Political brunch opens student’s eyes to issues

Political brunch opens student's eyes to issues

Jordan Campagna

Politician Mike Huckabee and co-editor of the Rider Chronicle, Jordan Campagna. Huckabee came to town for a book signing and spoke at a brunch beforehand. He arrived early so that he could meet people and take pictures. Afterwards, everyone reveived a gift bag with a free book titled, "A Simple Government."

He hosts a popular TV show. He is the author of multiple best selling books, one of which I am reading now. He is a national figure.

Mike Huckabee was in town for a book signing on March 3, 2011 and I got to meet him. He was the keynote speaker at a brunch before the signing. My dad was lucky enough to know the man organizing the brunch, so he was able to get invites for the both of us. I got to miss most of school that day. It was worth it.

I’m not really much of a talker, so I just followed my dad around. I can’t remember how many hands I shook. Right before the event began, Huckabee was standing right behind me. My dad turned, shook his hand and introduced himself. He then said, “This is my daughter Jordan. She is the co-editor of her school newspaper.” We shook hands and he asked if I knew what I was going to do for college. I told him I might study journalism. Before he could say anything else though, he was ushered to the front so the program could start.

He didn’t start out speaking about politics. That waited until the end. He was attending the brunch primarily to speak about an organization he is passionately involved in called Big Life Ministries. Big Life specializes in planting churches in untouched countries. For about 30 minutes, he told us why it was important to him and why he believed we should help.

Shortly after he spoke about the ministry, he began what he called the “Question and Avoidance” time, or Q&A. During the Q&A, questions about the economy, immigration and heath-care came up. It was around that time that I began looking around. I noticed that I was, by at least 20 years, the youngest one in the room. I had heard about the controversial issues, but never cared enough to look into them. I will be able to vote for the next presidential election. I have already started researching potential candidates. I don’t want to vote just because a certain candidate is Republican or Democrat. I want to be able to vote because I feel the same way about the issues as that candidate. The right to vote is a right that needs to be taken seriously. Having knowledge about the issues facing the country increases the connection between the government and the population. If I know what is going on with the economy, then I won’t ignore the news when I hear it. I won’t be ignorant of what is happening in the world.

After the event was over, there was a short time to take photos, and in my case, have Huckabee personalize my autographed book with, “To Jordan.” As my dad and I took our pictures with him, I will forever remember the words he said, “Maybe someday you’ll be the editor of the New York Times.”