It is time to serve America first and put people before party.
Last fall I gave serious consideration to running for Congress when Rep. Bob Goodlatte announced he was not running for re-election in 2018. A big question I contemplated was if I should run as a Republican, where my roots lie, or as a Democrat, where many policies align more closely with my own. I considered running because I wanted to change the political versus policy narrative. The toxicity of party politics and the party over policy approach to governing appalls me. The issues I care deeply about, conservation, small business, and veterans, were becoming political casualties. By Thanksgiving morning, I made my decision that I was not going to do it. But, it left me with the unresolved dilemma of party alignment. So, where do I go from here? The system is broken. The change has to come from people who are willing to call bulls*** and work towards a better solution. If I am not going to get in the campaign arena, how can I still work for change? Right after my Thanksgiving decision, I read Reed Galen’s article, Hope the High Road. If you have not read it, take five minutes now. It ends with this fundamental call to action.
“Call your friends, your neighbors, your family and your co-workers. Tell them you want to talk politics. Not Trump or Hillary, but the politics of solutions and progress. Have a meal or a beer and ask, what can we do, here and now in our town, on our block or in our district. Then go do it.”
The “politics of solutions and progress,” struck me as the antidote to cure the toxicity of party politics and the party over policy doom loop that is our reality. Neither of the established political parties are championing that approach, so who is? Noting that Galen is chief strategist for SAM, an organization I knew nothing about, I went to its website to learn more. At SAM, I found talented, young leaders willing to take on the two-party establishment. Their goal, “to break the self-interested stranglehold of the two entrenched parties over our politics and reclaim our voice, our future, and our country” is clearly articulated, and it is one I am happy to enthusiastically support. I am proud to become part of a movement to change the narrative from party over policy and the two-party system that perpetuates it. Check out the website, watch the video, read the principles, and if you agree that this is the right path forward, sign up. After that, sit down with your friends and family and tell them you want to talk politics, the politics of solutions and progress.