I've heard countless variations of the same question in recent months, as the possibility of running for Congress has become more real. With all the big-money hit pieces and mud fights that pass for "politics" these days, no wonder so many people see election campaigns as little more than depravity masquerading as democracy.
But there are lives in the balance, near and far, from the North Bay to Afghanistan. A list of what's at stake would be endless: the rights of workers, the ecology of rivers and the injustices of a healthcare system largely run for corporate profit.And with the U.S. military now spending more than $2 billion every day, grim results of what Martin Luther King Jr. called "the madness of military" are all around us. Public schools hold bake sales while Pentagon spending continues to go through the roof.
At a time when budget cuts are having dire effects on our own communities, I think of the distorted priorities that I saw in 2009 during a visit to Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world. That nation, in desperate need, does not need Uncle Sam to escalate warfare.
Here at home, an upsurge of hope peaked a couple of years ago with the inauguration of President Obama. Since then, we've come back to earth—which, in the long run, is where we should be—with feet on the ground and eyes on the horizon. Pragmatism and idealism can be a very good match.
I've just formed an exploratory committee for Congress. To read the announcement, please click here.
I want to thank everyone who has encouraged me to take this step. The expressions of support that I've received from hundreds of people have been deeply gratifying.
With so much at stake -- in the midst of perpetual war, a destructive economy, unchecked global warming and so many other dire realities -- our challenge is to create the kind of future that we want to leave for the next generations.
For a sampling of my statements on policy issues in recent months, please click here.
You'll find a lot more -- including video, photos and articles -- on the Norman Solomon for Congress Exploratory Committee website.
I'm very much looking forward to what comes next with this exploratory committee -- house parties, issue forums, listening tours, public debates and more -- an ongoing swirl of activity across the North Bay.
And I want to invite you to be part of it all.
To sign up for news on what's upcoming, take a minute to fill out "Get Email Updates" at the top of the exploratory committee website.
If you'd like to host a house party where I can speak, hear people's concerns and respond to questions, please send me an email at NormanSolomonNorthBay@gmail.com and put "House Party" in the subject line.
If you'd like to contribute to this effort, please click here.
Going forward, there's no better keynote than these words from Senator Paul Wellstone: "In the last analysis, politics is not predictions and politics is not observations. Politics is what we do. Politics is what we do, politics is what we create, by what we work for, by what we hope for and what we dare to imagine."
P.S. -- I'd appreciate it if you forward this email to people you know. It would also be a big help if you post some of the links on websites, listservs, Facebook and Twitter. And please suggest that people visit the website, www.NormanSolomonExploratory.com.