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Cheney, Dean: Students more powerful than ever

By Chris Jenkins
Photo by Aaron Ledesma, communication junior

It should come as no surprise that Liz Cheney and Howard Dean have some sharp disagreements when it comes to the role of government in a free society.

But after spending about an hour dueling in a debate on campus Thursday night, the two did find some common ground.

Their closing message to a crowded ballroom in the Alumni Memorial Union: Students have more power than ever thanks to social media.

And they must use it.

“I think that to be young in America today is an incredible, incredible blessing,” says Cheney, the daughter of former Republican vice president Dick Cheney and an ex-State Department official. “An incredible opportunity. But you have huge obligations.”

Dean, the longtime governor of Vermont and a former Democratic presidential candidate and party chairman, brought up examples of recent successful grassroots activism campaigns.

“There is a revolution going on in the world, and it’s about people who believe that they have the power to change things,” Dean says. “And if the institutions don’t work, they simply can go around them.”

Cheney and Dean appeared on stage in an event hosted by Marquette’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom. It was the latest in a series of politically themed events on campus leading up to the Nov. 6 general election.

“Getting involved in politics, getting involved in our democracy, is a hugely important way to (affect change),” Cheney says. “I would encourage you not just to vote, but to get involved.”

Cheney also hinted at some potential political ambitions of her own.

When debate moderator and WISN-TV reporter Kent Wainscott joked that Thursday’s event seemed to be the only political event in the state of Wisconsin this week that didn’t feature somebody who’s actually a member of a presidential ticket, Cheney responded, “Yet.”

Other stories that may be of interest: "Big question: Why do we still have the Electoral College?", "Countdown" and "Student election pulse."


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