Fighting for working Americans and restoring the middle class is not a progressive or conservative issue. Rather, it is the issue defining America today. It is causing anger and disrespect. It is causing identity politics to divide us, instead of uniting us to celebrate our differences while allowing us to be who we truly are. Being respected for who you are, as well as being valued in our society means more than anything, and this emulates from our political culture.

The reason I am running for Congress is because I believe a culture of success is built on respect. America will only succeed when respect and value are placed on citizens who work hard and sacrifice every day for what they have. This needs to be brought back to the American political forefront.

We sacrifice every day to make our tomorrows better and to make sure our kids and communities are better off than they were yesterday. The problem is, there is no political sacrifice anymore. We ask ourselves what we can do to perfect our union, but the politicians are not. They are no longer asking themselves what will make our lives better, just what will be more politically convenient for them.

Growing up, my dad was a mill worker, and my mother was a daycare provider. These were working class jobs, in a time where these jobs led to middle-class living. They were respected for what they did, and they made sacrifices for our family. I know I am better off today than my parents were when I was a kid. However, that is not something many of us can say anymore. College debt, stagnation in pay, an inability to retire, and health care costs are all getting in the way. All while millionaires and billionaires are doing better than ever.

Look, life is not easy, but for real working Americans, it has never been harder. We are sacrificing more every year, and it seems like things are only getting worse.

But, it is not too late, and this is not over. I have lived my entire life in this community, and I know we have the fight and the grit necessary to accomplish what we set our minds to.

When I came to Rosemount High and became the head coach of the football program, we barely had enough kids to field a team. I knew if we wanted our team to be successful, we needed to build a culture of respect. Because that is what actual winning looks like – respecting others and creating a culture where everyone is valued.

Everyone has value, all Americans deserve respect, and creating a culture that unites instead of divides leads to actual winning.

I’ve been teaching American government for 27 years, I know there is more that unites us than could ever divide us. A better tomorrow does not have to be just hope, it can be a promise. We do not have to keep sacrificing for a small percentage of Americans to achieve great wealth. We can build something better. We have sacrificed much for our country, and we deserve to have a working class voice to finally represent our interests.

So, it is time we get better representation and join together to start our own program of success.

With Respect,
Jeff Erdmann

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