No Iowa Nice Anymore

Abortion horror story (5:40)

I call up a map of the US every day to see if sometime overnight the state Iowa drifted off it’d moorings and drifted south and nestled someplace amongst the states of the old south. Are we in between Mississippi and Alabama? Or are we somewhere in the Arkansas / Tennessee area? Philosophically the state legislature is there.

Our state legislature has passed some amazing bills this year. Having drawn a target on the backs of the public schools and then scored a direct hit, now they have set their sights on children and young adults particularly those who are trans and gay. With a super majority in both houses, they should be able score more victories.

Of course the legislators are the ‘representatives’ of the people. And that should tell you a lot. Iowans are voting for people who in turn use their votes as leaders in government to restrict the rights of those who do not conform with the legislators’ concepts of what citizens should be.

So now if you are a young person who is trans, any and all help in your transition has been cut off. This is certainly cruel. That may be the point – they hate such people so what can they do to make their life miserable? Having the government step in and mess up their lives will for sure make their lives miserable.

Once again legislators are pushing to outlaw abortions in Iowa. This amid a backdrop of horror stories of pregnant women being forced to carry dead fetuses or being forced to give birth to babies that will die almost immediately after birth. The list goes on.

Since the far right is so adamant about babies being born at any cost you would think that they would put money where their mouth is and create state supported programs that would help such children grow and prosper. Instead it is just the opposite. Iowa’s legislators have cut way back on food benefits for the poor including early in the session of trying to cut necessities like meat and milk from beneficiaries choices.

Instead of strengthening Iowa’s public schools, the legislature has passed a slow death sentence to Iowa’s once vaunted public school system. Thus once a child is born in Iowa, unless they are rich, the state will do little to help that child. Well, that is unless you think being able to work long hours around dangerous machinery is help to hat child.

Yep, thanks to our legislators Iowa’s children can get into that workforce almost as early as they could a century ago. The legislators claim this bill was not to solve the problem of worker shortages in Iowa. No, of course it wasn’t. But the chance to pay children low wages to do a job they would have to pay an adult much more to do is awfully tempting.

Plus as an added benefit, children will face a rather daunting list of banned books to work around here in Iowa. The Great Kim has decreed that if someone in Podunk Center, Iowa claims a book is somehow suspicious then it can’t be read in Des Moines, in Cedar Rapids or up along the northern border with Minnesota. Cross over that border and, by golly, a child can read that book.

And since librarians who took years of schooling to learn their jobs might let a child read a book that was banned in Podunk Center, The Great Kim also decreed that if someone once read a book (an approved book) they too could be a librarian.

So these are the kind of policies that Iowans through their elected officials think will have other Americans beating down the doors to get into Iowa. Let’s recap and include some previous policies:

  • Crushing public unions
  • Right to work (for less)
  • Crushing teacher unions
  • Low pay for teachers
  • (Proposed) forced birth under any circumstances
  • Attorney General trying to stop OTC abortion medication in Iowa.
  • Cutting SNAP benefits.
  • Cutting unemployment benefits
  • Dismantling the public school system
  • Pushing privatized schools with little public oversight
  • Cutting funding to universities
  • Cutting awards against doctors and transportation companies in lawsuits.
  • Treating trans and gays as pariahs unworthy of equal rights

I am sure there are more. I spoke with some friends this week who are either planning to move or exploring moves. These are young families who see no future in Iowa. Friends we know that have left since 2000 would never come back here. Seems like whenever we talk to former Iowans they ask “What the hell happened to Iowa?”

It could be that the once nice people of Iowa have left and those remaining are trying to change Iowa from Iowa Nice to Iowa Mean. Or maybe as Jimmy Buffet once said “Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes” and Iowa really has slipped down to try to be part of the old confederacy. May we are “deep in the heart of Texas” these days?

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
This entry was posted in Iowa legislature 2023, Kim Reynolds, Republican Policy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to No Iowa Nice Anymore

  1. A.D. says:

    Please allow me to add three more to the policy list, though they are oldies. (1) Enabling and abetting massive water pollution. (2) Enabling nursing home horror stories. (3) Remaining the worst puppy-mill state in the country.

    And I agree that the list could go on. I read a jaw-dropping story this week about Iowa’s failure to discipline awful veterinarians. And that trucking-industry protection bill would be the first such law in the nation. I’m starting to wonder if comparing New Red Iowa to southern states is becoming a little unfair to southern states.


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