Mike Franken used one of his last few campaign stops before the Nov. 8 election to emphasize how all Americans are in the same boat and have to work together.
“We oftentimes aren’t going to agree with our political leaders,” he said at a Wednesday night event in Marshalltown. “We can’t. There’s too many topics, too diverse life experiences, but it doesn’t mean we can’t get along.”
Or try at least.
Franken, the Democratic candidate running against Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, said political office is about service and taking care of the needs of America’s citizens, no matter who they are. He said he wants to be the senator who considers Iowan’s needs and works to meet them.
“Our problems are real indeed. But they’re fixable and it’s never too late. Why? Because Iowans are resilient,” Franken said.
“We will first do that by recognizing that there’s far more that brings us together than separates us,” he continued. “Our neighbors down the street, family members, marriages. We all have the aspirations, the desires of the next generation and ourselves later in life. We’re driven apart by today’s heated political environment, sometimes force-fed by media outlets, social media in particular. We must stop this for the betterment of this nation.”
“I truly believe that they [Democrats] think that no matter what it costs, no matter what it takes they are fundamentally trying to change who we are as a country and we are not going to let that happen,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said recently at Sen. Joni Ernst’s Roast and Ride event.
Franken talked about how growing up outside of Sioux Center, Iowa, and then traveling and living in different countries around the world as a member of the US Navy, gave him the perspective about how all people fundamentally want the same things.
One of the principles of his campaign, he said, is putting people over politics. Franken said that means ensuring everyone has economic security through good wages, health care and retirement packages, protecting civil rights such as women’s right to choose, and a person’s ability to marry whoever they want.
It also means protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and creating new jobs and new agriculture methods to fit with a more renewable future.
He said Grassley had voted against capping insulin costs at $35 a month for all Americans and for a $1.9 trillion tax cut that Republicans then cut funding for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to pay for. A 2019 Congressional Budget Office Report called the 2017 tax cut short-sighted and said it would likely exacerbate fiscal problems, including increasing the budget deficit.
Franken said one of the first hurdles, though, is division. He said an old friend from rural Iowa told him he thought he was great but he’d never vote for Franken because he’s a Democrat.
“We’re at each other’s throats,” Franken said. “The church pew, coffee klatsch, bowling league all becomes awkward. We can’t have that in this nation. It’s inimical to the well-being of a country. We need to cure ourselves. We need to fix this. Like I said, there’s far more that brings us together than separates us.”
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