Raising the Bar

I am saddened to write this post today.

Our political environment in America is broken. A once-shared desire to work together toward a shared set of outcomes has too often become an angry, militant race to grab power at all costs. And this reality has touched too close to home for my family and I.

Over the last couple of months, my wife Aubrey and I have noticed multiple times where we are certain we were being followed, often with our children riding in the back seat. Several other times these individuals were either sitting in our street when we left in the morning or would follow us home and sit with their lights on in our street after we arrived. These instances have often left Aubrey in fear for her safety and that of our kiddos on evenings when I wasn’t home.

Recently, the individual in the attached picture came to our door late at night for unknown reasons but fortunately ran away shortly after ringing the doorbell. Aubrey was frightened and my son Willem was confused as to why a stranger would be at our door so late at night. We sadly had to explain that sometimes people simply do things to hurt others.

In a day and age where our politics is so deeply divided, being a part of the process and trying to serve your community as I have for the last eight years can be challenging at times. Putting yourself and by extension your family out into the public is never easy and incidents like this certainly don’t make it any easier. We won’t always agree but we should always be able to engage with candidates and elected officials in open and civil conversations. But our elected officials should never have to fear for the safety of their families simply because they chose to serve their community. If that is where we are headed, then our politics are truly broken and I fear for what would be in store.

But we cannot let this be the case. Aubrey and I have chosen to push forward and continue this fight together as a family. We think the stakes are too high and the future we our children will inherit, too important to back down. We will not be intimated by these individuals. We will keep fighting for our family and for this community.

I will also renew my resolve to rise above this partisan anger and divisiveness. It doesn’t mean I will soften in the commitment to my principles — it means I am making it a point to communicate and stand up for those principles in a way that brings honor to this process of running for office and serving the people of Mid-Missouri. Politicians should advocate for a higher bar…and then lead by example in meeting those lofty expectations.

My integrity and the example I set for my kids will always be more important to me than simply winning an election.

#MidMO State Senator, Husband to Aubrey, Dad to Willem and Adele, Christ-Follower and #MIZZOU Fanatic!

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Caleb Rowden

#MidMO State Senator, Husband to Aubrey, Dad to Willem and Adele, Christ-Follower and #MIZZOU Fanatic!