If Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to be the next president of the United States, she needs to start making better decisions.
Like her or not for her position on partisan issues, or her past ancestry claims, her latest blunder, in my opinion, has to do with her recent statements about agribusiness as she prepares for campaign stops in Iowa.
Warren, D-Massachusetts, announced that she wants to change the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) antitrust enforcement, and included in those changes is the halting – and even reversing – of agribusiness mergers. She also wants to change the way the DOJ looks at vertically integrated companies, such as Tyson Foods, according to a Roll Call report.
“Tyson, for example, controls just about every aspect of bringing chicken to market — feed, slaughter, trucking — everything except owning the farms themselves. Chicken farmers have gotten locked into a ‘contract farming’ system in which they take on huge risks — loading up on debts to build and upgrade facilities — while remaining wholly dependent on Tyson for everything from receiving chicks to buying feed to selling the grown broilers,” she said.
Warren made those remarks in advance of a campaign visit to Iowa, which Roll Call reported involves a stop at a forum in the community of Storm Lake. What Roll Call didn’t report was that Tyson Foods operates a pork processing plant and a turkey processing plant in Storm Lake.
Granted, some residents there may not be huge fans of Tyson Foods, but without Tyson Foods, many who live there would not have employment, so I can’t imagine her getting an overly warm welcome by a lot of people there.
It’s worth noting that in 2017, Kansas gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach made uninformed comments that essentially accused Tyson Foods – which has multiple facilities in the state – of hiring illegal immigrants. How that work out for Kobach? Maybe we should ask his former opponent and the present governor, Laura Kelly.
Attempt to reach farmers
There is no doubt that Warren wants to warm up to farmers in Iowa, since she does not come across as very knowledgeable about agriculture. While her roots are in Oklahoma, she does represent constituents in Massachusetts, a state so uninformed about animal agriculture that voters there passed a referendum that would not only make it illegal for farmers to keep sows in gestation crates and laying hens in cages, but would also make it illegal for Massachusetts retailers to sell food that was raised under such production methods.
Warren also is in a crowded presidential primary field that includes two Senate Agriculture Committee members, Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar, as well as other candidates from more agricultural states.
Urban politicians attempting to strike a chord with farmers is nothing new, and it appears that is exactly what Warren is trying to do with her comments.
Yet, what she is doing is not all that different than the scores of city folks seeking office that I have seen campaign in the rural areas. The candidates are wearing brand new Justin boots without a single scuff and Stetson hats without a speck of dust or unintentional crease. They think they are fitting in, but they are so out of touch with reality, they don’t realize they are actually sticking out like a sore thumb.