My heart sank as soon as I witnessed the picture above this morning while I was driving through downtown DC. Shortly after dropping off my last Uber passenger for the morning, thoughts of what I had to accomplish for work came to a halt the minute my eyes caught sight of two homeless people sleeping under an umbrella on the median strip right in the middle of morning traffic.
The issue of homelessness is very personal for me, I endured two years of destitution in 2015 after a successful career at Booz Allen Hamilton drew to a close only for poverty to come knocking at my door shortly thereafter. By God’s grace, I am no longer homeless as a precipitous fall led to a Jobian restoration. However, as grateful as I am that I am no longer navigating between shelters and donated food, I cannot shake the survivor’s guilt I feel every time I see someone asking for money or sleeping on sidewalks.
It doesn’t have to be this way, America is blessed with an abundance of natural resources and material wealth to ensure that no child ever goes to sleep at night hungry. Sadly, we are being misled by a cohort of narcissists in our nation’s capital who are in the pockets of multinational corporations and globalist oligarchs. Consequently, our government has been hijacked by politicians who are experts at gaslighting us into believing that they care about justice when in reality they are implementing policies that are impoverishing humanity.
To our detriment, we keep vacillating between Democrats and Republicans expecting change only to solidify the status quo, vote against our own economic self-interest and legitimize a government that has lost the trust of more than 80% of Americans. I don’t blame people for falling for the same old hoodwink every election cycle, we are being bombarded with a form of psychological warfare that is ruthlessly effective. When people feel hopeless and helpless, they are susceptible to demagogues who come around promising a new day and conditions helpless and hopeless people to bash other helpless and hopeless people.
While we are being distracted by politics and conditioned to fight one another, behind the scenes the billionaire class is literally dictating economic policies. Our Republic has morphed into a kleptocracy where the check of one oligarch like Jeff Bezos nullifies the votes and voices of tens of millions of Americans. By weaponizing their wealth, neo-aristocrats are able to multiply their fortunes while metastasizing despair throughout America and the world.
It’s astounding to witness, I can’t go more than a few blocks without seeing someone sleeping on the streets. There are more tent cities in DC than there are hospitals, we are witnessing the implosion of a country because greed is being lauded as a virtue by the very same mainstream media personalities who are pretending to care about Ukraine and black lives. Meanwhile, the lives of countless numbers of homeless people—many of them veterans who bled for this country—are avoided and ignored like the Bubonic plague.
My fellow Americans, we better wake up and reject the status quo before the very same privation we overlook comes knocking at our doors. After all, the net savings of the average American is zero and almost all of us are one or two missed paychecks away from utter disaster. We are being nickeled and dimed to death as the cost of everything is going through the roof while our wages are going backwards. If we do not come get over our differences, rebuke this toxic form of “us vs them” tribal politics and unite to defend our common interests, we will know first-hand what it feels like to be a homeless citizen.
It’s not enough to march around with hashtags and have emojis in our bios, we must forcefully reject both parties and declare our independence from the duopoly so we can have leaders in DC who represent us and advocate on behalf of our common humanity. We have seen the same movie too many times to know the outcome, politicians who run as Democrats or Republicans will never change the institutions they are hoping to join, they are running to garner attention and join the very system that is ravaging humanity in the process.
This is precisely why I am running for the US House of Representatives in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District as an independent. I’ve had enough of griping about what’s wrong and being against the excesses of our broken government, we need a vision of inclusion and equality of opportunities which is why I decided to throw my hat in the ring. We can’t expect millionaires who are working for billionaires to understand our struggles let alone “feel our pains”.
My opponent, incumbent Representative Don Beyer, is worth more than $124,000,000, a fortune he inherited from his father just like Donald Trump. What is true of my opponent is true of almost every politician in DC where the accumulation of wealth is seen as a qualifier while a connection to the hopes and struggles of constituents is devalued. This paradigm has wrought us a government that is actively working against our interests and destroying America in the process.
We can’t expect people who are driven by chauffeurs, have their groceries purchased by their “help” and never get out of the car to pump their own gas to do anything about the runaway cost of gas, food and healthcare. What we need is empathy borne out of adversity. As a working father with two jobs who is hustling to make ends meet, I don’t have to “feel your pain”, I am living your reality daily.
This much is clear, we can’t afford more broken promises and a more broken government, we must ensure that the needs of workers and small businesses are protected, the plight of the poor is alleviated, monopolies are broken up and billionaires pay their fair share instead of paying less in marginal taxes than teachers, janitors and veterans. It is time for authentic change in DC.