In December of 2020, we published an article entitled “Why Progressives Joining the Republican Party Isn’t as Crazy as You Think.” In it, Russell Dobular argued that because of the shifting class dynamics within the Democratic and Republican electorates (Republicans have become more working class, Democrats more upper-middle class), populist Left economic policies could catch on in Republican circles more so than in Democratic ones. Additionally, in deep red states and/or districts where Democrats have virtually no chance of beating Republicans, it makes more sense for progressives to primary Republican incumbents than to try and oust them as Democrats.
Lara Hodge, friend and frequent listener of our podcast and reader of our blog, took this advice to heart, and is running for Congress as a progressive, and as a Republican. She submitted her bio below:
Lara is running for the U.S. House of Representatives for Arizona’s 5th district, in 2022. She is a Navy veteran and has lived all over the United States. She chose to settle her family in Arizona in 2019. She is not a career politician. She is an average citizen who is tired of waiting for the “adults in the room” to stand up in Congress. She has watched shifting political coalitions over the decades and realized that the people at the top are playing a game with the lives of the rest of us.
The turmoil of 2020 convinced her that our elected officials are looking out for property and capital, not the people. She also recognized that the Democratic Party isn’t the weak, ineffective party she had always thought them to be. She realized they are complicit. They have the same debts to their corporate donors as the Republican Party. But at least the Republicans are honest about it. So, Lara left the Democratic Party and filed to run for Arizona State Senate. And then in early 2021 she found out that her Congressman, Andy Biggs, was directly involved in the January 6th insurrection. She changed her candidate filing and is now running against Biggs for his Congressional seat.
Lara is a progressive, but not a liberal. She believes that all Americans should have ready access to food, housing, healthcare, education, and safety. She is for small government involvement when it comes to our personal lives, and big government spending when it comes to investment in human services and infrastructure. Most importantly, she believes in actual accountability for our elected representatives.
You can find more about her views on her website at proudprogressivepatriot.com. She also has a podcast/YouTube channel called Splash of Socialism. Lara is not a socialist in the classical sense. She realizes that socialism, just like communism and capitalism, as a strict, sole economic policy will never work, because people are people. Where there are people, there is greed and corruption. We need a blended economic system, a Splash of Socialism, if you will, to make sure that our human rights are being met. Rising to our full potential is difficult enough, even when all of our basic needs are being met.
Lara joined the podcast to discuss her candidacy as well as her stances on various issues affecting her district and the country as a whole. Listen to our full conversation by clicking the player below, and subscribe to the Due Dissidence podcast on Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or any major podcast player.