The Stakes Could Not Be Higher for America: Why I’m Running for Congress


    Andy Schmookler is running for Congress in the 6th Congressional District of Virginia, challenging the incumbent Congressman, Bob Goodlatte.  He is an award-winning author, political commentator, and teacher has been a resident of Shenandoah County since 1992.  He is a graduate of Harvard University and holds a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.

    I’m running for Congress against Bob Goodlatte in Virginia’s 6th District because I see clearly the terrible damage that he and his Republican gang are inflicting on the country that I love.

    I’m running because I can hardly bear to watch the news these days, since what’s happening in our politics is not what America needs.

    I’m running because of the righteous anger I feel when people who claim to be patriots declare, “Meet our demands or we’ll hurt America.”

    I’m running because I’m frustrated that  the national leaders we elected to get the nation back on the right track won’t stand up to partisan bullies.

    If you share these feelings, I hope you will join me in the battle to turn this dangerous situation around.

    I’m fighting to uphold the ideals of our democracy.

    Our Pledge of Allegiance speaks of “justice for all.”  

    But that’s not what today’s Republican Party wants.  It is working to take power from the American people to give to those already very powerful, and to take wealth from average American families to enrich still further the already fabulously wealthy.  In Congress, these Republicans have voted to destroy Medicare, stripping millions of America’s older citizens of their secure access to necessary health care, just to fund another tax cut for multi-millionaires and billionaires.

    We need government “for the people and by the people,” not for the powerful few and by the powerful few.

    I oppose the push from Bob Goodlatte and his Republicans to slash the safety net and kill jobs when so many in America are hurting.  I want to stop this attack on the American middle class.

    I also oppose Goodlatte’s proposals to let natural gas companies ruin our groundwater with their fracking.  I support the rights of small farmers to fair treatment from the agribusiness giants that Goodlatte favors.

    He does not represent “justice for all.”

    Here’s another of our founders’ ideals: that the truth can emerge through free expression  in the marketplace of ideas.  

    But in today’s America, the Republican Party and its allies at Fox News and on talk radio have convinced millions that the president wasn’t born in America, and that he wanted “death panels,” that the stimulus didn’t create jobs, and that “climate change” is a hoax invented by self-serving environmentalists.  Our democratic process is being crippled by one lie after another.

    Goodlatte & Co. pretend that  the Republican Party actually cares about deficits, but this is the same party that doubled the national debt while times were good, and that insisted last December that we add another $700 billion to the debt for tax cuts for the rich.

    I’m running to help truth prevail again in American politics.

    Here’s another wonderful ideal– the one that we sing to America expressing the hope that God will crown her good with brotherhood.  But today, the people who have taken over the Republican Party undermine our brotherhood by continually focusing on issues that pit groups of Americans against each other.  They use scare tactics against ethnic minorities, in the guise of protecting our border. They stir up religious hatreds, pretending to protect us against terrorists.

    The leadership America needs is not one that practices “divide and conquer” against the American people.  We need leadership that brings us together to achieve our common purposes.

    I am running as a Democrat because only the Democratic Party can protect us from the destructive force that the Republican Party has become.  

    But we need Democrats who will stand and fight!

    We need our leaders to fight harder for the opportunity of all Americans to fulfill their God-given potential.  And the American people need champions in Congress to fight against the forces of greed and see to it that we leave our children and grandchildren an America and a planet as healthy as what was passed on to us.

    The stakes could not be higher.  

    Will we continue to slide blindly toward the kind of society that Americans have always detested-ruled by greed and the lust for power, deceived by propaganda masquerading as news, and organized to exploit rather than to serve its people?

    Or will we revive the vision of our founders and renew those values that made America great?  Will we work together constructively to meet our challenges, and allow ourselves to be divided by those who would exploit us?  Will we choose leadership that brings out the best in us (faith, hope, and love) and not the worst (fear and hatred)?

    I invite all Virginians who share these aspirations for our country to join with me in this battle to rebuild our country in the image of America’s ideals.

    To learn more about Andy, please go to

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