What happened at the end was, my mom gave me a choice. Either (1) I could drop out of the race or (2) she would pay for me to stay someplace other than our house for the last three months of the campaign, so that she could tell her boss, co-workers, staff, etc. that I don’t live with her anymore. That way, they wouldn’t be telling her she had a conflict of interest in working for an organization that’s anti-domestic violence, while supporting a son who’s pro-domestic violence.
(She would still have been financially supporting me, but it apparently wouldn’t have counted because I wouldn’t have been living with her. The newspapers would probably only have noted my living situation, not who was funding it, if I didn’t live with my parents.)
So, what I should have done was taken her up on the second option she offered, and stayed at this campground, which charges only $11/night. Three months of that would’ve only set my mom back a grand. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of that, because I used to know a homeless dude who was staying at a campground because he couldn’t afford a hotel.
Anyway, as Hitler wrote, “those nations which lay down their arms without being absolutely forced to do so subsequently prefer to submit to the greatest humiliations and exactions rather than try to change their fate by resorting to arms again.” That’s the problem with this type of surrender, in which one drops out of a race when it wasn’t necessary. It makes it hard to motivate oneself to try again later.
I had already promised myself during this petitioning season that I wasn’t going to run for Congress again after 2018 anyway. I was going to say what I needed to say, and then leave politics. But normally I would want to see my campaign through to its end, rather than aborting it. Otherwise, it was somewhat of a waste of time, because the voters didn’t get their chance to weigh in, and let their voices be heard.
My opponent, Barbara Comstock, even presumed to speak on behalf of all of her constituents (not just her supporters, but also those who might have voted for me) by saying, “It is good news for all voters in #VA10 that Nathan Larson, a convicted felon who served time in prison for threatening to kill POTUS and is an admitted pedophile, an admitted rapist, white supremacist, and misogynist, is now off the ballot in #VA10”.
So yeah, it would seem I fucked up. But I also have to ask, “Why didn’t anyone else suggest the campground idea?” People were saying I should try to raise money to support my campaign. But that wasn’t really necessary, since my mom was offering to provide the necessary support, on the condition that I use the money to move out temporarily.
When it comes right down to it, my decision to drop out was probably worse than Tom Grauer’s decision to delete his blog and not save any backup of it. (The thing about what he did, though, was that he deliberately left no way by which he could reverse what he was doing, even though he had ample opportunity to do an export and thereby leave that bridge standing rather than burn it.)
Because of this bad decision, I lose a certain amount of self-respect. It further supports my opinion of myself as being a man who makes poor decisions that waste his potential. The only silver lining is that I can think, “If I made this dumb decision, then maybe I’ll also make a foolish decision to kill myself, and act on it before I have a chance to realize I don’t need to do that.”
It’s just another item that I can add to the reasons list. Maybe someday, I’ll be sitting there with the pentobarbital in front of me, and be like, “I’ve made a bunch of bad decisions up to this point, so why not one more?” But no, I probably have too much self-love for that.
Anyway, there is one other way I can try to redeem myself.