by: Jesse Penick
Politicians are quite amazing to see in person. They have an answer for everything, their talking points are purposely dictated to who they are talking to, and as long as they are vague then they get the response they need to get the "collective" to agree.
Today was my first experience talking one on one with a person running for a national office. I was the youngest person listening to this speech (31) and it was interesting to watch the other people in the crowd. All were the stereotypical 60 plus, "pro-military", southern, and more importantly, Texan voter. I felt that some of them wanted to question why someone so "young" was sitting listening to the same speech as them but I think that was all in my head.
During the speech some of the people that were listening to her gave me some of her reading material including her card that shows her issues. There's a few things that stuck out, especially one line that said "Cut $1 trillion dollars... now." If you have been following politics then you would know who this sounds like.
I couldn't tell if I was listening to a stump speech or a salesperson on their own book tour. Every few minutes she was mention her book and her "three years of research". I have not read her book but I believe the number of times she mentions these things makes people believe her that she is correct in whatever she says.
At the end of her speech she stayed and answered questions. I waited my turn and when I was called on I asked her where the trillion dollars in cuts would come from that she proposes. The next few sentences sounded familiar too: "Department of Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Department of Education..." But then she stopped talking and was about to go to the next question. I had to stop in and interject. I told her that the cuts she just said would barely get her halfway to the goal at 600 billion dollars. In reality, those departments and things she said wouldn't even get close to 600 billion dollars but I gave it to her to help her out. She disagreed and said I was wrong then went on to the next question. She had lost me then.
In all, this is just one story that I personally witnessed at the Saddle Up Texas Straw Poll. I had great conversations with lots of people but you can definitely see through the BS and talking points that these people make. There was one thing that I couldn't agree with more though. One of the candidates handlers or staff members did pull me aside and tell me "We need to change things by sending different people to Washington." My sole and only response before I walked away, "We have to change the minds of the voters to do that first and see through the stump speeches and teach them what they are voting for."
Jesse Penick is a 31 year old college student studying Supply Chain Management at the University of Houston - Downtown