I will probably not blog again until next week.
Looking at the rest of this week I just see too much travel and activity: a birthday celebration, a baseball game and the State Fair..
I am replacing my desktop CPU. I need to spend some time backing everything up.
Also, I am emotionally wrung out.
Yesterday was the primary election here in Missouri.
I was politically active this year for the first time since I was a very young man. When I was an active pastor, I never did anything political outside the privacy of the voting booth. I had to marry, bury, pray with, and teach people of all political persuasions.
Since I have retired I have pretty much continued that practice, although I have expressed an opinion about policies and elections a few times here. In retirement I do not feel as constrained as I once did..
This year I actively supported a candidate (in the U.S. senate race) for four reasons.
First, I knew him. Tony Monetti and I used to get our hair cut by the same barber. This was back in the ’90’s before I started shaving my head. Also, his wife is a local mental health counselor and I have been professionally aware of her work.
Second, he has a great story. His parents were first-generation immigrants from Italy. Through their sacrifice and his own determination he was able to go to the Air Force Academy and fulfill his dream of serving his country.
Third, Monetti, is a retired bomber pilot and a supporter of the veteran’s mental health cause. He advocates for vets struggling with PTSD and gives real dignity to the families of suicide victims by recognizing them as Gold Star families and treating their loss the same way you would treat a combat death.
Finally, I really hate the party establishment in Missouri.
Tony was always a long shot. Even though it was a primary, all the resources of the Republican National Committee went to one candidate. So Tony lost big last night.
But I learned something about how campaigns work nowadays. Name recognition is a big deal in politics and you have to spend a lot of money to get your name known. Tony Monetti ran an old-fashioned, grass-roots campaign augmented by intensive use of social media. He traveled to all 114 counties and met thousands of people. But it wasn’t nearly enough. Tony isn’t super rich. He couldn’t self-finance.
I had hopes for him because an outsider, Mike Braun, upset the establishment and took the Senate nomination in Indiana. Then, just last week, Bill Lee shocked the powers that be in Tennessee by coming from nowhere to win the GOP governor’s nomination. Voters are ready to reject establishment candidates. But it looks like both Braun and Lee had enough money of their own to go on TV and get their name and story out there.
Money and name-recognition are not everything. Ask Jeb Bush. But, in order to beat the establishment, you need enough resources to connect with a lot of voters.