"What a mighty nation we will be, if we encourage one another."
Democrats believe that Republicans are a “basket of deplorables”. Republicans believe that Democrats are on a quest to destroy the fabric of freedom and liberty granted to us as Americans. These thinly generalized, and widely used thoughts are foundational to getting people fired up about being on a political side. Unifying under the banner of a political party is to be myopic of the tapestry of people, culture, and ideas that make up our communities.
“Vote Republican!”, said the Republicans. “Vote Democrat!”, said the Democrats. Until we are able to go above and beyond our respective party; we are helplessly bound in a social environment that screams, “Hey! I’m here, and I still hate you.”
“Harry, you’re running as a Democrat, though. What kind of social environment do you envision?”
Politics is not an environment where we gather to decide what benefits the individual. Politics should be an arena where opposing discussions take place and a viable solution emerges for the benefit of as many people as possible. This is the social environment I envision, and the social environment our campaign envisions. My candidacy as a Democrat, does not mean I am here to silence the Republican faction of my district, my state, nor my country. When we engage in the act of silencing those with whom we disagree, we wind up forfeiting our own right to listen.
I lead my campaign understanding that there is an interesting dynamic (to say the least) between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Republicans get it absolutely correct when they say Democrats are too careless to understand what Republicans care about, and are too arrogant to think they can’t lose an election in the Trump-era; and Democrats are absolutely correct when they wonder how corporations, the super-rich, and Fox News convinced the working class to hate the people that want to increase their wages, give them free healthcare, clean air and water, and the power to fight back against big banks and corporations.
I have learned a lot from the people of Maryland. I don’t ask what their party affiliation is - I don’t care. I care about their issues and concerns. Would you be surprised if I told you that after speaking with people across District 31B, the issues are the same regardless of how they are registered to vote? I wasn’t surprised either. The top two: Healthcare and Education.
I believe in free universal healthcare not because I’m a Democrat, but because objectively it will save the people money, it will save the state money, and most importantly it will save people’s lives. No longer will our health be a for-profit industry. No longer will our well-being be at the mercy of private industry practices. No longer will we be limited by pre-existing conditions nor the amount of money we have in our bank accounts.
I believe in fully funding public education not because I’m a Democrat, but because: Pre-K should be free for 4-year olds and qualifying 3-year old with full-day services for working families; recruiting and retaining high caliber personnel through competitive pay increases creates an environment where educators are excited to teach, and students are excited to learn; and because our Maryland students today, should be on the frontier of Maryland’s tomorrow.
We need to come together not to find solutions to “Republican issues”, not to find solutions to “Democratic issues”, but to find solutions to Maryland’s issues. As our campaign sweeps through District 31B, I wish to remind you all that before we are Democrats, and before we are Republicans, we are Marylanders.
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