Fifty-four years ago I was standing in the kitchen with my dad listening to the election night returns of the presidential race between Senator Adali Stevenson and General Dwight D. Eisenhower. There stood dad, six-feet two, decked out in his Highway Patrol uniform, shiny boots, shiny badgeâhe must be General Eisenhower I thought.
The little red Truetone radio crackled and sputtered as I was trying to make sense of what all those distant voices were saying. It was important and it had something to do with Democrats and Republicans. Man to man, looking dad straight in the eye I asked, âWhatâs the difference between a Democrat and a Republican?â Dadâs answer was quick and unequivocal: âUnder Republicans,â he said, âthe rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Under the Democrats, everybody has a chance. Now son, Iâve got to get to work.â If asked today whatâs the difference between a Democrat and a Republican I would say, as certainly as did my dad, âUnder Republicans, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Under the Democrats, everybody has a chance. Now, Iâve got to get to work.â
We Democrats often refer to ourselves as the âlittle guys,ââand gals thank you. The little guys and gals are the farmers, the miners, the police officers, the firefighters, the veterans, the small business owners, the nurses, struggling students, municipal workers, custodians, librarians, teachers, homemakersâ¦the very gears on which this country turns and without whom it would come to a grinding, screeching halt. Little guys and little gals? I donât think so. But if they are Iâm proud, mighty proud, to be among them.
Iâm not running against anyone or anything. We, collectively, are running, for the voice of Democrats to be heard, loud and clear and unafraid. That means we are running for a real, honest-to-goodness, two-party system that works, really works. Weâre running for all of the people of District 68 and people who value democratic principles everywhere. That means weâre running for the marginalized, disenfranchised, and discouraged. Who are they? Theyâre our next door neighbors: the poor, the elderly, single mothers and fathers, veterans, the unemployed who want to work, those who hold diverse religious beliefs, those of diverse ethnicities and color, and those who suffer prejudice, for whatever reason, at the hands of a disengaged and unresponsive majority.
We have a choiceâ¦and a chance!