By: Laura Jean Null
“We are swimming against a stream of history.”, said Katie McGinty.
On April 4 during Global Week, East Stroudsburg University hosted the event American Politics in a New Generation.
Dr. Kimberly Adams, a political science professor at ESU, along with coordinator, Fernando Alcantar, the Political Science Club and Tri-Sigma all joined together in welcoming guest speaker Katie McGinty.
Additionally, before she spoke the President of the Political Science Club introduced McGinty, giving the audience background information about her.
Further, the audience was told that she is from Philadelphia and went to Saint Joseph’s University for undergraduate school and then went to Columbia Law School at Columbia University.
She is a member of the democratic party and is former state and federal environmental policy official.
Even more, she worked as the environmental advisor for both Presidents Al Gore and Bill Clinton. Later, she ran for senate and lost against republican Pat Toomey. However, despite her losing she has accomplished a lot thus far in her career.
Once McGinty began speaking, right off the bat she asked the audience if they felt as though they were a leader and if they felt as though they had a purpose for something greater than themselves.
Then, right after that she asked the question, “Who would run as a public official?”
With multiple people in the crowd raising their hands, she went on and told the audience that if you feel that way, get involved in politics and run for office.
Throughout her presentation McGinty gave humorous antidotes and told sarcastic jokes from her experiences. However, she then got serious and said, “Politics are always a full contact sport.”
She then went on to describe the deep dysfunction in politics and how what needs to be done is not getting done. She pointed out how the environment and climate changes are not being tackled, how universities are not getting the sources they need and how national security is a problem.
McGinty described that it is okay to have a difference in opinion, but nothing being done to fix these issues is unacceptable. Additionally, she mentioned how politics cannot be one person for themselves, you do not have to love your neighbor, but must work together.
Further, she described politics as being broken up into two categories.
The first, our political system, which challenges the who and what we are and how it is degrading to our capability to get stuff done. This includes gerrymandering, money and the media.
McGinty described gerrymandering, and said Pennsylvania having the worst record of it. She said everyone’s vote should be equal, but money does make a difference. Explaining that $2 is not equal to $2 million towards a campaign and money controls the agenda.
She then described having a tough-love with the media and how it is difficult for the media to get complex subjects within a 24 second segment. However, she discussed how the press in most cases does not focus on the good news, but instead on drama or controversial stuff that gets repeated and grabs more people’s attention.
The second category she mentioned was us, the people and how we have the power to make change.
Lastly McGinty ended on a strong note saying, “The economy of this county isn’t working for good people anymore.” Discussing how change needs to be made in the American society.
She encouraged younger generations to get out and be part of politics. She said, “Running for office is a team sport,” and ,“There is nothing like the privilege of serving.”
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