The Candidates (1)
- Christopher Kelley
For the majority of my still rather young life, I have been an impassioned activist for social justice. While raised in Arlington, VA and coming from an American family with political roots stretching back to the founding of our nation, I have lived in Switzerland since I was thirteen. Because of that, despite maintaining a vivid interest in the political process back home, my active political commitment was for a long time primarily dedicated to events in Switzerland. As such, I have worked as a labor organizer in the largest Swiss labor union since 2011.
The horrifying events of November 2016, however, changed everything. Not only on a broader political level, but also on a very personal one. Like thousands of others, I could no longer stand by as a mere onlooker to what was going on back home. That being said, while this may seem utterly optimistic, some of the most progressive moments in history were born out of some of the most momentous crises. And we are, in fact, facing at least two such crises.
The first is, of course, the more obvious one. Representing a farce of previously unseen dimensions, a corrupt billionaire masquerading as a “man of the people” has propelled corporate America into a position where it is able to plunder our great country at will. Not only turning our once proud democratic institutions into cash cows for the overprivileged, it has already and continues to destroy the lives of thousands if not millions of hard-working Americans.
The second of this crises, and this is perhaps the even more tragic one, is that we were unable to stop it. Reflecting a tragic phenomenon visible throughout the Western world, progressive parties are perceived by many as being either incapable of solving the very real problems haunting the lives of working people or even worse: being complicit in the emergence of those problems.
Yet here comes the positive, even inspiring, flipside of the horrors that have threatened our nation since the shock of last November. Not only has a dynamic process kicked off, aimed at rebuilding the Democratic Party as the true representative of normal, working America, but hundreds of thousands of previously uninvolved people have flocked to this very task. And nothing makes me prouder to be an active Democrat, and nothing motivates me more to continue this journey together with all of you.
In my eyes, this must be the main priority of our party: to motivate and organize more people into taking part in the political process and actively playing a role in winning elections and pushing forward a progressive agenda. It is my hope and true belief that out of the ashes of the last election will arise a strong and active Democratic Party. One not only representing the interests of the majority of Americans, but also carried by those very people.
It is to participate in this great task that I put myself forward as a candidate for Vice-Chair of Democrats Abroad Zurich.