I will not fight for you.
What does this mean?
Are you surprised to read this?
We hear it all the time from candidates of all stripes: “I will fight for this,” and “I will fight for that.” I never liked that phrasing. It conveys the wrong picture of what government and the legislative process should be. First of all it implies that those with different views from ours are enemies whom we need to fight. They are not enemies, they are just Americans with different views.* Fighting is associated with anger and fear – things we don’t need more of in our society ever, especially right now. Fighting implies that there have to be winners and losers – where in fact the best solutions, if possible, are win-win, and those are the ones we should strive for. So I will not fight for you. What I will do, if elected, is go to St. Paul and meet key decision-makers, get acquainted and develop relationships of respect and trust, then work hard together with them to solve problems to make life better for the people we represent. That’s how good things actually get done.
Now, I’m not naïve; I realize that this ideal may not be achievable when others might come there to “fight.” But we need people in the legislature who strive for the ideal before giving up on it, and I will be one of those.
* Sadly, these days there really are people in politics who are working to overturn our democracy and replace it with an authoritarian system. This is a real and present danger. These ARE enemies that I will fight every way I know how.