Jesse James DeConto
Jesse James DeConto is a writer, musician, and worship pastor in Durham, North Carolina. He is author of the spiritual memoir This Littler Light: Some Thoughts on NOT Changing the World.
So far, this presidential campaign season has been dominated by the narrative of the steadfast outsider. A July poll found that more than three-quarters of Donald Trump’s supporters like him because he stands up to the media and isn’t interested in political correctness. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders, a secular Jew and registered Independent, is energizing the Democratic base—not by minimizing his European-style socialism, but by shooting straight. “He’s so authentic, he’s hip,” wrote Steve Winkler in the Guardian. Then there’s Joe Biden, who hasn’t said yet if he’ll run.
I was a security threat to Bree Newsome at the Wild Goose Festival. On Saturday, July 11, with the festival almost over, word got around: Newsome would be speaking that night. My first thoughts were: How am I going to reach an editor when there’s no cell service in this damned valley? Who’s going to lend me a laptop? Can I get enough of a Wifi signal to file a story from the café in Hot Springs? This was news, and I’m a reporter. But that’s not all I was.