Jason Thigpen has been campaigning to represent North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional district in the House of Representatives and has recently decided that he will be running on the Democratic ticket. Originally running for the Republican party, he has not changed a thing about his political platform. Below he outlines his reasoning for the decision in an impassioned and somewhat fiery letter about fighting for all Americans, freedom of personal choice, and the simple right to agree to disagree, peppered with plenty of jabs targeting the ever growing stranglehold the extremists are developing over the conservative party.
Enough is enough. After discussing it with my wife and family, I’ve decided to run as a Democrat rather than a Republican. I simply cannot stand with a Party where its most extreme element promote hate and division amongst people. Nothing about my platform has, nor will it change. The government shutdown was simply the straw that broke the camels back. I guess being an American just isn’t good enough anymore and I refuse to be part of an extremist movement in the GOP that only appears to thrive on fear and hate mongering of anyone and everyone who doesn’t walk their line. We’ve received some wonderful support by numerous leaders and members within the NC GOP, as the vast majority of Republicans are wonderful, hard-working people that don’t agree with those radical nut-jobs either but unfortunately the extremists in the party, with their ‘burn it all down’ philosophy, appear to be the ones turning out the majority of voters in the primaries and mid-term elections. And I want the people to know there is a choice. Regardless of Party affiliation, we should be able to agree and agree to disagree on issues, and still go out for coffee or dinner afterwards. To think anyone can despise, loath, insult, and threaten another American simply because of their Party affiliation is almost depressing. I mean, how many Democrats or Republicans entire families are registered with the same Party? So if your mother, father, brother, or sister are registered with a different Party would you disown them? Would you wish harm on them? Would you choose to no longer celebrate holidays with them? Would you no longer love them? These are the real questions that need answering before continuing the debate because when did being an American just no longer matter?
I didn’t go to war to defend the liberties and freedoms of one Party, race, sex, or one income class of Americans. Whether white, black, Hispanic, Asian, man, woman, gay, lesbian, straight, rich, or poor – we fought together as equals, side-by-side for the benefit of every American in the same. So, to come home from serving our country and see North Carolina legislators using their super-majority status to gerrymander districts and pass a law to deliberately suppress and oppress the voting rights of Democrats but more specifically minorities and college students, is absolutely deplorable. This same group of spineless legislators piggybacked a motorcycle safety bill with legislation intentionally geared to shut down women’s health clinics because of their ‘right righteous’ beliefs on abortion, while then cutting funding to the programs which help feed and provide healthcare to the babies they invariably forced the same women to have. Sounds like the Christian thing to do, huh? These legislators, acting under the guise of the religious right and morality believe themselves to be the divine judge but according to the Bible, there is only one judge. They say they’re for a smaller government and individual rights while pushing legislation for more government intervention and regulation usurping our right to choose for ourselves. They take money away from the public school system so they can call it broken, only to give the money to their charter schools that are really private schools, just so our kids don’t go to the same school as theirs all the while giving some great speech trying to convince us it isn’t segregation. Right. But all along, they seemingly want you to believe that you have a choice – like ‘cake or death.’
We have to choose a party Republican or Democrat that possess the ideals that we can adhere to and have an opportunity to represent our families, friends, and neighbors. The GOP leadership has such little regard and faith in the more than 1 Million people whom live in NC’s 3rd Congressional District that they don’t believe even one of us are good enough to represent OUR District. So they sent a lobbyist who’s lived in Washington, D.C. for the last 15 or more years. What an insult.
Shutting down the government was seemingly easy for our elected Representatives, as they’re not adversely affected with their pay being protected by the Constitution. They were some real patriots though, huh? These so called Representatives sat around in Washington playing chicken with their constituent’s lives all while patting each other on the back saying ‘great job.’ Yeah that’s real patriotic all right. But for the millions of Americans that rely on the benefits to feed their children, receive life sustaining medication and countless other services imperative to their needs, this was a selfish decision motivated by personal agenda. Party affiliation is irrelevant. What is relevant is that those persons elected by the people to safeguard their rights failed in their duty to protect them. Moral principle and virtue are exactly what these Representatives fail to regard in their actions and it is time they are held accountable.
Representing your family, neighbors, and community is relatively easy as long as you put people before party and politics. That is my campaign slogan because regardless of whether I win or lose this election…I believe the great people of NC’s 3rd District deserve a legitimate choice in who’s going to represent them. Throughout all of the advocacy work I’ve done in our communities I’ve come to realize that our actions and efforts are what best define us to the people not the letters D or R. I’m doing this for my family, friends, and neighbors because I truly believe in serving the interests of every constituent, not just a few of them.