Do you all recall the now-iconic Bill Clinton 1992 campaign slogan—“It’s the economy, stupid!”? Well, at ICBA, it’s the nation’s community banks, and it always will be.
There is a lot of noise out there these days. It is an election year—funny how EVERY year seems to be an election year now. Sometimes election years are referred to as the “silly season.” Most days it seems that every member of Congress is at every other member’s throat. The partisanship in Congress is more paralyzing than even the old-timers can remember. Politicians are accusing each other of everything from “class warfare” to socialism to “elitism” and everything in between.
In this cacophony of noise and distractions, political agendas and passions, it can be hard for some to remember that ICBA is purely a community bank association—not an arm of one political party or the other or some individual’s pet advocacy platform. We have a singular mission—community banks! We are not Democrats or Republicans. We have no grand political platform. We are not advocating one party or the other or their historic political philosophies or issues. We have one platform, one issue, one focus—the well-being of community banks.
Our focus, our mission, our platform is to ensure that the community banking industry not only survives, but thrives. It is a mission that takes all our energy and 100 percent of our attention, because many in Washington don’t want us to succeed and will do or say anything to thwart our efforts. But ICBA will prevail. ICBA will work every single day for the well-being and future of community banks. We will not rest, we will not waiver, we will not give up. We will work with whoever is willing to help us advance our community bank agenda. And we never forget that our core purpose as an association is the welfare of community banks and their interests. That is the plain and simple truth. No spin.