Bringing Home the Win

Shelby Friedman Image
Shelby Friedman
on November 5, 2018

In suburban Dallas, foreign policy issues are certainly not defining this year’s Congressional race between longtime incumbent Rep. Pete Sessions and newcomer Colin Allred. Like in many of the country’s districts that are host to the most competitive races of the 2018 midterm elections, the voters I’ve spoken to are concerned about healthcare, the economy and — particularly in this Texas district — immigration.

Spending the week leading up to the election working on the Allred campaign is especially meaningful to me because this is the district that I call home. I attended high school and synagogue here, and this community is still my home base. In addition to serving the broader mission of working toward electing a Congress that will throw an emergency break on this reckless administration, volunteering for the Allred campaign has felt like the most powerful way that I can give back to this community that has given me so much care and support.

As long as my family has lived in Dallas, I’ve felt unrepresented and unheard in Washington, both by our Representative and our two Senators. It is thrilling to be on the cusp of a moment when that could all change.

While out knocking doors for Democrat and J Street-endorsee Colin Allred, I listened to voters who cared about restoring civility to our political culture, fair wages and many of the pocket-book issues that so frequently determine voter choice. However, I spoke to one woman who was genuinely baffled by this President’s behavior on the world stage. Why on earth, she asked, does he seem to be working so hard to stumble into a war? Why does he go out of his way to antagonize our closest allies, like Canada and Germany? For her, this election is at least in part about ensuring the safety and security of her family and country.

In addition to the highly competitive House race in Dallas, Texas’ Senate contest has captured the nation’s attention. While initially considered a longshot bid, Beto O’Rourke’s tireless campaigning and historic fundraising (his $38 million total for July, August and September 2018 was the largest haul ever for a Senate campaign in a 3-month period) have moved this race to a toss-up. By all indications, it’s too close to say which way the race is leaning.

This past Friday, I attended a Beto rally at a park just down the street from my house. As he address the crowd, Beto took a moment to speak directly to Texas’ veterans, honoring the sacrifices they have made for this country. In recognizing the high cost of their service, he made clear that he understands the weighty decision to take the nation to war. While reminding the crowd that the U.S. is still fighting an 18-year-old war in Afghanistan, Beto explained his view that the U.S. should only embark on wars where the objectives are clear and achievable, and there is no peaceful way to achieve them.

As a Texan, I am hopeful that this state can elect leaders who will play a major role in the incoming Congress to restore sanity to US foreign policy. Between now and election day, I am proud to do my part to make that a reality.