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Sixth District challenger’s revolutionary idea – politics as truth, not lies
By Roger Bianchini
Warren County Report
Andy Schmookler, Democratic candidate for Congress in Virginia’s 6th Congressional District issued the following statement Nov. 1, with his seemingly impossible task of unseating long-time Republican incumbent Bob Goodlatte in largely rural, central Virginia less than a week away:
“I’ve spoken often against the threat that I see to all that has made America great. And I’ve addressed many nuts-and-bolts issues that affect our district, including jobs and the budget and healthcare,” first-time political candidate Schmookler began. “Now I want to speak to the vision of the America I am fighting for.
“In some ways, it’s the America I grew up in.
“I am fighting for an America where government helps create a vibrant middle class—as it did after World War II by providing educational opportunities for veterans and by creating a more level playing field for companies and workers.
“I am also fighting for an America where our political leaders come together on the basis of the values we share, liberals and conservatives alike, to achieve our common purposes.
“Americans have always been guided by a vision of our best possibilities.
“Generations ago, a great American president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, articulated his vision. ‘I see an America,’ FDR said, ‘where no businessman can be stifled by the harsh hand of monopoly … I see an America where factory workers are not discarded after they reach their prime, where there is no endless chain of poverty from generation to generation.’
“I too support a market economy that maintains fair competition. I share FDR’s concern that average Americans be treated fairly and have the opportunity to better their condition.
“ ‘I see an America of great cultural and educational opportunity for all its people,’ ” FDR said.
“I agree with FDR that there is no more important investment for a society than developing its people’s potential, and that man does not live by bread alone.
“I see an America whose rivers and valleys and lakes – hills and streams and plains … are protected as the rightful heritage of all the people.
“Nature is not merely a means to private enrichment but belongs to us all and warrants our protection.
“Now let me share some of my own vision:
• An America where citizens get health care without fear of being bank-rupted.
• An America where people –including the most powerful–care as much about doing right as about getting what they want.
• An America that honors scientific fact, and where neither corporate powers nor political parties try to deceive people about truths important to their future.
• An America where the young are educated to be productive, but also to become more whole human beings.
• An America that leads toward a time when horrors like genocide cannot happen, because the world won’t permit it; an America leading humankind into harmony with our planet.
“We once had a sense that we were on a path of continual improvement, and determi-nation to strive along that path. I see an America where that is restored.
“We should always ask ourselves, “What do we want America to be like generations hence?” and try to find ways to make it so.
“As the Bible says (Proverbs 29:18), ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish,’ ” Schmookler concluded.
Andy Schmookler has run for Congress for the better part of two years on a platform of “Truth, for a Change.”
He told me about two months ago he didn’t know if he “had enough time” to turn the traditionally conservative Republican 6th District around – around toward the truth, rather than the expedient political lie so prominent at an estimated cost of $1 billion in political advertising in the post-Citizen United-fueled 2012 Presidential and related campaigns.
I guess it depends on how many people in this part of central Virginia are capable of seeing through the highly-financed political rhetoric, no matter how smoothly packaged and presented, unfortunately it seems, without any legal accountability to the truth …