Editor's Note: This is Part 3 of John Webb's series about his run for Congress. Part 1 is "An Average Joe Runs For Congress," and Part 2 is "Average Joe's Notes From the Campaign Trail."
People ask if there is another run in my future. I never know how to answer the question. I still have a desire to improve the system we have. I still have concerns about the political process. On the other hand, there must be better candidates out there I can support. For now, I’m keeping my powder dry, but if I were a betting man, I would bet against another run for office. Here are my takeaways, from my run for Congress.
It was a great experience. My life in the insurance business is one where I am out, a lot, meeting people and asking for their business. It has always been
uplifting for me to take part in “cold calling.” Cold calling is walking into a business, introducing myself and asking them to buy insurance. Some people would find it hard, but I love to meet the people and hear their stories.
Business people are interesting and so dedicated. Politics is the same process on
steroids. Some nights I would get home late and be unable to sleep. I would be
excited about a story some person had told me. I will miss the campaigning or, more accurately, the life stories from new friends.
I hate that it is all about money. I really believe if I had the same money as John Campbell or Suhkee Kang I would have been a Congressman. I am not in favor of public funding of campaigns. So the system we have is the system we use. If someone is planning to run because they want to change the system, understand you will need a lot of money. In a way, this is a screening. If my ideas had been so superior, I would have been able to raise the money. So while I hate this system, I accept it and encourage people to understand how it works before getting started. I also encourage citizens who find someone with outstanding ideas, and a willingness to run, to financially stand behind them. Then we all get a chance to see what you’ve found.
This was a chance for me to review my relationship with the Republican Party. A few weeks ago, in the FLASH REPORT, a blogger made the comment that the Republican Party should split into two groups. He wanted to start a Liberal Republican Party to attract Hispanics and Asians who are becoming the majority in California. I encourage this thought process.
I find my Republican Party is leaving me. You see, I am a Conservative first and a Republican second. My ideas of less government and more Capitalism are not shared with many in the Establishment Republican Party. I feel like Ronald Reagan who said he did not leave his party, it left him. He was talking about the Democrats, but the idea is the same. I don’t think a third party has much of a chance in National Politics. So, in the coming years, I will be writing and pushing for a showdown in the Republican Party. You cannot convince me the Republican Party will attract Hispanic and Asian voters by becoming a “me too party” to the Democrats. People who immigrated to this country have seen Socialism, Communism, and dictators up close and have a deep understanding of why they fled that form of government.
I ran because I believe the answer is Capitalism, smaller government and less government interference in my life. Deep in their hearts recent immigrants, Asian and Hispanic, know they don’t want to be a part of changing this country into the countries they left. By running for public office, this divide within the Republican Party became clearer to me.
This campaign convinced me people are fed up with the way we run our government. There is a lack of trust. You hear the Democrats talking about “The Rich.” You hear the Republicans talking about “The Public Unions.” What you don’t hear is people talking about how we can make America stronger, more
competitive and more attractive.
But when you start at the grassroots level, I found this conversation taking place all the time. Union members understand without a better economy they will not have their benefits, regardless of the contract. A good example is Hostess, where everybody lost.
Republicans understand the necessity of private sector workers joining together to form unions to protect themselves from big business. This is a conversation that can take place between both camps with both sides winning. The people I met believed this and wanted a government that believed it. They were fun conversations.
My final thought was in last week’s blog. I had a great time. I am richer from meeting the people, hearing their thoughts, sharing and comparing ideas.
I am sorry I did not listen to Bev Nestande, 30 years ago, and start out at the city level. I have a huge interest in water and how the distribution works in Southern California. I wish I had acted years ago, and used my imagination, to work on the problems we are having with water shortages. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the same trap.
I am on this blog every week and hear the passion in the arguments on both sides. I encourage you to take part, act on your impulse to help, use your imagination to make a difference. You will be pleased regardless of the personal outcome.
You will be able to say, I was part of the process. You will have new insights. Most of all, you will have been part of the greatest of all processes; the process of Democracy and the American experience.