Je Suis Iowa

I just read this insightful piece (not inciteful, well... maybe a tiny bit inciteful) by Kurt Schlichter. It is entitled, "Ignoring Conservatives = President Hillary" It is about how Republican presidential candidates will ignore conservatives at their own peril. My takeaway from the article, though, is what he wrote in the second part of the piece under Lessons Three and Four. It is about how candidates need to use social media for more than 140 character fluff pieces. I would have titled the article "Je Suis Iowa", but since the editors didn't choose that name, I took it!

I have followed Kurt on Twitter for many years and he has followed me since way back in the day. His acerbic wit and biting commentary make following him fun, and his ability to toy with trolls like a cat plays with a wounded field mouse never fails to entertain. He knows Twitter and knows how to use it, so his suggestion on how candidates can connect with potential voters is not merely someone spouting a platitude about "Social Media" that they got from an article in Forbes.

I have often talked about how I resent Iowa and New Hampshire. Why does some waffle-eating grain farmer having breakfast in a diner in Ames get to unduly influence the selection of our next presidential candidate? How do random college students participating in a straw poll create national headlines the next day (isn't a straw poll how the homely girl gets a dance partner?)

I get the whole idea of retail politics. Heck, they even have retail politics Down Under. Candidates need to meet with power brokers and donors. After all, money is the lubricant that makes the political machine run. They also need to meet with "real people". But Iowa? Iowa has as much to do with me as I do with Connecticut. Don't we all deserve a shot at these guys and gals? Why should I cede my political influence with these folks to people who happen to live in early primary states? I am sure they are nice people, but c'mon!

With the election-selection cycle now consuming two years (that's right, TWO YEARS), that is a lot of diners, churches and Rotary club meetings for the exploratory candidates to attend to while they ostensibly (except for Mitt Romney) have a day job.

These candidates are always being asked to sign this pledge or that pledge to cement voter loyalty (and also to handcuff themselves to the undersigned policy if they happen to actually win the general election.) Well I have a pledge they can sign which would actually make their lives much simpler while saving money on flights to dirt airstrips in corn counties and it won't hog tie them to any policy when it comes to actual governing.

I, (state your name), do hereby pledge to spend only half of my campaign time in early primary states. I will spend the other half, including time wasted on travel, meals and hotels, on relevant social media connecting with potential voters. I also pledge that my official stream will contain only words which I dictate or type with my own fingers.

There you go. Connect with me. Engage with me. Listen to me. Maybe even talk to me. You will be amazed what you may learn outside of your cocoon.

Je Suis Iowa.


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