Expect, rather than wish for, the chance to be heard

One last political post for a little while at least.
We posted almost two weeks ago a note of thanks to the NC Democratic senate candidate, Jim Neal. The progressive candidate and friend of the blogging community (and blogger himself) lost to Kay Hagan, who will now face Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) in the November election.
I missed Jim’s response to us in a long thread at BlueNC:

it’s never too late for you and science/medicine bloggers to make an impact. Get to know Senator Hagan and other candidates. Inform them about what you are doing and your POV.
You have a voice. Use it. Expect, rather than wish, that anyone running for public service has a responsibility to listen to you.
Submitted by JimNeal on Fri, 05/09/2008 – 10:17am.

Wisdom, even in defeat. He’ll be back.
This more general thank-you from Mr. Neal can be found at his campaign site:

Dear All,
Firstly, I want to again congratulate Senator Hagan on her nomination as the candidate to beat US Senator Dole in the 2008 senatorial race. I have told Kay that she has my full support and encourage you to work hard on her behalf.
To the staff, volunteers and bloggers who made our campaign so vibrant I thank you. We were a lean organization running a 21st century grass roots campaign. We took almost 20% (about 250,000) of the votes cast despite our lack of resources and the fact that nobody in NC had a clue who Jim Neal was seven months ago. I am very proud of each and every person who volunteered their time and contributed to our campaign.
I’ve become even more energized by the prospect of online communication as the emergent Fifth Estate. Online activism is the future of politics and social change. I believe that the power of the blogosphere is only at the tip of the iceberg (and that iceberg is melting…) so keep your involvement and your voices in the debate.
Remember that the campaign was never about Jim Neal. It was about you. You are the voices of change. Change is only going to come from the bottom up.
Many of you have emailed me and asked “what’s next?” Well, I’ve got a lot of people to thank and a campaign to wind down. Thereafter I’m taking some time, after six months and 35,000 miles on the road and not much sleep and too many pounds shed, to reflect. I don’t know what the next chapter in my life will be. I do know, however, it will involve continuing to work for empowering the voiceless many most in need. I have heard them. They have made me a richer person. They still have my ear and I’m not about to walk away from them.
We all have a lot of work to do.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


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