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From the Trail: What Working Class Means to me

For no real reason in particular besides me loving it, here's a picture of my dog licking me mid-photo shoot.

"Working class" is a buzz word for a lot of politicians. It sounds better than calling people working poor while still underlining the fact that these are, in fact, the large contingent of working class people in our population. It's me and you. 99% of this state probably falls in or around "working class". That means you often find yourself waiting for pay day to get things like new tires for your car, even though you know it needs them today. Working class means having to decide between taking your spouse out to a nice dinner for a special event or paying rent on time. Working class means that if you got hurt and don't have any disability pay available, you're probably screwed for the foreseeable future. Working class means you put pride into what you do no matter the job title or pay attached.

Working class also means constantly being taken advantage of by corporations and bosses. It means being used by politicians to appear more connected to the common man. It means people in positions above you thinking they know best for you just because they went to a nicer school or have a higher pay scale.

I've been thinking about the working class a lot lately, because I know it can fade into the background due to being used and abused as a marketing term for so long. I've wondered how, on the trail, I can fight for and showcase just what I mean and how it isn't your standard lip service. I think the only way to show it is to do it and continue to bang the drum as much as I can.

Because let's face it; working class people and working class politics are what this state needs. We need lawmakers who aren't afraid to roll up their sleeves to get the job done. Lawmakers who take pride in being a representative and listening to working class constituents (the least they could do given the fact that it makes up the bulk of their voting base). Unfortunately what we end up with a lot of the time is the legislative equivalent of table scraps and a constant lack of communication and accessibility, as well as the nagging feeling that we are being forgotten to make room for all the corporate donations our politicians receive. Our paychecks just aren't big enough for them to worry about, save for on the campaign trail when they can and will say anything to trick us into thinking they actually know the struggles we face on a daily basis.

We need to support the working class. Cut taxes for lower income households. Get rid of "right-to-work" legislation that weakens the rights of the workers. Support unions wherever applicable. We need to return the power to the working class to where it was when workers could afford a family, a car, and a house all at the same time. That means strengthening workers rights, increasing pay, and lightening the tax burden on them by closing loopholes and forcing corporations and the wealthiest classes to pay their taxes and cover/supplant the need for lower income tax dollars.

I've started every portion of this post with the words "working class" in one shape or another. I've got myself sounding like a broken record repeating it over and over and over again. But it's because I want you to hear it - I mean actually hear it - and believe that this isn't just some lip service. I come from a working class family. I am working class myself. I'm working 40 hours a week as well as running this campaign with no official staff and just help from family and friends because I can't afford to do it any other way and because I believe if I'm going to try and claim to fight for people I need to actually put my money where my mouth is and show just how hard I can work. I can't do this alone, and I haven't up to this point. But if we can band together and show just how powerful of a voice we have, I think we'd be astonished at what we can accomplish.

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