Commentary

Iowa, please make it easier for college students to vote

BY: - February 21, 2020

As Vote Everywhere Ambassadors with The Andrew Goodman Foundation, we work regularly with students at Simpson College in Indianola to make the ballot more accessible. To live the legacy of Andrew Goodman, a young civil rights worker who was murdered registering black Americans to vote during 1964’s Freedom Summer, we do everything from conducting voter […]

I won’t apologize for defending my abortion

BY: - February 20, 2020

Two weeks ago, I sat across a table from a legislative subcommittee of three Iowa lawmakers shaking and holding back tears as I laid bare what should have been my private medical history. The binges and purges. A suicide attempt at age 12. The crippling depression and anxiety that continued to follow me, and the […]

LGBT flags

Iowa must ban ‘conversion therapy’ that harms LGBTQ youth

BY: - February 19, 2020

As a physician, the number of youth I have seen in my profession who identify as LGBTQ has steadily increased over the past decade. I am grateful every time a young person trusts me with this personal information. Knowing a client is LGBTQ not only helps me build a stronger relationship with them as their […]

Top Democrats: New state party chairman faces difficult task

BY: - February 17, 2020

Democratic state Rep. Mark Smith had some plans for when he retired from the Iowa Legislature. He was going travel, take some bicycle trips and spend time in a cabin on his 93-year-old mother’s farm in southern Iowa. Instead, Smith, 68, was elected chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party on Saturday.  “Some of them will […]

Iowa soybean farmers build their brand during trade mission to Bangladesh, Pakistan

BY: - February 14, 2020

Ask any brand about the importance of marketing, and they’ll promptly reply that understanding the needs and wants of the customer is the first and most essential step to making a sale. That surely holds true for soybeans. Despite a recent thawing of trade friction with China, U.S. soybean exports to the world’s top buyer […]

Let’s not just mourn the caucuses. Let’s make Iowa a national model for civic engagement

BY: - February 10, 2020

Reentry into regular life after the Iowa caucuses can be challenging, even when it doesn’t take four days to report results. One Iowa political reporter texted me and some other friends just before 6 p.m. Friday: “What do people do when they’re done with work at this time of day? Asking for a friend.” I […]

Students hold up tall, vertical signs with the names of presidential candidates.

The Iowa Caucuses encourage an educated, engaged citizenry that society needs

BY: - February 9, 2020

I come to praise the Iowa Caucuses, not to bury them. Oh, I’m relieved that they are over for 2020, despite the ignominious way they slunk off the public stage. But as an educator, I’d argue that the caucuses, for all their faults, are a wonderful model for, and encouragement of, engaged citizenry and civil […]

The avoidable Iowa Caucus tragedy

BY: - February 8, 2020

Sadly, it’s now called “The Iowa Caucuses debacle.” I have loved the caucuses since 1970, when I started teaching at Iowa State. It didn’t have to end this way. When the Democratic National Committee’s “Unity Reform Commission” started talking about how to change the Iowa caucuses, I knew that 2020 would be a disaster. Never […]

The Iowa caucuses are on the brink — but we should fight for them

BY: - February 4, 2020

Former Iowa congressman Dave Nagle has been on the front lines of trying to preserve Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses for more than four decades. “It’s not a good morning,” Nagle told me on Tuesday. That’s an understatement.  Nagle, a Waterloo Democrat, has been called into action many times over the years when the caucuses have teetered […]

‘App-ocalypse’ in the Iowa caucus

BY: - February 4, 2020

We’re all living in accelerated digital time. Technology does that. We want what we want when we want it: on demand.

Lack of Iowa Poll is disappointing but not a conspiracy

BY: - February 3, 2020

I have a lapel pin that looks like a tiny newspaper front page with the headline:  “Dewey defeats Truman.” Of course, we know from history that Harry Truman won the presidency in 1948, not Thomas Dewey.  I think about that premature headline on big election days as a simple reminder:  Don’t make stupid predictions. Going […]

Trump policies could put my family’s health care at risk

BY: - January 30, 2020

Like every parent, I’m biased about my child — I think my son Kyle is a great young man. He’s smart, warm, and he lights up a room. Unlike most young men, though, Kyle has Down syndrome, and he receives on-site job coaching under his Medicaid coverage. It’s hard for me to overstate how essential […]