO BE ENGAGED ALL YEAR ROUND.
Even if my candidate wins the Iowa Caucuses on Monday, they will not be able to change policy – WITHOUT MY HELP!
And this eases my anxiety. Regardless of who the Democratic nominee is, my engagement will determine if we move forward with bold, inspirational ideas or incremental change.
It is MY involvement that will determine if we see the change we want – and need. And this keeps me grounded.