Nathan Sass

To Run, or Not to Run? That is the Question.

In 2012 Elections, Backroom Deals, Campaign Ads, Politics, Tea Party on September 29, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Will Sarah Palin run for President in 2012?

It seems not a single day goes by without the media asking that question and Ms. Palin has done little to offer a hint at an answer.  This seems to drive the media to the brink of hysteria, and at the same time frustrate the public.

I’m not sure most people can relate to the gravity of that decision.  It is truly life altering, and requires a commitment of time, money and energy beyond most people’s ability to comprehend.

Personally, I have a better sense of what the Sarah Palins of the world must consider.  I have wrestled with the same decision (on an infinitely smaller scale) over the last year myself.

I have been considering running for the US Congress.  (Why are you laughing???  I am completely serious.)

Taking on the entrenched American Nobility comprised of Lords and Ladies in Washington DC and their massive courts is no small undertaking.  I am almost certain to be routed in an election.  I may end up with fewer votes than Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck, but that I cannot allow that to be the only reason not to try.

I live in a Congressional district represented by a Republican stalwart.  He almost never faces any sort of challenge in an election, primary or general.  This man cames from a very wealthy family, and has never, to my knowledge, held a job outside elected office in his entire life.  He is 68 years old, and has never spent a single day in the private sector.

I am what many would call a “Tea Party” type.  I believe in the principles of limited constitutional government, respect the 10th Amendment’s restrictions on federal power, and most importantly I despise the culture of “crony capitalism” mixed with the permanent “political class” that now inhabits the capitals of the states and the nation.

Examining my own congressman more closely, I see in him many qualities that run counter to those principles.  He is the living embodiment of the “political class”.

For example, in WI, there was an “unwritten rule” among all congressional representatives that they would not in any way support someone challenging a sitting incumbant, regardless of party affiliation.

In plain english, they WI delegation decided to protect themselves against pesky challenges to their power and ownership of their districts.  I cannot imagine a more blatant and disgusting disregard for the concept of citizen legislators than this.  They literally placed political self preservation ahead of ALL other things.

So with that information in mind, and understanding that I have a responsibility to put principle into practice, I began to consider the possibility of running against him in the GOP primary in 2012.

Only then did I really have a true sense of what “running for office” means, and how it can change everything in your life.  Civics classes say that running for office is about getting people to hear your positions and if they agree with you more than the other guy, vote for you to represent them.

Nothing is further from the truth.  That has almost nothing to do with it, actually.

The first thing I must recognize is that I will instantly become a target of the very party who’s primary I seek to win.

I will be attacking the establishment and threatening its power and control.  Such actions will not be tolerated.  I have been warned quietly by people on the inside, as it were, that I will be ignored at first, and then if I happen to gain any momentum, attacked outright by the state GOP.

If that were not enough to dissuade me, the time and money required to even consider such actions is mind boggling.  Running a credible campaign against a sitting congressman would require probably at least a million dollars in campaign funds, and almost a full year of my life.  I would need to leave my job and my family, and beg people I do not even know for every penny I can, every day, for the next year.

Even then, my opponent will be given time off from his “job” WITH PAY to campaign all he wants.  Congress actually adjourns EARLY in election years so its members can go home and campaign.  They still get paychecks, of course, during the time that they are working for themselves, not their constituents.

Furthermore, he can raise money from any number of lobbyists from all over the country in amounts that dwarf my capabilities.  The lobbyists will be begging him to take their money.  He will not even need to ask anyone for a cent.

This, in addition to the name recognition he already has, and the full support of the state GOP, make him nearly invincible.

Even with all of this in mind, I still may decide to run.

I truly believe in the power of the “citizen legislator”.  The “professionals” we have hired for the last 80+ years have utterly failed and now only really care about covering their collective butts while amassing even more power for themselves.

What makes me continue to consider it is my deeply held conviction that I could make a small difference for the better, that the founders truly intended for people like me to be in congress, and that my children may live in a better world tomorrow because I chose to risk my own comfort today.

Now, in the words of Clinton, I feel Ms. Palin’s pain.  I don’t blame her in the least, and were I in her shoes, I might just go back to Alaska and never utter another word in public again.

Or…..maybe I would Cowboy Up and fight the good fight like I think she will.

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