Tim Kaine Stops At Davidson

Tim Kaine Stops At Davidson

The vice presedential nominee paid the College a visit this past week.
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On Wednesday, October 12th around 3:00 pm I headed to the front of Chambers, awkwardly navigating the caution tape and thin, white ropes requesting that people not step on the grass. I finally made it into what looked like a line, hovering, unsure how to proceed.

Luckily, I was approached by an older woman, a volunteer tag draped around her neck, who explained to get into the rally I would need to fill out a volunteer form, which would serve as my ticket. I checked a few boxes, despite knowing that I definitely do not have time to phone bank or go door to door asking for votes.

When they finally let people into the area in front of the stage, I rushed to the front. And then the waiting began. I hadn’t really thought about how the line started at 3 but Kaine’s speech wasn’t due until 5, but it suddenly hit me while standing in the bright sun in a long-sleeve shirt. Once my friends got there, I finally conceded and just sat on the ground. I wasn’t the only one, there were people nearby me watching Netflix on the ground.

Around 4:30 is when things actually got started. After the National Anthem led by the Nuances and the pledge of allegiance led by Dana Ferguson, a Davidson alum and member of the electoral college came out and spoke. He was followed by a member of congress, then Dan Blue III who was running for North Carolina Treasurer, and finally, Alma Adams, another member of congress, who at one point, speaking of Donald Trump, said “Bless his heart”. They each spoke about their own feelings on government, particularly in the state of North Carolina, and how they feel Hilary Clinton is a better choice over her opponent.

Then the clock struck 5:00, but nothing happened. We waited. And waited. And waited. Then finally, nearly half an hour late, Kaine came out. He greeted everyone with a wave, and then asked us if we’d seen the recent presidential debate. He spent the greater part of his speech unpacking the debate and the differences in policy, focusing on economic plans, college and important issues. He spoke eloquently, seeming a much different person than during the Vice-Presidential Debate. He pointed out how independent analysts have said Clinton’s plan will be better for the economy than Trump’s. He explained that Clinton intends to make college debt-free and free for families who make under $125,000 a year. He then attacked Trump for his recent comments about women, and asserted the need for reforms to ensure equality, especially for people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Kaine ended his speech by encouraging attendees to vote and then he stepped off the stage. I expected him to retreat inside, but instead, he walked up to the crowd and began shaking hands and signing autographs. I managed to shove my hand out between two people, and actually got two handshakes on accident. Kaine smiled at me and thanked me for coming.

While Kaine spoke about information that could have been easily found online (as Clinton and Trump’s policies and opinions are fairly well-known), and the rally involved a lot of cheering and booing at appropriate moments, I still felt it was a beneficial experience. Reading information online is one thing, but hearing it specifically from the candidate running and getting a sense of the community’s feelings on each topic felt somehow more informative and valuable. If you get a chance to attend one, I highly recommend it, if just to understand what goes on.

Cover Image Credit: Emi Moore

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Pete Buttigieg Is On Everybody's Radar Now, But Can Mayor Pete Really Become President Pete?

Charisma, polyglot and success in reviving a Midwestern city make him a viable candidate for president. But will this hold?

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At the time of writing this, at least 18 people are vying for the Democratic Party nomination to challenge Donald Trump during the Presidential election in 2020. This includes some heavyweights, such as Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Cory Booker. There are also fringe candidates, like Andrew Yang. Then there are the formerly fringe candidates. One person fits that bill: Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Pete Buttigieg has erupted as a potential candidate for the Presidency. He recently took 9% of a recent poll in Iowa, the state that begins the general election season. The question is this: why has he gained so much traction? There are several potential reasons.

First, Mayor Pete has, at least compared to Trump, significant governmental experience as the mayor of South Bend. He has been mayor since 2011. He began his time in office at the age of 29 and has since been re-elected with 80% of the vote in 2015. His success in the city has shown: the city experienced significant growth following a population decline between 2000-2010.

The Mayor has also spearheaded some rebirth projects in the city, including converting the old Studebaker plant in town into a tech hub, conversion of the city streets downtown, and millions of dollars of private investment into the city. As a result, Mayor Pete can tout his success here as examples of why he could be president.

Other supporters claim that he is immensely talented and intelligent (though I do not like this reasoning). Mayor Pete was a Rhodes Scholar after attending Harvard. He knows myriad languages, including Norwegian. He is well-acquainted with various philosophies, including that of well-known intellectual Antonio Gramsci, whom his father has written on.

Though this line of thinking is flawed (I mean, Julian Castro attended Stanford, Cory Booker was also a Rhodes Scholar and Elizabeth Warren lectured at Harvard Law School), it is easy to see WHY he resonates: when compared to the President, Pete is levels above him.

Finally, a lot of what he says resonates with people. He speaks about his faith with fervor and honesty, something I appreciate greatly. He talks about the virtues of progressive politics and supporting policies like universal healthcare, labor unionism, combating climate change among other policies. His youth ideals combined are valued by many.

However, Pete still has his critics. Concerns about the gentrification of the city, wiretapping, and targeting of vacant properties that led to accusations of targeting of minorities in the city are what concerns many people. There were also previous issues with the police chief in the town, who recorded conversations, and who he demoted, which raised concerns for racial bias.

Whether or not this affects the primary at all is anyone's guess. However, he has momentum. Maybe Mayor Pete will become President Pete someday.

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