Related: Politics, Students

Voices of Trinity: Sarah Mihalus for Nader


sarah-5.jpgTrinity student Sarah Mihalus has been working for third party candidate Ralph Nader.  She wrote to me last month to observe that Nader and other third party candidates are not getting much attention — not in the general election, and not on Trinity’s website.   I asked her to write an essay help tell the story, and here is her response.

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Sarah writes:


Ralph Nader has been a political hero of mine for many years. He is truly the personification of one person taking on our system of government and forcing change. Working for his campaign allows me to bring my conscious to work everyday. My primary job is assisting the policy advisor to the campaign, which includes filling out all of the questionnaires that come into the office. It’s a really good feeling to put down answers that I truly believe in and want to see happen in this country.


“Still, working on a campaign can be incredibly hectic, especially when there is a small staff. I never have a shortage of tasks and projects to do. In addition to my projects I have to answer phones ranging from calls of support, to angry hate calls. Answering the phones is where I’m in direct contact with constituents; daily I talk to people who are so angry and fed up with the system and the people who are running it. In addition to answering phones I read the mail. Many of the letters written to Ralph are so touching, because he has truly touched so many people’s lives in such an inspiring way. Children and adults write him just to say thank you, as well as ask him for help. Unfortunately younger generations don’t get to grow up with Ralph on the cover of People; those in previous generations got to have Ralph as a hero, he fought for the workingman.


“When Mr. Nader comes into the office I’m still star struck, this is the man who has impacted my life in so many ways and doesn’t get nearly enough credit. If his name was written on things like seatbelts, airbags, nutrition labels, everything that he has fought for, the general population would see daily how much he has impacted our lives. Even though I’m working and voting for a great man who has over 40 years of experience defending the American people from corporate malfeasance and forcing our political system to work, I am still forced to defend my vote for him. Our political system has become so entrenched in a two party elected dictatorship people can’t understand why I want to vote for someone who is not a part of it.


“On countless occasions those who say you are throwing away your vote by voting for Ralph have confronted me. No one would ever confront me in the same way if I supported Obama or McCain, you would never go up to an Obama support and accuse him or her of taking vote away from John McCain, there is absolutely no reason to treat me differently than anyone else. I am not throwing away my vote because it hasn’t been taken for granted by the two party system. My vote never belonged to Barack Obama or John McCain in the first place, candidates have to earn their votes and neither Obama or McCain earned mine, Ralph Nader did.


“When I vote for Ralph on Election Day, I’m voting for over 40 years of change. He has organized millions of people into hundreds of groups, never sold out to corporate America, never given into the status quo. These are values that can never be matched by McCain and Obama.”

Thanks for sharing your story, Sarah!

I welcome essays and photos from other students about your experiences working on the campaigns of all candidates and all parties, presidential, congressional, state, local….   Please send them to me at

Note:  the Columbia Political Union will host a presidential debate with the third party candidates on Sunday — read more about it at

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Patricia A. McGuire, President, Trinity, 125 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20017
Phone: 202.884.9050   Email: