Charles Rehn - Democrat for President 2004

A Conversation With America
Questions That Must Be Answered
Web Edition (c) 2002, 2003 Charles Rehn All Rights Reserved




Being Who I Am


I laugh a little when I consider what I could possibly say to describe myself as a person. Then, I realize that what is likely to be the most important thing people need to understand about me is that I think I'm the funniest person in the world.  I don't mean that like, I tell funny jokes and I should be a star or anything like that. 

I mean, when I take a step back and look at things I do and reasons I believe what I believe and assess the things I take for granted, it's pretty funny. In my own way, I have lived an "observed"  life, and have learned a great deal from it. And laughed alot.

I'd feel suppressed about that, except that we're all actually that way. Some people wear funny looking ties, we wear long hair to show rebellion, short hair to fit in or just the opposite.  Kierkegard suggests that in estimating our value as individuals, especially to ourselves, is determined in relationship to others.  In other words, we judge ourselves based on how we believe we relate or measure up to other people, especially to those we admire.

I was raised to believe that all people truly are created equal.  Part of the heritage that was passed on to me in the early years of my life included understanding that there is truly no other human above me or below me.  That was the at the heart of my training toward partipation in Democracy by my father.

As a person, I always believed that it was my job to decide about what I believed in, after carefully weighing my own needs and other people's needs, and with all that considered, decide how I wanted to respond to circumstances and develop a discipline of conduct and thought consistent with that decision. That would be living life with integrity. It would mean being responsible for who I am being as a person.

In the United States, we commonly think of that as something like our religious values, or moral discipline.  I'll talk about that more later, but I thought it was important to consider.

I have always been a leader.  I don't mean that I was placed in positions of authority or lead thousands of people.  I never sought titles or roles.

I'm the kind of guy you've probably known a time or two who sits in business meetings very quietly and attentively, and just about the time people have reached a stalemate in their discussions or the focus is lost, I'll put in my two cents worth in a way that lays out a concept or correction or plan of action, and the project moves forward again. 

I call that passive leadership. I developed that style because I often found that when people said they wanted to accomplish a given task, for example, I would spell out a theory and structure to fulfill the requirements too quickly, so I learned to interject ideas, and cause people to think of things they hadn't thought about before in order to expand the scope of their original thinking.

I've worked with a number of people and organizations where, when I left for other opportunities, made me felt honored for my contribution.  In reflection, I've often wondered what they "got" from me, or what they thought I was doing there while I was working there. I always did my job. 

But my real love was empowering other people, and so I always made it a habit to wander around and find ways to cause people to go beyond themselves personally and professionally.  Mostly, though, they just knew I was there, and provided a sense of understanding, compassion, and maybe feeling a   little better about themselves after comin to talk to me.

The times when I've decided to take the reigns and lead powerfully, as in when authority was required in addition to good ideas,  were at times when I believed there were no other particular individuals or organizations who could actually take all of the actions necessary to resolve a conflict or adapt to the next phase of the development or business cycle. In the past, I've always been willing to step up to the plate and do what is necessary at the moment for as long as it actually took to complete an important phase.

But, in this case, at this time in American heritage, history and social progress, I believe I need to take the reigns and lend a firm, guiding hand in making sure that American values are employed in our real policies toward other nations (not the ones in the fancy speeches), and that the leadership of this country is truly committed to the principles of Democracy and willing to accept responsibility for the well-being of all its own citizens, and in consideration of every other nation.

I can certainly understand that what I just said may sound arrogant.  I would assert, instead, that I am an individual who is comfortable with himself, confident in his ability to assimilate information and develop methods that work.  What would truly be arrogant is if I was to waste the time of Americans if I did not believe I could do the job, let alone if I did not truly believe I could win.

I am a true believer... a believer in American Democracy, the deep-down built-in goodness of people, the concept that people can find ways to get along in responsible and empowering ways... I modeled my life around the intent and wisdom of our nation's founders, contemplating their words when considering what it means to be a patriot, and someone committed to the American Revolution.  It is a revolution that continues even today.

I believe everything is possible, so long as people are willing. 

I actually believe I have a global vision of peace and integration that can work.  I believe that I am capable of leading this country.  And, I believe that, in time, you will read this and hear me speak and come to understand that I truly can, and that the only thing I want for myself out of running for and becoming President is the satisfaction of knowing that American Democracy is not compromised, that the will of the people is executed, and that people's lives will be substantially better for my efforts.

I say all that while trying to explain to you that I am a very playful person who jokes around alot, enjoys life, feels deeply and cares even more. Be on the lookout for smile signs :}

I have had an unusual life.  I've had incredible opportunites and done things that most people will never have the chance to do.  Maybe not monumental things, but things that have a great deal to do with enjoying and understanding people, this beautiful country, and a simple appreciation for simple things.  Basic things.  The things that matter most.

I grew up in the country, in places too beautifully awesome to describe, with no one else around for miles, smetimes, no electricity or running water when we got there. Imagine being a teenager without a phone... :} I didn't mind.  I had my dog, my guitar, my family, school, millions of pristine acres of land, and in the darkness of those hills, saw more shooting stars per hour than most people could possibly imagine.

It was 40 miles from town.  You may have heard recently about the sale of a little town called Bridgeville, California, in Humboldt County.  I lived across the river from it in the early 70's. A place people might describe as "God's Country".

At the same time, I remember that when I moved to a new town when I was 19 and people would sincerely want to know more about me, I'd just say "Well, I've seen more stuff in my short 19 years than most people will see in their lives."  And I'd say that because I couldn't begin to explain what I'd experienced as a child, as a friend to people and as a "political person".

Of course, I'll talk about that part of my life, and incorporate some things I've written in the past that I believe actually address these things pretty well.

In one of those pieces, I actually state to a particular reading audience that "some people may think I'm crazy. I'm so objective, I could make the case for you..."  I once had  a radio program where I'd tell the audience never to take what I said seriously unless I specifically told them to... which was fine until the day I had to announce a legitimate flash flood warning...

I love movies, I love following the news, and music is a huge part of my life. I own many, many lp's, some signed by the artists, from my old radio and music critic days. I've written lots of songs since I was a child. I mainly play the guitar.  People who know me intimately generally describe me as a musician at heart. But, I have never seriously persued a career in music. I have mainly just enjoyed it, and played for small groups and friends.

In business, I consider myself to be  systems analyst and process analyst/designer.  What I really do is find ways to integrate ideas, create scalable, inclusive systems at as an agent of change who understands how people think, and so can implement change with the least amount of resistance.  Sounds tricks, but ll is it is communication. And communication is primarily listening.

But, mostly, I tend to defy categorization. I don't try to be a non-conformist, I just am. I'm every bit as curious and adventureous as I am cautious.  By the time you think you've got me figured out, I'll surprise you. And I have a tendency to find ways to make people think about things that are important to them, even tif they don't know it is important to them. It's one more way to make a difference.

I always want to understand how things work, how things and circumstances evolve, how social patterns change and are changed, how  the government works and how communications have changed the face of our world. I like to observe the rippling effects... how doing one small thing effects other things, and how all things are related.   Yes, I'm an analytical. :}

I'm very open-minded.  I actually enjoy speaking to people who disagree with me because I want to understand other points of view.  For me, it's fun to look at needs and requirements and find eloquent ways to make systems work with the least amount of effort.  It's rare that I don't learn something valuable when I listen.

I also find it rare when ways can't be found to satisfy or reconcile the differences between people.  That may easily be my favorite thing to do.

I especially love it when people tell me that something can't be done. When people say things like that, it tells me it's something really want, but gave up on. Those are the challenges that are fun... not just doing the project or providing a system, but making people believe again.

I really believe everything (based in reality) is possible. After that, all you have to do is define reality.}  If you know what you want to accomplish, it's easy to define the steps required to cause the result.

When considering what the future holds and the places I'll be going and doing, all I ask is that if you see me on Letterman giving him a (good natured) hard-time, or cutting up in a crowd, don't ever forget that I love to have fun and I'm a bit of a ham, but I take the issues of this country and the planet very, very seriously.

After a while, I trust that you'll be able to join me and laugh along with me as fellow eccentrics of sorts while dealing with the importantant challenges and choices we'll be making together as we Create the Future.

We may have a great deal of work to do, but we can enjoy it, and be proud of it.   That, in itself, should tell you a great deal about me and what I intend for this nation, and the world.

'Nuff said for now.

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(C) 2002,2003-2009 Charles Rehn Jr IV  All rights reserved