By ART CULLEN
Before discussing cultural suicide, Rep. Steve King would do well to consult the place of his birth: Storm Lake, Iowa. The Republican congressman from Kiron took to Twitter last month to wish well a couple of Aryan revival politicians from Germany and Holland, one of whom thinks it is acceptable to shoot immigrants crossing the German border “as a last resort.”
“Wishing you a successful vote,” King Tweeted to Frauke Petry of Germany, the one who wants to shoot Muslims if need be. “Cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end.”
Demographic transformation has saved Storm Lake from becoming Emmetsburg, a nice little town of 4,000 people with a lake and a small college whose economic hopes are pinned on a casino.
Instead, Storm Lake is among the fastest growing communities in Iowa thanks to demographic transformation from old, white and tired to young, brown and ambitious.
Were it not for immigrants, there would be no pork or turkey processing. Remember when Hygrade shut down? We do. We were not sure how Storm Lake would survive. IBP brought Southeast Asians, the first people to begin the transformation, to Storm Lake with an incredible work ethic and a devotion to America. Then the Latinos came, willing to do anything to escape the misery of Mexico and Honduras and El Salvador. They love Storm Lake. They work hard, have revitalized St. Mary’s Parish and Schools, and want nothing more than to be with their families in The City Beautiful — the most diverse place in the Midwest. They want to be Americans and live in the land of the free.
Were it not for meatpacking, what would we have?
A piddling of jobs and a lot of senior citizens waiting for their Social Security checks. Our main industries would be antique shops from sold-out farms and nursing homes.
Spencer and Carroll are going through demographic transformations by refusing to assimilate immigrants. So is Mason City, which just refused a meatpacking plant because it would attract people of color. These towns’ birth rates are lagging their retirement rates. Employers are beginning to think about moving out to where the people are. Are Atlantic, Algona and Harlan growing? No. They are shrinking. The jobs are moving to Storm Lake and Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, where the people are. These are the places committing cultural suicide.
Reminder: If you want someone who understands how to make Northwest Iowa grow and prosper, vote for Kim Weaver, a Sheldon Democrat who supports comprehensive immigration reform. If you want to commit cultural suicide and watch your community wash away, vote for Steve King.
Help Huddleston win
Sara Huddleston, D-Storm Lake, can beat incumbent Rep. Gary Worthan, R-Storm Lake, for the Iowa House of Representatives. We beg your indulgence for some fun with numbers to prove our point: If Huddleston can win 90% of the registered Democrats in the Sac/Buena Vista county district, 60% of the independents and 20% of the Republicans, she can beat the longtime legislator with a short list of accomplishments.
Huddleston starts from a deep hole. There are more than 7,000 Republicans and just 4,200 Democrats in the district. If there is a light GOP turnout over disgust with serial groper Donald Trump and serial bigot Steve King (see above) and Chuck Grassley not having much of a contest, Huddleston could pull this thing off.
Democrats are working hard at turning out their own, from what we know. Hillary Clinton has a field organizer in Storm Lake. Trump does not. Huddleston and her small cadre of local friends (mainly, she and her husband Matt) have been knocking on every door in Buena Vista County.
The House Democrats wanted Huddleston to run simply to turn out Latino votes in Northwest Iowa. They told her to knock on Democratic doors in hopes of turning out the base for Clinton. They have not lifted a finger to help Huddleston. She knew that going in. The teachers won’t even give her money because their check runs through hands in Des Moines. The House Democrats obviously don’t care if Huddleston wins. She will owe them nothing if she does. At least get her a decent surrogate to campaign with — that costs nothing, but to get someone off their duff. Sounds like Worthan is calling the shots for the Democratic kingmakers. Longtime Democratic dame Diane Hamilton says Huddleston doesn’t need their money or support. It’s all about shoe leather, Hamilton says, and in that respect it is better to be working friends with BV County Recorder Shari O’Bannon — who always runs uphill and asks for every vote — than House Democratic Leader Mark Smith.
Huddleston claims she has been flabbergasted by support among Republicans in Sac County, for whom widening Hwy. 20 is a religious issue. They were in lockstep with Steve King on this. But they were frustrated when they got no support or a returned email from Worthan. They call him “Worth-less.” These are Republicans talking, mind you.
If Huddleston gets blown out it is the district’s fault by virtue of its political composition, not because she didn’t give heart and soul. If she loses narrowly, it is the Iowa Democratic Party’s fault. If she wins, split the credit between her and Worthan.
So if you really want to send a message to the self-serving Establishment, vote for Sara Huddleston. It would be a poke in the eye to legislative leaders who have perfected losing elections. And it would be a message to Republicans that you just can’t go down to Des Moines and fall asleep after a big supper, because some Democrat with no money and a handful of friends could eat your lunch.