As a kid, I dreamed about being a superhero, and I learned to read from comic books. To me, superheroes could do anything. They always did what was right, and always saved the day.
In America right now, we need superheroes now more than ever.
Over 7,000,000 Americans have fallen sick from the Coronavirus. The virus has taken the lives of over 200,000 Americans. That includes over 3,000 of our fellow South Carolinians, and my great-aunt.
Unfortunately, no superhero is coming to save the day. Superman isn’t going to fly in and vanquish COVID-19 with his heat vision. When we do have a vaccine, it will take time and resources to distribute and administer safely. Believe me, I wish more than anything that my favorite hero, Vision, was going to show up tomorrow and fix everything. But he isn’t.
So how can we be heroic in the face of peril? For me, I think back to sitting on my living room floor as a kid, taking in every page of my comic books. Superheroes help us find the best in ourselves. Being a superhero, above all else, means being a role model. It means setting an example and inspiring others to be better people, and always doing what is right.
So here’s the good news: you don’t need to fly to lift others to new heights.
You don’t need to run faster than the speed of light to be a source of light in this moment of darkness.
You don’t need to be able to lift a building to show incredible strength.
This virus is our Green Goblin. It’s our Lex Luthor. It’s our Thanos. It may seem unconquerable. But if the hero we’re waiting for isn’t coming, then we need to be our own heroes.
Be a hero. Wear a mask. Socially distance. Call your family and tell them that you love them. Vote.
Vote. Vote. Vote.
Electing me as your Senator won’t make the Coronavirus disappear overnight. I will not promise you superhuman feats. But I can promise you some things that I will never do.
I will never attend a crowded convention speech without a mask in the middle of a global pandemic because I thought it would make the President like me more.
I will never stand by while the United States Postal Service is dismantled for political purposes.
And I will never, ever put my politics ahead of the people of South Carolina. Right now, that means following CDC guidelines for public gatherings, even if we don’t get to campaign exactly the way I would like to.
I will gladly lose votes if it means protecting the people of South Carolina. As a public servant, your job is to protect people. Our leaders have lost sight of that. At the end of the day, the most important title I will ever have is “Dad”. I need to be there for my sons. I need to be their superhero right now, just like you all do with your loved ones and people you care for. And it would hurt me to my core to hear that someone at one of my campaign rallies got sick, or lost their life.
Now don’t get me wrong folks: I want to win this race, badly. And I fully believe we will win it. We will bring hope and opportunity back to every corner of South Carolina. We will bring decency and respect back to our state’s leadership.
We are going to get through this. I believe in all of you. I believe in your courage.
So protect your loved ones. Be a source of light. And show each other your strength and your love.
Be a superhero.