Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A little campaign that could...

Tom Perriello

Tom Perriello is turning heads in the 5th Congressional District of Virginia. He is running against incumbent Virgil Goode in what was a Democratic seat from 1889 until Goode changed parties in office in 2000. Word is internal campaign polling indicates Perriello has pulled within single digits of Representative Goode. This is significant because Goode has won re-election five times with times with no less than 59% of the vote.

The Clarion Content is drawn to this race because although Goode claims to have Libertarian philosophies, we are strongly opposed to several of his positions. Goode is against equal rights for homosexuals, strongly against abortion rights and anti-immigrant. Of course, the Clarion is predisposed at least slightly against all Congressional incumbent candidates. But Representative Goode has had a whiff of scandal around him too, he was connected to the same company California congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham was convicted of being bribed by. No charges were ever brought against Goode. The Clarion Content further opposes Goode because he voted for the Iraq War, and has made comments that are at minimum less than sensitive to Islamic sensibilities, (if not downright prejudiced.)

Tom Perriello on the other hand has a fascinating and atypical background. He received a law degree from Yale and then moved to Africa to actively live out his ethic of service. He worked in Sudan (including Dafur,) Liberia, Sierra Leone and also separately in Afghanistan. Perriello supports the same kind of mindset that the Clarion has been touting as central to our support of Barack Obama; from Perriello's website, "[he] believes that America must reverse the erosion of our commitment to the common good and restore our understanding that our nation rises or falls together."

It is one thing to say such things, it is a far different cry to attempt to live them out through service. One reason the Clarion Content was drawn to Senator Obama was his days as a community organizer in a tough place. One reason the Clarion was drawn to Tom Perriello was his commitment to serving the common good. The Clarion is also cognizant, and frankly appreciative, that neither man feels that he has to deny his faith to participate in politics. America needs more leaders who unhesitatingly point out our obligation to do some good in this world.

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