Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Jason Kander - Brookside to Afghanistan to Jefferson City

I met Jason Kander a couple years ago, and was immediately struck by his intensity and intelligence. Since that time, I've bumped into him every now and then, and shared a couple meals with him, and I remain impressed with his sincerity and involvement. We have disagreed on several issues, and he has always been exactly the sort of person I should emulate - respectful, informed, rational, and focused on finding common ground.

As I have noted twice in the past (1, 2), Jason Kander went to Afghanistan as a member of the military, and served our country with distinction. In his powerful final post, he wrote one of my favorite quotations describing the consistency of being a progressive in the military:
I'm a Progressive Democrat, so when I get into debates about the war with ill-informed, indoctrinated regressives who don't know me well, they generally throw Rush's talking points at me, insinuating that I love my country and support the troops just a bit less than them. Whether you've served or not, love of country isn't about blind faith. It is not about a piece of cloth that I wear on the shoulder of my uniform, but about an idea, about Americans themselves. I have little patience for those who claim to love America but clearly can't stand the majority of Americans. As a progressive, my beef with President Bush isn't that he's fighting a war, it's that he's doing it wrong. I want to win every bit as badly as he does, if not more, but I believe that means the symbol of America can't just be a soldier with an M-16.

Jason Kander's eagerness to live a life of service is now leading him to seek elective office, and I am pleased to be one of his early endorsers. He is seeking election to the 44th district of the Missouri State House of Representatives - the seat which will be vacated when Jenee Lowe leaves office next year. That seat represents Brookside, Waldo and a good chunk of the poltically-active Ward Parkway corridor. His interests reflect those of his district - he is particularly strong on health care, education, and the environment.

Normally, I resist endorsing candidates until I know who else may be in the race. I don't have that hesitation in this case - I am confident that no other candidate will approach Jason Kander's intelligence, integrity and determination. Kander has the leadership skills and the knowledge to win against any challenger, and, more importantly, to be effective in Jefferson City. Simply stated, Jason Kander has the Right Stuff to represent me and my district in Jefferson City.

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Blogger ::Andrew:: said...

Kander's take on patriotism reminds me of something Frederick Buechner wrote:

"The only patriots worth their salt are the ones who love their country enough to see that in a nuclear age it is not going to survive unless the world survives."

It is always refreshing to hear voices other than Rush offering new perspectives on what it means to love our country.

Best of luck to Kander.

7/10/2007 9:18 AM  
Blogger Kato said...

I know Jason and I will definitely hit the doors for him next year. He will be a great addition to Missouri government.

7/10/2007 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will your CCP colleagues be okay with this?

7/10/2007 10:06 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Of course my CCP colleagues will be okay with this. It's my blog and my opinion.

If your question is whether the CCP will endorse Jason Kander, my answer is that I don't know. I hope so, but mine is one vote out of 150.

7/11/2007 7:53 AM  
Blogger Stephen Bough said...

Dan - your CCP colleagues are just fine with you using your brain and exercising your Consitutional rights. Not only are we fine with it, we want to encourage it!! We are tickled pink to have you on the CCP. The rest of you who are Democrats and residents of Jackson County, let me know if you want to get involved, too.

7/11/2007 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rephrase: Didn't you support another candidate earlier this year, for another position, who is not a huge fan of his?

7/11/2007 11:09 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anonymous -

Now I see what you're driving at. As far as I know, bygones are bygones, and I certainly hope and expect that to be the case.

7/12/2007 6:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not just "CCP friends" who have had bad experiences with the Kanders, they have pissed off a large number of active Democrats in Kansas City and Jackson County. And simply deleting posts about the Kanders' political liabilities will not make those liabilities go away.

7/13/2007 3:06 PM  
Blogger CCP Admin said...

No posts have been deleted from this site. I am the only one with access to do that, and I have not deleted any posts.

7/13/2007 3:15 PM  
Blogger Betsy said...

There seems to be an issue going on here. I met Jason and his wife tonight and was impressed with his take on the issues, i.e. education, health care, etc. Feel free to jump on my comments if you wish but I think that we need some changes.

2/25/2008 9:44 PM  

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