Katie Masters graduated from Louisiana Tech in the fall of 2015 with a degree in Political Science. She has recently been spending her time volunteering for and working closely with local political candidates in her hometown. While pursuing her degree, she worked with a local law firm that included the city attorney, a prosecutor, and an assistant district attorney, learning about the law and keeping up with the elections. Her time spent with politicians, working with lawyers, and attentiveness to elections is inspiring to me, and an easy choice interviewer with the upcoming elections.
Taking an Interest in Politics
Katie as always had an interest in politics; however, when she was in the 6th grade, she had the opportunity to participate in her class “play debate” regarding the presidential candidates of 2004, George W. Bush and John Kerry. The debate was between the Bush twins, of whom she played Jenna Bush, and the Kerry daughters. It was the first time she had a true realization and understanding of politics and had the opportunity to speak in front of the entire 6th grade of her elementary school. That was the initial ignition of her love for politics.
Katie found the political figure to be most influential is former President George W. Bush. Despite what people think of him, she believes he was a great speaker. His speech after the attacks on September 11, 2001, when for a moment in time he brought the people of this nation together, was one of the most moving speeches she has ever listened to. His ability to reach out to people in the most personal way, capturing their attention, treating them as a lifelong friend no matter who they are, is something she believes is most inspiring to her. People give him such backlash for the terrible events that happened during and after his presidency, but she believed they don’t understand or possibly remember how he reacted to every situation, at any event, or even just carrying out daily presidential duties as a strong leader who had the ability to make people come together for moments in time without the worrying of racial, religious, political, or gender issues that we see today.
Accomplishing Political Science via Communications
Being out of college for almost a year, Katie says at this time some of her biggest accomplishments dealing with communications actually happened while trying to achieve her political science degree. One example that she gave was when she took a political science debate class and President Les Guice happened to be sitting in the classroom that day. On that day the topic of debate was whether attendance should be mandatory for classes at Louisiana Tech. After Katie stated what her stance was on the topic Dr. Guice agreed with her and even asked her questions about how she thinks the problem could be fixed regarding attendance. This is just one example of many that Katie gave me on how her experience going through the political science program enabled her to accomplish many things in and out of class due to good communication.
Communications and Politics
When asking Katie about how communication plays a role in politics she stated firmly that communication is the only way to gain popularity in the political world. Backing up this claim, she said “The only way a politician can become elected is if his or her name is popular throughout the public.” Regarding this she stated that the only way a politician can become popular throughout the community or country is through good communication skills whether through mass written emails, billboards, or even social media.
Presidential Candidates and their Communications Skills
Since the presidential election is coming up, I asked Katie how well each candidate is doing with communicating, she said that social media usage, such as Twitter and Facebook, has played a pivotal role in how these candidates have connected with the younger and older audience. She recalls that past presidential elections have focused more on television commercials for campaigning, but technology has changed the game for how candidates communicate. When asked what candidate has done the best job at communicating to voters, she said both candidates have done a mediocre job at best. She says that when the presidential candidates finally get to debate against each other on September 26 it will be easier to determine who actually relates to the public better.
Cason Pyles, Guest Blogger