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What I Mean by "NOT Politics as Usual"

Before I explain my statement, let me provide a little background note. My mother, who lives near Houston, is not a big sports fan, but she has a saying about the city's sports teams (whether football, baseball, or basketball). Her saying is, "my favorite teams are [that sport's Houston team] AND whichever team is playing against Dallas." (For the record, she was saying this long before I moved to the DFW area). The humor of her statement, though, masks a underlying principle that is common in binary thinking and especially in recent political discussions, namely "I will only listen to what you have to say if you are with us, or against them."

So to explain the statement "NOT politics as usual", I simply mean that my discussion of political issues is not intended to reflect the values of any particular "team", my own included. If you already support a specific political party and you only want to hear about political issues from your party's already-stated position, then this is probably not the place for you. My views may reflect those of your party, or they may not. But I think that a decent argument can be made for how tribalism (i.e., a discriminatory behavior or attitude toward out-groups based on in-group loyalty) in the late 20th and early 21st centuries has severely damaged reasoned political discourse in America.

In a more direct sense, the intent of my campaign is to discuss ideas, not people. I will not make spurious or unsubstantiated (i.e., muckraking) claims about my opponents as people, but it is very likely that I will make some very pointed comments on their particular views and/or those of their party.

There have been multiple studies made recently (within the past ten years or so) about how the majority of Americans become burned out about elections by the time Election Day in November arrives. According to these studies, much of this burnout is simply due to the incessant bickering and mud-slinging that partisans use against each other during their campaigns. Admittedly, part of that bickering has to do with each candidate trying to show the electorate how different they are versus another, but most of it can be summarized in the movie quote, "Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?"

The point here is that if I can ONLY make inroads in this election by slinging mud at my opponents instead of debating our ideas, then this race becomes more about "popularity" than about "service", and I have no real interest in participating in a popularity contest.

Committee to Elect Darren Hamilton
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