John Kiehne- candidate for Missouri State Representative HD110
P. O. Box 93 St. Albans, MO 63073

JUNE 1, 2019

An Open Letter to Missouri Democrats:

I’m going to get straight to the point here: LET’S STOP BEING OUR OWN WORST ENEMIES.

I’ve been voting for Democrats my entire adult life because I believe that by and large their- our- intention was- and is- to serve as advocates for the best interests of ALL Americans and to be a positive presence and influence on the rest of our planet.

I believe that on our best days Democrats stand for Justice, Equality, Peace, Prosperity and Progress. Our large tent is home to all colors, faiths, cultures, ethnicities, identities, capacities and incomes. Our challenge is to unite the many facets of our Party into a unified, clear and concise message that we can agree on that then resonates with voters, wins elections and actually makes peoples’ lives better.

I entered the realm of politics in 2017 with the intention of helping a Democratic candidate defeat a Republican politician. The Trump Administration’s mockery of basic American values like justice, inclusion, kindness and at least the appearance of class, honesty and professionalism moved me to- for the first time in my life- step up to fight back somehow, some way.

I soon came to realize that Democrats’ presence, influence and capacity in Missouri is now greatly diminished after over half a century of domination in our State Legislature during the second half of the 20th century. I soon found myself to be not the supporter that was my intention but instead the person vying to be on the ballot trying to be the change that I wanted to see in our government because I had no one to support or vote for. This circumstance has been repeated around our State for many years allowing Republican candidates to waltz into office without so much as having to spend any more time or resources other than paying the filing fee to be on the ballot. I waded into the political fray in hopes of at least being an option for Democratic voters despite the lack of support from my own Party and my own lack of knowledge and experience as a political candidate.

Though I truly believe that the Democratic Party’s intentions are to support, promote and protect ALL American citizens, our precious land and resources and the values that truly unite us as one Nation I believe that our Party has gone astray due to a lack of will, effort, organization, mission, vision and discipline.

In order to win back Missouri- and America- we MUST stop tearing each other down and instead work to build each other up. We need to check our egos and conquer our fears so that we can serve those that are so desperately in need of advocates and perhaps don’t share our good fortune as well as support the healthy, happy and prosperous. We need to dissolve our cliques and stop attacking one another and instead work to treat each other with respect and dignity- even in the heat of campaigning- so that at the end of the day Democrats truly represent the best of what America has to offer its citizens.

We need to present and promote compelling arguments to voters and when elected deliver on our promises of striving to make Missouri- and America- more healthy, safe, peaceful and prosperous. The challenges and concerns of Missouri voters don’t go away after election day and the Democratic Party shouldn’t walk away, either. We need to have a long-term mission that isn’t days, months or an election but instead looking ahead to election cycles, decades and beyond. This means that Democrats in Missouri most sow seeds in every County, City, Township, Precinct and Ward so that we’re building up our Party from the ground up and sending support and resources from the top down. We must do the tedious, time-consuming, exhausting and perpetual work to seed and support candidates from School Board to President and for every position in between in every race- every election- every year.

When we stop fighting each other and allowing our egos and fear to sabotage our potential then we’ll begin to rebuild and replenish our Party brick by brick, door by door, handshake by handshake.

I truly believe that the Democratic Party is the Party of the future while the Republicans are working day and night to boldly set us back decades while they are quietly consolidating power in order to institute autocratic rule in which only a select few enjoy the benefits of wealth and prosperity while the many suffer in order to please their leadership and increase the profits of the wealthy.

I believe that Missouri- and America- are in desperate need of better leadership that’s dedicated to the idea that all men (and women) are created equal, that they’re endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and that we ALL deserve justice, peace and the opportunity to improve our lives regardless of our age, gender, religion, ethnicity, race, capacity, income or zip code.

Now let’s dispense with the petty bickering, let’s clarify and codify our message, let’s get inspired and motivated, let’s knock doors, make calls, send emails, share posts, write postcards and so forth and be proud to walk outside and declare “I’m a Democrat and I love America and ALL its people and I truly believe in what the Democratic Party stands for.”

Let’s stand up and learn to be leaders in big and small ways and not attempt to elevate ourselves by looking down on others but instead endeavor to be someone worthy of being looked up to so that we not only talk about Democratic values but we are ABOUT Democratic values. Let’s be courageous if we can’t be confident.

Let’s UNITE, motivate and energize the Democratic Party- and our State- so that we can successfully Flip Districts Blue in Missouri in 2020 and bring some balance back to our State Government in order to usher in a new era of peace, prosperity and justice not only in Missouri but all over America as well. When we learn to work together and support one another then- and only then- we will deliver victories for the Democratic Party and the people of Missouri.

~John Kiehne