Retail Politics

In the past month, I have found myself up to my ears in a Congressional campaign.   I have written earlier about the need for all Americans to get to know the candidates, find out where they stand on the issues, and then tell them what they need to do to earn your vote.  I am finding out first hand what that process is all about from the candidate/campaign perspective.   While I am a volunteer, as a county chair and the campaign “Press Secretary”  (Robert Gibbs and Dana Perino have nothing to fear from me), I have been on two trips with the candidate in the district calling on prospective supporters, setting up meet and greets, as well as availing the candidate to the media;   and  this process has been an awakening to me.  

While there are three other candidates in this race, all quality people,  I just happen to believe that my candidate is the one who can best take on our incumbent Democratic candidate in the November election. 

Recently the Federal Elections Commission filings came out with the results of the candidates’ fund-raising for the first quarter of 2o1o.  The comments on the political blogs were brutal.  Money is the life blood of politics and as long as it comes through legal channels, who are we to question the individual who chooses to make a loan to the campaign of a significant sum or  the candidate whose family has made up the better part of the donor list?   The cost of retail politics is expensive-traveling from town to town, handing out campaign literature, buying coffee and cookies for a group of people who come by the local coffee shop for a meet and greet, and then there is the cost of mass media.  These kind of comments and criticism are what drive good people away from participating as candidates  and are counterproductive. 

I have respect for anyone who decides to put their family and friends through this meat grinder known as the American political system.  Whether one is running for a city council seat in a small town in Iowa or President of the United States, you as a voter are not expected to agree with the candidate’s position on the issues, but the fact that this person has put their life on hold to make a political run should be enough for all of us to hold back the vitriol and do what is expected of us in the electorate–listen, learn, then vote.  If you have never run for office, there is no way that you can know the demands that are put on a candidate–from all directions.

So, I  urge you to learn as much about the candidates running for local, state and federal offices in your area.  If there is a candidate that is particularly appealing to you, check out their website, attend an event, and then maybe even volunteer.  You will meet good people who think just like you and instead of being one of those who anonymously sits back taking pot shots from the privacy of your personal computer, you will actually be a part of the process.

For those of you interested in the candidate I am supporting, check out www.robgettemy.com . Rob Gettemy is the candidate for the US House from Iowa’s 2nd District.  If you live in one of the 15 east, south-east, and south-central  Iowa counties that make up this district and are interested in joining our campaign check out the website to sign up, and please mention that you read my blog.  I always appreciate knowing that I am making  a difference.

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