I had a little fun this week when a sought after elected office became “open” in 2016 with the announced retirement of U.S. Senator Dan Coats. As expected, the list of people who feel they should give a run for the Senate seat consideration has grown quickly. For a few days, I sarcastically put my name on the list. Sadly, that wild ride ends today.
I have decided to (sniff, sniff) withdraw from the race.
The upside to this withdrawal announcement for Contrarian readers is that I am going to honestly explain why.
1. Indiana already has too many lawmakers that look like me. It pains me to say this because I really do my best at looking my best. But that’s not what I mean. Readers of this blog know that I don’t take typical stances on policy by Indiana standards. At the moderate rate my readership is growing though, it might be a while before I am representative of the electorate. By then, I will be in a whole different demographic. The point here is that our lack of diversity in Congress, and specifically the Senate, is without question hurting its work product. The Indiana General Assembly has the same shortcoming. In summary, electing another 47 year old white guy with two kids and a closet full of suits will look too familiar to signify an upgrade. Loyal readers know I have earned my name here, but voters aren’t as….”sophisticated” as you people are. Strike one.
2. For me to win, I would need voter turnout to triple. How embarrassing is it that the “tripling” of voter turnout is even mathematically possible? I have spent a lot of time thinking about this over the course of the last year and I would rather see the epidemic of low voter turnout addressed than be elected. I continue to bang the drum of “if our turnout is high, the election result will be right.” I see a GOTV role in my future.
3. I laugh too much. It’s hard to be taken seriously on a campaign when I find it difficult not to laugh at almost everything in politics. For example, I started making fun of the Indiana RFRA in December. Back then, it was easy to make fun of. It’s unthinkable passage has not been funny. But now I can’t help but find the humor in the weak attempts to defend it that we are now seeing. Why is it a weak defense? Because it is being sold by the actual supporters of it largely as not doing anything. That’s the kind of law I would never pass. You know, one that changes little or nothing in a practical sense, but manages to enrage an entire country that had gotten very used to ignoring us. If the law is not designed to discriminate against the unprotected LGBT community, then add them to our list of statutorily protected classes and end this disaster. If the legislature won’t do that with 30 days left in the session, then we can call RFRA what the opposition contends it really is: hateful. Again, I laugh too much and this isn’t funny.
4. If elected, I would be way too willing to lose reelection. Make no mistake about it, I would only run on what I believe to be any candidate’s most important measurement, character. There would be times when I would support policies that the masses would not. It would be my job to educate my constituents why building a wall along the Mexican border is not a successful immigration policy. And sadly, I might lose that debate, but not before I voted consistently with my character. This is the kind of thing that would make me a one termer. I’m ok with that, but political parties usually aren’t. We need more one termers–but that just doesn’t sell.
I could go on, but my readers usually don’t get this far, so I will wrap it up. I envision running for office someday, but not today. I have never worked on a campaign before, and maybe I should do that first before I go acting like I know what one is like. Hmmm, maybe an exciting candidate that can use this kind of talent will let me be their driver. It may surprise many of you, but I am licensed to do that, and I am fully insured, at least until the end of the month.