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Letter to the editor: Single-issue politics are bad for Iowa


An audience member sports festive shoes at a gun violence town hall meeting hosted by Julián Castro at the North Liberty Community Center on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

By Paul Deaton, Solon

Single-issue politics are bad for the community.

In Iowa there is more to living in society than any single issue or election. Unlike members of the Congress, we aren’t in a constant state of campaigning. We view those with whom we interact as people first, which makes life more tolerable. There are cultural nuances where we chose to live.

Some voters I know pick politicians based on their position regarding abortion. A significant part of the electorate finds that to be sufficient qualification to earn a vote and serve in elected office.

In Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the U.S. Supreme Court created a political mess with real-life consequences by upending established precedent in Roe v. Wade. Straightening the resulting mess will be part of the work of the 118th Congress.

Several years ago, I volunteered with a group that served the needs of older citizens. Almost everyone from the community volunteered to help in some way. The topic of politics almost never came up in conversation among volunteers. It was avoided. Such restraint was a form of glue that held the organization together enough to accomplish good work.

A focus on abortion alone does injustice to everything else we value. Where is the role in our politics for addressing environmental issues? What about economic issues? What about corruption? What about access to health care? Regardless of election outcomes, our work on these issues and more will continue.

Our values persist beyond a single issue or election cycle.


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