The Republicans say we need a tax cut for the wealthy so the rich will invest in American business and get our economy back on track! American workers don’t need a stimulus package…they need to let the Free Market work!  Here’s proof that we’re all in this together! Except the definition of “in this” is different depending on who you are.

Dave Miller is a local food producer, the volunteer organizer and manager of our Mount Vernon  (Iowa) Farmer’s Market, and a serious wit. Each week he sends out a little screed which includes the weekly offerings at the farmer’s market and a dose of wisdom. Here’s this week’s offering. I particularly like the last paragraph.

Mount Vernon Winter Farmers’ Market 11-6-10

I’m pretty moderate when it comes to politics, which means I can be as self-righteous as people on both sides of the social spectrum and simultaneously reject their ideas as ridiculous.  Politics are a lot like religion, and strangely, are a lot like farming and gardening.  Or said another way,  “What I believe is right.  What you believe is different and therefore weird.”

We live in a country that used to be more racist, and now that we have matured as a nation, we are clearly less racist, but somehow, at least in the political world, appear to be less tolerant of differences and weirdness.  More disturbingly, people seem to be gravitating toward populist candidates—people who say things with unbridled energy, but don’t actually do anything for us, like snake-oil barkers.

A loyal customer, who was not thrilled with the outcome of our recent midterm election, wanted to buy some sweet potatoes because she really needed comfort food.  Sweet potatoes are one of the few foods that are actually healthy, but seem like they should not be, and they make great comfort food.  Although they don’t earn me a great deal of money, I wanted to grow a lot of sweet potatoes this year, so I did.  They always seem to sell out too quickly however.

I would have had more if I’d listened to my dog’s advice.  Emmylou started digging in the sweet potato patch at the start of August.  I knew she liked sweet potatoes, and assumed she was harvesting for herself (she will do this with yellow summer squash if you don’t keep an eye on her).  For weeks, I kept yelling at her to get out of the garden and she would look at me incredulously.  I couldn’t believe such a well-behaved dog could be so insolent, especially about a vegetable.

When it came time to dig the patch, Emmylou stood close by and examined each shovel-full of dirt.  First came the sweet potatoes and several appeared damaged for no apparent reason.  Next came the moles and voles—that’s what Emmylou was after.  They had unbelievably shiny coats and appeared remarkably healthy—no doubt from eating so well.  The dog quickly killed one and then another, and a third she snatched before it could make for cover.  With the rodent in her mouth, she looked at me as if to say, “I told you so.  Sometimes I wonder if humans really are great apes or just stupid monkeys.”

At the risk of sounding overly cynical, sometimes I wonder that myself.  I propose any elected official who proves himself or herself to be nothing more than a stupid monkey be sent out to dig sweet potatoes with a shovel.  I bet any candidate who was forced to do that for a day would think twice before telling future lies.

As for my disappointed loyal customer, and all Iowans soured by the political process, take pride in our new governor.  Whether your politics are left or right, we can all agree that we now have a governor who has the old-man chin wattle of a solemn preacher and the mustache of a 1970s porn star.  What other state can boast that?

See you at the market,

Farmer Dave