The Red Cross

Most of you know that I spent a lot of my life working as a professional activist and political strategist. I still do a fair amount of political work, but my personal and professional life is more diverse now.

My motivation in politics has always been to help people and make our country better. I haven’t always felt like I was accomplishing that while being engaged in the never-ending political fight. I have sometimes lost sight of the fact that not all of the answers can be found with government and realized in the political arena. That’s kind of hard to remember when you get completely consumed by the political fighting!

I’ve decided that if my goals are really to help people and make our country better, then I should look for diverse ways to do that, in addition to engaging in politics. So I recently signed up to be a Red Cross volunteer! Nobody does more to help people who need it than the American Red Cross. I haven’t even done any training yet. I have just signed up and gone through the background check, but I’m excited to get started!  Continue reading “The Red Cross”

I’m a Keeper

My top bar beehive!

I spent some time this winter making an art project to put in the garden this spring. It’s a top bar beehive that will house a new colony of honeybees that I’m getting later this month. I’m so excited to become a beekeeper!

In preparation for the bees, I’ve been studying about them and how they work together to build and manage their hive. While doing my bee research, I read Thomas D. Seeley’s book Honeybee Democracy. Seeley is a professor at Cornell University who has devoted his life to studying honeybees, more specifically, he’s studied the way a swarm of bees democratically decides where to locate their hives. It’s just fascinating.  Continue reading “I’m a Keeper”

What Wikileaks Confirms for Us Outsiders and What We Can Do About It

While we should doubt the authenticity of some of John Podesta’s emails that were stolen by the Russian government and leaked by Wikileaks, we have learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes in Clinton-world from them. This week’s story about Clinton insider Doug Band and “Bill Clinton Inc” confirmed for political outsiders something that we have always known. The political and economic elite work to enrich themselves and their friends.

I’ve never met Doug Band, but I suspect he’s like most insiders who have made it in the establishment system. I’m sure he’s never had an original thought or idea, but he knows the right people. He’s an inside the box thinker who plays by all the rules, and kisses all the right asses. He’s the embodiment of what most Americans hate about the political and economic system.

The Doug Band story will hurt the Clintons politically because all politics is personal, and the story really hits home of a lot of us outsiders. It’s personal for us because we know that well-connected people like Band rake in millions, while the rest of us struggle for survival. The story reminds us of the barriers that slam us every day in our quest for the American Dream. We are reminded of all the unreturned phone calls and emails, and all the job applications that aren’t even acknowledged. It reminds us of our desperate search for a break that seems like it will never come. The story reinforces our belief that only those in “the club” will ever succeed in this country.  Continue reading “What Wikileaks Confirms for Us Outsiders and What We Can Do About It”

I Voted for Gary Johnson in 2012, But I’m Supporting Hillary Clinton This Year

I wrote in my book, No Hope: Why I Left the GOP (and You Should Too), that I voted for Gary Johnson in 2012. I did that because I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Mitt Romney. I know a lot of people are thinking of voting for Johnson this year because they can’t vote for Trump.

For many of those voters, they don’t see Hillary Clinton as an option because she’s always been their political enemy and they don’t think they can trust her. I wrote this piece about my journey to seeing that she is the best candidate for president, and I trust her. Here’s how I came to see I could trust her by trying to put myself in her shoes:

The final part of my Clinton evolution was more personal. It was when I realized that she’s a good person with honorable intentions. I did that by trying to put myself in her shoes. It wasn’t very hard to do because, like Clinton but on a much smaller scale, I’ve been attacked by political enemies during most of my career. As an openly gay former Republican activist, I’ve been attacked by the anti-gay segment of the right who aren’t tolerant of gays, and by some LGBT people on the left who have called me a traitor to the cause.

Political attacks are part of the business and I let most of them roll off my back, but the ones that actually hurt my feelings are the ones that question my motives or intentions. Those attacks often times allege that I do certain things or take a particular position in order to gain money or attention, or that I have a secret hidden agenda. The truth is, in everything I do, I just want to help people and make our country better.

That’s what motivates Hillary Clinton, too. By reflecting on my experience, I came to see that most of the attacks Hillary Clinton over the years have created a false narrative about her motives. That’s when I concluded that I could trust her. While there will be times when I disagree with her on specific policies, or question her strategies or tactics, I trust her because I know that she’ll do what she believes will help people and make our country better.

Please read my entire essay here. I hope that my perspective will help you in your presidential candidate decision making process this year.