The other day a friend asked me why I am running against two well-known Democrats. He said, “Kroeger, you’re not known in politics, maybe you should look at this as your trial run and prepare for another race in a couple of years.”
I understood where he was coming from, I’ve heard that before and believe me, I’m faced with challenges, but I replied, “Because THIS is my time to run.”
This is my time for precisely the reason he stated: Because I’m NOT a well-known politician. This is the time for a middle class guy, from outside of politics, with two young sons and a mother who is a senior citizen, to run.
This is the time because many of America’s most urgent issues are the issues I face every day-
How do I put 2 boys through college with escalating costs and skyrocketing tuition?
How do hand over to my sons a fragile world due to reckless foreign policy?
Will health care in America be what my mother requires?
What about the men and women who go to work, like me, every day? Where is their opportunity to build their careers and to save for their retirement?
What about the environment in which we all live that allows 7 billion tons of inorganic gas to be pumped into our atmosphere every year without even the slightest compensation for what that is doing to our planet?
I am in this race because, like a lot of other Democrats, I was very unhappy after the 2014 midterm elections. I was unhappy with what happened as an extreme right wing ideology swept like a brush fire across the United States. I was unhappy with my fellow Democrats. We didn’t inspire voters.
But, the other side did! They even inspired without policy! They inspired voters with empty platitudes like “Make ‘em squeal!” and their rank and file came out to vote. Ours didn’t.
Democrats don’t win without policy and that is as it should be, but Democrats inspire by being bold. And we weren’t. We settled for poll-driven rhetoric that told candidates which issues to champion and which to ignore. And we lost.
I used to be an actor and I’m not shy. I’m not afraid to point out the fact that many of us will disagree on different issues. And I’m not going to pull back my views just to stay on your good side. We don’t have to take a poll of the room before I take a stand against TPP, or stand up for gay Americans, or for minority rights and better immigration laws.
Some of you may not like my stand for stricter guns laws, but that’s okay- I’m going to tell you how I feel anyway. And that’s how we start to build better government.
We must always talk about civil rights, a woman’s right to choose, and the health of our planet. Those aren’t always the topics du jour, but we inspire when we are bold, forthright and transparent about ALL of the issues we face.
We inspire when we are unafraid to be Progressive.
That is why I am running. And that is why THIS is the right time!