There's a strong tradition of spiritual revival in the deep South as well as many parts of the U.S. that have suffered the apathy that comes from hard times. An economic depression can be spiritually depressing as well, rendering the best in all of us effectively 'asleep at the wheel' and off course. The promise of HOPE is not some new political buzzword engineered in a focus group for the 2008 elections. Hope is what I learned from my parents, teachers, co-workers, community and growing up in church. Hope is what I now teach my own children, and the very promise of America. Hope is why no matter how we may stray, we all come home to the big tent in the end.
A famous story passed down through the generations of traveling ministries that would often set up their Revival Tents in some of the most economically depressed areas of the deep South goes something like this:
A minister was asked, "Why do you keep having revivals when it doesn't last?"
The minister replied, "Why do you keep taking baths?"
Hope is nourishment for the starved soul.
Hope is the very opposite of what McCain's top economic advisor Phil Gramm is selling.
"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession," he said, noting that growth has held up at about 1 percent despite all the publicity over losing jobs to India, China, illegal immigration, housing and credit problems and record oil prices. "We may have a recession; we haven't had one yet."
That's the message of a very exclusive VIP tent that happens to be sponsored by the likes of Big Oil, Enron and the subprime lenders that have run an out-of-touch Washington for too long. Working families are hurting, and the answer to our pain is not more inaction, telling us to take another pill from the Big Drug companies because it's all in our head.
The time for action is now. It's time for an Economic Revival in America.
My district in North Carolina's 8th has in many ways been a bellwether of the current recession. We've lost 62,000 jobs since Robin Hayes took office and been ranked one of the 20 most economically devastated Districts in the nation. Of North Carolina's 100 counties, 92 have increased unemployment in the latest report, with unemployment in the 8th being the worst. In fact, over one in ten in some parts of North Carolina's 8th have been out of work for years now.
We don't need George Bush, John McCain, Phil Gramm or Robin Hayes to tell us it's all in our head either. We need action. We need help. We need hope for a better tomorrow. That's the campaign I'm running for the heart and soul of America and a badly needed economic revival.
Yesterday's Christian Science Monitor reported on the good works of Democratic campaigns, including our own, reviving hope in America.
"Social activists hunt for congressional seats ... in G.O.P. districts"
Larry Kissell, a high school social studies teacher who came within 330 votes of defeating Rep. Robin Hayes (R) of North Carolina in 2006, is organizing his 2008 campaign around the themes of public service...
"Larry is very much about leaving a positive footprint when you travel," he adds. "He's running for office because he wants to help people, and he's helping people while he's running for office."
Hope is not a four-letter word. We back up hope with ACTION, and that's what we're doing in the campaign for North Carolina's 8th District as well as a lot of good on the way to Washington.
When people despair, and tell me we can never get good paying jobs back in North Carolina, I say not without a lot of hard work. I'm inspired by those laid-off manufacturing workers retraining at our community colleges and the employers doing their part.
Be inspired with me, and help inspire a generation that no matter what politics-as-usual the naysayers may throw our way, YES WE CAN!
I appreciate your support.