Donna Brazile urges students to make a ‘wise choice’

Brazile’s energetic speech called on students to use their power to vote Trump out of office

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Brianna Hatch

From the moment Donna Brazile entered the stage, dancing, clapping along to the music and pumping her fist, the tone of her speech was set: empowerment, comedy, and lots of applause from the audience. Her message was clear – an embrace of the Democratic Party’s platforms for change and a tremendous call to action.

“We need a Democrat in the White House who has the values of all Americans,” she said in her speech during the third session of Mock Convention. “It’s up to you to give us a fresh, new start.”

Brazile was only nine years old when she first got into politics by working to elect a city council candidate who promised to build a playground in her neighborhood. She went on to serve as interim chair of the Democratic National Committee and has worked on every major Democratic presidential campaign from 1976 to 2000.

Throughout her speech, she criticized the Republican Party and Donald Trump, insisting that he “will not learn.” 

“We have three ordinary people, three multimillionaires and two billionaires, but at least our billionaires have proven that they are billionaires,” Brazile said of the candidates running for the Democratic nomination, as students erupted in laughter.

“I know that we have a lot of Republican students at this school, so I thought it was interesting how she chose to address the Republican Party in a not-so-positive light,” Annie Cunningham, ‘21, said. “But I thought the attitude she brought with it made her a really enjoyable speaker for everyone.”

Students cheered as she proclaimed that “climate change is real,” and she called for “a need to be on the front line to protect our planet”.

Brazile also refuted the claim that President Trump has improved the economy. He was simply “riding the wave Barack Obama started in 2008.”

“Yes, we have a growing economy,” she said. “But we have a growing economy that doesn’t pick up everybody and bring them from the outskirts of hope into the circle of opportunity.”

The undertone of all her points rested on the responsibility of the Democratic Party to “restore honesty and decency to the White House” – and voters’ duty to make a “wise choice” and cast their vote in the upcoming election.

It is not acceptable to not “like” a candidate, said Brazile. Now, “when it counts, we have to fall in love with somebody” in the running for president, she said.

Her call to action was aimed primarily at the impact that the college students in the audience have the power to make, reminding students of previous movements spearheaded by young people.

“We know that if you vote, we win,” Brazile said. “When I say ‘we’ I’m not just referring to Democrats, I’m talking about America. We, the country, wins.”