116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Last Sunday’s column on “ideal Iowans” was seen as less than ideal by some readers.
The column sought to explain, based on the work product of our Republican Statehouse this year, who our governor and Legislature see as the “ideal Iowans” they serve. Straight, white and Christian, unsympathetic to the plight of low-income Iowans, unsupportive of the rights of transgender kids and dismissive of Iowans of color pushing for social justice. They believe in a stolen election and fear imaginary “radical socialism,” but dismiss a deadly pandemic.
The column was a vehicle for criticizing legislative actions and pointing out who lawmakers and Gov. Kim Reynolds represent. Not all of us, clearly. A considerable number of readers agreed.
But I didn’t think everyone would love it. And I was right.
“I have no idea what it is like to have to come up with a column in the paper each week, but you seem to be stuck in the same mode each week,” one reader argued.
Look, if they stop, I’ll stop. I don’t exactly enjoy constantly pointing out how the big red-state wrecking crew is dismantling my native land.
One reader claimed I pushed him to cancel his subscription after 17 years.
“This is the most condescending, mean spirited, and elitist take on current events in our state that I have seen in years from The Gazette. The worst part is that it isn’t even an editorial or an opinion piece. How is this news?” the reader wondered.
I’ve been writing opinion columns here for nearly 14 years. This was, I assure you, another one.
“I read an article in this morning’s Gazette and thought possibly Lyz Lenz had somehow snuck her negative writing skills back into our local paper with her hate for Iowans! However I was wrong. Should have guessed - it was you!” wrote another reader.
Lyz Lenz is a terrific writer who definitely does not hate Iowans. Thanks for the compliment.
“You have become the Leonard Pitts of Cedar Rapids,” wrote the same reader. Stop it already, you’re embarrassing me.
“Here's an idea - why don't you move to New York or California with your leftist writing skills. I'm sure those liberal states would appreciate your comedic views of Iowans!” he concluded.
An idea, but certainly not a new one. I’ve been told to move so often in recent months I half expect Two Trolls and a Truck will show up at my house and start packing my stuff.
One reader thought my column overgeneralized.
“The ideal Iowan is a hard working conservative-thinking open-minded family-loving man or woman who lives in Iowa because they have probably lived here their entire life. They want their kids and grandkids to live and prosper,” the reader wrote.
Well, perhaps I’ve been too harsh. Open-mindedness could really lead to some bridge-building.
“They don't want the liberal left to ram &@$x#* down their throats,” the reader concluded.
At least he ended the note with “respectfully.”
One reader pointed to a neighbor who infrequently mows his lawn as an example of people who are not working due to “laziness.”
“As to your racist remarks, I would love to have a black or any other race family live there that would try to take care of the property,” the reader wrote.
Another thought my column was for the birds.
“A liberal friend of mine was talking about feeding wild birds, and how it changes them from their natural food hunting. Hmmm. Free money being thrown at us, most especially those who are not working, also changes people. We come to expect more when that runs out,” the reader wrote.
I, too, must admit contributing to the two-winged welfare state. Next winter I’ll let them freeze. I don’t want to do it, but I feel I owe it to them. Anyone know where I can get tiny bootstraps?
“Once again Todd you have left us in stitches with your wit. Do you ever wonder why you are smarter than everyone else?” another reader wrote.
Again with the compliments! You know I’ve never really considered myself … hey, wait a second.
The brevity award goes to the reader who wrote, “You are an idiot.”
And this from Facebook: “Can I get those minutes I spent reading this trash back?”
I’m afraid not. And if you got this far, I have more bad news.
(319) 398-8262; firstname.lastname@example.org