I have always read widely – indeed, my house is literally a private library, with bookcases covering every possible space. For me, history is the center of a vast spider web that connects every branch of human knowledge, its sole defining feature being the recognition of change over time. As a historian of ideas, that is what I study. And in that capacity, I have learned a lot about who we are, where we’ve come from, and where we might still go. I have studied economic history, so I know what made American rich and how to ensure that promise reaches us all. I have studied cultural history, so I know something about our differences and how to bridge divides, find common ground, and treat others with respect. I have studied diplomatic history, so I know a fair bit about foreign policy and geopolitics – I still read a dozen newspapers a week from half a dozen countries. I have studied the history of science, so I have a keen sense of what we can do when we put our minds to it.
With me in Congress, you get someone not only dedicated to public service, but who has knowledge directly revelant to many areas of public policy, from foreign relations to macroeconomics to the environment. I can draw on my background in research, my contacts in academia, and my willingness to reach outside my comfort zone and confront difficult truths. Politics requires not only a willingness to compromise and work toward common goals – it also requires solid data and the tools to identify it. My training makes it harder for bad information to slip past unnoticed, and means I am a lot more critical of what I get from the news. With me on a committee, I can promise attention to detail and a willingness to put in long hours to review how a proposal actually works… or whether it works! Electing me gets you not just another partisan hack – it gets you someone able to work through complex bills and make an informed decision about whether they serve your interests.