Guest Columnists

Radical acts of decency

Les Deal, of Cedar Rapids, is a retired remodeling contractor with a master's degree in biology. He is a member of the Gazette Writers Circle.
Les Deal, of Cedar Rapids, is a retired remodeling contractor with a master's degree in biology. He is a member of the Gazette Writers Circle.

Since the November election Washington politics has unfolded into a political mess of unbridled, ruthless use of power. Our nation has turned directions. Positions of power are being used to dismantle the good (health care, EPA, climate change, education, etc.) leaving the people to their own demise. Isn’t it better to define democratic government as a means to collectively care for everyone?

Out of despair my wife and I independently came to the same strong urge — to give. Within days of the election we wrote checks to three national organizations whose purposes are to help people. We learned weeks later people throughout the country did the same as many caring organizations reported huge increases in unsolicited donations. Treating everyone fairly and decently is the antithesis of current Washington politics.

Our feelings didn’t end with one gesture. While attending the Women’s March in Des Moines, we were overwhelmed by the depth of caring present everywhere. Though the placards covered many causes, all 25,000 were in unison about caring for people.

We’ve attended many Tuesday noon rallies at the federal courthouse delivering letters to Iowa’s U.S. Senators in opposition of the horrific appointees and executive orders. We attended a Sen. Joni Ernst town hall meeting as well. The room was filled to overflowing with people who were present because they care.

It doesn’t stop there, I find myself more caring when around store clerks and fellow shoppers. I pay extra attention to people, making sure to offer a respectful response — acknowledging those who are weary or overwhelmed, for example. I don’t mean that I am extra kind, I make sure I am kind more often.

I think the negative politics in Washington has a negative effect on us all. It is always present in the back of our minds. To combat such I try to encourage the distraught back to decency.

This horrible political scene is tearing at the hearts of us all. Even Iowa politics looks like a mini-Washington. I hope businesses throughout our state refuse to pay their employees the minimum wage set by the legislators this session. A simple way for businesses to say we are better than that. Obviously, there were many laws passed that need for citizens to pointedly oppose.


I see caring as the foundational core of a decent person and a decent society. I know of no good that comes from dishonesty, hatred, prejudice, greed, scarcity, or malice. Let us all be decent caring people who look forward to the next opportunity to be kind.

Instead of being angry when the next election comes around, we will have prepared ourselves to be a thoughtful caring people. Instead of reacting to what makes us angry we will respond to our decency and vote for the good of all.

• Les Deal, of Cedar Rapids, is a retired remodeling contractor. Comments:



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