I am a Midwesterner by birth and now by choice. We here in America’s breadbasket are a diverse and demanding group. Rarely concerned with the latest trends and most populist views, we vote from our hearts and deeply rooted ideologies, passed down generations like a family heirloom.
I feel like our voice is only heard during election time and then quickly dismissed after the vote is cast. Presidential hopefuls stroll into small town coffee shops with brand new blue jeans, open collared oxford shirts with rolled up sleeves claiming to “know where we are coming from”. (Are you reading this, Mr. Romney?) Bullshit. Yes, there it is, Bullshit. These fine folks in their actual well worn bib overalls and blues jeans aren’t wearing Italian loafers. (And that is real cow dung you smell, Ricky) You want to impress them? Show up unannounced with no media circus and help raise a barn or bale some hay. Then tell nobody. It would kill all of you to do anything of that nature. By arriving in your “country casual” costume you are insulting us and you don’t even know it. They all know they will be treated like any ol’ girl in your ports of call. Wham, bam, I gave you the clap. That’s how they feel.
You want Average Joe to vote for you? Don’t pretend to know more than he does. You probably don’t anyway. When asked a question you clearly do not know the answer, DO NOT break into some sort of nonsensical song and dance routine resembling Mr. Bojangles. Say you don’t know, but are willing to try to find out. What the hell is wrong with a little humility and honesty? (Newt?) Also, you need to LISTEN to the statements and questions. When a single mother asks you about rising gas prices, she is really asking you exactly how is she going to feed her kids as gas skyrockets? She could give a rats ass about the current administration’s failure to approve a pipeline and how it is all his fault. What are YOU going to do? Immediately. Anything short of that, you are cooked. Don’t reply with some fabricated anecdote about how small town life made an impression on you as a youngster spending summers with your Aunt Martha on her New England boysenberry farm. You went away in summer. These people stayed home and worked their asses off. (Mittens, the hard roughness of hands you are shaking right now are called callouses)
Most of all candidates need to stop worrying so much about the sound bite of the day, and start giving these folks what they deserve: respect and honest, compassionate attention to what THEY lose sleep over every day. That’s how the Midwest is won, in my opinion.
I would like to thank Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) for inviting me to put all my musings in an organized, sentence type fashion here on CDN. This is my first foray publishing my views for the world to see and judge. I am positive that not all of my viewpoints are going to agree with everyone, but I do hope that you enjoy my angles.