A Political Adventure

Posted by Scotty Ballard

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are two men who are so far apart on the political spectrum that you couldn’t imagine them ever being in the same room. Earlier this semester, I had an opportunity to witness this seemingly impossible situation. Along with those two candidates, I had the privilege of meeting a few other presidential candidates from both parties, most notably Chris Christie and Martin O’Malley.

Donald Trump speaking at the No Labels Conference

Now you might ask yourself, “Why in the world would that many candidates from both parties all attend the same conference?” The reason you’re looking for is bipartisanship; the organization hosting the event, No Labels, is a political organization focused on turning our “do nothing” government into one full of bipartisan problem solvers. Using the primary race in New Hampshire as a backdrop, the candidates were invited to share their vision for a bipartisan government. As president of the UT Dallas chapter of No Labels, I was flown out to represent the students of UTD.

Conference selfie w/ Nancy Fairbank (’13)

I noticed something rather unique after meeting these candidates – not only their difference in ideology but the different styles in which they shake hands. What surprised me most was that a great businessman like Donald Trump would have a disappointing handshake. I guess the winner of my unofficial handshake competition would be Chris Christie. Somehow, over the course of a two-second handshake, he managed to show his respect for me as well as his commanding authority over the situation; it was the handshake of a true statesman.

All in all the experience of getting to see our nation’s leading politicians was well worth the time spent. Just remember – regardless of whether you’re #cantstumptheTrump or #feeltheBern, be sure to get out and vote come November!

Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed on this blog are solely those of the original authors and other contributors.

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