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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Regarding those suggestions about running for Congress ...

Hard to believe that as of this morning it's been an entire year since Election Day 2006, when I was on the ballot for Rockingham County Board of Education.

If you were reading this blog then, you'll remember that throughout that day I was posting a series of "live reports", to convey the sense of what happens in the life of a candidate on Election Day. It's been a pretty neat thing, to have gone back over them in the last little while and reflect on that day and everything that led up to it and has transpired since. You can find them here on the school board articles archive, along with everything else that I posted here that was associated with my campaign.

You wanna know what's one of the funniest things about my having run for school board? That in the entire year since the night of the election, when the results came in, not once... not once... have I regretted not winning a seat on the board. And you wanna know why? Because this entire thing was too much of an amazing experience!

That by itself made doing this worth it. It didn't matter that I didn't win. By the end of it I was a much wiser, more mature, and stronger person than I had ever been before I became a candidate. Running for school board was a growth thing. And it was the perfect experience for the kind of person God made me to be because it was one of the most serious things that I had ever done... and I still did it without compromising on the more fun-loving and creative aspects of my life. I ran on my principles and stayed true to them in my own unique way. In the end, that's a pretty neat thing to be able to confidently boast.

And since I'm looking back on that election, maybe it's time to address something else...

Ever since the school board election last year (which you should bear in mind, that I did not win a seat), quite a number of people have been making some ummm... "interesting" suggestions, through e-mail or in person, and lately there've been a lot of comments posted to this blog about it: that I should consider running for U.S. House of Representatives.

I honestly didn't know what to think about those. It was certainly a bit flattering. I've definitely gotten a chuckle out of thinking about what a "Christopher Knight for Congress" campaign would be like.

If that ever happens, I can sincerely promise that there will be no negative campaigning or "dirty tricks". Personally, I believe that candidates who resort to negative advertising against their opponents do not deserve to be elected at all. Their doing so demonstrates that they're running for the power, not for the opportunity to serve others.

I can also promise that if I were to run, the TV commercials that would come out of my campaign would be every bit as clever and entertaining - and hopefully thought-provoking - as those that I did for my school board campaign, if not wildly more so. And you thought the Death Star blowing up a schoolhouse was something...

Well, all of this was fun to inwardly speculate about, no doubt about it. And then last week someone that I respect an awful lot told me that I "should" seriously consider running. If it had been from anyone else, I would have probably still dismissed the idea. But that it came from this particular individual, it made me start to more soberly contemplate the idea.

I'm at the point in my life where I want to work on my own, more personal projects. For years I've been involved in what has been a long, never-ending series of struggles... and last year's school board campaign was definitely one those (albeit a good one). For the first time in a very long time there's finally light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm wanting to come out and see what's out there and make the most of my opportunities. Yesterday I took the GRE. I did well on it by the way! The part that's scored automatically by computer anyhoo :-)

So I'm finally starting to take the steps toward earning my master's degree in history, which in retrospect I should have done a long time ago. I'm trying to get a business going. There is a book that I'm working on and my full-length feature film project, that's still in the pipeline.

Most of all, the thing that I want more than anything else in my life... I want to be a father. You've no idea how much that means to me. Especially lately. A few weeks ago we were at a wedding and my cousin Walter, his four-year old daughter was the flower girl. I'm telling you all right here and now, that Walter is one lucky guy for God to have blessed him with a terrific son and a beautiful little girl like Morgan. And then there's Adam Feldman's newborn daughter (doesn't she look sharp wearing that Georgia cap? :-).

I do want to run for Congress. I won't deny that. Not because I want to make a "career" out of it though: ever since high school the notion hasn't left me alone that I should run for Congress, serve two or three terms, and then come home and let someone else take the job. If I can do that much, then I'll believe that I've done my part to serve the community. That doesn't jibe with conventional wisdom though: these days, just about everyone who runs for high office does so already knowing that they want to stretch it out as long as they can.

I don't want to do it like that. If I ran and won, I would go and serve and then come back and spend the rest of my life being creative and productive, being a husband and a father, and doing what I can to grow spiritually.

Be a career member of Congress, or be a regular guy who's trying to make the most out of the life that God has given him. Only one of them is, to me anyway, a meaningful way to live.

Besides, I don't believe anymore that in order to change the world for the better, that you must possess political power. The world is changed and made new every day, and it's not by politicians in Washington either. They wreck stuff more than they create.

So yes, I do want to run for Congress. I don't know if I'm ready to run for Congress right now though.

Let's say that I were to run for Congress, for the seat from the 13th district here in North Carolina. Politically I'm very much an independent. And I'm currently non-affiliated. But I'm not so naïve as to not realize what it takes to mount a serious campaign in America these days... even if I don't particularly like that it is that way. So if I did run on a party ticket it would be as a Republican. Meaning that I'd have to run in the primary and if I won that, then against Representative Brad Miller.

If I did run as a Republican, it would be as an "old-school" Republican. The kind that believes in limited government and individual freedom. If you read this blog then you know what I believe: I'm against abortion, I think the income tax should be abolished. I also believe that George W. Bush is the worst President in American history for his being impotent on defending our borders, for things like No Child Left Behind and the PATRIOT Act, and for bogging us down in meaningless wars that sap away at our youth and resources. I'm basically against everything that the current regime of "neo-conservatives" has pushed on us.

You see? Already, there are a lot of liabilities against me running right now. 'Cuz the Republican party, by and large, isn't what it used to be. I would get no support from it.

I also believe that so-called "Christian leaders" who prostitute their principles for political power so that they can have a seat at "the king's table" are the biggest bunch of hypocrites that I've ever seen. There would be at least one Christian candidate who wouldn't give a flying rat's butt about wanting an endorsement from Pat Robertson or James Dobson.

And then there is the simple fact of the matter that, like I said before, I want to get on a bit with my personal life. That means creating things. That's what makes me happy. How much time would I have to devote to those, if I were serving full-time in Congress right now?

Would you really want someone whose heart may not be fully into it, serving you in high elected office?

And then there is the biggest reason at all for why I shouldn't run right now: I don't know if I have enough wisdom at this point to serve in that capacity. I don't know if I possess enough to resist the power that comes with that kind of a position. The greater part of me believes that I should have some more life experiences, and build up that wisdom and gain more knowledge and insight, before offering myself up to serve others in so high an office.

(I will absolutely promise you though, that if I ever do run and Lord willing should I win, that I'm going to fill up that congressional office with the best people that I know. And they will be people who I trust will not only do their jobs well, but will also not be afraid to hold me accountable in my own job.)

Maybe someday, if God really puts it on my heart to run and if enough people would support me, I will do that, and run for Congress and let things happen as they may. If I don't win, it won't bother me anymore than I was bothered by not winning the school board election a year ago. And if I win well like I said, I'll go and serve a few years and then come home and let the next guy take over.

I'm not ready to run for Congress right now. But there is still something else that I can do in that regard, that in many ways is much better than running for Congress myself...

America desperately needs men and women who will rise at this hour to serve her. And I will do whatever it takes to find them and encourage them to take the lead.

I'm going do my best to inspire other people - especially "regular" citizens - to run for office, be that the local school board or the U.S. Senate. At whatever level they might feel led to go for.

That's why I chronicled my own campaign so thoroughly on this blog: so that other people could find it and think to themselves "I could do that. I can do that. Maybe I WILL do that!"

And you should do that. Because if it's not you... then who is it going to be?

Why should elected offices only go to the wealthy and the powerful and the well-connected? How the hell do most of them get off believing they're "owed" that, anyway?

Why should we be expected to believe that only "they" deserve to be the ones running this country? The Founders wrote the Constitution so that anyone could read and understand it. You don't have to be a lawyer or a corporate bigwig to appreciate and follow through on it.

So yeah: if you have a thorough-enough grasp of the Constitution, and personal responsibility and sincere selfless sense of duty to your community, what more do you need to run for office?

It's well past time for us to step up to the plate and become the government that the Founders envisioned.

Don't think that I'm trying to make this sound like it's easy, because it's not. Running for office is a hard thing to do... but what worthwhile things in life are ever easy? But it's also an awful lot of fun.

It's like this: you can either go with the flow, and die in your bed many years from now after a life of comfort and contentment, with not much to show that you were here.

Or you can get up and do something to rattle the cages, and make damned sure that "they" never forget that once upon a time, here you stood and would not yield.

If you do this, you will be opposed. Especially right now. And more from those who you would normally think of as allies as opposed to your opponents. Look at what's happening to presidential candidate Ron Paul: some of the most vicious attacks on him are coming from what are supposed to be "conservative" outlets, like the GOP leadership and Red State and Free Republic and Fox News, and others of their kind.

Don't think that I don't know what I'm talking about in that regard, because I used to be a long-time member and contributor on Free Republic. Free Republic has not accomplished a single worthwhile thing in its entire existence. Not anything at all. Oh sure, they'll boast about standing up to Clinton and meaningless pageantry like that... but what about seriously shaking things up? They can't do it because they're too locked-in to the party mindset: it's impossible for them to think outside the box. I don't know of a single person on that board who actually ran for office on their own, except for me... and that probably wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been banned from it to begin with.

If you are expecting leadership or even sympathy out of those places, you are greatly mistaken. Their sole purpose is to corral and control for sake of power. They aren't about encouraging and building up people to take control of their own lives. So of course they oppose people like Ron Paul and what he stands for: because in his worldview and that of many others, people like "them" aren't needed anymore.

A new day is dawning in America. There are many of us who know what's going wrong in this country and we've resolved to do something about it. We have a dream of a new world. A better world. And people from "the old way of things" have no place in that world.

They've had their chance. They've been weighed in the scales and found wanting. They are dying off. But they can do a lot of damage on the way down. Which makes it all the more important that people like you and me stand up and make sure that they go down hard and that they stay down.

What do you have to lose? You are going to die someday anyway. You might as well slam the door as hard as you can before you leave.

As C.S. Lewis said: "Die before you die. There is no chance after."

If you are reading this, please, I urge you: wherever you are, run for office. However you can. Don't do it for the power. Do it because you want to serve others. And if you do, please e-mail me and let me know and I'll do what I can to support you in your endeavor.

You don't need "them" telling you what to think anymore. You are much more than what "they" expect you to be.

Americans are supposed to be a people of liberty and free will. Ain't it about damned time that we started using those attributes?

I know you are out there. You have the strength and the ability to do something with what God has given you. He doesn't want you to waste those gifts. And neither do I.

It's time to rise to the occasion, my friends.

And when you do: be bold, but be humble. And you'll no doubt be as amazed as the rest of us at how far God will take you.


Anonymous said...

And then there is the biggest reason at all for why I shouldn't run right now: I don't know if I have enough wisdom at this point to serve in that capacity. I don't know if I possess enough to resist the power that comes with that kind of a position. The greater part of me believes that I should have some more life experiences, and build up that wisdom and gain more knowledge and insight, before offering myself up to serve others in so high an office.

If you believe this you are much wiser already than most members of Congress. I would vote for you.


Anonymous said...

"Free Republic has not accomplished a single worthwhile thing in its entire existence."


Anonymous said...

I agree that it's not time yet. You're very young yet and there's more for you to do.

But Chris, do run someday.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Most definately, when I run for school board you will be making my Star Wars themed commercial. Can I be Princess Leia? I've got the hair for it!

Anonymous said...

Brittany (A.K.A Princess Leia) for School Board!

She's got Buns of Steel!!!!

Anonymous said...

Having in mind what Chris has done in holding one crook politician's feet to the fire, I would vote for him for Congress too.

If the Republicans are going to survive they will _beg_ people like Chris to not only join them but lead them.

Anonymous said...


Chris is a Christian you can't deny takes his faith seriously.

Chris is an Eagle Scout.

Chris has a history degree from Elon.

Some of us know that Chris saved the very first kiss of his entire life for the day that he and Lisa were married.

Most people know how Chris used TheForce.Net to propose to Lisa but most don't know that he also washed her feet in a basin of water to show her that he wanted to serve her as Christ serves his own bride.

If that is not faithfulness then I donnot know what is.

Chris has fought Viacom almost by himself and he beat them.

I know that Chris has already stopped one convicted felon who tried to rob a community and had him driven out of town.

Chris is a very deep thinker and excellent writer.

Chris has as much creativity as he has passion. Which means that Chris overflows with both.

Reading his blog you know that Chris doesn't let party membership come in the way of friendship. Chris cares about what is right and that's all.

I can think of a lot more reasons why I think Chris would be wonderufl in Congress.

Anonymous said...

If I lived in your district, I would totally vote for you. There are so few "good" politicans out there today, and this country needs more.

You are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Mark he may be a good person but Chris doesn't stand a chance of getting elected to Congress. He would have to run as a Democrat or Republican and even so Chris isn't a 'team player' because he doesn't look at party membership like you said. He would get no support at all from either party if he ran. I hate that that's the way it is but it is. People like him aren't welcome to run for office anymore and that is a real shame.

Chris Knight said...

But that doesn't matter, whether or not someone can win an election. Or how much favor he or she has from a political party.

That's looking at things in terms of power. But no one... *no one*... ever needed to have power or wealth or be elected to serve others and do what's right.

As I said in the post, this world is changed every day. And it's a VERY rare thing for it to be made a better place by action from the top. Accumulated power magnifies our potential to yield to the more corrupt aspects of human nature.

A sense of collective might, as the political parties and "special interest groups" represent, increases that corrupt nature exponentially.

So believing that you MUST be "elected" or have some kind of political influence, before you are capable of doing something to make this country and this world a better place, is foolish. And one of the bigger problems that comes with it is that if you do manage to gain enough power and control, you inevitably begin to believe that you don't have enough of it... and that you must possess more.

So I think that REAL leadership is going to be found among those who DO NOT want power, and even consciously try to actively "crucify" any desire for power that they may be tempted with.

What I'm trying to say is: there are real leaders out there. They just don't hold any elected office. They're the ones I'd rather be among and learn from. And in time, they *will* be leading this country in elected leadership roles.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see you run. Just to see more of your commercials :)

Anonymous said...

Power to the people, not to the party.

Chris Knight said...

Long story short: A lot has happened since I first posted this. Some people that I know and respect plenty made me think about some things.

There is only one way that I could possibly run for Congress right now.

And the ONLY reason why I'm even posting this much, is that maybe one person out there will see this and run, really *run*, wherever they are. Someone who not only has the principles and the desire to serve others, but could also give this thing the commitment it deserves.

I honestly don't know if I could offer up that last one.

Look, I'll admit it: I'm struggling with a bit right now. Some things in my personal situation could stand to be better. I am not "comfortable" as some might put it. I'm working to start up a business and right now, it's not an easy thing to do. I'm not looking for a fast way out and I'm sure as hell not looking for sympathy. Things have to be *earned* in this life. It's what you work for, that is what makes it worth having.

I received 4,648 votes in the election last year.

For me to seriously consider doing this, I would need to have at least three times that amount of signatures on a petition. That's not any legal requirement (that I know of). It's just something that I would need personally.

If (and it would NOT be me instigating this) a petition garnered at least 14,000 signatures from registered, eligible voters from across the 13th North Carolina Congressional district (meaning it couldn't be all in Rockingham County either) asking me to do this, if there could be at least that many signatures by January 9th (two months from now), and if some contributors would be willing to pay the filing fee before the deadline in February...

...then and only then I would run. And it would be in the Republican primary this coming May.

But there are stipulations. As I've said, there would be no negative campaigning from my end of things. If I have to produce a negative commercial or do some "dirty trick" to get elected, then I don't deserve the job and I'll bow out of the race and will never run for office again. As in, "ever". Not for school board or even for dog catcher.

I will not destroy a fellow candidate's reputation, or speak ill of him or her, for sake of increasing my chances. Running for Congress isn't worth hurting someone over.

I wouldn't run as a "conservative". I can't do that any more than I can run as a "liberal". If people are going to cast a vote for me then I want them to know why it is that they are doing so and what I believe in. Yes, those beliefs are very much what *could* be considered "paleo-conservative", but I'm past the point where I find labels like that to have any meaning.

Concordantly, I wouldn't refer to any opposing candidate as a "conservative" or "liberal" either. Fellow candidates deserve more respect than that, than to shove them into some box for sake of convenience.

I wouldn't accept contributions from any political action committee. It would solely be individual contributions. PAC money, if contributed, would be promptly returned.

If, Lord somehow willing, I actually land the seat, I *might* run for re-election once. And maybe once after that if I were to win again. But after that, that's it. I'm out of there. That would be plenty enough time and some would probably say six years would be too much time. I'm not going to spend my life as a "career politician". So it would be at most six years and then get out and let the next guy serve.

Just because I would be running as a Republican, doesn't mean that I would automatically lend my support to any other Republicans. You want me to believe in a cause? Then you'll have to convince me. Having an "R" stamped next to someone's name is not enough reason to give them my support. The only reason I'd be in the Republican primary is because I do realize that right now, this *is* the only way to mount a serious-enough campaign for that high an office.

Yeah, I guess I would be a Republican In Name Only. But what does the Republican Party stand for these days, anyway?

I don't know. If you read this blog and saw me campaign last year, you know what I believe in at least: limited government. No more income tax. I think Roe v. Wade is horrible legislation and that abortion should be done away with. We should pull out of Iraq, because we should have never gone in there to begin with. We should scrap No Child Left Behind. We should scrap the PATRIOT Act. We should do what we can to revitalize domestic industry but that's something that can't be legislated into being: we've legislated it away, if anything. We should do away with the Department of Education, because the federal government doesn't need to be involved in such a local issue anyway.

I wouldn't make any promises either. Because I know that I can't necessarily deliver on them. All I can tell anyone is what I believe in. They'll have to decide from there whether they want me doing this or not.

If after all of that is understood, and those conditions are met, then and ONLY then would I run. And I would absolutely give it as good an effort as I can muster.

If none of those things happen, then I go on to grad school and hopefully make a better future for myself and my family, and we'll see if God leads me to do something like pursue elected office again in the future. Even if that doesn't happen, I'll still be happy somehow.

I *can* promise one thing though: if... *if*... after all of this that I were to wind up running, I have some *amazing* TV commercials in mind, that I would be producing for my own campaign. One of them in particular would definitely trump the "Star Wars" school board ad :-)

Not really much else to say. Because we all know that none of this is going to happen anyway :-P