I think this will be the final installment of my articles where I share my personal thoughts on efforts to ban conversion therapy for minors in Iowa. In the first few, I was probably a little rough on the Republican legislators who gave life to this bill.
It’s important they know it is nothing personal, I am simply attempting to call balls and strikes as best I can. And while I would never try to mask my conservatism, The Iowa Standard would have zero credibility if it were simply serving as a cheerleader for the GOP.
They should be afforded the opportunity to explain themselves and then individual voters will have to decide if that explanation eases any concerns.
But there’s also a bit of blame to put on Republicans.
Republicans do a great job of remembering to go vote on Election Day. That’s who they end up with the trifecta, right?
But that is only the beginning. Too many think that’s the end.
It is critical that Republicans keep in contact with their legislators so they can share their thoughts with them. If your representatives never hear from you, how can you expect to be represented well?
I saw a state legislator on a Facebook page last week note that legislators hear loud and clear from the LGBT community on issues that impact them. The other side is mostly silent.
“This is not helpful in moving a bill forward,” the legislator wrote. “Churches, folks with common sense — they need to get more involved.”
When Republicans filed a bill to strip gender identity out of the Iowa Civil Rights Code, that bill was killed before the clock struck midnight. Why? Because the LGBT advocates and their allies went to work.
That same passion, intensity and outreach simply doesn’t happen on the Republican side. And I know, I know, Republicans are elected to do Republican things.
But after spending about two years now at the Capitol, I can tell you this, there are few conservative/Republican voices in the lobby. And yes, our elected officials are supposed to represent their home districts, but if someone is not 100 percent solid and dead-set in their ways, I could see where it would be difficult to maintain Republican principles when it seems like 80 percent of the arguments you hear are in favor of liberal positions.
Seriously. If you spent a week in Des Moines listening in at subcommittees you’d probably think you were in Sacramento or Albany.
Put simply, there just aren’t many conservative voices working as lobbyists.
When you’re done reading this article, why not take a minute out of your day to send your legislator a note? Some of you may not even know who your state representatives or state senator is. I’d suggest you figure it out.
Trust me, the state government can mess up your life much faster than the federal government can. And, when the federal government inevitably does screw up your life, you’re going to want a strong state government to be able to stand up for you.
Iowa is a red state. Republicans are doing well in Iowa. Now is not the time to be content with a silent majority. A silent majority won’t stay a majority for long.
Reach out to your legislators and let them know what your priorities are so they can attempt to best represent you.
And remember, when one of your legislators lets you down, don’t burn any bridges. You can express your disappointment and frustration, but be thankful for their service.
At the end of the day, there are 150 people who make up the Iowa Legislature. Iowans have to play with the hand their dealt. So while you can be upset and disappointed, you have to figure out a way to leave the door open.
Otherwise, you’ll find yourself shut out of the process.