One of the oldest political adages is that politics is personal. Those who run for an office–any office, from historian of the Philosophy Club to President of the United States–understand that adage more fully than others. Candidates might begin days with a strong sense of purpose and end them with spilled coffee, closed doors, and self-doubt. These people keep working because they believe in their vision and they’re drawn to public service. A tip of the cap to all of you who have run for office, and all of you who will.
The recent invasion of Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s home absolutely reinforces the idea that politics is personal, and in the worst possible way. Rep. Pelosi, of course, was among those the January 6 rioters wanted to execute, and her center-left politics continue to make her the object of intense dislike from those on the right. However, our democracy lives and dies by the idea that we get rid of disliked politicians at the ballot box, not by stringing them up outside the Capitol. Political violence, whether it involves a riot or a shooting at a Congressional baseball game or a home invasion, should not be tolerated by any party. Rhetoric that escalates the likelihood of such violence should not be condoned, either.
Express your ideas and political convictions peacefully at the ballot box on Tuesday. If your candidate falters, think about throwing your hat in the ring. The best way to lead is to act.