THE ROAD TAKEN
The inner and outer vicissitudes of a presidential campaign
As I've made my way from Illinois to New Hampshire to Vermont to Georgia to South Carolina over the last two weeks, I’ve experienced a dizzying array of people and places. On one hand, everyone and every place is new and different. On the other , there are underlying dynamics I’ve found everwhere.
I’ve seen the goodness and decency of people - from those who rebuilt a city after a harrowing flood, to those seeking to lift a rural community from the ravages of poverty and homelessness, to those who have lost their children from fentanyl, to parents worried about their children’s schools, to those providing hope and recovery to addicts, to activists seeking to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, to organizers trying to Stop Cop City, to young people thanking me for “remembering us,” to old people thanking me for saying "what we all know to be true," to those who come to thank me for mentioning people rationing their insulin because that’s them, to people asking me to please try to do something about the homelessness problem and from the tears in their eyes we both know why.
I’ve seen a lot of goodness in people, and also a lot of deep concern for where we are as a country.
I’ve seen the things that make you love America, which is the basic decency of our people. And also, because I’m running for President, I’ve seen how hard it can be to try to forge fundamental change. My positions would be considered moderate in every other advanced democracy, yet the resistance to my actually sharing them is intense.
The ways the system has tried to shut down our campaign is pretty extraordinary - from media outlets refusing to book me on their shows, to places refusing to host or even rent space for our events, to examples of truly shameful human behavior impacting the campaign. I’ve realized that a political party doesn’t just chop wood and carry water for huge corporations; a major political party is a huge corporation.
Every time something like that happens, I have the opportunity to remember that no matter the situation there is a lesson to be learned there. In fact, the only failure in life is the failure to learn from it. And I’m learning things no other experience could teach me.
David beat Goliath, remember - not the other way around.
To all those who have written or whispered in my ear some piece of wisdom I can integrate into my understanding, using it to weave a more powerful picture of what’s possible in America, my heart is filled with gratitude. I’m trying every day to be a better candidate, and to show up as a force of positivity and hope. From those who pray for me to those who inform and teach me, all I can say is please keep doing what you do.
Our staff, our volunteers, our donors, our supporters - everyone brings a piece of energy that makes up the tapestry of the campaign. I hope you feel the value of your efforts, as I do. We’re on the go, moving forward inch by inch. From airports to coffee shops to simply walking down the street, I’m stopped by so many who say “Just keep going.” Something is happening. I can feel it in my bones.