This campaign is different. It isn't just a campaign with opposing sides, like 2004 and 2000 and 1996. Something profound is happening. It's as if a slow-building fire got lit sometime in the past few years and finally is blazing.
But the kindling was glowing as early as April 6, 2006. That day in Charlotte, a gray-haired real estate broker named Harry Taylor, attending a speech by President Bush to an applauding audience, stood and said into a microphone:
“In my lifetime I have never felt more ashamed of, nor more frightened, by my leadership in Washington, including the presidency. And I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself. I also want to say I really appreciate the courtesy of allowing me to speak.”
Now Harry Taylor is running for Congress. It's a quixotic campaign – a politically inexperienced Democrat challenging a popular Republican incumbent, Sue Myrick, in a district that's been Republican since Ike was a president and not a hurricane and before Sarah Palin was born.
He comes off as smart, passionate – bordering on, though not tipping into, zealotry – but politically naïve in a Jimmy Stewartish way. Asked what he'd do if he won and an issue arose where he thought one thing but knew most in his district disagreed, he said, “I'd follow my heart.”
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