Confessions of a former political ostrich

Today is November 5th. The day before a major election. I know that we’ve all seen the positive, negative, complaining and campaigning on Facebook, in the media, on TV, and more recently with those phone calls from all kinds of famous, looking for your vote.

I had a pretty heavy duty government/econ teacher in high school who did his best to instill a sense of duty and responsibility in me when it came time to be a member of the voting public. I ignored his advice. For a pretty long time.  I love our country. I support our troops. I paid attention to politics, sometimes, but not really. My family served when I was married to a soldier, and a lot of my adult political views formed during that time.

Still, I didn’t pay that much attention to politics, locally or nationally.

This year that changed.

I’d like to say it changed because of some huge aha moment that I had on my own.

It didn’t.

It changed when it became personal.

I know people that have run for office. I’ve met elected leaders that have been in office. I had learned sometime earlier in October that a friend of mine was running for our local state representative seat. I think my first response was “that’s interesting.” I wasn’t compelled to do much, say much, or share much.

…and then my friend James asked me a favor.

I got a phone call, asking if I’d come and be a part of a video. The video was to tell a story, a public service announcement of sorts. Always willing to help, I said yes.

It was ironic in it’s timing almost, since I had just been involved in a discussion just that morning with my mastermind group about how I tried to avoid politics, and wasn’t really interested in planting a flag.

Answering the call and appearing in the video, I joked afterwards that “I suppose now my flag has been planted.” It came almost as a surprise to me.

So flag planted, I needed to find out more. I started asking questions. Tell me more about the platform, more about what you stand for as a candidate. I began to ask what else is going on that I need to know about?

The more questions I asked, the more it seemed to make sense where I had planted my flag. Then I went to the campaign kickoff for James Lewis, and listened as he took the microphone.

Here was someone saying things that really made sense to me. Here was someone answering my questions about why politics really made me sad/mad/angry/confused with real answers and encouragement about people really making a difference. Where I had been so put off by all of politics in the past, I was starting to realize that I could, and should add my voice, share some thoughts, and really start to make a difference as well.

That’s when I got vocal on Facebook. That’s when I became so encouraged that there was a candidate, with a platform that I could say with 100% certainty that I admired.

His knowledge base of history, economics, politics, and understanding of the system is superb.

His ability to share ideas and ideals while educating and informing you is encouraging and understandable.

His ability to listen, relate with, and share the message of what he believes in and listen to what you believe in with just as much enthusiasm and validation is outstanding.

As a former political under the blanket hider or head in the sand ostrich, this election cycle has changed my life.

I planted a flag. I became vocal in politics. Even more importantly, I began to pay attention in a way that I didn’t think I was ever going to do.

Thank you James Lewis, for caring enough to put your name on the ballot. Thank you for being a genuine, sincere, caring, charismatic, interesting and well educated friend. Thank you for listening to me, and allowing me to learn from you as I began to shape my new views in the political arena.

If anyone can change the course of our country’s growth and prosperity, and help to right it back on it’s ever growing and changing path, it’s this man. James Lewis, who I am proud to call a friend.