Politics on a spectrum?!?!

I know this might sound crazy to some, but did you know that a good 60+% of Americans find it hard to identify to just one party based on their believes? A majority of Americans find themselves in the center of what I like to call the “political curve.” Using myself as an example, I identify as a conservative liberal. I believe in social issues and have strong opinions about those. On the same side I also believe in fiscal responsibility. We cannot spend money we do not have.

Many are thinking “What? She says she is a Democrat but also believes we should be fiscally responsible?” Yeah I know how it sounds. This is the point I am getting at. Many Americans do not believe they belong to a party in our two party system because they don’t fit with either party one hundred percent. A counter argument to this? We have the right to a private voting system. For all my friends know I could have voted for Donald Trump. Unless I tell them who I voted for they have no idea. This may be hard to believe for many veterans in the political realm but its true. Science has shown us that your political views are based on how you were raised and how your parents taught you about politics.

Again using myself as an example because I don’t like to publicly use other peoples stories without their permission. I was raised by a a southern Democrat (yes they are real) who is also a retired police officer. I believe strongly in the right to same sex marriage and women’s rights. On the other hand I also own guns and believe in the second amendment. I am the first person to tell you “If you break into my house, be prepared to not leave whole.” How is it possible for me to identify as a Democrat and also have this believe? This is simple, knowing that I am my own person that has the right to choose who I vote for no matter what party I am registered to makes a hell of a difference. Yes I can’t vote in closed primaries of the opposite party. But I can vote on election day for who I feel will do the best job in office. This is a strange idea to many old school voters. Especially here in my home state of Utah. A majority of citizens in my home state register as independents. On election day a majority of that majority just mentioned vote straight party tickets. I HATE straight party ticket voting. I physically feel ill when someone tells me they voted that way. Not that I am judging who they voted for, I am simply sick and tired of the way straight party ticket voting impacts our political climate. I have heard many elected officials (In nationally elected offices) say “I spend half my day working on things that are up for a vote and the other half of my day working towards my re-election” Do you feel good about your tax dollars being spent this way? I know I don’t. I feel ok with my tax dollars being spent in a way that impacts my country. Not how someone is going to be re-elected. They should spend their own dime and their own time trying to get their seat back. Not mine. I believe sometimes Americans need help and need welfare to make it by.

Personally I am ok with helping those people. If I was down on my luck and needed to use government assistance I would want the help and greatly appreciate it. However I do not believe in the people who use the welfare system to their advantage and abuse the system. Some people might not agree with me on this, and that is one hundred percent ok. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That is what makes this country a great place. Why do we judge others on their opinions? Is it human nature? Is it how we were raised? Or is it simply we don’t agree with their point so we are going to judge them on how they think? Why does it matter what others think? Using same sex marriage (Which by the way shouldn’t even be called that anymore. Its marriage. Plain and simple) as an example. Does it physically impact you what happens in someone else’s bedroom? If they weren’t public about their relationship would you even know? I don’t know what happens in your bedroom. You don’t know what happens in mine. How can we judge someone on something we simply and honestly don’t know. Is it the fact that in public it makes you uncomfortable? Is it the believes you learned in a book that was written 3000 years ago? Which also teaches that there is only one person who can judge your actions. We are not the end all be all of political thought. You as a person and your believes do not determine how another person acts. Standing up and fighting for what you believe in does make a difference. Being the lone voice in a crowd can change the way people view or think about something. The only way our country can move forward in a positive direction is to try and cross the political aisle and bridge the gap between believes. If none of us are willing to budge on this, then the we will be the downfall of our country. Not the leaders who are running it.

Embracing or Enraging College Students

The current political climate impacts every citizen in our country. The concern here is not how are we going to change the DNC. The concern is that the DNC and their current ideals are not willing to embrace the ideas of younger voters. To quote a very intelligent woman I recently spoke with “It’s not “How do we get the younger voters? Its not how do we get the minority vote.” Its how is the DNC and their perspective candidates going to support these groups.” Currently we have no support. The DNC has a representative that “specializes” in youth organization and this person won’t even accept Facebook messages from State Federation leaders of College Democrats of America. For heavens sakes is College Democrats of America even a caucus anymore? Is all of our paperwork finally turned in? I say we because even though I resigned from my elected positions, I am still a college student and I am still a democrat. I see more State Federation leaders helping others than CDA. For example the State Federation leaders of the New Jersey Chapter reaches out and asks for involvement and help from other states. I was recently asked to go to Georgia and help their chapter. Where in the hell is the CDA board during this? Has any member of the CDA board ever visited my state? No! But they expect me to pay for a flight, hotel, food, registration fees, etc. Does this seem like an oxymoron to anyone else? I could justify spending the money if I had some support on the other side, but I don’t. I have attended CDA convention and the one time I went I can say the only things that came out of it were I was able to hear Senator Elizabeth Warren speak in person, and I was also sued for trying to impeach the previous president of CDA. The actions of the previous CDA president were unjust and down right ridiculous. Did the DNC come to my defense when I was sued for trying to keep transparency in a party that says they are transparent? No. Did the DNC help me pay any of my legal fees fighting a battle that was a joke? No. Did CDA ever email, call, text, or even Facebook message me and apologize for the pure hell they put me through when they elected a President that was bending the rules to get her way? No.

These actions are becoming more and more apparent to college students and certain ones of us will no longer sit by and let this happen. We will no longer stand by and watch our party preach “transparency” when they themselves have corrupt leadership. The DNC chair was recently in my state and made an off handed comment about how he was coming to unite Democrats across the country but my state is typically red so don’t expect much help. REALLY?!?!?! This is how we want to teach the leaders of tomorrow? No wonder our country is currently in the climate that it is. No wonder millennials feel disenfranchised with the current political arena. These things have to change. There is no can it change. It is a question of when will CDA or the DNC wake up and realize you are losing amazing members because of your hierarchy ideals. A Revolution is upon us. The question I’m asking all of you is, Are you going going to be on the wrong side of history or the right side of history? Are you going to stand up for what you believe in, or be mowed over by ideals of the generation before us. America is not what it used to be “back in the good old days.” Change is happening. Either embrace it or expect an enraged generation of people who were not “heard.” How many warnings do you need CDA? DNC?

Understanding the Divide.

My first post was about how divided and unorganized the Democratic party has seemed to become since the election of President Trump. I wrote my post and also posted it onto several democratic group Facebook pages. I have received mixed responses to said post. One email I was sent struck a cord and made me write this post. The emailer was extremely appreciative of my honesty in what I have seen in the Democratic party. Now to be clear, I am still a Democrat. I still believe in all of the same values. Going forward I just refuse to stand by and watch my own party destroy itself because they are upset about rumors, conspiracy theories, and a lost election. I myself was a Bernie Sanders fan. I waited for three hours in line for one of his rally’s in my home state. I waited another 3 hours for him to show up to said rally and loved every minute of waiting and hearing him speak. When he did not win the nomination my focus turned to Hillary, because in my mind I would rather see Hillary in the white house than our current President. When President Obama took office many friends of mine here in a very Republican state would bad mouth and bash him (like many Democrats are doing with the current President) my one response would be “You might not like the the person in the office but you have to respect the office of the President of the United States.” A divided America does NOTHING but help our enemies become stronger. Republican, Democrat, Green, or Libertarians we are all AMERICANS. We all want a safe place to raise our children, have a successful career, and feel welcomed. Currently in the political climate Millennials do NOT feel welcome. Many veterans in the political world refuse to listen to millennials or their ideals. This is a mistake. I myself am a millennial. We are the next generation of leaders that will run this country. Our ideas are important. Our ideas can make a difference. One vote can make a difference.


The email I received showed me that many Democrats feel the way that I do. That a divided Democratic party does nothing but help our counterparts win. This is the time to stand up and say what we feel. I have already personally received backlash from my honest and true opinion. I am a voting delegate in my state party and if they want me out they are going to have to vote me out or physically remove me. One thing that people don’t realize about millennials that are into politics? Is that we are RELENTLESS. Our words will be heard. This blog might not be read by many. But if I can relate to one person, I will feel like I am doing something worth while. I’m not saying Millennials are all knowing or that everything we say is the right way. I’m saying that obviously the “old way” isn’t working. New, fresh, and current ideas are NECESSARY to continue to grow our party. Democrats! Get your act together! We are one party. We are the party that says we welcome all! Yet when someone disagrees with you they are put on the outside. Well I am here to tell you in the words of a famous movie “No one puts baby in a corner.” I will post my blog, I will post them on any and all Facebook pages I can get my hands on. Fellow frustrated Democrats need to know they are not alone. New ideas need to be welcomed or else we will be the sword that kills off our own party.

A Divided Democratic Party


My name is Jessica Hastings I have been involved in College Democrats of American for over three years now and have been a lifelong Democrat. I currently live in Utah and have held several titles in the Democratic community her and on a national level. I am currently Legislative District chair for Utah House District 15, I was the President of the Weber State University College Democrats, Vice President of the College Democrats of Utah, I was also Regional Director for the Rocky Mountain Region for the College Democrats of America.


I attended the College Democrats of American Convention in Washington DC a few years back. The first couple of days of the convention I loved. The education we received and the connections I made there were some of my favorite memories. I will also admit that I was a strong advocate and probably the driving force in getting the Utah College Democrats board to go begin the impeachment of the previous president. I will stand by my actions in that circumstance. I believed that the way CDA was being run was a disgrace to the Democratic Party and the political process as a whole. When a member of the Utah board and I attended the CDA convention in D.C. we were told that if we came out our registration fee would be waved. That did not happen. To be fair I’m glad it didn’t happen. If it wasn’t waved for every state federation, it shouldn’t be waved for us. I know I personally paid over 600 dollars to come out to the convention in hotel costs, airfare from Utah, food, registration fees, metro passes, and Uber rides. That was my own personal choice to do that and do not hold CDA responsible for those costs. I was able to hear a personal hero of mine speak (Senator Elizabeth Warren) and learned a lot of different ways to bring grass-root efforts here to my State. For those of you who aren’t aware of the political climate here in Utah. The State House and Senate both have a super majority of Republicans and a Republican Governor. 70% of the voting members here in Utah register as Independent and 60% of that original 70% vote straight Republican Tickets on their ballots.


When Senator Bernie Sanders came for a rally my hopes were high. At his first rally, he had over 5000 people attend and he decided to have a second rally where 3500 people attend. In a super RED state. Not once was that mentioned by CDA. Not once was it mentioned that the efforts College Democrats of Utah or any of the Democratic organizations were brought to the attention of College Democrats of America. If it wasn’t NATIONAL news I could understand that people might not have gotten the information.


I can only speak for my state and my state federation. I personally work for a State Representative who is a Republican. Because in my state the only way to get anything done is to work across party lines and compromise. My State Federation retiring President also worked for a republican. We are what is called Utah Democrats.


The simple fact that we have to identify ourselves as Utah democrats so we aren’t attacked by extreme liberals is a problem in and of its self. When I was at the CDA convention I mentioned I was from Utah to a guest speaker and his response was “I’m so sorry. You have an uphill battle and need help in getting this state to become purple.” Has the Utah College Democrats received any help from CDA? No. Has the Utah College Democrats received any help from the DNC? No. So, this leads me to believe that because we are in Utah we are automatically assumed to be a lost cause.


I like many other Democrats was upset and heartbroken that my candidate didn’t win the presidential election. President Trump is not the candidate I want in office and I think he is a danger to our nation and our civil liberties. But he is the President and as political “Junkies” we should know that we have to respect the office of the President. We don’t have to like or even agree with who is in office. If Secretary Clinton would have won or Senator Bernie Sanders would have won, the Republicans wouldn’t be happy with that outcome either.


The continuous arguing and threatening of impeachment on every president we have had at CDA is getting to be a joke. Like stated above I was a driving force in the impeachment of the previous president. What I was unaware of was that the members of the College Democrats of Utah board were holding secret meetings without voting members of the board to try and decide how they would “rather handle this”. Is this how CDA tells their state federations to be run? To have a full board and only include the votes of half of them? This was brought to the attention of a CDA board member and what happened? Absolutely nothing. The College Democrats of Utah had board members that would go out and register voters. On one college campus two board members registered over 200 voters in less than three hours. We even received help from the local county clerk. When our registration box was full they would come, and pick it up, bring us new registration forms, and take the completed registration cards back to the county clerk’s office to be put into the system that day. Was any of this acknowledged by the CDU board? No. Was it acknowledged by the CDA board? No. Utah may have a super majority but with the right help we could turn this State blue. Educating voters here that their love of family values actually aligns with the Democratic party is key. But the democrats are too busy fighting one another to get their act together.


A divided Democratic party does nothing but give President Trump exactly what he needs to bring this nation into turmoil. A divided nation gives him exactly what he needs to accomplish everything we are afraid of. We cannot do anything about the election. It is over. President Trump was sworn in and is currently the President of the United States. Making jokes is one thing. I am the first one to admit I make President Trump jokes on a daily basis. Fighting and arguing and saying he isn’t your President not only disrespects the office of the President but also makes it look like the democratic party is a three-year-old throwing a temper tantrum. Learning to work across party lines to get what we want done is how we are going to get through the Trump Presidency. Not fighting with each other over the true definition of a “Democrat.”


I am the first one to admit I have my own believes. I own guns, I believe in fiscal responsibility, I believe in if you are found guilty and there is clear evidence you took a life, I as a tax payer should not have to pay to keep you alive for the rest of your life. I believe in the death penalty. I believe in a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own body. I do not agree with having multiple abortions because a woman doesn’t know how to go buy a box of condoms. We yell and scream that we are strong feminists and that we are independent. If we are strong independent women, why is it the man’s responsibility to bring a condom? I believe that if a woman is wearing a low-cut top or a short skirt that is her right to do so. That is NOT consent. I believe in equal rights for my LGBTQ community. I say my community because I am an ally of the community and fight for their rights. I might not be in love with someone of the same sex but if my friend is then I will support that friend with everything I have. But these believes in the eyes of CDA and the DNC are not “True Democratic believes”


What happened to the Democratic party? We punish people who don’t tow the party line to the exact letter? As a Political Scientists (Yes politics is a science and one that I have studied for over 8 years.) The political climate is like a bell curve. We have the extreme left, extreme right and 69% of everyday Americans are in the center. Why is this you might ask? One possible answer is that the extremes on both sides of the aisle scare every day Americans. Or that it really is true. Political believes are on a SPECTRUM.


We in the political process need to wake up to the fact that if we want anything done it isn’t just about getting more democrats in office (that should be a priority) but that we also need to be willing to compromise and reach across party lines to get things we want done. I have focused my studies on millennials and their voting habits. Millennials could determine the outcome of an election but they are truly scared off by the extremes and the elitist mentality that is so prominent in the political world right now. You want more College Democrats involved in the political process? Make them feel welcome. Include them. Don’t talk down to them because they are new. They are the next generation of politicians.