All of this Running
for Congress business has caused some personal existential crisis, but
perhaps I ended up in this position due to a crisis related to teaching. Apathy is alarming to someone who is
attempting to educate social workers to go into the world and make a difference
where it is most needed. I empathize
with my students when it comes to these feelings, especially when related to
significant changes being made through politics. Helping others in a one -on- one (micro) way
is often more satisfying and tangible than tackling systemic issues that affect our clients.
to a friend’s question on Facebook about how I felt about a debate, I responded
unthinkingly with, “You just survive these
things. How will you fix (?): Some awful world issue___. 15-30 seconds- BANG
(now answer without sounding foolish, offensive, true & like-able)...hot
lights, 5 cameras, and a counter bell DING! Time to stop...then there's the
characters in the panel ;-) it’s the most unnatural thing in world.”
TY Debate May 10, 2014
After reading it
later, I couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to subject themselves to
such a thing on purpose.I’m pretty
sure I’ll never “know enough” to feel solid answering everything and anything
in this way on subjects that cover instability in the world, the question of
evil, war, and how we should or should not legislate American morality.
What worries me more is that after a certain amount of time,
many feel fine making statements about such things, and feel assured of their
correct position.I grow more unsure,
more questioning as I move along.I find
myself stumped on certain topics, but the one thing I’ve realized is that the
more money that is involved in any of these topics- including politics and
education, the more one is expected to conform
I sent a group text to my best girlfriends to check myself
by saying“out loud” to women that know
me and love me regardless of where I work, who I work for or where I live while
I do it.One reminded me that I have
been feeling this way for a while, before running for Congress, and although I
love my students and teaching- there has been something hollow about it for a
while that is difficult to pinpoint.Maybe some of it is is related to being rated
on performance rather than substance (professors are now generally subjected to
anonymous Amazon type reviews every 6 weeks).
In general, it seems as though more weight is given to what
you say or print, rather than how you think, question, or problem solve. You must
worry about properly editing yourself (and projecting this online), and be
careful to not question those that are more powerful than you are, because it
could harm your cause down the road. We
are expected to “put it all out there” but make sure it’s nice and tidy and in
a style that appeals to the most people possible. That way the messaging is clear.
Last night's Top 7 Candidate Forum focused on many issues- but my focus was on the money in politics, regardless of where it comes from. The amount of money fed into the mailers and television time disrupt the balance for voters. Those who can spend more can drown out the voices of those who can't. I hope to see more voters show up in the primary and take a look at all candidates. As fellow candidate Barbara Mulvaney stated last night, "Check their price tags." In 2014, most of us have access to a lot of information about each candidate online. And it's likely you will be taking that tool with you into the voting booth.
Money campaigns rely on the fact that you are more likely to vote on name recognition alone. This should make you pause before you click on a candidates name. Do you really want to vote for someone based on the fact that you saw their name stapled on a light pole every day on your way to work?
*Thank you to the Americans for Democratic Action and Venice Action Alliance for basing candidate choices on metrics outside of fundraising.*