Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Local teen in "his element" at convention

David McKee, 15, of Waxhaw, is attending the Democratic Convention in Denver as part of the Junior Statesmen of America program. Here's a dispatch from him on Tuesday:
"This morning we listened to former Senator Bob Graham. He is also former governor of Florida. He said that he has held 408 different jobs during his life time! Among his jobs was an MTV video for Jimmy Buffet. It's about a couple that goes to Florida and falls in love with someone else. He played the husband in the video. Senator Graham has been a real Jack of all trades. I guess politics is the job that stuck.

We also heard from George McGovern who ran for president in 1972. He talked about his military service and his time in the second world war. He compared the prime of his life to this time. He remembers when delegates were elected by middle-aged white guys who just nominated other middle aged white guys. A lot has changed, and he thinks it is good. He compared Barack Obama's speaking style to that of Abraham Lincoln. McGovern said that there needs to be humor in politics, and that Obama brings that into his speeches. He thinks that Obama speaks in a way that he himself can understand, in a way that is more like the average guy.

On this trip, one of the other teens that I met is a neo-conservative/ Libertarian. He doesn't like John McCain, he likes Ron Paul. He thinks we should privatize everything. He thinks that we should have minimal government. He thinks people riot at protests just because the police are there. He thinks if the police where not present at a protest then things would be peaceful. He says that Libertarians want no police, no federal reserve, no government regulation at all, no taxes at all. I thought to myself, without taxes, how would you run schools, and build bridges and roads? He's very nice, but I had to work hard to keep my composure while talking to him. I decided not talk politics with him, just keeping it casual!

We then heard from Andrea Stewart-Cousins, former New York state senator from Albany, where we used to live. She talked about what she did in the state senate. We moved from Albany NY to Charlotte six years ago, and for me her voice sounded like home.

Our next Speaker talked about gender issues. She was a really strong old fashioned feminist. She thought that gender should be the most important issue in this election. She felt that all women should be voted for just because they are women. Obviously, as an aspiring Senator myself, I didn't quite agree.

I am looking forward to Hillary speaking. Who wouldn't?

Monday night during the speeches, I though that Ted Kennedy was amazing. He's a great speaker. I was moved by what he had to say. I especially remember him saying "that the dream will live on and that Barack will carry the torch forward".

I feel like I am in my element. I am surrounded by people who love what I love!