Tonight marks the beginning of the election season with the caucuses in Iowa.
This made my mind wander to the Iowa elections that my father participated in when I was young.
Years ago my father was a member of the American Independent Party. I looked him up on The Political Graveyard and found that he was a Presidential Elector Candidate from Iowa in 1972. This was not the only election that he was involved in, but it is the only one that is listed at the site. I decided to look up and see who the Presidential candidate was for the American Independent Party that year. The candidate was John G. Schmitz, and he did get more than one million votes that year in the election that Richard Nixon won in a landslide. In reading more about John G. Schmitz, I found that he was an interesting character. This post is not about Schmitz, so we will leave him behind and move back in time six years.
In 1966 my father was the American Independent candidate for the Iowa House of Representatives. I found it interesting to review the leaflet that he used for the campaign. There are several items in the leaflet that make me think of the present. Not much has changed in some respects. Sometimes just the terms have changed. The basic ideas and issues have remained the same.
On the front of the leaflet is an illustration contrasting the Left and the Right. With a few changes in terms, the same illustration could be used today.
Has politics changed much since then?
We are passionate about most of these same issues today.
The back of the leaflet has an interesting block of text:
The section gives a clear warning about the dangers of big government. Do we see the same concerns today? Have we become a Welfare State? Is the Government our Servant or Master? Interesting questions.
My father did not win the election in 1966, but he did stay active in politics. In 1972 he ran for State Senator of Iowa as well as being the above mentioned Elector Candidate.
He also ran for Mayor of Ottumwa, Iowa in the mid 70’s. I do remember that campaign.
I remember having a bumper sticker on my big red wagon and also helping paint signs that were attached to his old blue pickup truck.
I also remember going with my Dad to the courthouse to watch the election returns when he ran for mayor of Ottumwa, Iowa. He did not win, but it was a great experience.
We didn’t have to wait as long that night as people are having to wait tonight in Iowa. Maybe they should go back to those simple and secure times 🙂