Andy Schmookler: Painting with another brush
Hi, Chris. In your recent “Painting the Valley blue” article, you characterize my candidacy as that of an “unabashed progressive,” and conclude on that basis that I’ve got an even greater mountain to climb to victory than some other Democrat might have in this very conservative district.
I see my campaign and my prospects quite differently. I am quite explicit in my campaign message that I do not believe that the essential political battle is about the usual kinds of political divisions. Here’s how I state it in a major expression of what my campaign is about:
The battle in American politics right now isn’t about liberal versus conservative. It’s about something much deeper. It’s about constructive versus destructive. About honest vs. dishonest. About a willingness to put the greater good ahead of “More for me!”
What we’re up against here is a sickness of the spirit that is erupting in through our politics.
I am running not as a progressive partisan but in support of American democratic ideals, and of deep moral and spiritual values, that good people across the political threshold share.
Goodlatte and his Republican Party only pretend to be conservative, to be patriotic, to be defenders of Christian values, and I can prove it. I’m running against Bob Goodlatte not because he is too conservative, but because he has betrayed the trust of the people who sent him to Washington.
I can win by showing the good, decent conservatives of the District that Goodlatte and his Republican Party represent the OPPOSITE of their own deep values.
What makes me distinctive is not where I fit on the left-right spectrum – and the “unabashed progressive” label does not capture the whole truth, as there are many conservative elements among my values and principles – but rather that I perceive that America’s present crisis goes way deeper than politics. What makes my message important is that I am joining the battle at its moral and spiritual core.
And this distinction, far from making my mountain a steeper one to climb, is what gives this Democratic candidate a real shot at winning. If the people of this district see what’s really going on – and my campaign slogan is “Truth. For a change.” – Mr. Goodlatte will be summarily retired.
And if that happens, the voters of the Sixth District – Republicans especially – will have sent a message to the Republican Party: You’d better shape up – you’d better become a real conservative party that works constructively to meet our nation’s challenges – or the American people will ship you out.
Andy Schmookler is the Sixth District Democratic Party congressional nominee.