An Indiana Governor Worth Emulating

From The White Hat — Henry Frederick Schricker: A Political Biography (Charles Francis Fleming, 1966), in a Nineteen-hundred-and-eight editorial in the Starke County Democrat, self-described Jeffersonian and, later, two-time governor of Indiana Henry F. Schricker, the best-known man ever to come out of North Judson:

Why not help those who help you? Did you ever ask yourself this question and then formulate a definite answer before passing on to another perhaps of less importance? Most of us would “go straight up,” in the language of the street, if we were accused of being selfish and something would surely happen if someone would label us an ingrate. Yet it can be truthfully said of most of us that we are not entirely free from these unmanly characteristics. No, the thing uppermost in our mind when we commenced this article was the business relations existing between us all in our little community. We are largely dependent on each other for our existence. Our interests are in common and as taxpayers we all contribute our share to the maintenance of our local government and educational institutions.

Many of us seem to forget our neighbors—in a business way. When some of us have a few dollars in cash and are in need of some commodity, we seem to forget about our taxpaying neighbors who are in business at home. We unconsciously pass their place of business and via the varnished cars enter the markets of Chicago, Fort Wayne, or South Bend and deposit our home-made dollars into the pockets of strangers who do not contribute one cent toward the maintenance of our local government or schools, and who never befriend us when we need a friend.

[My emphasis. – NPO]

Our current governor, Mitch Daniels, previously President Bush’s OMB’s director, a potential 2012 presidential-nomination candidate, and of that party purportedly dedicated to federalism, supported the recently approved-by-voters State-Constitutional amendment to cap property-tax rates, thus cutting off significant local-government funding. Mitch Daniels, a Republican; Henry F. Schricker, a Democrat, but much more of a front-porch republican. “My Man Mitch” would do well to learn the lessons of the German-Lutheran Jeffersonian from Starke County.

Iowa and Cosmopolitan Ignorance

I have little to say about the today’s Iowa gay marriage ruling. I don’t think, in the history of Nathancontramundi, I’ve dedicate more than a few posts to the subject, mainly because I have nothing but convoluted thoughts on the matter. John, who links to the ruling and to a pretty solid commentary on the ruling, has some thoughts here.

What interests me most about reactions to the decision are the numerous “pro-Iowa” status and away messages I’ve seen on AIM and Facebook today. I have no qualm with the support many of my friends have shown for the decision, but I’m troubled — though certainly not surprised — by the attitudes inherent in most of these opinions, to wit, the “Hey, not bad for a bunch of provincial hicks!” point-of-view. I think it’s fair to say that Iowa, even if more “conservative,” is a swing state that has, much like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois, a fairly strong progressive/populist strain in its political history, and, thus, this decision ought not to shock the “progressives.”

Second, I’m perturbed, to say the least, that the reaction is, “Yay, Iowa!” as if Iowa, and not a few judges, sent down this ruling. Small-d democratic will (Not that it necessarily was opposed; I don’t know, and am too lazy to research, statistics on Iowans’ views about same-sex marriage.) is wonderful, as long as it supports what we do; when it dissents, we have no problem with leaving decision-making power to the courts.

Finally, what the hell is so bad about Iowa that one person, on Facebook, actually writes, “[Name redacted] may to rag on Iowa less.” We’re talking about the home of William Appleman Williams, Ray Kinsella, the National Farm Toy Museum, Henry A. Wallace, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where the fabulous Marilynne Robinson teaches. Maybe if they pulled their heads out of the “cosmopolitan” arses, the excitement might be a bit more subdued and rational and less insular.

I’m just sayin’.