Saturday, February 6, 2010

"You don’t need a resume or permission to try and prevent your country and your city from failing."

I've said, too many times, that there simply are not enough candidates who actually inspire me to support them. Politicians in general just don't do enough for me. On the other hand, the majority of candidates (three out of five, so far) who do inspire me tend to have lived their lives outside of politics. Pia is the third of those three.

27 year-old Pia Varma's parents moved to this country from India just before she was born. She lives in Pennsylvania, where she writes for the Mises Institute, a world-class economics and philosophy think tank. She first became interested in running for public office when she tried to fight for green-building projects to revitalize the Kensington area of Philadelphia. Her work met daunting resistance in the form of the Industrial Empowerment Zone, a taxpayer-funded program that has arguably done nothing but hinder economic and social development.

Frustrated by how "business as usual" stands in the way of real progress, not only in Pennsylvania, but in the whole United States, Ms. Varma is now running for Congress in Pennsylvania's 1st District. She will be the first serious challenger to Congressman Robert Brady, the incumbent, in over a decade.

When I say this candidacy inspires me, I don't mean to suggest that I agree with Ms. Varma on every issue; I don't even know what all of her positions are. It's the candidacy itself that excites me. Here we have a young, idealistic, enthusiastic woman who sees a problem in her home town, in her home country, and is taking steps to solve it. She tried working with the system; that didn't work. She tried working outside the system; that didn't work. Now, she's going to work within the system; I hope it works. When I say I don't like politicians, I mean the stereotypical perpetual campaign machines who do nothing but look for ways to stay right where they are. Pia Varma represents a different type of candidate: one who gets into the race to change things for the better, who probably wouldn't even be running if she thought she could trust those who are currently in office to do it for her. Like I always say, you can either support a candidate or become one; Pia Varma has become one.

It's inspiring.

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