Janet Clark: Author, Trump voter

Like many voters, Janet believed the 2016 Democratic primary was rigged to assure Hillary Clinton’s victory. She was deeply disappointed that Sanders eventually endorsed Clinton. “I voted for Trump because, between him and Clinton, I felt he was the better of the two candidates — that and I think that both Clintons are extremely corrupt,” she says. Continue Reading →

Joel Brown: Former Democratic lawmaker, Trump voter

Joel’s interest in politics is driven by two key passions: decentralizing the economy and freedom of speech. “The first speech I gave as a lawmaker was on a bill to extend First Amendment protections to student newspapers, protecting students from school administrator censorship,” Joel told me. “In my mind, that’s a big part of what the Democratic Party was all about.” Continue Reading →

Steve Hickenbottom: Organic farmer, Trump voter

Regarding climate change, Steve says it’s definitely a concern. He’d like to see us invest in research to develop better batteries for electric cars. “Let’s start working on cars that get 100 miles per gallon. We’d burn less fuel, reduce the need for pipelines, and maybe slow climate change. But we can’t make the cure worse than the problem. Take Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) for instance. That was pushed, and now DEF is showing up in the water supply, and it’s toxic.”

Steve’s also concerned about coal-fired power plants: “Worldwide, I don’t think we’re the biggest problem. China is putting up hundreds of new coal plants. If we turn the US 100% green, we’re still not going to get the results we’re after. We’ve got to get the rest of the world on board.” Continue Reading →

Kim Houlding: Veterinarian, Trump voter

In the early 2000s, Kim talked about running for office — as a Democrat. “I grew up in a Democratic family. My grandfather ran a union print shop in Minneapolis and my dad was in the printers union.” Kim voted for Obama in 2008. With waning enthusiasm, she voted for him again in 2012. She went with Trump in 2016 and 2020 — casting a vote not so much FOR Trump but against Biden and the Democratic Party. Continue Reading →

Hannah Bacon walks coast-to-coast for climate action

Since the Mojave, Hannah has been blessed with many displays of kindness and hospitality — camping at a retreat center, a Greek Orthodox monastery, an urban farm in Phoenix, and at many private homes. There have been hardships as well, of course. A crippling case of blisters after the first day’s march due to inadequate shoes. Portions of her route blocked by wildfire damage, requiring a thirty-mile reroute. A dog bite that forced Hannah to receive rabies shots — administered on four separate occasions at four separate medical facilities. Continue Reading →

Building bridges in the Heartland

Joshua Barr, Director of the Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Commission, joins us with positive news about Breaking Bread, Building Bridges — an initiative bring people together, one-on-one, to talk through their perceived differences and discover common ground. Pairings include a young man who was very anti-police with a woman police officer. The short video is encouraging and worth watching. Continue Reading →

Year-end review, and our 2021 plans

I reject the rhetoric that most Trump voters are racists, misogynists, and “deplorable” — as Hillary Clinton referred to half of Trump’s supporters in 2016. That’s not helpful.

I know from personal experience that good people, for various reasons, voted for Trump. We need to understand why and work to identify shared challenges. Beyond that, if the Democratic Party has any hope of regaining relevance in rural America, it has to begin with listening, not lecturing. Continue Reading →

Coral Reefs in Deep Trouble

A new report paints a disturbing picture of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The coral’s status has declined from “significant concern” to “critical,” as bleaching continues to kill more and more coral. The report fingers climate change as the primary culprit. It’s not just coral: One-third of all natural World Heritage sites are threatened by climate change. Continue Reading →

Biden must honor his commitment to shut down DAPL

The Obama administration — including then-Vice President Joe Biden and then-Secretary of State John Kerry — sent the message that new oil pipelines are dragging the US and our planet in the wrong direction. The clear, consistent, and scientific next step for President-elect Biden’s administration is to again cancel both pipelines, once and for all. Given Biden’s strong statements in opposition to DAPL while in Iowa in 2019, cancelation of the pipeline is his only consistent choice. Continue Reading →

How bad is the COVID surge going to get?

I received this disturbing and heart-wrenching message from a worker at an Iowa healthcare facility: “We are fighting a battle that we just can’t win here. No matter what we do, no matter how careful we are, I know without a shadow of a doubt that all our people WILL GET this thing. It has taken on a life of its own. A third of our people have COVID and half of our staff has it. We are drowning!!!!!!!” Continue Reading →