Well, not really. Actually, not at all, and when (and more importantly IF) it does, it won’t really be a revolution but an experiment.
I actually began verbalizing and discussing this week something I’ve been thinking about for a long time: running for Congress after I retire. Will it happen? Who knows; I have a few years left in the military and have no idea what shape I’ll be in (physically and fiscally) when I retire, but the spouse and I think it would definitely be an interesting experiment.
Because that’s the more accurate word for the idea I’m having: an experiment that would take up a chunk of savings and probably six months of my life. You see, if I do this, I’d want to do it the old-fashioned way, to see if it’s even still viable. I’m not going to have a bus, or a staff, or have signs by the side of the road everywhere (I HATE those things!). Instead, I would move to where I want to run – probably Colorado, because we love it there and it’s already at the top of our retirement list anyway – get a map of the congressional district I want to run for, and start walking and talking. That’s it. Hanging out in diners and coffee shops talking with people, going door-to-door in neighborhoods, setting up with a single sign in mall and grocery store parking lots and parks, and just telling people what I think Congress should be doing and not doing, and seeing whether they agree. No tv or newspaper ads either – I would have a blog, and probably a Twitter account (which honestly I shudder to think about) – and if people who Facebook and blog started actually agreeing with me, and as organized news media heard of some wacko out there campaigning for Congress who isn’t accepting donations and doesn’t have a PAC, I think my name would start getting out there on its own. I especially believe in leadership by example, and I think being able to run a campaign on a minimum of dollars sets a good example on how I would deal with the budget and deficit: you don’t really need all the frills if you’re willing to get out there and actually do the work.
The other aspect of the experiment? No negative campaigning. One of my biggest beefs with elections are that people spend all their time attacking others because they don’t actually have anything to say about themselves. I don’t have that problem. I know where I stand on most issues, and if I don’t know the answer to something, I’m not afraid to say “I can’t answer that now because I don’t know all the details, but if you give me a way to contact you I’ll find out and let you know.” Now I’ll add a disclaimer that if someone starts taking personal shots at my family I won’t haul off and verbally smack them up side the head, but I’m there to speak about what I believe and how I think things should happen in government, and I don’t plan to ASK for anyone’s vote: if someone agrees with me (more than they agree with the other candidates), I expect they’ll vote for me. If they disagree, I’m not offended.
As I said, if I can pull this off, it will be a very interesting experiment. I honestly don’t expect to win, but who knows what could happen? Perhaps others will try the same method, after (with the benefit of hindsight) fixing what I screwed up on. Or maybe I’ll keep a daily journal and publish a book about it.
Either way, I’d like to be able to try this. I’ve felt for a while now I need to do something more than sitting around and bitching about what I don’t like about the government, and writing my Congressman and the newspaper doesn’t cut it anymore.