By their fruits you shall know them

  Senator Kate Bolz represents District 29 for Nebraska. PC: nebraskalegislature.gov

Senator Kate Bolz represents District 29 for Nebraska. PC: nebraskalegislature.gov

Emotion is the death of reason

For many citizens, Tuesday, Nov. 8 is the day we, as Americans, choose our next president.

But a lot of Unionites might not know that Nov. 8 is also the day we choose someone to represent us in the Nebraska legislature, an election with a much smaller, but perhaps more powerful sphere of influence.

This year, we have two choices: incumbent Kate Bolz or Melody Vaccaro. Both are Democrats, but while Bolz’s focus remains mostly on education and the economy, Vaccaro stresses climate change and social issues as priorities.

While this is Vaccaro’s first run at the legislature, Bolz is in her second term. But before her stint in local government, she was a successful educator and social worker.

Senator Bolz’s career and life choices display a solid foundation built on years of experience, the type of experience necessary to run something as complex as a state’s government. But is experience alone enough?

In short, no. Look at Hillary Clinton. For many, time and experience can make the heart grow cold and the soul lose hope, especially in politics.

So if experience isn’t enough, what else can be taken into account?

In politics today, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between sincerity and political expediency, and rightly so. After all, who among us can read minds?

So until we are given such an ability, the best standard to measure by is actually outlined in the Bible—“by their fruits you shall know them” (Matt. 7:16).

I would be surprised to hear that a single Union College student knew of or had heard the name of Melody Vaccaro before this article. This, I would say, is the norm since local politicians don’t have the name recognition that national politicians like Chuck Schumer and John McCain enjoy.

But maybe this isn’t the case with Senator Bolz.

Maybe you would have heard her name if you were in the American politics class she visited last semester. Maybe you would have heard her name if you attended the town hall she hosted in the Krueger Center Amphitheater less than a month ago. Maybe you would have heard her name if you participated in Project Impact last year. Maybe you heard her name last week when she celebrated Union’s 125th birthday with our student body.

Make no mistake, I’m not saying you should vote for a candidate based solely on name recognition. But I’m saying that Senator Bolz’s actions display an honest interest in our school, and by extension, you and me as individuals.

In other words, there’s a reason why we know her name.

My grandpa doesn’t get much company these days. A few years ago, he lost his wife and best friend of over 60 years, and though I drop by when I can, most of his days are spent alone.

As can be expected, he relishes any human interaction that comes his way. So when his doorbell rang and a smiling face greeted him, his day was already made.

But Senator Bolz did more than stand on his porch and spew rehearsed campaign rhetoric. She sat with him in his living room and engaged with him in real conversation, the type that makes someone feel like a friend, not just a voter.

She was kind to someone I love, and for that I’m grateful. But once again, I’m not asking you to vote for her based on my personal preferences.

It’s not just that she’s a qualified candidate. It’s not just that she treats voters like real people. It’s not just that she’s displayed a vested interest in the well-being of our school.

It’s the combination of these things that makes Bolz the best choice for Unionites who want to exercise their civic duty this November, and I encourage every student on campus to vote to reelect Senator Bolz when you cast your votes later this year.


Jonathan Deemer is a sophomore studying biomedical science