Where's the human touch? 

Bruised and battered by his first political race, a congressional candidate laments the loss of personal connection.

Page 6 of 6

The root of the problem in politics is that we seem to have a spiritual deficiency. I didn't realize this until after the campaign ended, when I learned that my own frustration at the voters and the political system was actually directed toward myself.

And so I wrote this piece because I guess I'm just tired of the bullshit. We all know politicians lie and exaggerate. And as much as I tried to stay true to myself, I sometimes didn't.

We all yearn for strong, independent leadership, and yet we somehow know that we'll always be disappointed in the end. And as much as I resisted fund-raising, I accepted that check.

We all obsess over sound bites and scandal, accepting politics as reality television and spectacle as entertainment. And even in writing this piece, I could not escape the temptation to do so.

The best way, I believe, to shut up the political chatter that distracts you, discourages you, ignores you, is turn me and others off. Drop the papers, switch off the television set, close your cell phones and computers and start talking with each other again. And don't just take it from me, because after all, I am — God help me — a "politician." But instead, learn to think and feel for yourself once again.

And so when I'm asked whether I'm going to run for office again, I honestly think that I must first be selfish and focus on how I can become a better person before thinking of serving others. So that if and when I do consider running again, I can make the decision knowing that I'm prepared to once again climb to the top of that tree and jump with equal or more force the next time.

Patrick Kennedy, who finished fourth in the five-candidate Democratic primary race for 2nd District Congress, now works for KARK-TV, Channel 4.


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