Defining Results – Disappointed, But Not Discouraged

Defining Results – Disappointed, But Not Discouraged

We didn’t get our two percent last night.

So what!

The reasons I ran for governor haven’t changed. Iowa has still lost two Congressional seats in the past 20 years. Our education system is still in real trouble. Poverty in urban and rural Iowa is still unacceptably high.

And last night, corruption prevailed over accountability.

I’m going to take a few days off to rest, go see my daughter’s performance at UNI, take care of some housekeeping duties literally and figuratively, eat some food that’s bad for me.

And then Monday, I’m back at it.

When I asked for prayer I didn’t ask that it be for an outcome, but that God’s will be done and that I have peace with whatever happened. Last night I was not discouraged. Was I disappointed? Yes. Instead of reflecting on the numbers, I instead reflected upon our progress.

Four years ago I received twice as many votes but our foundation was lacking. The media contacts I made were not recorded, nor kept intact. Now we have extensive media contacts throughout the 99 counties, organized and preserved.

After the campaign ended in 2010, I couldn’t contact a base of supporters. We had voters, but with few exceptions, our contacts were not well documented. Now we have a strong network of volunteers throughout Iowa, both in urban and rural communities. These Iowans are committed to expanding our team state-wide.

One of the very potent resources we now have is a 2.2 million name voter database. We didn’t leverage that information like we could have this election. But, we will be able to utilize it very effectively going forward with a focus on local elections.

Elections are like drafts in sports, but they are not results.

Results are reducing poverty, improving education, attaining justice. At the federal and state level Republicans win, then Democrats win – but power stays static and in the hands of the big money interests that control our system.

Political parties are tools and vehicles, but they are not results.

Gaining official party status for the Iowa Party would have made it easier for us to restore Iowa to her people. But, this election does not prevent us from achieving this goal, either.

During the Revolutionary War our Founders faced hard times and desperate circumstances, yet they prevailed. 200 years ago, in August of 1814, the British burned Washington, D.C. Yet, our nation prevailed, and the British left our shores soon after never to return.

The early days of the Civil War did not go well for the Union and at times it looked liked the Confederate States of America would win enough battles to force a compromised peace, until Gettysburg. That victory drove Rebel forces back South while a defeat would have cleared the path to Washington, D.C. and likely more than just the burning of it.

As we continue this struggle different strategies and tactics are required.

Instead of an organizing convention the last weekend of May for an official Iowa Party and county conclaves leading up to it, we will establish a more grounded grassroots network throughout the 99 counties, activate our newsletter, build the executive arm of the movement and carve out a priority of recruiting and training our young people.

Last night I sat next to a young man named Aaron. When we first met he was unsure. He’s ready. When I met Lance, he was distracted. He was there last night, and he’s focused.

What we have started is an accountability movement. Our aim isn’t just to elect candidates. We did that with the State of Black Iowa Initiative. But, back then we couldn’t hold those that we helped win accountable.

Iowans still need to focus on where their hard earned dollars are being collected and spent right where they live. School board and city council elections are on the horizon. And we will restore Iowa to her people, one election at a time.

So, for a few days, we rest.
And then come Monday, the struggle resumes.

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