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You wouldn’t think someone who enjoys covering politics would say that election years are annoying. But they are tremendously annoying.

And it isn’t just because of all the commercials. In fact, thanks to a little thing called DVR and satellite radio, election years are much more tolerable than they were just, say, 10 or 15 years ago.

Election years are annoying because so much of what it is said or done is such crap. Total, political, crap.

Politicians make all sorts of promises. They say all kinds of things. Most of which — yes, most of which — simply are not true.

So-and-so is a great conservative. So-and-so supports this or that.

A lot of times it isn’t true, or it is an exaggeration.

Republicans rally around other Republicans, Democrats rally around other Democrats. Everyone gets locked into their tribe and most people just vote for their tribe no matter who they’re actually voting for.

And voters often abandon their principles and vote for someone simply because they’re not as bad as the other “choice.” And in another two, four or six years, they’ll do it again and wonder why it seems like they always have to do what they’ve always been doing.

We now know, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the Republican Party of Iowa will not tolerate a fair, open primary unless it is launched against a staunch conservative like Congressman Steve King.

I mean, Sen. Chuck Grassley had Hunter Biden’s laptop since July of 2021. He is only now making noise about it — just a couple of months before his re-election.

I say this all of the time, but once more can’t hurt. Iowa is the only state in America that had multiple Republicans in the U.S. House and at least one Republican in the U.S. Senate (and we had two) where not a single Republican voted to object to the 2020 Presidential Election.

Iowa is the only state that fits that description. Yet we’re to believe our GOP delegation are conservative champions who stand for election integrity and are allies of President Donald J. Trump and the MAGA movement.

Please. Please. Stop insulting the intelligence of Iowans who actually pay attention.

And this happens at all levels of government. With little attention paid to the state legislature, it is easy for politicians across the state to portray themselves one way, while legislating another way.

This isn’t breaking news, of course. I get that. But it is so sickening to see so many well-intentioned voters get lulled into this trap.

Voters think whatever they’re told during election years must be true. Voters listen during the election season, vote and wash their hands of their civic duty for a year or two.

But voting is the beginning of the duty — not the end. Voters must stay engaged and continue to educate themselves on the positions of these politicians throughout their time in office.

Campaign commercials aren’t a suitable way to do research. Campaign literature isn’t a great judge either. Social media posts during campaign season aren’t. Election year speeches are just words.

It’s all theatrics. It’s all for show. It’s all politicians saying or doing what they think they have to say or do to get elected.

We should be way more interested in what they say or do once they are elected.

Well-meaning Iowans give money to politicians who then turn it over to leadership and that money is handed out to whoever is in the most contested races and needs the money. So pro-lifers who give money to a pro-life candidate are inadvertently donating to pro-choice Republicans, at times.

It’s all just one big mess. And in two months, thankfully, it’ll be over.

My hope is that voters begin to care a little less about election year messaging and much more about off-year legislating. That, after all, is the job these people are elected to do. We’re not electing people to be professional campaigners, we’re electing lawmakers to make laws. That should be our focus, not commercials or speeches or videos or campaign events.

When voters begin to care more about what lawmakers do rather than what they say, we’ll be in a better position as a state and a country.

Until then, election years will be annoying because those of us who pay attention and keep track of this stuff all the time know the gullible are falling for the election year tricks once more.

Author: Jacob Hall


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