Because Normal's Not Working
I never wanted to be a politician, I wanted to be an artist, but I feel called upon to serve my country.
I am an Andrew Yang Democrat and I would be a highly unconventional politician focused on new solutions to long-term challenges that this country faces.
Hello, I'm Erik Storesund, and I'm running for Congress as the Representative for Connecticut's 3rd District.
Let me start by saying that I never wanted to do this, for most of my life I hated politics. I'm an eccentric creative who wanted to be an artistic hermit living a nomadic life in a self-driving home; that was my dream. Running for Congress and becoming a public servant was never in the picture.
But then 2020 happened and like so many people my dreams went up in smoke. Our leaders in Washington not only failed us, they outright betrayed most of us; giving Trillions to the corporations in under a week and telling the rest of us to close our businesses, lose our jobs, and go die somewhere out of sight while they played poker with millions of our lives. And despite my own numerous objections, I now feel called upon to serve my country at the only level that I feel would really make a difference.
I'm not particularly special by traditional metrics, as I finished in the middle of my class in high school and spent 6 years getting a 2 yr degree from Middlesex Community College. I didn't incur any student debt, but I did work a full time 9 to 5 or night shift job that gave me a sometimes comfortable but never luxurious middle-class life. I haven't written a book, I haven't started a successful business, and I've never run an organization of any size. In short (and yes, I am quite short), I'm like most Americans. I am a flawed and fallible human being who pursued a safe and stable life because it was safe and stable. But I'm a patriot and an unconventional thinker who approaches problems as analytically as an engineer and as creatively as a jazz musician.
According to various political tests, I'm a "Progressive Libertarian Centrist". While I am running as a Democrat and tend to align more with Democrats than Republicans on many issues, I've always just considered myself an Independent. I love this country, I love the promise of America, but that love is not unconditional. I have many issues with the failures of America to deliver on her promises, and it is in that love I have for my country that I want to make her live up to those failed promises. And as a gay man on the autism spectrum, I care deeply about ensuring people who are neurologically or biologically atypical are treated with the same basic respect and dignity that all people deserve.
In 2018 I became invested in politics really for the first time. I was drawn to the Yang Gang and Andrew Yang's vision of a country that invests in all of her people and focuses on addressing the tangible metrics of our well-being such as suicide rates and freedom from substance abuse rather than ideological fantasies or simply how the rich and their stock portfolios are doing. This is a seismic paradigm shift in focus and priorities that I believe our country desperately needs to thrive in the century ahead.
I would not be a conventional politician, but these days who wants that anyway? I could promise that I will achieve X, Y, and Z Legislation, but that would be a lie. I can't, because while I will fight for the many issues that I care deeply about, such as Economic and Environmental justice, the system is designed to prevent me from of all things, legislating. We all know the system is broken, but the truth is that it is working exactly as designed, by both parties, over not merely decades but whole generations, to keep their duopoly in power above all else, even if millions of Americans have to suffer and die and lose everything in the process. Members of Congress are not only unable to even bring measures and amendments to the floor for a vote or even a discussion, they must instead spend half of their time fundraising, 6+ hours per day begging rich people for money so their party can play politics with a bigger war chest. I will spend less than 10% of my time fundraising, and I will never beg rich people for money. I would much rather spend my time in my district talking to home care aides, car mechanics and crack addicts about what they need, how I could improve their lives, and what they want to tell their leaders in Washington directly, as well as subverting DC's rotten and broken "decorum", breaking the fourth wall of their kabuki theater and highlighting the actual threats America faces in the 21st century in a way that only an artist can.
If you want politics as usual, I'm not your guy. All I can say is good luck with that and have a nice day. If instead you are fed up and believe that we need a completely new way of doing things, if you want a government that looks beyond the next election and a market that looks beyond the next quarter, I want to help make that world possible. Our adversaries think in terms of 5, 10, 20, 30 years. We need to start giving some more thought to the longer-term challenges we face, and we need leaders who care more about the long term future of this nation than they do about their own comfortable careers. We need to try a new way of doing pretty much everything, because while we may not be sure that those new ways will work out for us, we can be extremely confident that our current status quo, definitely won't.