On Saturday, April 22, I was honored to attend the Iowa Federation of College Republicans State Convention. We had a long list of speakers, but the highlight of the day in my opinion was Senator Joni Ernst. She spoke to us about many different things and one that stood out to me was her personal story about why she chose to serve her country and why she is a Republican.
While Joni Ernst was a freshman at Iowa State she had the opportunity to take part in an agricultural exchange program. Her group traveled to the Soviet Union, to a remote communal farm in Ukraine, where each student was placed with a family on the farm. This farm had no running water and only one phone which belonged to the farm manager. In order to use the phone the manager wanted to know who you were talking to, why you were talking to them, and how long it was going to be. Each night they would sit down, and Ernst expected that they would talk about the difference in agriculture between Iowa and Ukraine, but that’s never what they talked about. The people of the farm would always ask them what it was like to be American, what it was like to be able to do whatever one wanted. When she returned she began her fall semester, but felt called to do something else to show how much she valued her country and all the freedom she had, so she enlisted in the military and served her country.
This story caused me to think a lot. One thing Ernst said was that what she experienced was socialism, and that it really concerns her that people of my generation are so willing to want socialism and think it is a good thing. I cannot imagine anyone who would want to live under a regime like that. I could never imagine living in a place where someone constantly needs to know where I am, what I’m doing, and why I am doing it, let alone the government needing to know that at all times. I share in Senator Ernst’s concerns about wondering why anyone would want socialism, because in actuality time and time again it has failed and I never want to see it play out in the great country we live in, because we know it will inevitably backfire and fail in the long run. I also want nothing more than for everyone who lives here to realize how lucky they are and how many freedoms they enjoy.
When people try to tell me we are so bad off, I just want them to realize that it really could be so much worse and that we truly do live in the greatest country in the world.