#HaleYes, it’s time for change
Democrat Christopher Hale seeks to reclaim ‘pro-life’ and cultural values conceded to the Republican party.
Can religion and politics coexist? Considering the Founding Fathers expressly set aside freedom of religion in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, it would seem that all religions would be exempt from politicization.
But we know that’s not true, certainly not in today’s arena. Christians – more specifically, zealot evangelical Christians – have drawn a line in the sand. The Republican Party has marketed itself as the party of gun-wielding, anti-abortion patriots eager to defend Christian beliefs over and above all others.
And many people have bought into that mindset (often against their own best interests). Healthcare, public schools, Social Security – all everyday American needs that have been usurped by Republican masochism designed to divide further. (“Gap” issues is the term used in political circles.)
Christopher Hale, the Democrat candidate for Tennessee’s 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, is campaigning against incumbent Scott DesJarlais. The latter has held the office since 2011. Hale, 31, believes he can close the gap by “serving the least of these” and living up to the canon that “to whom much is given much is expected.”
Hale understands it’s an uphill battle, despite DesJarlais’s sordid past, which you can read about here, and here, and here. “I would like to reclaim also what that word means – to be pro-life,” Hale said. “To me, being pro-life means from womb to tomb. Life might begin at conception, but it sure doesn’t end at birth.
“What has been so deeply problematic to me is, I think, we – my party – have allowed ‘pro-life’ to become a misnomer that led the Republican Party takeover.”
God is not an American, Christ is not a Democrat or Republican, and no party, no politician achieves all the ideals of the gospel.
“The Republican Party, as it stands right now, has really lost its moral bearings,” Hale added. “There was a time, 10 or 15 years ago, if these parties had gone in a different direction, there’s an argument that I’d be a Republican. But I want to reclaim what is great about the Democrat Party. I also want to discard what is bad.
“To me, what is great is the outlook toward working men and women. The real emphasis is on those who are left out and left behind, that’s what is bad,” he said, noting some politicians’ and their supporters’ obsession with urban life. “At times, the elite look down on the rural way of life. A lot of folks in the Democrat Party don’t understand the rural way of life. … We cannot run the Democrat Party in rural America like they do in New York or Washington, Chicago, L.A.. Those are great places, but the people that have chosen to live [in rural Tennessee] have chosen to live here for a reason.”
Hale said his understanding of rural life and representing those people in the halls of Congress is key to his campaign.
“The Democrat Party, at its best, could be a great defender of the rural way of life. If you look at our policies – economics, healthcare, protecting God’s creation – these should be front and center. Republicans basically go to rural America and say, ‘We won’t change a damn thing. We’ll preserve your way of life.” But really, what that means is things are gonna get worse and worse and worse – and we’re not going to do anything about it.
“We have got to acknowledge the truth: The rural way of life has always been helped by the role of government. We don’t want to admit it, but right here in Lynchburg and Moore County, you have a GDP that, probably, about $1 in every $3 of our checks [is] from the federal government, subsidies in agriculture, etc. The Democrat Party needs to acknowledge that its goal is to preserve the rural life.”
Hale admits his pro-life stance has ruffled feathers within the Democrat Party. Nonetheless, he is adamant that his rural Tennessee roots will withstand all challenges.
“Look, I’m a bad Democrat. There’s a lot of folks in Democrat Party who do not like me – and that’s why Republicans should vote for me,” he noted with a smile. “My loyalty is not to Nancy Pelosi or AOC [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] or Joe Biden or Donald Trump. It’s to Tennessee and its families.
“The only way you’re going to reform the parties is getting an outsider. Let’s be real: If I win this election, the entire GOP apparatus will line up. They will have the biggest primary in the history of creation. There will be 40 people in the GOP primary. I will be in deep trouble in 2022 – but give me a chance. The reason our campaign is catching fire is because I’m willing to do things people have never done before. I do not color inside the lines, but there is no pathway to victory by doing that.”
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