Friday, April 12, 2013

KINGMAN Kick-off Speech 4/11/13, 5th Street Books

The public came out to my first public campaign event of the new campaign season. At 5th Street Books (216 N 5th Street, Kingman, AZ.), people gathered to hear this speech and share the ideas they had to make Arizona better and bluer. With your help it can be done.
Howdy ladies and gentleman, thanks for coming out today. My name is Mikel Weisser and I want to be your democratically elected Democrat in the US House of Representatives for Arizona’s Congressional District Four. I call it the Left Coast of Arizona. 712,000 people scattered from Yuma to Utah, Parker to Payson. Seven Counties, 9 LDs, Mohave-La Paz-Yuma-Yavapai- all the parts of Maricopa where the people aren’t; and then throw in major portions of Gila and Pinal County just for the sport of it. It’s about the size of Pennsylvania. I traveled 55,000 miles last round and that hardly touched it. CD 4 is as beautiful as it is immense, as varied in people and landscapes as any region of America and it is just about as red a district as you could find.
After the Republican rout last round, currently the handicappers have the district as an “R +19.” That basically means that even with generic candidates, it didn’t matter who, say, John Wayne Gacy versus Santa Claus, if Santa was the one with the D on his chest, Christmas might be in trouble. Of course, that is actually the thrill of this chase. If it was easy anyone would be doing it. And you know me I am not just worrying about how to win this election, I am trying to change this world and that kind of strength makes you fearless. Now is the time to change this world, now is the time to be fearless. THIS … is the adventure of our lifetimes. I want you to know: this is absolutely, bar none, the most thrilling experience of my life. I am so much better a person for taking this challenge. I wish each of you could experience this for yourselves. In fact, I hope you try it and get to enjoy even a fraction of the rewards and blessings this path has brought to me.
I’ve been a life-long Democrat. I am so Democrat, I was a Democrat in utero. I remember when I was 9 years old I was watching when my hero Bobby Kennedy won that California primary. And then he walked into that kitchen … and I was watching later that same year when the election came around and even as a little kid, I could tell Nixon was a crook. I mean Richard Nixon? The guy was a dick right?
I was so certain of it, the night before the election I got a piece of chalk from the school, went out in the middle of the street in front of my home in Raymondville. TX and I scrawled, “Humphrey/Muskie is our man, Nixon in the Garbage Can!” I was sure it was going to make a difference, but did America listen to me? No!
And look where we are today. Look at what they’ve done to us. Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, look what they’ve done. Yeah, they’ve done quite a bit of damage. But I think it is not too late for us to turn that tide and bring America into the 21st Century. America is a still great place for now. That a guy like me can find myself in front of a crowd like this, this is proof Americans can still dream. I was homeless, first as a teen runaway, later a homeless vet and even as a homeless widower who lost his house when he lost his 1st wife. And now? Beautiful wife, lovely life, college degrees, house and chickens and cats and dogs.
You know how I got those things? Yeah, because I’ve got some skills and a huge mountain of good luck. Sure. But I have the American Dream, because the America I grew up in wanted to make sure I had a chance to reach for its dreams. They wanted to create a great society. They wanted all people to be judged by the content of their character and not the color of our skin. They wanted the old and sick to be cared for, they wanted the poor to be comforted. They wanted all of us children to be educated, to be the best and the brightest. We were supposed to reach for the stars!
Some folks say those days are gone forever. Can’t afford good schools for kids, can’t afford decent wages for the workers, can’t afford quality health care for anyone, can’t afford the American Dream. Now I know my country has never been perfect, I am a history teacher, America has never been perfect, but I always used to believe we at least as a people cared enough to look out for the common good; but the America our kids are growing up in, the country we are going to grow old in, is not the America I once knew. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but I want you all, to seriously think about this message.
This is the message I bring you, this is what I have learned as a life-long Democrat: The Right are Wrong. It’s scary how easy it is to see these days: the right are wrong. It’s not a simple choice between pick red or blue. The people who tell you they can’t see a difference between the two parties are at least half blind. Their policies have been destroying our country and have to be stopped. Now I am not an extremist. I am a confrontationalist. You don’t have to be an extremist to see the need to confront the messes they’ve made.
Their so-called “conservative values” agenda that has been driving our nation has been driving it into the ground. 28 of the last 40 years they’ve had a president in the White House and wrecked havoc on our nation, but no matter who is in the White House, we’re battling their poison to our nation.  As a school teacher in a state where the GOP have cut 1.6 billion out of K-12 ed in just the past four years, I can assure you they want your children be ignorant. They want to public to stay sick and poor and fearful, because if you can keep a people ignorant and sick and poor and fearful then they are easier to control!
See? Wrong! They’ve been wrong on social issues. Move mountain and mole hill alike to save Terry Schiavo but vote 30 times to throw 30 million Americans under the bus, because they have to repeal Obamacare. Abstinence only sex-ed in the country that leads the world in unwed teen pregnancy. Make sure the LBGT community is forever made sure to always feel Queer. Wrong. Cut arts funding, cut ed funding, cut veterans benefits, decimate the social service network in our country and brag about their morality? Wrong. Throwing 800,000 Americans a year in jail for cannabis possession and then installing the world’s leading opium producers, the Karzai family, into office in Afghanistan. Stark raving wrong.
They’ve been consistently incredibly wrong on fiscal issues. We’re lucky Romney didn’t get a chance to run our country the same way he ran Bain-Capitol. Who would he downsize this time? Wisconsin? Deregulation of Wall Street, deregulations of banking, Chicago School type shock doctrine, quote “Free Market Capitalism” cut your way to prosperity, while their corporate donors export all the good paying jobs then whine because of our sluggish consumer spending. Chuck Glass-Steagall and let banks gamble with grandma’s pensions? What could possibly be a problem with that, huh? AND, how is it that when they ran back in 2010 promising to save the economy, what they gave us instead was 900 statehouse bills to restrict women’s reproductive rights. Yeah that’s creating jobs: con jobs.
And when it comes to foreign relations, they have been dead wrong. Don’t forget that these same guys who want to sell you Ryan Budget, and the Norquist pledge once tried to sell you 900 lies about weapons of mass destruction. I could go on and on, but, I know, I’m preaching to the choir. What I don’t know, my fellow Democrats, is what you are going to do about it? The Tammany Tiger is Loose, these elephants have gone amuck. I am going to work day in night to stop them. I am leaving teaching after a dozen years to devote myself fulltime to this battle.
And make no mistake about it people: This is a battle to the death. The death of the American Dream. America is yearning to live in the 21st Century. America is tired of prejudice, and influence and self righteousness running the lives of the many according to the whims of the few. This battle is the only battle I have ever been fighting for. This battle is one that we can win if you can help me.
I know there are lots of campaigns and they’re always asking for something, sometimes it seems all they want is your money (and don’t get me wrong: if you try to chase me down with a fistful of hundred dollar bills I will let you catch me). But that is not what I am asking for here. I am asking each of you to start your own campaign about whatever you can campaign about and get out there save America, while we still have a chance. NOW is the time for all good citizens to come to the aid of their country. I can guarantee you every time anyone of us tries to save the world, it does get that iota better and each time we do nothing, the other side jus

t makes it worse. Like my hero Howard Zinn said, the people have the power. This disaster is still ours to avert. Let’s make this difference. It may be our last chance. Please and thank you.
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Mikel Weisser
4490 Sundown Dr
So-Hi, AZ 86413

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