I am not particularly fond of anyone with the last name Trump, but as a Libertarian, I am used to keeping my political beliefs to myself and doing my best to stay open-minded.
So when asked to be a part of the press covering the Ivanka Trump and Rodney Davis round table here at Lewis and Clark Community College, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I didn’t have a chance to meet Ivanka Trump personally, or even be close enough to her to do so, so I won’t speak on what I do not know.
I don’t agree with her politics, and I do not agree with her father or how he has acted during his presidency, but I can’t speak on how she treats other people at a personal level. For all I know, she could be a very nice woman who simply has a few different political views than I do.
Robyn Scott, our current Student Trustee, who was also a panelist at the round table with Ivanka Trump and got to briefly speak with her personally was willing to answer a few questions about her experience with the First Daughter.
When I asked her what she thought of Ivanka, she said, “I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Ivanka was so genuine and humble. She is well-versed on disparities that exist in our country’s workforce development and seems to understand the value of investing in government training initiatives and career education programs.”
Robyn was asked to be a part of the panel, and she enthusiastically accepted.
“Funding from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), coupled with my position as Student Trustee for L&C’s Student Government Association has fostered my success in the nursing program while providing many opportunities to represent the student voice,” Robyn said. “I was honored when Dr. Chapman asked me to participate in the Weber Workforce Center roundtable discussion with Ivanka Trump and U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis.”
Robyn’s favorite part of the event was sharing her perspective as a student.
“It was truly an honor to take part in this uniquely wonderful experience by providing a student perspective on some of the obstacles that so many American workers face,” Robyn said. “A personal highlight was when Mrs. Trump invited my son, Jacob, up on stage so that Representative Davis could take our picture.”
Now, on with my personal experience with Rodney Davis. I have been raised to judge people by their character rather than their politics alone, and Rodney Davis showed me his character to be disrespectful and uncaring.
Entering the round table, I’ll admit I had a few questions for him should I have been lucky enough to get the chance to ask him anything. (Neutral questions, such as “What specific causes are you working soon to advocate for on behalf of Illinois in Washington?” Or “Do you have any plans to fight for more benefits for schools that include training programs?”)
I saw him give an interview with another news team, (I suspect Fox news based on the fact the man who was interviewing him looked an awful lot like Patrick Clark.) and thought that meant perhaps he’d be open to answering some of my questions, so I made sure by press badge around my neck was visible and waited on the sidelines closeby for the interview to finish before I ask anything.
Rodney Davis then saw me, most likely specifically my press badge, and then all but bolted away from me. I had tried to follow at first, to which he sped up away to greet other people attending the round table as guests. While I had thought for sure he had seen me, I told myself that it was possible I was wrong and to simply hope for a better time later on in the day.
Once the roundtable had concluded, multiple people gathered at the velvet rope line in hopes of shaking either Davis or Trump’s hand before they left campus for the day, naturally I gathered at the front as well so I wouldn’t be stuck behind anybody. I had four civilians to my right, and three civilians to my left before the exit door.
Rodney Davis then proceeded to shake hands in this exact order: Hand shake, hand shake, hand shake, hand shake, skipped me without even bothering to look at me, hand shake, hand shake, hand shake, and then left.
I know now I wasn’t imagining what happened earlier that day, considering he very rudely snubbed me for no reason. It was then I remembered that I was wearing my badge in plain sight around my neck, and it clicked why he decided to be rude.
To a degree, I can understand why he wouldn’t want to speak with me and avoid an attempt at an interview if he doesn’t want to give one. However, intentionally disregarding my existence while shaking every single other person’s hand on either side of me is just in poor taste. I didn’t wear anything suggesting propaganda for either the left or right wings, I wasn’t dressed unprofessionally, and more than that I am a person.
I am more than whatever badge I wear around my neck, and it’s telling his obvious distaste of the press (except for maybe Fox News). I had no cameras near me, I had my hand out like everyone else clearly to just receive a handshake, so he really has no excuse to think I was going to hold him right at the velvet line until he answered all my questions. He just obviously thinks poorly of anyone he doesn’t know for an absolute fact is from Fox. Even if that “anyone” includes a local voter attending the school he’s supposed to be praising. What a jerk!
What especially disgusted me about his personal behavior is the fact that I literally work for the press that is a part of the school he’s supposed to be congratulating on the new Weber building. I am a part of this wonderful campus, who accepted him as a host for his event. In my opinion, Rodney Davis being rude to me is also being rude to the Bridge, him being rude to the Bridge is him being rude to L&C. That I have a huge problem with, no matter what I’m wearing. He didn’t have to give me a single word for any sort of interview, that’s his choice but he should have been polite and shook my hand. That’s the first lesson in how to get votes 101! I could’ve written in this opinion piece about him being a perhaps kinder man than originally thought, or maybe he’s more open minded than he’s given credit for, and instead he’s proved everyone against him right. He bit (or rather avoided) a hand that could’ve used their platform to support him.
I suppose it makes sense why he wouldn’t care though, since he doesn’t care enough about the people he’s supposed to be representing. He refused to hold town halls where people can voice their concerns they’d like brought up in congress, even when repeatedly begged by the people of Illinois, makes excuses to dodge answering anyone’s questions about his policies, kisses the butt of the president even if it’s entirely against what the people of Illinois want/need, and apparently also acts like a petty child against anyone he doesn’t know for a fact thinks exactly the same way he does.
I am still shocked that I was treated in a friendlier manner by the secret service than by a politician who’s supposed to be working his butt off to get as many votes as possible. So, since he’s made himself clear that he doesn’t care about common people, or even about doing the basics of getting votes from the common people, I recommend you vote for Betsy Dirksen Londrigan this November instead.
Not only does Betsy hold town halls to hear from the people she’d be representing their concerns and needs for their community, she’s spent many years of her life volunteering for different causes and is a founding member of Women Rising. I’ve also heard she’s actually a respectful person.