Tonight I had the opportunity to attend a fundraising event with my internship. In many ways, it was exactly as I would imagine a political fundraiser to be: in a beautiful home with lovely finger foods and discussion of the state of affairs.
In many ways, the event was not what I imagined. If I had to make a guess, I probably would of assumed that a political fundraiser would be full to the prim of people who didn’t know each other, making incredible amounts of awkward small talk. Although there was certainly some level of small talk, everyone was incredibly open and excited to talk about the world and their views on how to fix it.
I found the space incredibly inclusive and inviting, as people of different ages, genders, races, and profession shared with one another their life experiences. Everyone was so excited to be in a space where they could share their perspectives.
By far and away the coolest moment for me was when the subtle but progressive decresendo of conversation roughly an hour in. In the place of the multitude of conversations were a string of speeches from people of incredible influence and life experience. State delegates, potential senate/governor candidates, and retired officials were thanked for their support, with each sharing a few words of support along the way. Even more exciting was when Governor of South Carolina Nikki Hayley made a speech about the importance of supporting Congresspeople in their reelection. It was an incredible privilege to hear someone speak about the future of the Republican party. Her speech focused on economic growth and national security, and how these topics have played out in Virginia and South Carolina policy.
The event humanized two strong women leaders that many individuals – myself included – are inspired by. This was most evident when a personal friend of my Congresswoman brought out a birthday cake as an early celebration and she was incredibly surprised and overjoyed. Seeing people on T.V. and in the news can make individuals seem unapproachable, and events such as the one I attended tonight proved that everyone is still a human being, even if they appear on CSPAN more often than you binge-watch House of Cards on Netflix.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to hear so many great minds share their hopes and plans for the future of the Republican party. In a time of incredible uncertainty, it was exciting to hear such passion from rising stars looking to improve US policy to that we can all pursue our version of the American dream in a safe and economically secure nation. I cannot wait to see what else is in store for me this summer!