Jim Chrisinger

State government has better things to do

Jim Chrisinger: Government employees are just as smart, creative, and hard working as their private sector counterparts; they just have to work in a system with lousy organizational DNA. -promoted by Laura Belin

When we moved back to Iowa three years ago, our state was up and coming, a place that attracted young families, entrepreneurs, and the tech industry, as well as retirees like us. But now Iowa’s elected leaders seem intent on taking Iowa backwards: suppressing the vote, waging culture wars, and threatening public education.  

Imagine what Iowa’s elected leaders could do if they put their energies into governing to move us forward again.  

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Why is acting in bad faith so bad?

Jim Chrisinger: When elected officials act in bad faith, they poison the well of democracy in many ways. -promoted by Laura Belin

We now know that democracy is more fragile than we thought; democracy requires more than laws and institutions.  For example, elected officials need to speak and act in good faith.  

Acting in good faith may not seem like the most important thing right now.  What makes bad faith so bad?  

Bad faith is insidious because people are by definition not honest about what they are doing and why they are doing it.  Dishonesty is corrosive, to relationships and to democracy.  For example, Iowa Republicans have just passed a voter suppression bill without admitting why they did it.  

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Asymmetry: When one side cheats

Jim Chrisinger: Republicans’ disrespect for government and democracy makes it easier for them to suppress votes. And harder for Democrats to fight back. -promoted by Laura Belin

Our current political battles are asymmetrical because Democrats essentially respect democracy and government and too many Republicans do not.

At some point — with Newt Gingrich? — the GOP morphed from “too much government is a problem” to “government is the enemy.” In the last couple of decades, Iowa Republicans drove out of the party those following in the footsteps of Bob Ray, Jim Leach, and even an earlier version of Chuck Grassley, all of whom believed in the value of good government, albeit smaller government.

So “polarization” may not best describe our current dilemma.  Polarization implies both sides moving to extremes.  Here, one side steered over the edge.

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Do Republicans even know what socialism is?

A reality check courtesy of Jim Chrisinger. -promoted by Laura Belin

There are some true socialists on the left fringes of the Democratic Party, just like there are some true fascists on the right fringes of the Republican Party. It’s offensive, however, that people who should know better accuse Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Nancy Pelosi of being socialists, or even communists.

My wife and I lived in a socialist and communist Czechoslovakia from 1987 to 1990. We saw socialism and communism up close.

Let’s get real.

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