Janice Weiner (IA): ‘How Can They Sleep at Night?’
Janice Weiner (61), a Democrat from Iowa City, IA, is president-elect of her synagogue, Agudas Achim, and on its safety committee, an area where she gained expertise while in the Foreign Service. She is very active in the Democratic Party, serving as first vice-chair of the Johnson County Democrats (the “bluest county in Iowa”) and was recently elected to the city council in Iowa City. She also serves on the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council.
Do you believe the candidate(s) you support are honest?
Yes. When people are able to admit they have made a mistake or learned, that is a sign of integrity—the other essential quality. I’ve seen a huge learning curve on climate change, for example. Politicians have seen the result of catastrophic flooding and understand that climate change is real. I look at the other side of the political aisle and wonder: How can they sleep at night? How can they deny science and reality?
Are truthfulness and honesty key qualities for you in deciding which presidential candidate to support?
Truth and rule of law. If we do not regain those, we are lost as a nation.
Since we first interviewed you, your top choice candidate switched from “undecided” to Amy Klobuchar. Why?
I have had the honor of seeing most of the candidates in person—in rallies, in small groups, and on occasion, one-on-one. I want a candidate who has a proven ability to get things done, and someone like Klobuchar, who has gotten more than 100 bills passed, has that work ethic. I want someone who is serious about foreign policy and is a realist. Yes, I believe we have to take big, bold steps on some issues, but government, like it or not, is about the art of compromise.
Which Democratic candidate(s) do you think will give Trump the best chance for re-election?
I think a billionaire like Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg. When someone can essentially buy their way onto a debate stage and into the polls and kick others off that stage by virtue of the fact that they can own the digital and TV airwaves, that is not democracy. And that, more than anything else I can think of, will turn off Democratic voters. We need to unify the party, register voters, and get out the youth, black, Hispanic, LGBTQA+ vote.
Do you think it’s possible for Democrats and Republicans to agree on the facts around impeachment and the Ukraine scandal?
I do. If people can manage to put partisan politics aside it is possible. Facts are facts.
Do the impeachment proceedings hurt or improve Trump’s chances for re-election?
I think they will hurt him. His supporters will harden their views about him, but others may soften and be more inclined to vote, especially young people.