“We have never trusted politics or politicians”, Gary Nordlinger clearly amuses the audience. A wave of laughter follows. Welcome to American politics, in which a president is going to be elected on November 6th. Study Association EFR invited two special guests with different party affiliations to discuss both the present and future of US politics.

“Were going to see Obama in office for the next four years”, Shane Jett predicts – even though his party preference is Republican. “People know Obama and what he has done for the US”, Gary Nordlinger adds, slowing down the high expectations from Mitt Romney’s perceived good performance in the most recent presidential debate. Adding: “Incumbent presidents most often don’t perform well in their first debate”.

Interesting political insights were given during the event. For example, Shane Jett on the topic of breaking campaign promises: “Secret to having a long career in U.S. politics is to disappoint your voters at a rate they can absorb”.

“We haven’t really talked partisan politics yet”, host Janelle Ward summarizes the gentle tone of the speakers towards the end of the debate. This typifies the event well, in which friendliness and courtesy prevented the speakers from aggressively discussing each other’s ideas.

At times students did ask the necessary critical questions, on which both the speakers answered with confidence. “Ah, our neighbor!”, Shane Jett charmingly erases the aggressiveness from a question posed by a Mexicana student.

When the tone of the discussion starts to get more critical towards the international interventions of the US during the last decade, Gary Nordlinger adds “we really don’t enjoy invading other countries”.

Though the differences in party affiliation were subtly recognizable in speeches of the speakers, they agreed on many things. “I have nothing to add to that”, was perhaps the most often heard phrase during the 1,5 hour meeting with students. LJa

Shane Jett, representing the Republican Party, is a former legislator of Oklahoma State and currently director of an organization providing loans to businesses owned by Native-Americans. His opponent Gary Nordlinger very successfully manages his own political consulting firm – Nordlinger Associates. He has also appeared a number of times on news channels, such as CNN, ABC, and FOX.