I’ve decided not to run. I’ve decided to withdraw.
It won’t take long to explain why. There was no groundswell of support for an issues campaign from the press, the people, or the Parties. The press, except the Clarke Daily News, uniformly supports money politics. The people, by and large, are too lazy to educate themselves on an opposition candidate that doesn’t titillate or intimidate, and Democrats are such a shadow of their former selves that the Party clanks around like the Ghost of Christmas Past.
I chose to run only because the incumbent Senator, Jill Vogel, is a culture warrior with ambition. It was wrong, it seemed to me, that there was no opposition for a freshman senator who won by a whisker and whose proudest first term achievements were to turn back the clock on women’s reproductive rights, deny healthcare to the disadvantaged and pander to NRA crazies who just can’t have enough weaponry in enough places to really feel really safe.
But that’s the way to get ahead and surely that’s what Mrs. Vogel and conservative Republicans desperately need and want – a charming female face to swan an apathetic electorate.
I stayed in the race even when a Democrat surfaced because Democrats gave only begrudging, almost meaningless support to Shaun Broy, their candidate. Mr. Broy is young, lacks gravitas, has no meaningful professional experience and espoused unpopular ideas in an unpopular style, and so courageous Democrats found ways to avoid appearing with or supporting him.
I understand the practical realities but also understand loyalty and strategy; Democrats spent no time thinking about the value of beating Mrs. Vogel and upsetting the Republican apple cart as a consequence. Broy could’ve been their Pygmalion – he’s smart and intense training could have re-made him quickly, as in fact, it has. So I made it my business to make a race so he could.
The irony is Democrats convinced 47% of the people last time to vote for a female equivalent of a cigar store Indian, then couldn’t find a candidate this time to carry a Democrat banner, except, of course, Mr. Broy, on whom they then turned their backs. Democratic Party leaders should remove themselves from this District, or at least from active involvement in political matters.
I know the future of Virginia is not in its elites but in its people. If we don’t educate, protect, motivate, resource and facilitate through effective government the productive use of the human capital of Virginia, we’ll have a period more like the 19th Century than the 21st. But now it’s not my fight but Mr. Broy’s. And so, I thank those of you who thought well enough of my candidacy or positions or both to help me get on the ballot and/or helped roadtest my positions.
I offer no advice on what to do November 8th other than turn out and vote. I’d endorse Mr. Broy if he had active support from a remade Democratic Party, one committed to Mr. Broy as it was to Karen Schultz in 2007, a remade Democratic Party to give Broy’s generation and mine choices other than OWS or the Tea Party. A remade Democratic Party attractive to moderates makes my withdrawal a victory for those who disdain money politics and prefer truth seeking and issues.
And by the way, I saw the movie: the meek do not inherit the earth.