With the primary now decided I thought I would reflect a bit on the last several months both politically and personally.
I was asked more times than I can count during the campaign about “why” I entered the District 5 race. A worthy question and my answer was always the same. America is in a crisis of “Leadership” right now. There are several (more than two) large political factions reaching into this void in America at the moment and whose agenda’s vary enough that it causes significant friction and energy loss to the overall effort. This is energy we cannot then use for real problem solving. Understandably all involved believe their collective viewpoint is the “right” one. That’s why they call it “Politics”. I think it’s an issue of prioritization of the challenges facing us, the greatest of which are the ones, at least one would think, that we have the most in common. The challenges are the family, economy, jobs and the national debt with border security thrown in for good measure. If we don’t deal with these first nothing else will matter later and the America we all once knew will exist only in the rear view mirror. It’s never been an issue of good ideas on how to solve these problems. It’s always been about the “will” to solve them relative to our personal ambition and political foreplay. This always brings us back to character, servant hood and statesmanship.
“The problem with politics is not politics…” ~ Chris Carter
If that is true then what is the root cause? In my most recent book, “Know God, Know Self, Know Others”, Amazon.com I deal with many of these issues. There is motive and intent beneath every political action or statement which is not always clear to the voting public. I discovered during this campaign how frighteningly high voter confusion is about and for whom they are voting. Voters struggle with casting votes because they are not familiar enough with the candidate, his or her views and their larger world impact. Some candidates use this phenomenon as a tactic, many of us know that. The solution is “accurate” information in the hands of the voter, the purest form being a unvarnished third party voting record. However, even with the power of the internet, the labor required to really study a candidate stretches beyond many voters’ willingness and/or ability. The speed-of-life plays heavily into this equation. People just don’t feel they have the time. For example, how many of us waited till the last day to do any background on our candidates if we did any at all? How many of us walked into the voting booth cold? How many of us grew frustrated with the length of the ballot and just rifled through the lower half of it during voting to appease our conscience not really “knowing” who any of these people are and for whom we just voted? How many of us even bothered to vote?
How to Vet a Candidate:
“A man cannot separate his actions and his philosophy, if he tries to tell you he can, he’s selling something…” ~ Chris Carter
It is impossible to reconcile the multiple crises in America right now with leadership who has been in office for decades and not see that many of them are the problem. Examining the evidence tells us our leaders are not doing their job yet voters keep voting for them or voting for the same" types" while hoping for a different result, then nothing changes and we repeat the process. Many have thrown up their hands and given up out of frustration. In Oklahoma where I grew up, we used the old saying, “If it quacks, waddles and has webbed feet then what is it?” Nobody will actually say what it is but we are all thinking it. You’re thinking of the word right now aren’t you?
“Wherever actions contradict words, a lie must exist…” ~ Chris Carter
I dove right into a campaign for Congress to accomplish a number of goals all of which I reached save advancing to the general election. Therefore we (the campaign staff and I) consider this a win-win because we achieved 3 out of 4 of those goals. Not bad at all for a first timer. Our vision is not limited to one election. I wanted to witness the problem from the inside out which before now I had never done and if we prevailed move on to serve the people. We wanted to shape the public policy debate which we can now do having submitted to the vetting process and introduced ourselves to the voters. One of the efforts was to create a dichotomous view for the voters between a “Statesmen” and a “Politician”. Success! Incidentally my expectations were nominal. The problem looked the same from the inside as I expected it would from the outside.
“He will always be victorious who knows when to fight and when not to fight.” ~ Sunsu
Whatever you talk about gets bigger. In analyzing the race for District 5, I discovered a number of real world barriers hidden in plain sight. Not only are the “Spend-o-crats” endlessly repeating that “nobody can beat Cooper”, something you expect them to say, they have many of the “Republichickens” repeating it too in one form or another. So, everybody is in agreement and the outcome is predictable. Then you have the State GOP publicly go on record early in the year that they expect to retain 7 house seats in November and not gain Districts 5 or 9, waving the white flag in the process. Some would say this is choosing your battles. I disagree when the demographic (a slowly changing dimension) in District 5 is on the move and the seat is statistically reachable with the right candidate "if" supported by the party. This is especially true with this highly controversial President and the current political environment. I know, I saw it from the inside out over the last few months. Tell me every seat and voice doesn’t matter on a perilous and extremely close vote like ObamaCare when a guy like Jim Cooper voted for it... twice. Based upon my “in-flight” analysis the winner of the D5 primary (whoever that was going to be) was likely to be led to the “alter” in November and summarily sacrificed. That will be politically fatal for some. This thought was in the back of my mind and not relished with much enthusiasm. Live to fight another day as they say.
We accomplished much with little time and a micro campaign budget. We also flattened our learning curve. None of this would be possible without the total volunteer effort of these people to whom I have the utmost respect and appreciation and give my most sincere heartfelt thanks:
Wade Burt, Paul Pate, Noah Rawlings, Jeff Hartline, Heidi Eckhart (Whom I heard is refusing to come home from the beach in Florida/Alabama somewhere), Reuben Dockery, Danavan Hylton Jr., Harold and Joyce Reed, Terry and Linda Daily, Anna Lea, Eugene Wisdom, Randall Carter, Perry Shealy, Ann Taormina, Dillon Scott and a small army of Social-Media Cyber Warriors.
“If you let someone else create your world for you they will always create it too small...” ~ Dr. Edwin Louis Cole