A visit by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo helped turnout about 150-175 Republicans at the Machine Shed in Urbandale last week.
A keynote address by legendary college football coach Lou Holtz last night led to about 300 people attending a Dallas County GOP fundraiser.
What does this mean?
Simple. All those comments we heard and social media posts we saw from people after the Jan. 6 vote to certify Joe Biden as the President of the United States — comments about being done with politics and not staying involved and just giving up — for many those sentiments are long gone.
Just a few months into the Biden-HARRIS Presidency (emphasis mine), conservatives across Iowa see the damage being done by Democrats in the U.S. House, U.S. Senate and White House.
They do not need to be told about the problem. They do not need to be convinced of the problem. They’re simply looking for leadership and direction.
Enter Coach Holtz.
Coach Holtz did an outstanding job Thursday night at the West Des Moines Marriott. He provided plenty of punchlines and tremendous insight. But more than that he provided motivation. And for this story, that’s where I want to focus.
While everyone in the room undoubtedly wants to change the U.S. House, change the U.S. Senate and change the presidency, Holtz said everyone needs to ask themselves some questions.
“We need to ask ourselves some serious questions,” he said. “These are the same questions I’d ask our football team about if we want to win a championship.
“OK, you want to win the presidency, you want to win a championship — answer these questions: What price are you willing to pay to do it? What sacrifices are you willing to make in order to do it? What skills and talents do we have to acquire in order to do that? What bad habits do we have to get rid of in order to accomplish that? And who do I have to work with in order to get that done?
“I also believe this — that we can do anything in this world if enough people care. And we’ve got to convince enough people to care enough about this country, about the future, about the direction it’s going to see that we change that completely.”
He talked openly about the passing of his wife last year. He spoke from a place of generational concern rather than focus on the present.
“I just think we have an obligation to leave this place better for our grandchildren,” Holtz said. “What happens is not going to affect me. But I have got grandchildren and God has blessed me that I could afford to educate all nine of my grandchildren, which is what I have done.”
He said every summer, every grandchild on the “Holtz Scholarship” had to spend a week with Holtz and his wife.
“They had to understand why I’m a conservative, they had to understand why I believe,” Holtz said. “I wanted them to understand about the sacrifice my father made in World War II and about my grandparents who had come up through Ellis Island and how they came with nothing and they had to work. I want them to understand what made this country, what we believe in. I’m not going to leave the education of my grandchildren to some damn liberal professor.
“And they’re all conservative.”
And it is obvious why.
Coach Holtz is 84 years old. He has lived one heck of a life.
But here he is in the middle of Iowa on a Thursday night at the beginning of April.
Because he loves his country. He recognizes the opportunities America has afforded him in his own life and he knows the opportunities he hopes the country offers future generations.
But he also knows it isn’t just going to take care of itself. That at the end of the day, it is up to us to defend it and fight for it.
Nobody walked out of that room last night with less determination, less energy and less love of country than what they had when they walked in. If anything, the urgency was ramped up and Dallas County conservatives are more eager to get to work for 2022 and beyond.
The only thing there would be less of is conservative apathy — and that’s if the early months of the Biden administration hadn’t already extinguished that.