February 7, 2020)
Becki and I flew to Iowa this week to serve as surrogates at the Republican caucuses in the Hawkeye state. President Donald Trump’s campaign stationed us at a middle school in the town of Denison, about a two-hour drive west of Des Moines. They booked a room that wound up being much smaller than what was needed. They thought that since it was a foregone conclusion that Mr. Trump would win, there wouldn’t be a big crowd.
But the turnout was huge.
So I spent my time there sharing with the group how it would be absolute lunacy to go away from a president who has created 7 million jobs and whose economic policies have pushed the GDP up to an annual rate of 2.5% (compared to the 1.6% average during the Obama years). I explained how Mr. Trump is the only president in my lifetime who has actually kept his promises to the faith community. He has appointed 187 federal judges and two to the Supreme Court — all strict constructionist judges.
The amazing thing is how he has accomplished all this without having control of Congress in the second half of his term.
Iowans are so friendly to be around. We found a lot in common with the people of Denison because many of them were farmers — and we live on a farm, too. I’ve got two John Deere tractors and an RV — all made in Iowa.
Though not a big town (population 8,400), Denison has produced two NFL players and actress Donna Reed, probably best known to the younger generation as George Bailey’s wife in the Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The caucus-goers we spoke to certainly think “wonderful” describes the direction of the country since Mr. Trump took office.
I told them, “Don’t believe what you’re reading in the papers about my home state of Virginia, because most of us are just like you guys — it’s just Northern Virginia that has screwed everything up.”
I explained how all these folks move into our northern counties — the suburbs of D.C. — to work for the federal government (the “swamp”). They brought big-government liberalism with them into our state, and now we have a mess on our hands.
Challenging times call for daily resolve, and the Iowans I met appreciate the president’s focus on “Making American Great Again.” For Mr. Trump, these words are marching orders and a mandate — not just a campaign slogan or cheap talk.
And speaking of talk, the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night showcased the tremendous American comeback we’ve witnessed these past three years. He described the surging economy as a “blue-collar boom” and gave real-life examples of people (many who were sitting in the audience) who have benefited from his free-market and low-tax policies. Millions of Americans have come off welfare rolls, landing jobs and finding the satisfaction of providing for themselves.
But even with so much to celebrate that night, the Democrats in attendance remained glued to their seats, with arms crossed and cross looks on their faces. They refused to applaud the accomplishments of people who have turned their lives around.
There was one thing that I didn’t hear any Iowans talk about: impeachment. Nobody brought it up. Everyday Americans never bought into what the mainstream media and congressional Democrats were selling.
And now that it is over, the Democrats remind me of the hyenas in “The Lion King” movie, afraid of what is coming next. I believe the Democrats have reason to fear what is going to come out this summer in the report by U.S. Attorney John Durham — and so they’ve been trying to strike down the president preemptively. But instead, they’ve shot themselves in the foot. And now that their partisan debacle is finished, we can only hope they now get busy working with the president, not against him.
That’s the kind of common-sense thinking I heard in Iowa this week; Democrats would do well to listen to the denizens of Denison.