In a recent newsletter Sam Graves argued “We have a crisis on our southern border. Just ask anyone who has worked or lived there. Ask any Border Patrol agent or military personnel who has seen the crisis firsthand. Ask family members of those who have lost their lives to fentanyl or heroin overdoses. Politics can never get in the way of their facts.”

“Just ask anyone…”  Well you see Missourians, I grew up in South Texas.  Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, my hometown is 150 Miles from the southern border. My family remains proud San Antonians and Texans.  

If Sam asked my family, they would tell him the bigger crisis facing our country is a lack of faith in our politicians and the deep divisions that inflammatory rhetoric can cause.  It’s simple.  Sam Graves does not want to come up with common sense solutions to our immigration problems, or any problem for that matter.  He’s too busy toeing the party line and perpetuating the problem with his polarizing rhetoric. But then again, I reckon when you spend 18 years in Washington, you become a partisan Washington Insider, not a farmer from Missouri like he would have us believe. When’s the last time Sam Graves visited Tarkio and other parts of northern Missouri to check-in with farmers?    

Consider this idea: if he was a farmer, why would he support tariffs that make it more difficult for farmers to sell their products?  Just last week he tweeted about the Green New Deal “The one thing Missouri farmers don’t need is more government interference. We didn’t need the federal government to regulate the puddles in our fields and we don’t need them to regulate the flatulence from our cattle.”  

But Sam is perfectly happy letting the government dictate soybean prices, the state’s most valuable cash crop.  Sam’s no idiot. He knows perfectly well retaliatory tariffs are not good for Missouri farmers particularly when rural towns are dependent on agriculture.  The ripple effects of tariffs spread across every farm from western Missouri to eastern Missouri. Farmers are holding off on buying new equipment, they are not making capital investments that go into maintaining their farms, and as a result the local economy suffers.  

It’s just one more time Sam sacrifices his representation on the altar of partisanship.  Our farmers deserve better. The 6th district deserves better. We can’t blame Sam though.  That’s what happens when you live in swamp for so long.  Sam’s adopted the values and lifestyle of Washington, he can hardly recognize himself.  Poor Sam.  While Sam plays politics, the rest of us struggle. 

Our country has lots of problems.  Our representatives are supposed to help solve them, not make them worse.  Maybe it’s time to bring Sam back to his farm in Tarkio and remind him why we sent him to Washington. 

–– Victor R. Abundis

Democratic Candidate Mo. 6th Congressional District