An Open Letter to the Women in My Life

This year I’m taking Valentine’s Day to celebrate the women in my life. For my lack of eloquence, I can’t find adequate words to communicate how you blow my mind with what you’ve overcome, what you face on a daily basis, the internal strength with which you tolerate it, and the grace with which you handle it.

There has never been a time in the modern era where your fundamental rights as human beings have been more threatened by those at home, at work, the places in between, and by the very people who’ve slid undeservingly, meekly clawed, or paid their way into the power they so undeservingly and irresponsibly yield.

Time and time again, the world has watched as the men who feign alliance and ambassadorship to women have rolled over and committed unspeakable acts under the flaccid and flimsy excuses of alcohol, locker room talk, status, power, and privilege.

There is no power under which the way you are treated is warranted. There is no level of inebriation at which a man’s actions become excusable, and there is no level of status at which our behavior should ever be considered to be above prosecution, or even retribution.

Most importantly, there is no secret club, membership, or exclusive location, in which any implied sense of trust between two or more men should condone or enable the spreading of misogyny.

A real man calls another man out.

A real man makes no pact of silence.

A real man breaches any pact of trust when words are derogatory and demeaning.

Silence from a man means they condone the behavior.

Defending those who commit these acts means you are an accomplice.

I have never been perfect. I can name, off the top of my head, more situations in which I have failed you than I have fingers and toes.

Loved ones: you inspire me to be the line in the sand, and I will work to teach and empower other men to join me in drawing their lines of intolerance.

I will make mistakes, but I will never willfully continue to fail you. I understand the gravity of my failures, and that each failure prolongs a status quo which has been morally wrong for millenia.

In 2017, we awakened to how we treated you.

We owe you for every negative word and label, every demeaning gesture, every unwanted touch, and each earned promotion and raise you never received. Men owe you the future as a penance for their past.

I love each and every one of you. Thank you for being in my life, understanding my flaws, and helping me be a better man.

Concession

 

 

Hi Texas. Ben Garves here. Many of you have seen me out and about on the campaign trail, chasing equality in jobs, education, and healthcare. It has, wholeheartedly, been an honor to be involved and so warmly welcomed into your lives.

That being said, I have reached a place where I need to withdraw from this election. For so many reasons, this has been a very difficult decision for me to make, and I hope you understand the gravity with which I make it.

The reality of American politics faces an under-voiced majority against an over-voiced and incredibly wealthy few. I am a middle-class employee, making a middle-class wage, and living in a nation where the opportunity to make your voice heard in the political realm is one only offered to those who can afford to take a year off from their jobs to campaign.

Like hundreds of millions of Americans out there, I can't yet. And if I cannot give you my one hundred percent, I would be doing a disservice to you by giving you less.

I have hope that my primary opponent, Kathi Thomas, will have the tenacity and charisma to not only get elected, but also the honesty and commitment it takes make the changes we need in our election system to remove the unbalanced impact and influence of corporations and the wealthy on our politics.

In a time where social, racial, and economic justice are under daily attack, it is more important now, than ever, we find it in ourselves to unify over what is most important to us. Kathi has put in the work, and shown time and time again her deepest concern for working class families in our state.

This is not a divide between a new and an established democratic party, but one strong, unified progressive movement working together for change.

I am endorsing Kathi, along with Derrick Crowe in the Texas 21st and Beto O'Rourke for US Senate. As a political operative, I will be in the background ensuring the success of these three campaigns, and many down-ballot races for state legislature, city councils, and school boards across out state.

The power of progressive values comes from the people, and I am dedicated to building our movement from the ground, up.

I have a special place in my heart for those who have donated time, effort, and money, counseled me, and helped grow me now only as a candidate, but as a person over these last few months.

In DC last week, I had the amazing opportunity to hear from Senator Elizabeth Warren. She talked about how honored and humbled she is by the thousands of three or four-dollar donations her campaign receives every year. Each of those three dollar donations represent someone's hopes and dreams that their fight for equal opportunity can be based on their merit, and never again on their gender, or race, or sexual identity.

Those three dollars represent the last three dollars many of these people have to spend. Three dollars that could've gone toward diapers, or student debt, or the food for their tables.

They took their last three dollars and spent it on a dream. A hope. A wish. It's an investment in the idea that someone out there will fight for them and their life story. My heart is full of love and compassion for those who have invested in their dream through me.

 

Sincerely,

Ben

Ben Garves