By: Mark Cavitt
OP: What haven’t we asked about that is burning a hole in your pocket and that you just need to get out on the table?
Slotkin: I think what has struck me is, from both sides of the aisle, people are just seeking a new generation of leadership. There’s something going on where people recognize that, if not now, then when; if not this person, then who?
I think that it speaks to this feeling like whatever side of the aisle you’re on, we need to demand more of our elected officials. That’s why I personally believe in Proposition 2, the proposition to get rid of political gerrymandering, because people want to believe in their system again.
They want to believe that leaders are going to be held to a higher standard of integrity. I think there’s a feeling like some of our politicians may be like my opponent, got into it for the right reasons, but over a lifetime as a career politician have lost their way in terms of what they’re actually doing to represent people in Washington.
Also, as a national security person what scares me the most is that I knock on doors every day. As a campaign, we knock on doors every day, myself on the weekends, and there’s always people who are proudly telling me they don’t vote. They brag about it, especially at Michigan State. People are bowing out of their first or second election.
I consider that a threat to democracy. We are the greatest form of government the world has ever seen. It was a revolutionary idea. If young people in particular are bowing out of the democratic process, we need to see that as a crisis. The only way to deal with that is to give people a sense that their government actually represents them and has integrity.
Getting rid of gerrymandering, to me, is number one. Then I have been a part of a small cadre of candidates who are leading on the issue of campaign finance reform. I just signed a letter by a group called End Citizens United. We got over 100 candidates to send a letter to the leadership of the Democratic Party, saying that the first bill of the new Congress should be campaign finance reform and government accountability, because if people don’t believe in the system and they’re bowing out, things can get worse.
We have to restore faith in our process. That’s more important than any one politician or any one candidate running. It’s deeply, deeply concerning to me.