Will the latest news about Jesse Jackson, Jr. affect your campaign message?” This is a question I keep getting from people, both the public and reporters alike. The answer is simple: No. But the reasoning may be a bit more complex. To many candidates, this kind of news about their opponent would seem too good to be true—an opportunity to pounce, take advantage of weakness, to make an example of the “enemy” and drive fear and anger into the hearts of the constituents that they have lost representation.
Some people are willing to argue this for me— that I am unwilling to attack the congressman because I don’t need to—the press is doing it for me. Indeed, even a quick Google News search for “Jesse Jackson Jr” turns up over 400 different news articles from across North America for the past week, and each one catalogues the series of events over the past 4 years that have plagued his life. The life of a politician is one that is ever in the public eye.
And I agree that allegations of bribery, corruption, immorality, etc., are all issues that the voting public has a right to use for deciding who to vote for in the next election. However, that is not me. This campaign is not about Jesse Jackson Jr. This campaign is about the new Illinois 2nd Congressional District. This campaign is about the blending of communities—from the densely populated South Chicago, through the low, middle, and high class communities of southeastern Cook County, into the farmlands and small business communities of eastern Will and Kankakee (all-inclusive) Counties.
More accurately, however, is that this campaign is about honor and integrity. It’s about restoring the idea that our legislative leaders can work together to achieve policies that work for the good of our nation, instead of allowing stagnation and collapse from non-compromising ideological conflict.
There are four very apparent facts about our current system of government.
1. Washington is broken. Everyone knows it.
2. The average American has been marginalized and disenfranchised by the politicians in Washington DC with a government that has inverted the power structure away from government of, by, and for the people to government of, by, and for themselves.
3. Politicians know that the current path of American government is unsustainable, so they engage in negative politics against each other attempting to distract Americans from the real issues plaguing the nation.
4. When not “throwing dirt”, politicians are more interested in engaging in political gamesmanship instead of working towards real solutions.
In reality, we need a new paradigm. We need a government that is working again, and working to get our people working again.
Our community needs opportunity; our community needs growth, our community needs restoration; our community needs healing. I refuse to attack Jackson, not because I don’t want to win this election, but rather because it does nothing to advance the needs of our community.
Brian Woodworth is running against Jesse Jackson Jr in the 2nd Congressional District. His website is www.brianwoodworth.com