I’ve been cynical and apolitical for years now – probably close to 20. I’m disgusted by the personal attacks and mudslinging that have characterized our national elections for far too long. Our federal legislative process is disheartening at best, more often just downright disgusting and embarrassing, with little effort at cooperation and compromise that would allow Congress to get things done.
True – I haven’t done a lot to evaluate the issues and figure out how I can be part of the solution. Instead I’ve been hiding out in my apolitical cocoon – avoiding television and news and taking the position that I can’t really do much to change it so I’ll just ignore it. If I hadn’t already been feeling that way for as long as I have this year’s presidential race would certainly push me in that direction.
So why am I writing about Election Year for today’s post in the #atozchallenge when I could be writing about anything that starts with the letter “E”?
One simple reason. Someone I know personally and respect greatly is running for Congress. I’ve known Jason Walser through his work in the land conservation community in North Carolina for fifteen years. I had no idea he had political aspirations. When I learned that Jason was running for Congress in the newly redrawn 13th Congressional district, I felt hopeful for the first time in many, many years. His announcement restored my faith in the political process.
When I heard the news a few weeks ago I didn’t know what political party Jason belonged to. It didn’t matter. I knew he was a thinking person, a caring person, a kind person. I also knew he has always been willing to tackle complicated issues that require intelligence and energy. I knew that I would vote for him if I could and work to help him get elected. For the first time in many years my political apathy subsided and I felt optimistic that things could change.
As it turns out, I can’t vote for Jason because I don’t live in the 13th Congressional district. Even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to vote for him because I’m a registered Democrat and he is running in the Republican primary. The primaries for U.S. House races in North Carolina were moved from March 15th to June 7th because of the change in the districts’ boundaries. That only leaves two months for campaigning so I’m using my blog post today to get the word out to anyone who might be able to support Jason Walser with a vote on June 7th.
There are 17 other Republicans running for the 13th district congressional seat. I don’t even know who they are. I don’t need to know – I know Jason. If you want someone who will take the time to understand the issues and try to move our country beyond the petty personal attacks that have characterized our legislative process for far too long – you should vote for Jason. You can read more about him in this article from his hometown newspaper.