The People's Candidate
Since February 25th, 2020, it's been one unexpected battle after another. I have been hitting crystal clear, glass ceilings and solid, brick walls. My mission to enlighten everyone about this invisible enemy often seems futile.
In late February, the nightmares of the AIDS/HIV crisis came crashing back down on my heart and soul. Simultaneously, my mind was trying to figure out exactly why AIDS/HIV seemed so applicable and what parallels must be conveyed to the POTUS, Governor, Kansas leadership, neighbors and everyone in between. Starting in late February, I closed and locked everything down. My voluntary self quarantine began in early March. I also began calling, emailing, and using social media with my campaign websites to discuss my coronavirus concerns. Since then, I have incessantly tapped out the SOS!
Life experience has taught me bitter lessons about pandemics. They are genuine & real. Unfortunately, I've been to this risky rodeo before. Witnessing the demise of HUNDREDS of people, at the peak of the AIDS/HIV pandemic, has given me the clarity to protect PRO-LIFE values 1st in the Kansas, BIG 1st Congressional district. What's the point of winning as a PRO-LIFE REPUBLICAN, if not to guard Kansas and The United States of America? When I started exploring my candidacy in April, 2019, I never imagined that my campaign slogan: "I am fighting for Kansas, PRO-LIFE, farming & ranching families 1st in the BIG 1st!," would involve a pandemic plague. The epilogue of my biography has pivoted my vocation to guarding the lives and livelihood of Kansas, PRO-LIFE, farming and ranching families. Without the tragic wisdom of the AIDS/HIV pandemic, I would have never known what to do, say or write. TODAY, my top priority is HEALTH & SAFETY 1ST IN THE BIG 1ST!
🏳️🌈mike🇺🇸 endorses & supports the immediate passage of the EQUALITY ACT!
How could I even think that the survival of OUR historic farming & ranching families would depend upon defeating coronavirus? What are the chances of living through a pandemic more than once? How could anything like AIDS/HIV ever touch America's HEARTLAND? Is it possible for my life's journey to have genuine impact or real meaning? Do I really have the ability to save lives by sharing my story? Can this congressional campaign and my candidacy make a significant difference? What is the fate of my bottled SOS? Will it drift to a deserted island or be found by a passing ship? Will anyone focus, listen, read or even pay attention?
The Wizard of Oz
OUR Congressional, campaign imagery is taken directly from the great seal of Kansas. The principle campaign models are the 1952 Eisenhower Presidential and 1960 Dole Congressional campaigns. Ironically, these symbols are rarely used in combination for modern, millennial campaigns.
The first concept was the sunflower image above, which is a vistaprint stock image. It was initially used to create the signage for OUR Council Grove Campaign Headquarters across from the Hays House 1857 where Gallery1857 was originally located.
The characters of the Wizard of Oz became my template for casting the candidates into appropriate roles and assigning monikers as archetypes. I am the Wizard of Oz.
The American Bison and Muybridge's Buffalo are a staple of our website, FACEBOOK, TWITTER and YouTube channels.
The family portraits and painting represent the Söetaert family immigration from Belgium to America.
The hearts acknowledge the late Reverend Louise L. Hay, Marianne Williamson, my miraculous open heart surgery and a memorial to the SARS-CoV-2, pandemic victims.
Joseph Giri"s Dove of Peace is an iconic image for me.
A variety of headshots serve as signage and slogan boards.
The SCOTUS & rainbow flag are my OUT affirmations of Equality.
The color scheme is French Royal Blue, Blood Red & White with accents from the rainbow flag and the Kansas state flag.
Fredrika the Great and Eloquent are the principle typefaces.
WHY OUT, WHY NOW?
In April 2019, I decided to run OUT. For most of my adult life, I have been OUT. It's not a secret. I have never been an identity politics activist. However, I have a historic association with Louise L. Hay and Marianne Williamson via the Hayride & Center for Living. Frankly, many of the events were taped and photographed. To run a closeted, congressional campaign would be outrageously obscene considering my orientation Odyssey.
Previously, Dr. Tim Huelskamp and Travis Coutre-Lovelady ran a SMEAR campaign against Alan LaPolice. Despite the fact that Alan is straight as an arrow, Huelskamp was able to deploy the politics of destruction to perfection. It was pure, undiluted, slander and defamation of character. LaPolice's political career was finished. Furthermore, his academic and scholastic prospects were permanently shattered. These two conartists, Tim Huelskamp & Travis Coutre-Lovelady, knew for a fact that Alan LaPolice was straight. I know Alan personally and professionally. He's definitely straight. In fact, LaPolice is arguably a little too straight for his own good! Dr. Huelskamp successfully won the seat and was thankfully replaced by Dr. Roger Marshall who was able to survive a similar onslaught from Huelskamp. These two gifted grifters, Huelskamp & Coutre-Lovelady, were my primary motivation for taking complete control of telling my story on my own terms and timetable.
Providence has provided the political platform and cultural context for sharing my kaleidoscopic journey. What I didn't realize was that everything was rapidly shifting and that my very calculated, strategic, tortured, political decision was divinely & perfectly timed. The stars had aligned in favor of Equality. Papa Francisco's support of civil unions, Mayor Pete's remarkable presidential bid and the SCOTUS marriage equality decision turned being OUT into a political non-issue. Surprisingly, marriage and work Equality made being OUT boring, irrelevant, mundane, pedestrian, tame and trivial in both cultural and historical perspectives.
Aaron Schock, a disgraced, Indiana Congressman, was a dramatic example of ambition before truth. Although many knew his orientation, he intentionally opted to throw the LGBTQ community under the bus and train while simultaneously living La Vida Loca in the closet. He was ultimately forced out of Congress.
My final footnote comes from the 51st district where I live. It's the heartbreaking story of Ron, Linda and Christel Highland:
A Republican lawmaker from Kansas has apologized and removed his name from a piece of highly contentious anti-LBGTQ legislation after his daughter wrote an open letter, publicly shaming him for sponsoring it.
Christel Highland, the daughter of State Rep. Ron Highland (R), wrote the open letter to her father on Facebook this week, asking him why he would “openly attempt at policy that elevates hate and hurts my family or friends.”
Soon after, the legislator admitted that endorsing the bill “was a mistake.”
“The bill that I should not have signed on to cosponsor contained some hateful language which I do not condone, and it is against our Lord’s command to love our neighbors. I have asked for my name to be removed from the bill. The process for doing so is in motion,” Ron Highland said in a statement to the Wamego Times, according to the Mercury.
I wasn't going to play pascal victim for these grifting, RRR RINOS. I decided to play the OUT card as a TRUMP card. If I win the seat, I will keep the seat. If victorious, I will succeed honestly and openly.
Because I'm disabled, single, stable, secure and self-funded, I can run a transparent campaign without fear of personal or professional reprisal. Reality is that if I hadn't addressed this identity issue, it would've certainly been addressed for me. Finally, if voters don't want an openly OUT and honest REPUBLICAN, they have other choices. For Kansans who prefer a straight Congressman, I have good news. There are two straight arrows on the ballot, OR WRITE-IN MICHAEL SOETAERT. I offer STRAIGHT talk from an OUT REPUBLICAN.
OUR campaign is about TRUTH before ambition 1st in the BIG 1st Congressional district. May Kansas prevail.
As Coolidge and Lord proclaimed in 1932, "PUBLISH or PERISH "🖋 I published.