I used the be a huge politics nerd. I wrote a political column for my college newspaper. I covered every single debate and interview, from the time that Joe Biden and John Edwards were still primary contenders, to Barack Obama winning the Democratic nomination, to Sarah Palin’s “I can see Russia from my house” interview. My conservative counterpart and I would each cover the facts of each debate and interview, and select one topic to debate every week. I spent hours pouring over non-biased fact-checking sites, and reports from government agencies, the AP, and Reuters.
I never felt more informed and excited about the future that would be waiting for me when I graduated. When that day came, my class didn’t enter an America that was ready to support our search for the American Dream; what we found was a depleted job market.
Ever since college, I’ve watched every primary, presidential, and vice-presidential debate, and learn as much as I possibly can about the candidates.
This election was a tough one for me, as it was for many people. Watching the debates went from feeling like a hilarious circus to an impending horrific car crash. I became (and still am) disillusioned by the whole process, and disappointed that our political system has become so influenced by money.
Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History by Katy Tur, NBC political correspondent for the Trump campaign, provides an inside look at what was happening with Tur and other journalists in the press pool when some of Donald Trump’s most infamous campaign moments took place. She describes what it was like being singled out by name by the then-presidential candidate, and watching his hoard of supporters turn to look at her in the press pen in the middle of the auditorium. It was fascinating to hear about what really happened behind the scenes to these journalists who left their families and friends behind to inform the public about the most, let’s say “unconventional,” candidate in election history.
It was sad to read about how much she gave up in her personal life to cover this campaign, where she and other journalists were harassed daily by The Cheeto and his supporters. The broken promises for interviews, the disgusting shirts and signs she saw, and the supporters she talked to, many of whom never swayed in their support, despite one PR nightmare after another.
It’s also been very interesting to read this book in the wake of Donald Trump’s recent one-year anniversary in office. A lot has happened in this country since he won the election, and with his daily Twitter rampages, staffing upheavals, and the ever-present question of corruption, it was easy to forget about how we got here. Since the election I’ve personally had to disengage from the near-hourly updates about the Mueller investigation, Obama-era policy rollbacks, alleged sexual misconduct, and White House staffing shakeups, for my own sanity. Lately I’ve been inspired watching more and more everyday people running in elections for the first time, and the passion of our next generation of voters. I registered for a philanthropy class at work, and hope to find a political organization or non-profit where I can have a direct impact locally. I’ll keep ya posted on that front.
Happy Easter/Passover Weekend/Sunday Funday!
What I’m reading in April: Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson