My Impossible Dream by JoeNewman101

You already know that some of my friends and I, being unhappy with the state of things things, decided to play a role in the political scene.

In the course of playing that role I have had several interesting interviews. On several occasions, after the recorded interview, the conversation would continue.

I would often then say to the interviewer:

“Do you remember the movie Man of La Mancha, and do you remember the final scenes? Do you remember that the old Man of La Mancha is dying, but as he is dying he is singing with Sancho and Dulcinea, 'The Impossible Dream'?” 

LaMancha dies but the Dream goes on. Forever.

You have also been told that my mother and father, in the early 1900’s were exiled to Siberia. Exiled because they were expressing the Impossible Dream on the streets in Russia.

The Dream not of a party, but of a people.

In 1787 a group of the best minds in the country met in Philadelphia and transcribed that dream.

We, the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, to Establish Justice and Insure Domestic Tranquility, Provide for the Common Defense, Promote the General Welfare and Secure the Blessings of Liberty for Ourselves and our Posterity.

Our dream; yours and mine.

And here and now we can almost paraphrase Lincoln at Gettysburg.

“Today we are engaged in a great civil war; testing whether that dream, or any dream, so conceived and so dedicated can long endure … It is for us the living to dedicate ourselves to the fulfillment of that dream”.

Not the dream of a party but the dream of a people.

Senator Carl Schurz once said “I confidentially trust that the American people will prove themselves too wise not to detect the false pride, the dangerous ambitions, or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under the deceptive cry of mock patriotism.”

That brings me to my purpose in being here.

Each of us, I am sure, are getting multiple emails or phone calls, each saying “send $3 or $5 for this or that" campaign.

And the cause may be just. Instead of giving your money to buy, I am suggesting that you sell.

Sell 3 or 5 people on the justness of pursuing our American dream.

I think we will agree that one of our greatest threats is money in politics. We must replace a purchased Congress with a purposed Congress.

That is why this old man asked for this few minutes of your time. To share his impossible dream.

- Joe


Do I Think I Can Win? by JoeNewman101

As my campaign catches more attention in the media, the most frequently asked question I hear is, "Do you really think you can win?"  

My response is, "There will be no chance without hope, and if there is no sense of optimism, there will be no attempt." The optimism I have for my campaign I also share for this country. Even though replacing Rep. Buchanan (R) is important, it is a small battle in a greater war.

To me, that greater war is reversing the moves by the Tea Party and the majority of the Republican Party as they try to convince us that government is the problem.  

Republicans have been extremely successful in getting this message out. Yet, this message's premise is false. 

To the contrary, I contend that it is a truism that government is the tool a society uses to administer its needs. And without this tool, society would be stymied. 

Think on it, even small units of our society create a governing body (condominium and neighborhood associations, or fraternal lodges and service clubs). Each are organized so that the needs of the people are addressed.  It is for that very reason the Framers of the Constitution created the federal system of government we all have enjoyed since it was designed in 1787.  

Our goal should be to help our society return to its role of healing its ills and promoting the general welfare of all. And in our short history, we have done this.

Throughout our history we have faced difficult challenges. We have fought wars at home and abroad. We have fought against injustices and fought for the disadvantaged in our society. We removed slavery from our laws, we demanded that women have the right to vote, and we initiated and saw through the Civil Rights movement. 

During my lifetime alone we developed and implemented Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, OSHA, and numerous other government programs that protect and promote the general welfare of the citizens of the United States.  

Let us together then discuss, not ignore, the issues of our times: Health Care, Income Inequality, Education, Immigration, Marriage Equality, Climate Change, and all the other problems that are confronting us as a nation. Each issue is concerning and troubling, but solutions exist! There are so many things we can accomplish if we just work together.

So, do I really think I can win?  Yes, I can, if each and every American sits down to really think about the direction we need to steer our country as it deals with the difficult issues we are all facing, and discusses it with their friends, their families, and most importantly, their representatives.  That alone is a victory. This great nation was built on compromise and not on divisive rhetoric.

As James Madison once wrote: "The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty." It's time to sit down together as Americans and find solutions. Government should work for the general welfare of all and not just for a select few. Together, we can see that it does. 

An Anthropological.. What? by JoeNewman101

I've been asked recently, "What in the heck is an Anthropological Progressive?" and I would like to take the time to explain it below.

Anthropology, as I see it, is the study of the development of a society; in our case, the human society. From the beginning of time, humans have discussed and argued about the improvement of society's character and our relationships to one another.

The many religious documents that exist, I believe, are a continuation of our desire to improve society. I contend that the Declaration of Independence and, in particular, the Preamble to our Constitution are statements of humans' need to continuously move toward improving society.

My personal belief in progress towards a better society makes me an Anthropological Progressive.

Still confused? Leave a comment below and I'll be sure to get back to you.

Why I'm Running by JoeNewman101

Why is it so shocking that a man of 101 years of age believes now is the time to run for Congress?  I know that many think I must be nuts to put myself out in the public for political purposes, but I believe I should become directly involved as a candidate for Congress.

I trust and hope that people will come to realize that liberty and democracy demand all of our attention, young and old.  As Abigail Adams once wrote, "Wisdom and penetration are the fruit of experience, not the lessons of retirement and leisure. Great necessities call out great virtues."

At 101, my "fruit of experience" far surpasses everyone else in this Congressional race. Great necessities indeed call out for solutions, and my involvement is not intended to be limited to just me personally, but instead is intended to inspire citizens of all ages and walks of life to get involved, get engaged, and to become active patriot leaders.  American society and democracy demand it. So I ask myself, before I expect others to step up and run for office, perhaps I must instead lead the way.

Like most Americans, I am deeply saddened when I hear people claim that our government can no longer be trusted and that despite our best efforts, our voices no longer matter.  I submit to you that the system of government created by the Framers of the Constitution is sound.  Our uniquely American system of government is not the problem. 

Instead, the problem is the people we elect to serve as our representatives in our government.  Although politicians have historically looked out for their own self-interests and engage in efforts to benefit those that give them financial support, the current climate since the Supreme Court decision of Citizens United v. FEC has led to previously unimaginable levels of financial influence.  Money now buys elections instead of recognizable patriotic service. 

Unlike the past, Americans can no longer rely on an impartial media dedicated to serve the traditional role as watchdogs of the government.  Instead, Media now consists of "talking heads" determined to burnish the ideological theories of the existing political parties and their supporting special interests.  We must therefore, demand that all citizens be heard.  It is my goal to represent my constituents, putting them first and foremost ahead of the interests of any political party or interest group.  At my age, there is no need to be corrupted by potential riches and opportunities offered by interest groups or parties. At my age, representing the people now rather than years down the road is what guides and forms my views on leadership.  

As a member of Congress, I believe leadership by example will prove Congress belongs to the people and not to the special interests.  As a member of Congress, I will send a clear message to all citizens that hope in our government is not lost and on the contrary, we as Americans will rise up to meet all the challenges in order to ensure the success of this great land we all know and love. 

By my standing up, it is my desire that others similarly vested in true patriotic spirit, embrace the need to secure our democracy for all people and they too will become citizen candidates for high office, instead of the "professional politician."  As mentioned, at 101 years of age, a natural term limit exists and I have no designs on a lengthy political career that requires me to sell out my ideals, my values, or my constituents for a potential future payoff.  

America is a great nation, not only because of its geographic majesty, but because of the ideals embodied in all citizens.  Like Shay's Rebellion leading up to the formation of our great Constitution, I believe it is time for every American to take an active role in how we elect our representatives to Congress and how we hold them directly accountable for their actions in Washington, D.C.  

Yes, I am 101 years old.  I have seen and heard a great deal in my lifetime.  And I am now more than ever hopeful and confident that America will remain strong and vital, as long as citizens think first about their country and those that live within it. 

As President John F. Kennedy famously once proclaimed,"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."  I am answering this call.  I ask for your support.  I ask for your input.  I ask that you too engage in the political process so that we may all, as Americans, believe and act under the collective banner of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.  

- Joe Newman