Early this morning, I wrote about how Ray Meier and Michael Arcuri have both failed to give voters something to believe in. This afternoon, I found a Democratic candidate who has found a way to communicate with voters in an honest, compelling way about an issue that matters to them.
In California's 3rd congressional district, which wraps around Sacramento in kind of the same way that New York's 24th congressional district conveniently avoids Ithaca, Democrat Bill Durston is running against incumbent Republican Dan Lungren.
Bill Durston has seen war. He's a Vietnam Veteran who has been decorated for bravery in combat. He came back to the United States after that war, determined to put it behind him. He became a medical doctor and a community leader. Now, with his son of military age, he's seeing Vietnam all over again, returned in the form of the Iraq War.
So, Bill Durston decided to run for Congress, but he didn't want to just give the same old kind of political speeches people are used to hearing. So, Durston decided to speak from the heart about war. Or, more accurately, he decided to sing from the heart.
Bill Durston wrote a song about where America stands with war, from his own personal perspective as a father and as a son. He wrote War is Not a Game, and had it recorded by a couple of musicians who support his campaign.
Go click on the link above. Download the song and listen to it - it's free.
Agree or disagree with the message of the song, but you can't deny that it has power. It tells you who Durston is, and what he believes in, and why he'll make a responsible member of Congress - without ever saying "Vote for Bill".
Every candidate has to find a way to reach voters in a way that's honest and natural for them. Most of them won't write a song, and that's just fine. But a palm card and a stump speech are not enough.
Neither Ray Meier nor Michael Arcuri have gone even one step beyond the formulas of campaigning. They don't have much longer to do the job, and so, although we have a high profile political race on our hands, the chances are quite good that whomever wins, we'll have a stranger representing us in Congress next year.