Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared at the Machine Shed Restaurant in Urbandale Friday morning, kicking off the 2024 Iowa Republican presidential nominating contest. He didn’t stop to speak to the press.
Republicans said they would hold a 2024 precinct caucus as usual regardless of whether Democrats do. A majority of Iowa Republicans favor Trump 2024 according to recent polls.
For his part, Joe Biden said he plans to run for a second term at his inaugural press conference last week.
Bloomberg reported U.S. cases of COVID-19 are rising again. It’s still bad in Iowa. Maybe it’s due to events like Urbandale where people gathered in public without social distancing or masks. The crowd looked pretty old and mostly male. Maybe they are all vaccinated, he laughed. News photos depicted what appears to be an aggregation of various daily coffee gatherings that occur around the state among retired and mostly male locals. Seeing Pompeo was something different to do, I suppose.
These days I have limited interest in politics. We are living in a time of Republican dominance in Iowa and I have no interest in watching the horror show. Yet I’m drawn to it… political stories in newspapers and on Twitter. One supposes I have an addiction. I don’t seem motivated enough to beat the addiction…yet. Likely, I’m in denial.
Part of my addiction is isolation resulting from the continuing coronavirus pandemic. In isolation, every human contact takes on increased importance. In normal times, it was easier to select which issues to work on and which to leave to others. Pandemic-caused isolation makes ridding myself of the addiction more complicated.
I intend to continue to vote, and will likely donate a few dollars to good candidates when I can. Anymore, political engagement is mostly determining whether a candidate is a Democrat. Advocacy has been co-opted by national players and the federal judiciary is in process of re-making the assumptions upon which my advocacy was once predicated.
Like anyone, I will try to help my local candidates. I can’t go cold turkey from politics. At the same time, I expect to get better focused on a handful of issues I deem most important. Readers of this blog know it’s the environment and its biggest threats: a warming plant, nuclear war and armed conflict.
There are many factors, physical, mental, emotional, and biological that make quitting politics difficult. It’s the rural Virginian in me that keeps me engaged. A low level dosage won’t cure me yet like the COVD-19 vaccine, it may inoculate me from the distractions that are possible. I should lean on my Polish ancestors who just came here, went to church, and made a life.
In any case, I’m addicted to politics and can’t let it dominate my life.