An Open Letter From My Son

Richard Rivette for NC House 107

[October 3, 2020] As a parent, I think the most important endorsement you can get is from your child. I am very proud of all he has accomplished already in life. Today’s letter from him, which he is allowing me to publish, really humbles me. He wrote and posted on his online account:

“The following is an open letter to my father, Richard Rivette. He is running for the North Carolina House of Representatives District 107. Today I submitted my absentee ballot and voted for him.

“Perhaps in reading this letter, you will realize why he has earned your vote as well. I am not usually a political person, so this letter is probably the extent to which I will be politically active in the near future.

“Dad, The storm is not coming; it is already here. But you knew that. That is why you are doing this, right? Maybe you knew from the beginning that all manner of chaos and despair would descend upon this world of ours.

“Injustice and corruption plague the system that neither of us created. The two of us are not responsible for the failures that have resulted in humanity reaching such a sorry state of affairs. So, why do you stand up to serve the people who have done nothing for you?

“Why should anyone stand against the storm and protect people who would never do the same? I think I already know. Because over the past two decades, I have gotten to know you well...

“Nothing was ever handed to you. You were born into an indifferent universe in a time of strife, like any other. You were given only a broken family, a hellish world, and a chance to make something of it. That is what you do, isn’t it?

“Making the best of an impossible situation? You grew up without a proper family, so you made your own family. You grew up starving, so you worked hard to earn each meal. You earned each day of your life, which is more than many people can say.

“I remember the first time we went camping. It rained. You made the most of it and taught me to stand against the storm. The following is something I consider a great weakness of yours will probably be one of your greatest strengths as a representative of we, the people...

“You somehow see the good in people… even when there is no good to see. When others stand only for themselves or stand for an agenda, you stand for others. Many politicians seem to stand for liberty and justice for SOME. You stand for liberty and justice for ALL.

“Maybe that is because you are not a politician at all. That is good, though. Another career politician might be the last thing the world needs. The division caused by the current two-party system is something everyone should have seen coming.

“You had to pick a ‘side’ because the world forced you to do so. But you and I both know that you don’t see sides like that. You taught me better than to think in such a simple-minded, ‘us vs. them’ manner.

“In private conversation, not once have you said anything negative or hateful about your political opponents or people who disagree with you. Because you don’t make enemies like that.

“You speak out against the CHOICES people make, about their decisions and actions, but you respect and care deeply about all the PEOPLE. In doing so, you lift them up instead of tearing everyone down.

“You will represent the people who oppose you with as much honor and conviction as you represent everyone else. Even though you and I do not always agree with each other, I can count on you to always stand with me and the community too.

“The sad truth is that my words mostly fall on deaf ears, cast into a void of indifference. It is rare these days that people take the time to actually read and consider other people’s viewpoints. Further, it is rare that people care what someone of my age has to say.

“People often listen to the eldest, the richest, the most powerful, and ignore a voice of reason. Many would simply assume that because I am your son I would have an unreliable account of your identity. Reality is quite the opposite, though. I know that we are all flawed.

“It is just that your flaws, like seeing the good in even the most despicable people, have only brought you personal unhappiness. Your flaws have not caused pain for the people around you. You lead by example, working to improve yourself, as we all should.

“No one is perfect, but you are just the right sort of imperfect to serve the public perfectly. Some people will not vote for you simply because they did not pay attention to what you had to say.

“While politicians try to speak the loudest or try to silence others, you silence no one and you are not the loudest voice. I cannot recall a time when you complained about your circumstances in life either... Most elections are simply choosing the least of evils, but...

“I feel lucky that I get to vote for my father, a candidate who is not evil at all. Here in this storm, the people are flawed, the laws are flawed, the system is flawed, but you are trying your best anyway. If you receive only one vote in this election, it was mine.

“Ours seems to be a world without heroes, so we have to be our own heroes. We have to strive every day to do our best. Recently, the world got a heartbreaking reminder that the end of our lives can come far sooner than we expect.

“But when everyone else was shaken, you were prepared. You are always prepared and careful. More importantly, you are always prepared to fight. To fight for people who are silenced. To fight for the people who cannot defend themselves.

“Some people will fail to look past the political parties listed next to the names on the ballot. But I know that you will represent EVERYONE in the community during the ongoing battle. But you will never stand ALONE. I stand with you. Your Son, Elliott Rivette”

“Dear reader: During this election, do not stand with a political party. Do not stand with any organization that does not have your best interests at heart. The only people who deserve your allegiance are the people who have allegiance to YOU. Stand against the storm.”

From Richard: For several elections now, I have run for office clearly stating plans to help everyone in North Carolina, and been vilified, poked fun of, and told frankly that I will NEVER win office. To those who write their blogs and jeer, because they tally numbers and claim the victory, reread the letter from my son – I’ve already won.

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