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This is one of those articles I’ve kicked around in my head for the last week or two waiting for the right time to write it. And hoping I convey the realities of an election year well.

So, here goes nothing…


If you’re reading this, if you follow The Iowa Standard, you’re probably political. And if you’re political, it’s because you care about politics. At least at one point you cared about politics. It’s possible you started in the political arena because you cared about politics or cared about an issue, but something has changed.

I can only speak for myself when I say I do this because I have serious concerns about the state and country my kids and grandkids will grow up and try to raise a family in.

That’s it. Well, secondarily I care about everyone else too — and especially their kids and future grandkids. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for kids.

I am involved in this political world because I want to leave Iowa and leave America better than I inherited it.

And I don’t envision that changing. Ever. Especially since it hasn’t already. I’ve seen enough of the process to know how sometimes even the most stalwart conservative-minded people change when they get into the system. They “play the game.” Right, wrong or indifferent, it happens way, way, way more than one might think.

I’m what you might call one of those “true believers” in conservatism. I say that because I’ve been called that by people in the political world. I don’t take offense to it because it is accurate. I believe in the things I support and defend. And I’m not likely to budge on them.

Because of this mentality — being a “true believer” — elections can be tough. In fairness, politicians are people and people are human — and humans let us down from time to time. All humans. Every single one of us makes mistakes.

But when people are elected to represent you — and they’re supposed to represent you (meaning Republicans are supposed to represent Republicans) and they continually let you down, how many letdowns do you let slide before you decide you can no longer keep putting them in position to keep letting you down?

You know, that whole definition of insanity thing — doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result.

Now, I will grant you that any Republican on paper is better than any Democrat. I will not even attempt to argue that point.

But I will ask if that should be our standard when it comes to elections.

I mean, I’ve never eaten jagged pieces of glass, but I’m assuming jagged pieces of glass with ketchup taste better than jagged pieces of glass without ketchup.

At the end of the day, I’m still not eating jagged pieces of glass — ketchup or not. Instead, I’m keeping my hands clean.

Especially considering how difficult it is to beat an incumbent at a certain level. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come around to the belief that the wrong Republican for 20 years can be just as bad, if not worse, than a Democrat for two years.

Because as society changes and drifts further away from the truth, so too will that 20-year politician. And while a two-year Democrat may have really sucked, perhaps there could have been an 18-year commitment with an actual conservative after those two years.

I don’t think we do ourselves any favors when we simplify politics down to R vs. D. That, at the end of the day, all we want is to see the Republican win, regardless of what that Republican has done in public office or says they will do.

Not every Republican deserves Republican votes. Not every Republican should win. I do not believe it is “good enough” to just not be a Democrat.

I believe we, as Christians first and conservatives second, should aim higher than that. The standard should be set a little higher than, “well, at least they’re not a Democrat.”

That’s because these are real issues. We are at a time in history when your 10-year-old daughter or granddaughter is being forced to use a bathroom stall next to a 40-year-old man who thinks he is a woman. And when that little girl enters high school, she may have to play against boys in basketball, volleyball, swimming, etc.

More than 60 million unborn babies have legally been killed in the country in the name of choice.

Schools are little more than Leftist indoctrination centers.

Yet I know good people, people who think they are conservatives, that are willing to support candidates who do not agree with them on core, fundamental beliefs because they think it’s more important that a Republican win than to advance their core, fundamental beliefs.

Because if that Republican wins, the Republican who doesn’t share your core fundamental beliefs, you’ve actually made it much more difficult for someone to come along who does share those beliefs and win.

People do this for various reasons — they actually don’t have any real core fundamental beliefs to begin with, they want to be “liked” and “valued” by people they perceive to be in power, they are in it for the money or they’ve legitimately bought into the this-or-that mentality of the two-party system.

I understand all of it. It bothers me when we label a first-term congresswoman as a “rising star.”

Really? A rising star? She’s supposed to be a representative of the people, not a celebrity. I can tell you this, a statesman isn’t worried about being a rising star or a celebrity. And they’d probably be a little bothered at the idea of being labeled as such.

Going back to the core fundamental beliefs, those are probably different for a lot of people. But if they’re truly core fundamental beliefs, none of us should compromise them.

If we hold to the idea that a core fundamental belief should be the importance of free and fair and honest elections, we probably shouldn’t vote for anyone who certified Joe Biden’s win. Unless, of course, we ourselves believe Biden won freely, fairly and honestly.

If we hold to the core fundamental belief of justice, we probably shouldn’t vote for anyone who has been silent about the murder of Ashli Babbitt. Unless, of course, we believe Ashli Babbitt deserved to die.

There are plenty of other issues that may be classified as a core fundamental belief. And if a politician has contradicted one of our core fundamental beliefs with their vote — multiple times — we probably shouldn’t reward them with our vote.

At least if they are real, actual core fundamental beliefs.

Here’s the deal — our opposition is playing for keeps. As much as I disagree with the core fundamental beliefs espoused by Democrats, I appreciate how they hold the feet of fellow Democrats to the fire.

They don’t get bucked on LGBTQ issues or abortion issues. They don’t.

Meanwhile, Republicans get bucked almost all of the time on our supposed core fundamental beliefs. Not by all Republicans or even most — but there’s always seemingly a few.

I believe this country is at a breaking point. I do not believe society can function where groups of people have different definitions of what is a boy and what is a girl.

I don’t see the fight and vigor from our side that I see from the other side. At least not the unified fight and vigor I see from Democrats.

Meanwhile, I talk with many Republicans during the legislative session frustrated that we don’t have the votes for Education Savings Accounts or the Life Amendment. I talked with many Iowa Republicans 19 months ago who said they were “done” with Grassley, Ernst and the others who voted to certify Biden’s win. I talked with many Iowa Republicans who were disappointed to see Miller-Meeks and Hinson vote to codify homosexual marriage and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act in total contradiction to the Iowa GOP platform.

If you haven’t figured it out, I am pretty much a complaint line for Iowa conservatives frustrated with Iowa Republicans.

And that line stays pretty darn busy.

But you know what gets me — some of the same people who are the most vocal complainers about Republicans lacking the votes to get things done turn around and end up being the most vocal supporters of Republicans who don’t share their core fundamental beliefs.

So, why do they keep getting frustrated when it comes time for Republicans to legislate and the votes aren’t there? Because they keep supporting and voting for the same Republicans who don’t legislative and vote in support of their core fundamental beliefs.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

And then they’ll wonder aloud why we’re in the position we’re in — somehow not realizing they are why we’re in the position we’re in to some extent.

Look, I get it — the beliefs and policies pushed by Democrats today are terrible. They set our children up for a future of failure.

But if we keep electing Republicans who don’t agree with those terrible beliefs and policies, but also don’t agree with our core fundamental beliefs of what’s right, we’re just prolonging the inevitable. We’re not promoting our priorities when we’re constantly compromising them to win an election because the old magic R behind some candidate’s name.

So, ask yourself, why do you do this? Why are you involved politically?

Is it to simply elect as many Republicans as possible? Is it to be liked and be somebody “important” in the Party apparatus? Is it to rub elbows with “rising stars” and “celebrity” politicians?

Or is it to advance — advance — your core fundamental ideas and beliefs?

Here is the conclusion I have come to — when one compromises on those core fundamental beliefs in order to get someone elected simply because they share a political party, they lose regardless of the result of the election.

But when someone stands strong on their core fundamental ideas and beliefs and refuses to compromise on their most basic principles, they win regardless of the result of the election.

Republicans aren’t in position to just hold the ball here at the end of the game. We’re not in a spot on the field to take a couple of knees and kick a game-winning field goal.

Remember, that person in the bathroom stall next to your little girl could be a grown man convinced he is a woman.

They’ve redefined marriage. They’ve redefined sex. They’ve redefined gender. They’ve redefined recession. They’re working to redefine anything that goes against them.

They will not stop.

And politicians on our side of the aisle who aren’t willing to be bold, stand up and speak out will not stop them either — they’ll simply be placeholders. Those backup QBs who, as soon as the starting QB goes down you know is going to lose the game.

The house is on fire, folks. Let’s quit supporting candidates who want to come in and fireproof the rest of the house. Instead focus our efforts, time and resources on candidates committed to bringing in a truck, an axe and a hose who will actually fight.

Time is not on our side. Figure out why you’re in this with some honest self-reflection. And fight like your children’s future and grandchildren’s future depends on it.

Because it does.

Author: Jacob Hall

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  1. Thumbs up to you and your articles written with TRUTH and COURAGE. I am tired of justifying bad behavior with worst behavior and holding my nose when I vote. Many have good intentions when they are campaigning for office but once elected and rub elbows in DC they grow RHINO horns. Just as they need to read all of a bill before they vote, they need to read the Iowa platform rules in it’s entirety and be tested on it before primary elections and before a House or Senate vote.

  2. To: Jacob Hall
    From: C.J. Weihs

    I agree with most every point that you make. BUT: When push comes to shove — or as you say, “at the end of the day” — if we don’t have the perfect conservative to vote for, do you just not vote at all? Is there no compromise until we are able to find our perfect conservative? What do I mean when I use the phrase “perfect conservative”? Well, it apparently is the person that represents — as you put it — my “core fundamental beliefs”!
    What if the candidate that is the one left standing to run against the Democrat/Leftist/Socialist does not represent my “core fundamental beliefs” totally? Or as Ronald Reagan phrased it, what if the Republican “left standing” is 80% of what I want? Is 80% of the loaf better than no loaf at all?

    In life as in politics, is it not a truism that you sometimes have to compromise and take the “best you can get at that particular juncture”, and fight to get 100% of what you want next time around? Will you walk away with 0% instead of the 80%? Will you quit and go home because you couldn’t get everything you want?

    The argument is ridiculous, and I feel ridiculous even articulating it. I know you are smarter that this. And I know you are very frustrated with the reality that we can’t seem to find or develop the candidate that represents our “core fundamental beliefs”. Do we go down with our Goldwater candidate, or do we win with a Reagan candidate. Goldwater was the “true conservative”; Reagan was a “compromise” conservative. Reagan was the best we could get, imperfect as he was — but we kept the Leftist/Democrats. Nixon was not the true conservative; but he kept Mondale/Democrats from winning. And on and on. You know the story.

    Doggone it — I’m frustrated too! But I would be furious at myself for abandoning the playing field and just allow the Leftist/Democrats to win — again and again… The REAL QUESTION is: how and where do we find the candidate that truly reflects our “core fundamental beliefs”? And let’s pray that we will find a plethora — or even just one at a time — of candidates that represent our core fundamental beliefs! But what do we do until we find or develop that candidate? Just quit and go home in frustration? America and our children and grandchildren are more important than that.

    Don’t quit. We need you.

    Respectfully yours,
    C.J. Weihs
    [email protected]

    • Thanks for the comment! I don’t think “perfect” is the right word…but I do think people should have some issues that are “non-negotiable.” And those issues are likely different for everyone. So, for instance, one of mine would be the life issue. If you don’t get life right, your policy on education doesn’t matter because most kids don’t get a first day of school. Policy on economics doesn’t matter because they don’t get a first job, buy a first home, drive a first car, etc…

      I agree with the sentiment of the second paragraph, but in practice it isn’t practical — if that makes sense. For instance, at the congressional level, you can’t unseat an incumbent. The Party insiders don’t treat you as a legit candidate, media doesn’t do debates, etc. So I’m not sure you can get what you want the next time around.

      I really like what Reagan said about providing a “First Party,” instead of a third party. We have a lot of Republicans not willing to speak out against some pretty basic issues.

      I appreciate your thoughts! I certainly understand that approach as well. Unfortunately the more I’m in this the more I realize change will be extremely slow. And I realize the reality that either the R or the D is going to win. It’s just a matter of if I want to play a part in either one winning… 🙂


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