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I Am Running for Congress

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I am now seeking the Democratic nomination to run for Congress in Virginia's Sixth District.

This is not a change of mission for me, but an extension --and I hope an amplification-- of the same mission that is at the heart of the writings I've posted here for the past six and a half years.

 The Sixth District is the most Republican district in Virginia.   The incumbent is the Republican, Bob Goodlatte.   He has held this seat since being first elected to it in 1992.   Before that, he was a henchman of Tom Delay's.

 The last time Goodlatte faced Democratic opposition was in 2008.   People say this Democrat was a good candidate.   Goodlatte's margin of victory was about 62-38.

 I am running with the hope of winning:  my campaign will not be the usual, and so it is possible that the unusual will happen.   More than anything, I am running to put out a message-- to this district, and as much as possible into the nation beyond.

My message can be summed up in my campaign slogan:   "Let's Talk About THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM!"

In subsequent postings here, I will lay out this message more fully.   But for now the idea behind --Let's Talk About THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM!" can be summarized in this way:

A group with an "elephant in the room" has two problems:   there's the elephant, and there's the failure of the group to confront the problem.   The elephant in the American room is the unprecedentedly destructive force the Republican Party has become.   But the rest of the body politic --the national media, and the Democratic Party--have failed to confront this destructive force.

The only way something like today's Republican Party can gain power in a democratic society like ours is to deceive people about its true nature.   That's why it is essential that we talk about the elephant in the room, expose its true nature so that the American people will repudiate it and its power to continue damaging the nation will recede.

My campaign is two-fold:   an electoral campaign in this particular district in Virginia, and an attempt to take the message national using all the technologies of communication now available even to people not funded by big corporate bucks.

I see these two parts of my effort as synergistic:  the stronger my campaign for Congress, the better my platform for being heard outside this District;  and the more my message gets national attention, the greater my stature for going up against this incumbent.

My campaign is a call to battle. I issue it to all those who see this elephant to rally together, to organize, and to raise their voices--pressing the media to tell this historically important story, exhorting the Democrats (especially this president who continually shrinks from confrontation) to stand and fight, and awakening the American people--to help make happen at a national level the kind of raising of public awareness that was accomplished last month in the streets of Madison.

Talking about the elephant in the room is not only a call to battle, it is also the weapon of choice against this destructive force, and a strategy for victory in that battle.


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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
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