It's not a marathon- it is an ultra-marathon!
A saying I hear all the time is, "This (2018 election) is not a sprint, but a marathon". Not quite. This is not a marathon, it is an ultra marathon. Ultra marathons are done over tough, difficult terrain in all sorts of weather. From extreme heat to bitter cold, these runners/hikers/climbers have to go for longer than the marathon length of 26.219 miles. The Barkley Marathon, conducted here in Frozen Head State Park, is 100 miles that has a combined total of 67,000 feet of climbing.
So it is in Anderson County in this time of Trump and his party. Every day, we are confronted with both the dramatic and the banal nightmares of Trumpism. At all levels, from the Federal to Tennessee to Anderson County, we are confronted with the realities of an ultra marathon. Degrading healthcare for many Tennesseans, cutting social services, privatizing education at the expense of public schooling, and enriching the top income percentiles; this relentless race never seems to end.
Additionally, Trumpism controls the public narrative for many in Anderson County. So much so, that we are constantly climbing against the headwinds of ignorance, Trump Twitters, and racial animosity. No wonder we get tired. I cannot speak for anyone else, but there are certainly times when I am ready to pack it in and resign.
But this is an ultra marathon for the good of all people in Anderson County. We do not run/climb for ourselves, but for those who surround us. There are the vulnerable among us who have little resources to climb alone. There are the disengaged who wonder why the climb is so hard with little to gain despite a good economy. There are the displaced who came to this country as a child or an adult and now live in fear as they scramble to the top. There are the minorities who see decades of progress being thrown down the hill by the cold wind of Trumpism.
This is why we run this difficult course. Democrats have a better way. A more compassionate way that will help all people to finish this tough climb and live a better life. Here in Anderson County, we offer candidates who are willing to put themselves on the line to create a better way for all to thrive.
Keep running/climbing. Dig deep and fight the weariness that comes with this rugged 2018 election season. At the end, when we look at what we accomplished and see how we can now help so many others keep on climbing the hard course of life, we can smile with the inner knowledge that our run was well worth the exhausting effort.