Since launching my exploratory committee in January of 2007, I've encountered a wide variety of people both online and in person. My exploratory committee lasted 11 months, until I turned it over to an official campaign on Veterans’ Day on the 11th of November Since the official launch, I have spent months on the road collecting signatures for ballot access and for speaking engagements. This entire experience has exposed me to people and places in Iowa that most people will never access. Frozen Wal-Mart parking lots in Mason City, smoke-filled bars in Eagle Grove, and Clint Eastwood-made-famous-cafes in Winterset.
I've watched the top issues trade places several times, along with views of Presidential candidates change over the course of the last year plus. Something, which continues to bother me are statements against both, Senator Clinton Senator Obama. Throughout my travels around the 4th district, I've listened and been completely appalled these two main things throughout my district:
I'm not voting for a woman
I am not voting for a black man.
Yes, I have heard both of these things hundreds of times. This Bush-Latham-King mind-set right here in Iowa worries me.
I believe the only way to tackle this obstacle is through our educational system.As a full-time university student, I am aware many of our nation’s universities are enforcing a diversity requirement. This is a step in the right direction. However, I believe it is much too late in life to begin teaching such subjects.
By the time a child reaches an age where they would enroll in a university much of their basic mindsets have been established. Perhaps, we should tie governmental funding into the teaching of diversity at lower levels. Perhaps, making it a required class, prior to moving forward from elementary school, again before making the jump from middle school and high school, and then again before granting our children a high school diploma.
Many of these children will become educators and leaders in the future, while the majority of our children will become parents in the future. As we teach and learn more about other cultures and lifestyles, we will recognize and celebrate our differences, while being more likely to feel a sense of community instead of wanting to turn our backs on one another.
This negative attitude of many Americans stems from the anxiety of the unknown. How very different the world may become if the most powerful nation on earth would embrace teaching diversity at each level, from sea to shining sea. I believe this would make a world of difference. These teachings would spread a sense of world community down upon future generations, eventually weeding out the lack of which we encounter today.
Who knows, this teaching may even eliminate the Republican Party.(: