Less Than 6 Minutes

As it says in my by-line, in the several items I’ve posted previously on “Like the Dew,” I recently ran for Congress.  But I am not a politician, nor possessed of a personal ambition to hold public office.  I ran, rather, because for the past nine years I have had a message that I regard as so urgent that I’ve been willing to do whatever I can to spread it far and wide in order to persuade my fellow citizens of its truth and importance.  I believe that for the past decade or so America has faced a crisis as profound as any in our history—a crisis that is expressing itself through a dangerous pathology in our political system. How to understand that pathology, and how to cure it, is what my message is about.

For more than six years, I had trumpeted and elaborated this message on my website, NoneSoBlind.org. Then I saw an opportunity to communicate it from another, more prominent platform inside the political arena.  And I became the Democratic nominee for Congress in Virginia’s 6th  District.

I would like to share that message with you here as I delivered it as a political candidate.

On the eve of Labor Day of 2012, I was one of the speakers, along with Virginia’s Democratic Senator, Mark Warner, and its soon-to-be new Democratic Senator, Virginia’s former governor Tim Kaine, at a fundraising banquet.  The banquet was attended by some 350 people, in a ballroom at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  That my speech was recorded was a matter of mere happenstance (the husband of a previous speaker, a candidate for Harrisonburg City Council, had inadvertently left his video camera running)..  After hearing my speech, he decided he’d post it on YouTube.  Later that same evening, Lowell Feld (the editor of the excellent website advancing a progressive Democratic perspective on Virginia politics, BlueVirginia.us) took note of the speech and posted it along with some commentary on Daily Kos under the title, A Real Democrat Gives One of the Best, Most Kick-A** Political Speeches I’ve Ever Seen! Thousands saw it there, and then it went viral from there on YouTube.

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Andy Schmookler

Andy Schmookler

Andy Schmookler -- who was the Democratic nominee for Congress in Virginia's 6th District in 2012 -- is the author most recently of WHAT WE’RE UP AGAINST: The Destructive Force at Work in Our World-- and How We Can Defeat It.