I owe you an apology. For several months I have been more reactionary than visionary. That is to say that I have spent an awful lot of time debasing candidates and potential candidates with whom I have profound disagreements on ideology and/or methodology – Donald Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders have born the brunt of my attacks and I have withheld nothing in my choice to use them as political piñatas.
That stops right now– not out of respect for them, but out of a profound respect and love for you. You deserve something better than the politics of divisive rhetoric and name-calling. You deserve to be given the opportunity to make decisions about your leadership on the basis of factors such as ideology, methodology, character, integrity, affinity, and trust.
You deserve the opportunity to support someone you’re excited about – someone who inspires you to be a better you – who inspires America to be a better America – and someone who you feel can serve and represent you well on both domestic and international fronts. You can’t get that by choosing the ripped apart remains of whatever candidate best survives the gauntlet of political theater and deliberate character assassinations – so I will no longer take part in that behavior.
That doesn’t mean I won’t speak out against the things they say and do – or against their vision but it does mean I will make my case based on the underlying issues rather than by assassinating the character or motivations of the people with whose messages I disagree. There is a difference between calling Bernie Sanders a foghorn and challenging his assertions with my own. There’s a difference between, stating the character attributes required of a person in the oval office and calling Donald Trump a dick.
You can count on me to disrespect and show contempt for messages with which I disagree, but no longer the men and women who utter those messages. A candidate who can’t win on message has no business being a candidate at all.
I believe I have better ideas than any of the other candidates or potential candidates I have seen this far. Otherwise, I would not run. I believe I have a more unifying plan for governance. I believe I am the best candidate to serve the interests of everyday working class people, because I am, myself, an everyday working class tradesman – a truck driver. I know what it’s like to be you because in many ways I am you or I have at least walked the same paths.
Like 68% of Americans, I never finished college, opting instead for life in trades. My party has made me feel, for decades, through the premium they have placed on academics, as if I failed the American dream, when the truth is that I never failed it. I built it – and likely so did you!
Don’t get me wrong. I love academics and I have likely read most if not all of the books that academics do (take a look on my website to see the list of books I am reading right now). But it is my assertion that those of us who chose trades instead of college are equally valid, having made equally valid choices, and we should be treated by our parties and our government as equal parts in a whole nation.
I believe my firsthand knowledge of life in working class America gives me the experience that others seeking the presidency lack. My message to hard working trades folks of all political persuasions is this: I GOT YOUR MESSAGE!
Over the next several years, we will need more trades people than ever before as we seek to save and rebuild and renovate the infrastructure assembled by our grandparents (for those of us reaching (ahem) “middle age” and our great grandparents (for those of you will will be most involved in the building projects to come.) Decades from now, your grandchildren will regard you reverently as the “renovation generation,” and If I am president, you will earn that title!
That starts with acting like a proper leader now – before you give me the job. It starts with selling my message instead or tearing down those people with whom I disagree – no matter how profoundly. It starts with this apology for how I’ve handled that aspect of my candidacy heretofore and my commitment to course-correct and act as the sort of candidate you deserve to have as your president.
Please do me the service of sharing this message so that those who may have previously gone away due to my attacks on people rather than message will get this message. Thank you. I will do better. I promise!