Editorial: Participate in events like Harkin Steak Fry

Bill and Hillary Clinton make their entrance with Sen. Tom Harkin at the 37th annual Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa, on Sept. 14. This is the senator’s final steak fry as he ends his congressional career, vacating his Senate seat in January 2015.

Editorial Board

The 37th annual Harkin Steak Fry took place Sept. 14, Democrats from all over Iowa, as well as some very special speakers, came to celebrate Sen. Tom Harkin’s last steak fry ever.

The balloon field in Indianola, Iowa, was flooded with Democrats from around the state to show support for the retiring senator. Harkin has been working as a U.S. senator for the state of Iowa for 40 years and said he got into politics after losing the spot as county attorney for Story County to his wife, Ruth. The two have been working hard for Iowa ever since and now the Harkins are retiring.

Over time, Harkin has made plenty of political decisions, recently increasing research for alternative medicine and working to raise the minimum wage with the Minimum Wage Fairness Act.

Harkin has served as senator longer than any Iowa Democrat in history. He even ran for president in 1992, but later dropped out of the race in order to support fellow Democrat and friend Bill Clinton. That is why it was no surprise that the Clintons were in attendance of Harkin’s final steak fry.

Bill and Hillary Clinton were both there to support Harkin. Their appearance also served the dual purpose of getting Hillary back in Iowa after almost seven years. It has not been determined whether or not she will be running for president; in fact, when asked, she responded with, “I am thinking about it, but today I am here for the steak.”

The Clintons along with Bruce Braley — the Iowa Democrat running for Harkin’s seat — Jim Mowrer, Staci Appel, Pat Murphy, Jack Hatch and Tom and Christie Vilsack were all in attendance and spoke about Harkin’s success as a senator. They also campaigned to fill the ballot with Democrats for upcoming elections. However, more impressively, were the ISU students who were in attendance for the steak fry.

Students who are involved with ISU Democrats as well as students who came to support a candidate arrived at the steak fry fired up and ready to go. It is important to see students taking charge and getting involved with politics. Many students think that politics is something that is out of their control, politics only function properly when people are involved.

Politicians are listening. They want to know what the people of Iowa want and what the students of Iowa want. The best way for students to better learn about politics is to actually go to the events and learn about it. The students that were in attendance at the steak fry are setting a great example for the rest of the student body by getting involved in politics and learning about politics. That means when it comes time to vote, they will be able to make an educated decision on the ballot rather than just guess or not vote at all.

Harkin dedicated his life to working for the Democratic Party, and sending him off to retirement with speeches from the Clintons, as well as other important Democratic candidates, would have been a great experience for any student. More students should try to be in attendance for these types of events so that when it comes time to vote there is actually some thought put into it.

No matter if you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent or anything else, learning about politics and attending these events are going to make us stronger when making political decisions. It is time for students to learn more about political parties and educate ourselves. We are the voices of the United States, and we should understand how our country works.