I served in the Iowa Legislature from 1997 and 2008 and it definitely impacts my perspective on the radio show. Each day, I had to defend my ideology - but ALSO think about the practical impact of the policy I was considering on the lives of my constituents.
That's why I sound very practical on the radio show. It's VERY easy to be in favor of policy that will NEVER impact YOUR life - however, I can be persuaded to defend your position IF you have considered the practical implications of what you are advocating.
I think about that when I hear what young people are advocating within the political realm. I welcome their participation in the debate of ideas - but I always keep in mind that they often haven't experienced OR considered the implications of what they are advocating.
That's why THIS story caught my interest:
After his school started enforcing a ban on carrying large bags to classes, 17-year-old Jacob Ford felt the need to take a stand against the “ridiculous” rule. He ended up getting suspended for two days after his “silent protest” where he carried his stuff in unorthodox carriers like a wicker basket and a microwave.
He says that while he understands the concerns around “health and safety” that led up to the ban, he thinks that a better solution could have been reached. He says that forcing students to pay for a new bag that fits the new policy is “outrageous” and in many ways is threat to students’ health and learning experience. (Bold print is mine.)
"With most issues money is going to be involved, this case being no exception to that rule,” he wrote in a 3,000-word “document of defense” explaining his thoughts on the ban. “Especially this close to the start of the academic year, when many students have recently paid for new rucksacks, not knowing of the rule changes.”
A regulation that costs students more money to protect their health and safety? Imagine that!