This caught my attention for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, Zach Wahls is very well spoken in this speech. I have major respect for him after hearing this. I’m rarely inspired by something I hear in the media.
Secondly, Zach Wahls lives in the same town I live in (Iowa City). From what I read, he has lived here for much of his life. I don’t know if I’ve ever met him, but I think I’ve seen some of his articles before (here is an article he wrote about gay marriage).
In his speech, he mentions going to church. I was curious what church he went to. Iowa City is a very liberal town with many liberal churches, but of course it turns out he goes to the most liberal church in town (a Unitarian-Universalist church). I used to attend that church some years ago. It speaks well for the UU tradition that he was raised in a UU church.
I’m not sure how much coverage his speech will get, but I did notice that he was mentioned last year in an article from The New York Times.
Anyway, I must admit it makes me a bit proud to live in a town that produces such high quality individuals. It also makes me proud of Iowa in general. I really like Iowa. Listening to his speech, I was touched by his expression of Iowa values. I get tired of all the radical politicizing from the Southern states. Iowa is truly the middle of the country, both geographically and ideologically. The Midwest is called the Heartland for a good reason. Some people think of this as just flyover country or just another backwoods rural state, but Zach Wahls’ speech reminds the rest of the country why Iowa has always been one of the most politically influential states.
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I noticed another blog post about gay marriage (by combscp who commented below) and I thought it relevant to Zach’s speech. What is interesting is that Zach is making a conservative argument for gay marriage. From that post, here is Ted Olsen’s article making the case for gay marriage and the following is a video of Maddow interviewing Ted Olsen and David Boies:
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If you want to hear his response to all the attention his speech has received, here are a couple of videos with interviews: