When the news came out that someone had publicly humiliated Iowa in the online
article, “Observations From 20 Years of Iowa Life-Thoughts from a university professor on the Iowa hamlets that will shape the contours of the GOP contest,” I thought it was just another big-city bully pushing his weight around.
When I found out the author was University of Iowa journalism professor Stephen G. Bloom, I became curious as to what possessed him to write such an article for theatlantic.com.
And when I finally read the article for myself, I was a little hurt and wondered if the rest of the world thinks of Iowa and its inhabitants in the same way.
An excerpt from his article sums up his feelings about Iowa pretty well:
“Whether a schizophrenic, economically depressed, and some say, culturally challenged state like Iowa should host the first grassroots referendum to determine who will be the next president isn’t at issue. It’s been this way since 1972, and there are no signs that it’s going to change. In a perfect world, no way would Iowa ever be considered representative of America, or even a small part of it. Iowa’s not representative of much. There are few minorities, no sizable cities, and the state’s about to lose one of its five seats in the U.S. House because its population is shifting; any growth is negligible. Still, thanks to a host of nonsensical political precedents, whoever wins the Iowa Caucuses in January will very likely have a 50 percent chance of being elected president 11 months later. Go figure.”
Iowa has long been the butt of many jokes, but I have come to the conclusion that people from other states are really just jealous of what we have. The people, our values, what matters most to us, is unmatched anywhere else, and I am proud to be an Iowan.
Though Bloom, who came to Iowa from San Fransisco 20 years ago, has every right to his opinions, he has no right to call himself an Iowan. He brags that he has traveled to all 99 counties in Iowa, just so he could observe Iowa and its people. There’s no way someone can know a person just by observing them. But apparently, Bloom thinks he can.
I know this article was meant to be political, but it turned out to be very personal, not just for me, but for all Iowans. And to have Bloom go on “Rock Center with Brian Williams” Jan. 2 and say that it was meant to be satirical, is just laughable.
Bloom, if you’re going to insult people and where they live, at least have some guts and stand up for your convictions. We Iowans have something you don’t. We call it integrity.