The day after I decided to enter the Democratic primary for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 13th District, I read these words from Gene Budig and Alan Heaps, who conclude their piece on the pervasive mistrust of Washington politicians:
"No country has met with greater success than the United States in using a unique form of democracy, one that relies on the art of political compromise in the governmental process. Extremists need to be heard, from the far left and the far right and every group in between, but they cannot dominate on matters of fundamental and essential importance to the nation. In so many ways, common sense has eluded us in recent times."
The authors implicitly define the nature of "extreme" in politics. They assume that privileged gentlemen such as themselves epitomize moderation, simply by definition. One must assume that the "extremes" are constituted by racists and bigots on the right, and socialists and communists on the left; some on either extreme may display a penchant for violence.
My campaign will appeal to those on either the left or right who are anti-war, anti-neoliberalism, and anti-Wall Street; and those who are pro-democracy, pro-full employment, pro-economic equality, pro-social justice and pro-survival of the species, whether in the face of nuclear or environmental threats. These are "extreme" views, according to the one percent.
The public is invited to the formal announcement of my candidacy, Sept. 1, 1:30 p.m., at the Champaign Public Library. Citizens can begin to decide for themselves the meaning of "common sense" in a time of extreme urgency.