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The Fires of November

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Election morning and staffers were running about chaotically between hotel rooms and phones. Katherine made sure to keep me away from the organized hysteria outside the door. Katherine and I enjoyed a private breakfast and discussed personal matters, most of which financial and how long I could continue campaigning without generating an income. The discussion tapered out after placing another mortgage on the house was suggested.  I could not maintain my composure or concentration through the rest of the discussion due to the constant throbbing.

Since our successful entrance into the race, dozens of professional organizers have offered their assistance throughout Kansas and other states. Jason and Ken are doing their best to keep a hand on the growing campaign, but little mistakes are taking their toll. Early this morning we received a phone call from an organizer in Oklahoma complaining that not enough resources or man power was being sent his way to organize a grassroots movement and unbeknownst to him I was listening on the call. His annoying voice was getting to me and everyone in the room could tell. He continued his rant and then I exploded over the phone, “Dammit, enough of your bickering. If you want part of this campaign then get your ass out there.” Another meeting ended similarly with a grassroots organizer complaining about not enough cars and buses; “Get out and walk,” my reply was.

 Dealing through the frustration, I rested on the couch while Jason, Ken, and some staffers went over my remarks for a rally at Kansas Community College. Everybody wanted dramatic speeches attacking the administration, supporting the Tea Party, and proclaiming conservative values.

“Why would I want to do that,” I asked the concerned crowd of individuals who suddenly last their ability to speak. “Why would I want to ponder to just one portion of the Republican Party nearly holding the country hostage over an ideological battle with the budget? The one time the Party had a chance to negotiate on entitlement, tax, and social program reform the Speaker and Tea Party blow out. Jason, can I have the room?”

“Of course,” Jason stated glancing at the others and funneling out the door. He looked back over his shoulder only to observe me motioning him out as well.

From across the room I commented, “Jason, you are doing great work but I want simple speeches.” Leaving the room, I hoped Jason listened to my words, just simple speeches discussing the issues. Spending the rest of the afternoon on that couch gave me the time needed to contemplate the future of the campaign and, to be honest, daydreamed what it would be like if I win the nomination. So far, I am running the right campaign and hopefully the staff will follow me because unlike my Republican opponents running campaigns destroying every chance we have of winning in November.

The Kansas Community College was filled with energetic Young Republicans, professors, and other members of the student community. Glancing over my speech during the introductions, I discovered Jason did not heed my words for simplicity making frequent changes. Taking the podium, I found myself less nervous than before: “The United States is the most affluent nation in the world with a food producing and reserve capacity unrivaled in the modern world and yet allow our own citizens to starve and live through the shame of unemployment. This is not their fault but the fault of a nation dedicated to needless materialism.” I addressed the need to reform welfare creating a system of job training programs designed to boost recipient confidence and get them back into the workforce. However, I commented that welfare and other social assistance programs are not to be shunned because they represent the communal nature of Americans and symbolize “the honor of a great nation.” Business leaders can take the initiative by opening stores in underperforming neighborhoods, “this increases the chances of a neighbor increasing its wealth and turning the community around.”

In addition, the government and business cannot be fully responsible for fixing the American system. It must be the responsibility of Americans and “students like you to establish organizations focused on alleviating these societal burdens and engaging in the political process.” Concluding my remarks, I demanded that the students take a stand against poverty and social injustice. The auditorium filled with applause and I took some time to work the crowd making sure to shake as many hands as possible.

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