I have no intention of launching a campaign in support of my candidacy. No one has asked me to be a candidate for President and I have no concrete evidence that my candidacy will be welcome news to anyone. I have no obvious constituency and I don’t have the resources to compete in the electoral process the way other candidates do.
I wouldn’t want to do what they do if I did have the resources. I believe how we go about electing a President is as broken as our government itself.
I am not sure that I possess all of the qualifications that you would like to see in a President, even though I believe I do possess the essential qualities required. My candidacy gives you at least one opportunity, if necessary, to vote for someone who has those essential qualities, the most important of which his this: I am willing to take the oath of office and, to the best of my ability, keep my word.
Certainly, if elected, I would need a great deal of help. Your help. And I would hope that if I came to you for advice or assistance that you would not deny me… for the sake of your country, and for the sake of your extended human family.
While I am not asking you to support my candidacy, I am indeed asking something of you, for I believe I have earned the right to ask:
I gave you my word more than once and you gave me yours. And I believe I’ve kept my word. I stood up for you even when you wouldn’t stand up for yourself. I lie awake at night wondering what I might do to keep you safe and free and when I get up in the morning, I set out again one more day to do just that. Sometimes I shed tears thinking that I am failing. Sometimes I think I should just quit. But in the end, I never do.
So you might say, “I don’t even know you. I never asked you to lie awake at night worrying about me. And when in God’s name did I ever make any promises to you?”
I will tell you when: Every time you stood up and put your hand over your heart and said, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America…”
To whom did you think you were making that pledge?
I know when I put my hand over my heart I made that pledge to you. Even though the words say that we pledge allegiance to a flag, I always knew that what we do when we take that pledge is pledge our allegiance to sacred values that we share, and who we pledge to is one another. I’ve kept my faith with you and my word has been good and now I’m asking you to do the same. And what is it I am asking of you?
Only this: In the next election I am asking you not vote for any candidate who you believe in your heart is less qualified to serve than I am.
Is that asking too much? After all, I am not asking that I be your first choice for President. I am only asking that I be your final choice if you can’t find anyone better to vote for than me. And with all my heart I hope you can find someone who would do a better job than I would if I were elected. There's plenty of time for you to find someone.
What does it mean to live in a free country and what does it mean to be free? If it takes more courage than average people have, to tell the whole truth when they hold office or become candidates for office… and if people who do have the courage to tell the truth don’t believe that they could ever be elected to public office simply because they do tell the truth... then what kind of country, what kind of freedom is this? What kind of truth am I talking about? I’m simply talking about whatever you honestly believe or know is true in the deepest part of your being.
What I am doing is called love. What I am doing is called keeping my word.
Being able to tell the truth and live your truth is what freedom is for… and if we can’t tell each other the truth as we understand it and listen to one another with an open mind, in order to continually learn and refine the truth as we know it, how will we ever solve the critical problems we face… as individuals… as a people… as a world community? Lies or half-truths will not win us the peace and the freedom we seek, nor will it preserve the freedoms and peace we have.
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