Club Heads Talk Politics


Jiahua Chen ’20 and Nicholas Lorentzen ’20

Data collected from an email survey sent out to the student body. Statistics are from the 206 responses recieved.

Democrats Club

Kostia Howard ’20, co-head of the Democrats Club, discusses the midterm elections and the club’s goals.

What has the Democrat Club recently discussed in meetings?

“We like to begin each of the meetings with the week’s political views; most of September was dominated by the Kavanaugh hearings. After that, we discussed the climate report by the UN; that was big. Recently, we have been highlighting local politics in light of the elections going on.”

As one of the heads, what do you hope to accomplish this year?

“What we are really trying to do is have our club become engaged in real political activism. A couple of weeks ago, we went to see the Congressional candidate, Jahana Hayes, and then the State Delegate [candidate]  Maria Horn. We saw them speak at Noble Horizons. Last week, a couple of us did phone-banking for Jahana Hayes in Salisbury, and we are trying to do more [activities] like that ahead of the election.”

What do you think is the most important political issue at the moment?

“I would say that the corruption of politicians and the government by money and corporate interests is the most important issue. The power of money is outweighing the power of democracy. On so many issues where there is bipartisan national support for action, the government does nothing because politicians prefer the money and staying in power to representing their constituents.”

Do you have worries or thoughts surrounding the upcoming elections? 

“Definitely, because I am not counting on a blue wave; I am not counting on anything; I don’t take anything for granted. So, I am really hoping that people get out to vote. When a lot of people vote, Democrats do well, and years where most people do not vote, Republicans do well. Obviously, this is a very important election because the Republican-held Congress isn’t [doing] its job as a check on [executive] power.”

Are you old enough to vote?

“I just turned eighteen on Monday, and [on] Tuesday I registered to vote in Salisbury.”

What are some things you are thinking about going into this election?

“It’s not that complicated when you have a two-party system and just two candidates. You have to think about which candidate will represent what you believe in and your interests. Even if they don’t represent all of them, or if you don’t like them that much, you choose the best option.”

Republicans Club

Leo Poggi ’20, co-head of the Republicans Club, discusses the upcoming election, as well as his views on politics at school.

How would you assess the political scene at school?

“I think the political scene at Hotchkiss is quite lively and healthy. Most people are open to having civil debates and are encouraging of all civil political engagement. I encourage all members of the community to maintain a truly open mind to others’ ideas and to follow Dr. Jordan Peterson’s rule nine in his 12 Rules for Life: ‘Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t.’ Not only does Peterson promote honest listening, but he also advocates that listeners assume that the person they are listening to has some authority.”

What do you think is the most important political issue at the moment?

“Domestic terrorism. Political violence has been increasing in the United States over the last few years. It is exhibited in the violence of Antifa; the Charlottesville violence in 2017; the attempted massacre of Republican legislators during a congressional baseball practice; the attempted ricin attacks against President Trump and high-ranking military leaders; and, most recently, in the pipe bombs sent to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Maxine Waters, and others. These attacks come from the radical fringes of the left and right, and are the most important issue at the moment. At stake are American lives, including [those of] political officers responsible for protecting safety and order, and the integrity of our republic. The primary purpose of the very first amendment to our Constitution is to protect political speech so that the citizens of this great Nation may exchange ideas to improve our country. Violence has no place in this exchange of ideas and harms our country and our citizens.”

Does voting matter?

“Voting is important, because the USA is a republic, and in order for the republic to accurately represent the will of its people, everyone must vote to make their opinions known.”

What responsibilities do you think a good citizen has during election time?

“A good citizen should follow the news at all times, but especially before an election, and educate themselves on the candidates for office. A good citizen should also be aware of biases and misleading information to be accurately informed before their vote.”

Have your political views changed much during your lifetime?

“Of course. The most radical change occurred when I came to Hotchkiss and began to experience this community’s great diversity – both of ideas and background.”