The Long Run - Changing the Discourse

This year, I ran for State Representative again. People often ask if I won. I always reply, “I won. I didn’t get elected, but I won”. In response to their quizzical looks, I explain that I won by getting people more involved with local politics and what is going on in their communities. I won by talking about the issues.

There were people that encouraged me to go negative on my opponent. I might have had a better chance of getting elected, but I also would have more likely lost on the grander scale. People now ask if I plan to run again. It is too early to say at this point.

What I do plan to do is to continue working on getting more people involved with local politics and what is going on in their communities. This goal, and various issues, like health disparities, remain very important to me, so I’m staying involved for the long run. I’ve kicked around writing a book about running for office, and I’m still thinking about that, if I can find the time and energy.

Yet there is something that I try to do every day. On social media, I try to bend the conversation towards greater civility. Many of my friends, on both ends of the spectrum regularly post nasty stuff about our political leaders and then they wonder why we don’t get better candidates.

I was fortunate that I didn’t get much for nasty comments when I ran, at least that I know of. Perhaps the closest I got was being blocked by a woman who claimed to be a Christian, but repeatedly posted vile attacks on certain political leaders.

So, for 2015, I want to expand this. Please, stop and think before you post negative comments about politicians. Is your post going to improve political involvement in our country? Is it honoring everyone who has been created in God’s image? If not, maybe you should spend a little time in prayer, and find a different way to share your ideas.

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