Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds was inaugurated in Des Moines this morning. Reynolds was appointed governor in 2017 when former governor Terry Branstad became U.S. ambassador to China. This past November she won re-election. Reynolds used her inauguration speech to urge Iowans of all political stripes toward action, not outrage.

According to the Quad City Times Reynolds asked Iowans  "to put aside their differences — political or otherwise — and avoid divisive arguments, especially on social media." The Times went on to quote her directly:

“My ask of all Iowans as we go into the next four years is that we devote less time to online political arguments and more time to each other. That we don’t let a screen steal from our family and friends, from our communities and schools. Because here’s the thing: If we look up and to each other, we’ll see that there are great things happening in this state. And if we put our energy into action instead of outrage, we’ll find that there are even greater days to come.”

I can't think of any better advice. Frankly, I'm tired of the name calling, position posturing, defending, arguing, and political gobbledygook I see on Facebook. It's not that I have a problem talking about politics. My problem is... most of the time it's not a discussion. It's someone either supporting their guy or dissing someone else's guy. A lot of the time there's facts missing and opinions being expressed as fact.

While I think her idea of putting down our phones and not arguing politics on line in favor devoting more to time to family, friends, and our community is a good idea. I'd go one step further.

Find an elected official you support and volunteer for their campaign staff. Want to change the system? Find their opponent and get involved in their campaign. Feel strongly about one of the political parties? Get involved on that level. If there's a campaign issue you feel strongly about, maybe work with a group whose position you support on that.

As I've heard more than one time on "The West Wing", and probably from many political pundits, elections are decided by those who show up. Instead of wasting time and not changing anyone's mind arguing politics on Facebook, maybe that time would be better spent working in the community.  Working for the people and the type of government you want. Win or lose, you'll have been part of the process and helps make America better, your state better, and your community better. At least that's what I think.



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