The last few weeks have been the most interesting in a long time for politics in the United States; yet, as the fabric of the world order begins to change, traditional partisan opposition has remained the same. Throughout the week, the Bates Democrats have made it known through their actions that they do not support many of President Trump’s cabinet picks and they have done well to make sure that both Susan Collins and Angus King know as well.
Every day for the past week the Democrats have been hosting phone banks, calling on fellow Democrats and Bates students alike to call Maine senators Angus King and Susan Collins to state their opposition to some of President Trump’s cabinet picks, such as Scott Pruitt, and various bills that Congress is attempting to pass that could be destructive to the environment, such as the repeal of the Methane Waste Rule. These passionate students have tirelessly been attempting to persuade their representative and some of their efforts seem to have come to fruition, while others have not.
The devout Vice-President of the Bates Democrats, Elise Emil ‘17, stated that her work is not only important, but imperative: “starting this week the club has organized a weekly phone bank to oppose Trump’s cabinet picks many of whom are unqualified and even dangerous to the very agencies they are supposed to lead. Essentially we envisioned having a few students getting together in a room for less than an hour to make calls to Senator Angus King and Senator Scott Pruitt”.
Additionally, Emil went on to talk about how the call slots would help to incentivize students: “often, when a student wants to call a senator or one of their representatives, they’ll be focused on homework or a club, and then they will end up not having enough time to even talk with their representative. But by having them have a specific time slot, they are more likely to actually call their representative and the atmosphere of the room makes it less stressful for students as well”.
“In particular, we as a group want to come together to represent the vision of our group as a whole”, Emil added. “For many Democrats, President Trump’s choices for his cabinet are not just unreasonable, but completely unqualified. “Scott Pruitt is a horrible decision for head of EPA particularly because he denies climate change and has sued the EPA multiple times. By calling Senator Collins and Senator King, we hope to demonstrate to them how Trump’s cabinet pick does not represent the majority of Americans and their views on climate change. More so by scheduling events like this, we hope to promote and encourage student activism on campus and by engaging in this routine we hope to change Susan Collins’ mind”.
Determined and unwavering, Emil and the rest of the Bates Democrats will continue to host calls and oppose President Trump’s picks for the next few week.