The year that was 2014.
If I had a bucket list, I would have scratched off “running for public office” in 2014. I ran for county councilman of District Six in Prince Georges County, Maryland. I learned a lot about myself and the process.
Blanchard acknowledged that he has little chance of unseating Davis: He has no money for advertising or mailings, and he has done little campaigning. But he said he hopes his foray into local politics will inspire voters to be more open-minded at the polls.
I have never liked politics. I tried it anyway. It is everywhere there are people. I didn’t like it in high school, in the government or in church. Technically its the practice and theory of influencing other people to achieving a goal. it is basically organized control over a community. Personally, it is popularity contest with a dash of theatrics and a pinch of drama. It is self serving while giving the illusion that it is for some good.
There is skill required to run a “campaign.” Which is a cool word used in politics. It means both fighting and working in an organized and active way toward a political goal. I didn’t have an effective campaign for my political goal. I went up against an opponent that was entrenched in the Democratic machine like deer tick in the Maryland woods. I was unknown and had not paid my dues. Dues is when you voluntarily work in the political committees and spend a lot of time doing whatever in hopes of a quid pro quo. You gain alliances and meet people that will ultimately be your team. Like most things in life, I had no team.
There are unspoken rules that I ignored. I ran as a Republican in a heavily Democratic county. Did I say I had no money? I didn’t partner with any group that called and wanted my endorsement. I got several very pushy inquires that wanted me to complete “candidate surveys” explaining my viewpoints on topics I wouldn’t want to talk about at the dinner table in my house. Whatever I said would be in writing and would be compared to what I did later in my future position I am sure. I didn’t want to be pinned down like that. I wanted to be able to learn, and make decision on things I was presented in the moment, for the good of those that voted me in. I didn’t want my core beliefs to be put on trial. Or worse, look like I lied. I am the content of my character.
It was hard for the election officials to believe I was a Republican. I had to file twice. They filed it wrong the first time. Everybody just assumed that because I was African-American I was a Democrat. It was funny sometimes. And at other times it was sad. The Republican party suffers from a bad image that we keep on perpetuating. I spent more time explaining why I was not a Democrat more than anything.
I learned that the Democratic party supports many of the “liberal” ideals that my grandmother does not. My grandmother, a “mother of the church” is basically a conservative. That is what I am too. Race has nothing to do with it. I learned that the Democratic party was the party that supported slavery. I learned that before the assassinations during the Civil Rights era of King, Kennedy’s, Malcolm X, and oh so many others, we were all Republicans. Fifty years ago, most registered people of color were Republicans.
Look at our ancestors.
Frederick Douglass- abolitionist, editor, orator, author, and statesman
Eldridge Cleaver- author and civil rights leader
James L. Farmer, Jr.- civil rights leader
Zora Neale Hurston- Folklorist, anthropologist, novelist, short story writer
James Weldon Johnson- first Black manager of the NAACP, president of the Colored Republican Club
Martin Luther King, Sr.- Reverend, missionary, civil rights leader, father of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jackie Robinson- baseball player (changed parties after Goldwater nomination).
Sojourner Truth- abolitionist speaker and suffrage advocate
Harriet Tubman- abolitionist speaker and suffrage advocate
Booker T. Washington- educator and activist
I learned that many people do not even know why they are one party or the other. Or if they actually researched the issue would probably decide to be unaffiliated/independent. It has been made to seem about race and support for President Obama but it is much more than that. But that is apart of a successful campaign, and politics. The truth is not presented.
Then there is the in-fighting and lack of support with-in the parties. You can’t believe the foolishness that goes on with very intelligent people. At times you wonder whose side are they really on. I didn’t. They are on their own side. And that is my main disgust with the whole system. It is a bigger version of the high school popularity contest. The same spirit of narcissism lives on.
I was amazed also by the people that could argue and present themselves in such a negative way publicly and after the election pretend that none of what was said happened. It is the same as a watching actors play not real people. I saw some real doozies in a candidate forum I was in. It made me not want to work with most of the incumbents that won re-election.
From what I have seen a politician can be a practicing Christian but often has to publicly deny their beliefs to fit in, win, or get a vote. That’s not cool. And when they don’t they are abased for it. Now this is less a problem for a liberal because everything is acceptable. There are no rules. They didn’t grow up in my grandmothers house.
They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good. Titus 1:16
I may have missed a few points here but I am not perfect. I ran because (1) I need a job, (2) I thought I could do a good job (3) I was going to try to do it all honestly. I am not saying that everybody in office is a crook or that I am better than anyone else. I am not. I got more issues than Sports Illustrated. I am just being honest about me, the process and what I saw.
My wife didn’t like the process. I won’t try that again. It was an experience. Life is something. In the end, I got 5.46% of the vote. I lost the campaign but I won my freedom.