It’s been about four months since I submitted my run form to the US Federal Elections Commission (FEC). I actually submitted twice — by hand in the beginning of February and electronically on Feb 16. The first few months until May, I was not canvassing because of the pandemic. I got vaccinated at the end of April.
So it has been a month in my petition drive. I haven’t gotten many signatures, but I treasure each one. I have connected with every person who has signed, and there is a story that goes with each one.
I have learned that the first amendment implicitly depends on vital public spaces. I found that many places are off limits for signature drives — e.g. the Costco parking lot. I found that many people are eager to sign — they agree with my general proposition that we need an independent candidate for U.S. Senate, and agree with the planks in my platform.
I also have learned my own limitations. I am working a full-time job. I am taking care of my wife who has a disability. So I can’t devote 100% of my time and energy to the campaign. I have personal priorities that take precedence. I am not apologetic about this, I feel that this is the right decision for me, and that I can still be your viable candidate.
I have been passed the torch of freedom, and my job is to bring that torch to you — the really important people — the people of Missouri. I won’t get to 10,000 signatures easily. I am not paying for a signature drive so it goes slowly, one by one. I thank each of you that have talked with me, asked questions, suggested ideas, and signed my petition.
It really must be a miracle, like a seed that grows into a tree.
My job is to be a viable candidate. It is your responsibility to get me on the general ballot, and to vote for me in the election. The campaign to succeed will probably need volunteers who will help get more signatures. This is difficult for me to talk about, because I want to be self-reliant. And I am not eager to start or get involved with a party or association. Advertising and spending money are distasteful to me. And most importantly, I don’t want to give any false promises. Your time, money, and energy are valuable and I can’t guarantee that I will win.
I am trying very hard not to “sell you tickets to the ghost train”. This train is real.
I do feel strongly, and I am sure that you agree with me, that what I am doing is necessary for our State and our Country. Democracy in America is really in peril. If you listen to the Republicans, you can’t trust any election, and that means that all the candidates and elected officials are illegitimate. That is the official Trump message.
For the Democrats, you really need to look at each candidate separately. I don’t know if there is a central Democratic message. I do feel that the extreme populism — to break up the big companies is not the answer. These US Companies serve vital roles that can’t easily be replaced. We do need to regulate them especially with defense, biotechnology, energy, and the environment. But to be angry with the the rich just because they are rich is just envy. It is OK to tax them however. It may be helpful to remember that rich people are not necessarily happier than the rest of us.
In my humble opinion, I think the most important factor is character. And this can be quite difficult to assess. People can be quite good at hiding their true character. But, hopefully in this campaign, you will be given a chance to really meet and evaluate the candidates. In Mr. Donald Trump, in my opinion, you have an example of character failure.
On this Memorial Day, I want you to think hard about the men and women who dress up and ask you to die for them — to die for your country. Because that’s what a politician’s, a general’s, a leader’s job can end up being. Don’t be fooled by the suit or the uniform. And I want you to realize how important your sacrifice great or small is to our country. We — America — didn’t get here by accident.
I also want you to enjoy your three day weekend, and to enjoy your summer. Because it is your precious time, and we don’t know if there will be a third wave. If you look at the 1918 pandemic, there was one. So enjoy each day that we have.