Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Skuzzy Iowa Defends Their Honor

                As proud Iowans, we were very upset with the article published by Stephen Bloom, posted in The Atlantic.  In his article, Bloom says many things about Iowa that my classmate and I thoroughly disagree with.  He rudely stereotypes Iowa, as a whole, and says many things about all Iowans that are not, in our opinion, very true.  Also in this article, he feels the need to imply that Maytag Company left the state because they could not succeed in Iowa, when in fact we are home to many flourishing companies.  Bloom also feels the need to take a stab at our universities, rural areas, and our “skuzzy cities”.
            Although Iowa is known for our farming, not everyone living in our state works in the field.  Bloom states, “You’d never get a dog because you might just want to walk with the dog or to throw a ball for her to fetch.” When in fact my family has owned many dogs over the years and never once has one of them been used to hunt.  Bloom also says that deer are delicacies that families cherished, when my classmate and I have never, ever tried a deer meat burger or hunted one with a rifle.  According to the Gazette, between years 1991 and 2001 the percent of Iowan hunters dropped 20%, since then the number has continued to drop.  Clearly hunting is no longer, if even it was before, the favorite Iowa pastime.
            As Bloom states, out of our “99 counties, 88 are classified as rural”.  Even if this were true, as the President of the University of Iowa, Sally Mason, retaliates to Blooms article by saying, “What defines Iowans are their deeds and actions and not some caricature.  When I travel the state, what I see is a land that is rich not only because of it’s soil but because of how its people are grounded.”  We agree with Sally Mason because in our years of living as residents of Iowa, we have grown up with people opening the door and not feeling the need to lock our doors.  Just because the majority of our state may be rural does not mean that we lack the kindness and dignity of the people of other states around us.  As Lynda Waddington tries to explain in her article to The Atlantic” Gut- instinct recoil from rudeness or public conflict that plagues Iowans.” This may be the reason why so many Iowans may be offended by Blooms words.  Because we have a reputation of being respectful of others, we as a people do not appreciate the rudeness being thrown at us.  We expect respect in return by people who most definitely do not know everyone in our state personally.
            In Bloom’s article he states, “In a perfect world, no way would Iowa ever be considered representative of America, or even a small part of it”. However later in his article he says, “Iowa has more high school graduates than 49 other states.” If we were not able to represent any part of America then why would we have more graduates! Would you rather have representation from a state with a low amount of high school graduates or a state whose education system is flourishing and has the most high school graduates in the country? Also in Bloom’s article he talks about how University of Iowa has been infiltrated by large masses of Chinese students. The way Bloom’s tone comes across in his article makes it seem like a bad thing that the University of Iowa has so many foreign students. But in reality doesn’t that show just how great an education system Iowa has and that all of the foreign people would rather learn in Iowa than any other state in the country? In a University of Iowa news release, they explain the reasoning for integrating international students into the campus. This integration is a good thing because it helps the university to expand their international relations and give their students world connections. This also helps give students more opportunities to experience cultures other than their own.
            In Blooms article, when he says that Whirlpool closed the Maytag plant in Newton, Iowa after more that a century, he implies that Iowa cannot maintain large businesses. However, Iowa is home to businesses like PepsiCo, Rockwell Collins, and Principal Financial Group. Bloom also mentions the misfortunes the Postville meat packing plant went through a few years ago. Although in Lynda Waddington’s article published in The Atlantic, she shares with us that the plant has reopened under new ownership. This just goes to show how Iowa has the ability to pick itself back up after going through tough times. We have the resources and the ability to rebuild ourselves in times of need.
            The points Bloom made in his article about Iowa had some truths, but also many falsified statements. We do not all work on farms and love to hunt. We are very nice and courteous people. We have a good education system and universities that link us with the rest of the world. We also have successful companies and a sense of self-discipline. Bloom really doesn’t have any ground to stand on while bashing our caucus.  It sounds to me that Iowa is an excellent place to show the first opinion of candidacy for President. We are good people with good intentions and good backgrounds and we don’t deserve this slander. In our caucus, we are simply opening the country up to the coming election and showing the opinion of one, singular state. The candidate we choose will by no means be the definite candidate for election in November. 

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