While I expected him to speak solely on the 2016 presidential election, John Kasich delivered something much different. Through a personal anecdote and references to other activists, such as Greta Thunberg, Kasich imparted his vision of collective society and individual contribution to his audience. He began by noting that we each have unique strengths and characteristics, making our community a mosaic of people. He continued to explain how people, no matter how young or inexperienced, can create movements and change the world. For example, he explained, Greta Thunberg simply began skipping school and has since created a global movement against climate change.
During the panel, Kasich, friend and Davidson professor Bill Kristol, and Professor Isaac Bailey discussed what the GOP looks like in the post-trump era. They focused on economic policy and how youth must be socialized as capitalists. Professor Bailey brought race into the conversation, noting that the bridging of racial division in the United States would be a long and arduous process following the rhetoric of the Trump Administration. During the question and answer session, I asked the panelists how they saw issues such as LGBTQ+ rights and reproductive rights fitting into the GOP platform in the “post-trump era.” I do not believe Professor Kristol appreciated my question because I labeled them social issues and he felt that they were too different to consider in the same way; however, he attempted to answer my question by reasoning that society’s values and morals in the future are unpredictable and that while there will always be religious disputes, the political parties can mitigate the relationship between religion and politics.