We don’t pretend to speak for all older Iowans, but we do have the privilege of talking and working with many of them across the state. Over the past months, we’ve listened closely to what they say the next President must do:
-End the COVID crisis. If it’s a war, then fight it like one. The federal and state governments should be teammates, not adversaries. Be more aggressive on testing that provides immediate results, contact tracing, mask-use, etc. Speak to Americans openly and honestly.
-Ensure that the nation is prepared for the next pandemic, and take steps that will enhance the safety, job security, and quality of life for people of all ages.
-See that programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and so many others are preserved and strengthened.
-Grow the economy to create well-paying, stable jobs that put more money in people’s pocket; money that allows them to buy the little extra’s, and save for a vacation, college, or retirement.
-Expand access to affordable high quality health care and lower the costs of prescription drugs.
-End the political party pettiness and work across the aisle to solve problems.
-Create a safer, calmer, kinder and a more united America.
It’s this last issue — the desire for a better America — that could tip the votes of older Iowans.
Many are deeply concerned about what is happening in our nation. While people have always disagreed and protested, what seems new is the extent of the viciousness and the numbers of people taking matters into their own hands by using a weapon — be it a gun, a vehicle driven through a crowd, a bomb, hateful speech and posts on social media.
To many, it seems that Donald Trump’s America is at war with itself. There is genuine fear about where the nation is headed.
Most older Iowans want this — an America where all people feel like they belong, that they are important, and where they’re convinced that “it’s going to be OK.”
It’s this simple idea of electing people who genuinely care about all of us, want our lives to be better and will work to make them better that drives older Iowans and our votes.
Who has the greatest chance of changing the tone, lowering the temperature, and making progress toward solving urgent problems?
Trump, the person who’s been at the helm, or Biden, the person pledging a change in course?
We know and like people from all political parties. While we have disagreements about issues like taxes, immigration, abortion, racial justice, etc. almost all of us are offended by the president’s words and behavior.
There is general agreement that he’s a bully, a womanizer, a person who frequently lies, never accepts responsibility or apologizes, lacks compassion, mocks people with disabilities, condones violence from his supporters, insults veterans, evades paying taxes, and uses fear to win support and to divide the nation.
And most find it outrageous and alarming that he refuses to pledge for an orderly and peaceful transition if he’s defeated.
Few would tolerate these words and behaviors from a city council or school board member, a sheriff or local judge. Why on earth would we do so from a president?
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We will proudly vote for Joe Biden, and we believe the majority of older Iowans will too. We know what every American deep-down knows — Joe Biden is a good and decent man who has the interests of every American at heart.
He will strive to be a president for all America, not just for those who voted for him. He’ll be a problem-solver; working with willing Republicans to make good things happen. He’ll shoot straight with us and be someone we can believe, trust and respect.
He will do what’s needed to bring this country together, and to create a nation and world that while not perfect, can be so much better than it is today.
John and Terri Hale own The Hale Group, an Ankeny-based consulting, advocacy and communication firm focused on older Iowans and the caregivers who support them. email@example.com