Today, I filed papers to become a candidate for the United States Senate.
I have no special beef with the incumbent, Senator Boxer. She is a state-of-the-art Democrat. But to be "state-of-the-art" in our party is not such a good thing anymore.
"State of the art" means the incumbent has learned to please the party's interest groups, often at the expense of the needs of average individuals and the party's own ideals.
It means the incumbent supports a "card check" bill that would effectively take away the secret ballot from workers in order to give more power to the big unions-- including public employee unions--whose influence over our great industries and our government has led to disaster.
"State of the art" means the incumbent endorses a misguided immigrant legalization scheme that would create a huge incentive for more illegal immigration--before we're sure our broken border has been fixed to withstand it. We tried the legalization approach in 1986. A wave of illegal immigration followed. Another new wave would again bid down the wages of unskilled American (and legal immigrant) workers--the people who've been hurt the most in the economy of the past three decades.
It shouldn't be the policy of the Democratic party to make it worse for them.
These aren't minor questions. One affects the organization of the entire economy. The other could irreversibly alter the quality of American life.
I am a lifelong Democrat. But on those issues, and others, what has become the party's dogma--what you have to say and think if you want to run for office as an anointed Democrat--no longer passes the test of common sense.
Common sense tells you that when you can't fire bad teachers because their union won't allow it, you'll get bad schools. Common sense tells you that when you keep flooding the labor market with new unskilled workers, wages will deterioriate.
To see why the state-of-the-Democratic-art isn't working for the nation, you only have to look at the state of the public schools, the state of our auto industry, and the state of our local and national budgets .
This isn't the Democratic party I signed up for. It's not the party many common sense Democratic voters signed up for.
I intend to try my best in the months ahead to offer these common sense voters a way to make their presence known and change our party's course before it's too late. I want to debate these issues and offer alternatives, not just say 'yes' to the party's entrenched powers.
Democrats deserve a choice too.