I’m really tired of all the same old approaches to politics and games that are played. I suspect a lot of other people are as well. I would love, love, love to find ways to change this approach, to find ways to be more real. Here are a few experiences I’ve had so far that are my best efforts to do so.
Breaking Campaigning Rules
I was told by various consultants and people in the know never to make reference to my opponent(s). Why? For political advantage I guess. Why do we need political advantage? I thought politics was about serving? Why should I create sides? Why does it need be adversarial? In my case, the first letter I sent out included 2 things:
- An invitation to vote your conscience
- An invitation to check out Marsha Judkins and Howard Stone who are my opponents in the race
How can I tell someone to vote their conscience and not check out my opponents? I don’t understand this marketing rule of campaigns. I suppose if I am “in it to win it” then it would make sense. I am “in it to serve” so for me it doesn’t. Given all that… check out www.MarshaJudkins.com and www.HowardStone.org and vote your conscience!
Third Person References
This one actually makes me chuckle when I see it. We’re told not to reference I or me. We’re told to use third person references. So on my site parljohnson.com I’m supposed to put stuff like “Parl Johnson believes in conservative principles”. As if I’m unaware of, not the owner of, or didn’t write any of the content on a website named after me. I get that we’re suppose to use good marketing principles, but I suspect that most of those exist because of:
- the history of good influencing tactics proven out by them
- the history of people not paying attention so being susceptible to good influencing tactics
- millions of dollars spent on the development of such tactics
If I am suggesting through my Legislative Lens to trust people and try to find humility in politics, I think I’ll just trust people to know and see through the marketing tactics and see what’s real. At least I can hope for that.
I cover this largely in the section titled Arguments of Convenience in my Legislative Lens post. I put it here for a more exhaustive diatribe about it because this is a very curious thing to me. Coming up with the perfect One Liners seems to be at the heart of political campaigns. That means things turn into bullet point lists. I do have a really hard time with this because you don’t want to bury people in to much content. We’re driven by tweets and short bursts, titles, quotes. I find that unfortunate. I want to know whats behind all that. People taking tweets at face value has led to more mis-information, feigned outrage, and just dumb conversations that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. I am old enough to remember when speaking to one another was the primary form of understanding the perspectives of others because there was no Twitter, Facebook, online news, etc. I can’t deny that they all have their place, but it does feel like our society has come down with a big case of ADHD. I would know since I see squirrels all the time myself. This website, these posts, my campaign, is an example of my efforts to run a different way, to let you see my deeper thoughts and feelings, take them or leave them. I do hope to make the content enjoyable enough so you don’t feel like you’re wasting your time. I am however, just as susceptible to a good, juicy, well-worded bulleted list as the next candidate 🙂
Running for Selfish Reasons
I want to know how the system works, how the House works, how the Senate works. I’m tired of complaining about things I don’t truly understand. I also want to be a better dad, husband, friend, and citizen. I want to be a better man. Saying all that probably means I’m running for some pretty selfish reasons. But this perspective fits with what I believe. I believe that if you “lose yourself” you will “find yourself”. I want to get lost in this. Here’s the thing though, I want to be a better man not in spite of everyone around me, but because of everyone around me. That means I want them to choose to be better as well, or hopefully be an example of what it is to try and be better, or hopefully get asked to help them be better, or have them all tell me how I can better for them. I have no doubt that other candidates or people have similar feelings. The problem is that politics has become void of this idea. It seems like you just get dirty, muddy, or tired of bickering by being in politics. There is all that, but I would like to shine a different light on it. I love people who are willing to serve, and I hope I will get a chance to serve even more, because I’m willing and I can.