Why I Am Running

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My name is Steve Lough and I’m running for Congress in South Carolina’s 5th District! Yes, I am a clown…a real, professional clown…an ex-Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus clown. Born and raised in Camden, SC, graduated from Dartmouth College, then graduated from Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Clown College. Worked for Ringling Bros. B&B Circus for many years, Kinoshita Circus in Japan for 3 years, and for the last 10 years I performed 45 minute anti-bullying school shows all over eastern NC from Chapel Hill to Ocracoke, sponsored by McDonalds.

I volunteered for the Obama campaign in ‘08 and ‘12…but I really found my heart in listening to Bernie Sanders in ’16 talk about Single Payer Healthcare. My wife is Japanese (she also was a clown for Ringling Bros. Circus…she wore a kimono costume and folded a giant paper crane at intermission) and her father could not believe that the USA is so far behind in healthcare. He feels sorry for the people who need help in our nation. So that’s one reason I’m running for Congress.

I’m also running because of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We were doing two anti-bullying shows on Camp Lejeune, Tarawa Terrace Elementary (I think that was the name of the school) and we didn’t hear any news until the shows were over and we were out on the highway going home. I regularly use 6 year old volunteers in this show, and for the next 6 months, I had flashbacks and nightmares imagining what happened to those kids. I found out the ringmaster, Jonathan Lee Iverson, went to Hartford music school with Jimmy Greene, the father of Ana, one of the victims. An old clown friend went to high school with the principal of Sandy Hook. An older black woman in the senior center gym I went to in Benson, NC told me her daughter went to college with the teacher Victoria Soto. My cousin’s daughter was on the floor and knew the counselor who was one of the first victims at Virginia Tech…Every family in America is being touched by gun violence in some way…We have to do something. Our children are asking us for help!

When I decided to move back home to Camden, SC, I Googled the 5th District…Ralph Norman, the Republican incumbent, is a real estate millionaire who took over his daddy’s business…the Democrat is Archie Parnell, a millionaire “tax expert” who worked for Goldman Sachs over in Hong Kong for the last 20 years (Google – political cartoons about Goldman Sachs- and take a look at their reputation!) and Exxon for 10 years…the elite say his ads are great! He gets a tattoo, he makes snow angels, he parodies House of Cards! He lost. I say the ads just show he is completely out of touch with working people. People need healthcare. People need a living wage. Gun violence is destroying our society. Goldman Sachs helped crash the economy in 2008 and gave us $4 a gallon gas! Remember that? And he is making snow angels…I don’t know about you, but he doesn’t sound like a Progressive Democrat to me. But, that is up to the voters…I’ll let them decide…

I will fight for Single Payer Healthcare based on my reading of the founding documents… justice for ALL, an “unalienable right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” for ALL. At Ringling Bros. Circus, I used to work with a guy named Michu…33 inches tall…he’d go out into ring 2 (the center ring) all by himself and dance to Hungarian Rhapsody and bring the house down! Madison Square Garden! All by himself! I hope to do what Michu did, in honor of Michu…it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog! And, in case you didn’t know, it’s the year of the dog, and as an old Camden Bulldog, I’m ready to fight for Single Payer Healthcare! If old Ralph and Archie aren’t afraid of clowns now, they will be shortly!