Chad Grimm: Latin's First-Hand Perspective


Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 5.11.59 PM Aidan Sarazen Staff Writer It all started with a tweet. 33% of Illinois citizens think that Illinois should end the war on marijuana. What do you think? #grimm4governor #liberty4all. I, along with Michael Gross, Max Bucksbaum, and Ella Huzenis worked a mock campaign for Chad Grimm, the Libertarian candidate for Illinois governor, in our Honors Politics class. I took on the role of the social media strategist, and created and managed our Twitter and Facebook presences. About a month out from the November 4th election, the DuPage Libertarians, Chad Grimm’s real campaign managers, contacted me via Twitter, inquiring as to why a group of high schoolers from the Latin School of Chicago was helping Mr. Grimm. After a few hours of back and forth, the DuPage Libertarians offered to have Mr. Grimm stop by Latin while he was on a speaking tour in Chicago. So, five days before the election, Mr. Grimm, his running mate Dr. A.J. Cummings, and their campaign manager spoke to our politics class. They informed us on their Libertarian platforms—marijuana legalization, pro gay marriage, upholding the Constitution by protecting the second amendment. Mr. Grimm is pro-life, which is a personal belief of his, not that of the Libertarian party. Senior Max Bucksbaum, who worked public relations for our mock campaign, said that the opportunity to have an actual candidate come to Latin was unbelievable “because you don’t often get to see the inner workings of a campaign.” You don’t get to see the stress or craziness or tolls that elections take on their candidates. Max went on to explain how he was able to learn so much from this Honors Politics campaign project because of the contact with Mr. Grimm. Senior Joey Sallerson, another member of the Honors Politics class, told me he wishes he had the foresight to choose Chad Grimm as his candidate. Quinn never had the time to stop by Latin. Neither did Rauner. As Max said, seeing the inner workings of a campaign is an unparalleled experience. But it’s not perfect. And it reveals some of the disturbing aspects that social media can bring to a campaign. Over the course of the five-week project, our team managed to accrue over 200 Facebook likes and nearly 100 Twitter followers. We received a lot of support from followers. Occasionally, though, we were mistaken for Chad Grimm’s real accounts, and we received wicked comments direct toward Mr. Grimm. One, for example: “No one will vote for you; there are pictures of your private parts going around the web.” Or: “Chad Grimm supports legalizing Heroin. WTF is wrong with you bruh.” Or: “You’re stealing votes from Rauner you lifeless hack. #idiot.” Of course, none of these accusations are true, but if they were mistakenly directed at a group of high schoolers, then who knows what kind of threats Mr. Grimm is getting on his real accounts. Despite the fact that Mr. Grimm won less than 4% of the votes in Illinois on November 4th, it’s still a rare feat that we were able to bring a legitimate candidate for governor to Latin. His views on gun control and abortion may have clashed with the views of many Honors Politics students, but, as Ella Huzenis so perfectly put it: “the opportunity to have a live dialogue with a candidate like Mr. Grimm was a unique experience, especially because he was so young and passionate.” Hopefully more Latin students will feel some inspiration and involve themselves with American politics. And hopefully, if they do, they won’t be called an #idiot.    ]]>