“Losing” the campaign doesn’t feel like losing a competition, despite the rhetoric. It implies that those who lost were the candidates and the staffers. It’s true that we saw loss. People lost their jobs, after all, their hope and their faith. But that’s the problem with politics- putting it on a platform to be spectated, tickets bought, popcorn consumed. The truth is that every person is in the arena. We are all fighting for a better future.
My campaign wasn’t a party, it was a vision. And that vision didn’t lose, it lost out. 330,000 people who fought for this specific future lost out on it. And that is the devastating part. It isn’t about my passion for Abdul. When everyone began sobbing and hugging each other during the concession speech, we weren’t upset we had lost. We were upset we’d lost out–that the 600,000 Michiganders still without healthcare will probably not get it. That Flint will continue to suffer while Nestle steals our water. That the systemic roots of housing, employment, and educational inequities among many others will continue to be ignored in favor of traditional political game-playing. That is devastating, and it was a story written on every single face that night.
Those that poured everything into this, and put their lives on hold–and I mean the donors, the volunteers, the unpaid, the voters–they deserve the life they fought for. It’s why I’m attempting to volunteer with Gretchen Whitmer. It’s why I’m afraid she won’t win. It’s why campaigning is so hard, because when people rally around a person instead of a movement, those people disappear when the person does. I have high hopes for this campaign, though. We never said we were about one person or one office. Our problems are not unique–in Michigan, the US, or the world. Clean water is an issue everywhere. Colonization is an issue everywhere. Abdul knows that, and I think our supporters do, too. They aren’t going away. I’ll see them again in November.