I am now a month in to the 400-day journey to become the next U.S. Senator from the great state of Maryland. Frankly, I have loved every bit of the experience thus far, especially the chance to meet Marylanders from all corners of the state and do something that a former boss called squint-with-your-ears. This phrase embodies listening carefully to hear the stories, learn the needs, and gain the passion that fuels a firm desire to wrestle our state and nation back to where it belongs.
After talking to you, I am even more convinced that there is a real possibility of winning this important election. But first, I am committed to winning the campaign. By that, I mean several things that all revolve around the idea of leadership not politics. First, it means that I will conduct myself, as I have throughout my three-decade military career, with honesty, integrity, dedication, energy, engagement, and honor. Second, it means that I will seek to raise the level of the conversation to seek true understanding of the real problems that we face and to determine the real solutions that we need. Finally, it means that I will use this time to inspire and encourage people who have lost all confidence in our political system and have given up on the shining light of liberty and the great hope of the American Dream.
There are three major observations during this last month that have reinforced my passion to serve in this way and that have reignited my determination to help spark a widespread revival of our foundational principles.
First, people are thirsting for a change. As a state and as a nation, we are heading in the wrong direction in the big four areas that people really care about: the economy, education, crime, and national security. There are several other issues in the public dialogue, but these four impact everyone, every day, in profound and fundamental ways. They are foundational to every other issue and demand that our leaders are laser-focused on these above all others.
Second, people are deserving of real leadership. The dysfunction of Washington, D.C. has been on full display during this last month on both sides of the aisle. Meanwhile, the real problems faced by Americans get worse and the real solutions appear further out of reach. Americans and Marylanders deserve public servants who are selfless, who see opportunities for mutual benefit, and who create a culture of unity and inspiration. Instead, we have settled for selfishness, a zero-sum mentality, and sowing seeds of fear, hopelessness, and divisiveness. These tools of politics are digging us into a deeper hole and only leadership is going to get us out.
Third, people are recognizing the need for real expertise on Capitol Hill. Just in the last month, the world has gotten more dangerous because of politicians who are amateur hacks instead of professional experts. Specifically, the U.S. Senate has a critical role and responsibility to guide American foreign affairs, international engagement, and national security that it has abdicated to an executive branch that is recklessly spending money, sowing seeds of weakness, and searching aimlessly for a strategy. We need expert leaders to take the helm and steer the ship of state.
We are approaching a year until the 2024 election where we will have an important choice that may determine the legacy of the American experiment. I cannot sit idly by for such a time as this. That is why I am engaging with everything I’ve got to fight for Marylanders to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and bring our nation back to where it belongs.
-John Teichert, Candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland