By Regional Organizer Kaelee Krege
Politics! Republicans! Democrats! 4 more years! One-term President!
We all get caught up in it, at least to a point, especially being the informed activists that we are. I heard (through facebook! Yay generation-y) that Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was speaking at a rally about 20 mins from my school. What’s the first thing I do? Call up my chapter and say “Yo, who can go to this?” Naturally! Mass texts are really great for this, too. My buddy Ashley, who is always ready for some spontaneous activism, jumps on board, to my delight! Now, why do I want to go see Mitt Romney? Because we want the candidates to speak to our issues! Domestic policy is important to all of us, which is why it’s at the center of the campaigns and their promises. What about foreign policy? Does anyone even know Romney’s position on foreign aid, genocide prevention legislation, or R2P? Well, I guess it is up to us to ask! We showed up (with our signs tucked away under my jacket, in my bag) and listened intently to Romney’s speech. We brought our signs, which said “Renew U.S. Leadership? Start with foreign aid!” and “Will you support genocide prevention @ GOP convention?”. We didn’t shout at him or heckle. We just wanted him to know that we had more questions. If he doesn’t answer them now, we will simply keep asking him. Will you keep asking him, too?
We also brought the issue to the people around us, who kept asking what our sign was about. A great opportunity for raising awareness!
We want them to answer to us. Even if this doesn’t change how everyone decides to vote, they will all be more informed about what the candidates believe when it comes to genocide protection – a less glamorous, but core issue of our movement. Let’s make the candidates explain why they don’t agree with foreign aid, or why genocide protection is essential to US foreign policy. These things do matter, as we have all seen in Libya, Syria, etc. This isn’t theoretical anymore, and that’s why students like us should be asking them. We are their constituency, and a pretty large one at that, who will vote with these issues in mind, so make them answer our questions!
We have seen our movement transcend political partisanship time and time again. When we advocate for protecting civilians, politicians listen, but we first have to speak up. Today.