On Thursday, January 14, Moorestown Friends School hosted the 2016 Mock Primary Election (MPE). The program included the traditional entrance parade, political speeches and debates from the candidates, final campaigning efforts, educational workshops, and casting ballots. The keynote speaker was SJ Magazine Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Marianne Aleardi, who provided an informative presentation to students about women in politics. A diverse offering of workshops covered topics and featured activities related to politics or governance, but involved a wide spectrum of activities, including Harry Potter and leadership, introduction to Islam, social activism, ISIS and foreign affairs, the musical Hamilton, the current state of affairs of Venezuela, Black Lives Matter, and the impact of public speaking.
Twelve students represented the men and women in the presidential race: John Barton ’17 (Bernie Sanders), Andrew Cates ’16 (Martin O’Malley), Connor Cronk ’17 (Chris Christie), Dragon Ding ’17 (John Kasich), Andrew Landesman ’18 (Jeb Bush), Andrew Lin ’18 (Ben Carson), Ian Millstein ’18 (Marco Rubio), Emily Mitchell ’18 (Carly Fiorina), Isaac Munoz ’17 (Ted Cruz), Tyler Rutherford ’18 (Rand Paul), Nick Tursi ’17 (Donald Trump), Rachael Whitley ’17 (Hillary Clinton). Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Donald Trump were the winners of the primary. The selected running mates for each nominee were Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz.
Notable Quotables from the 2016 Candidates
“Ten years from now, I’ll remember the feeling of walking into the gym and seeing so many people, excited, and embracing this MPE tradition and enjoying American politics. I loved seeing the
community unified together, even if they didn’t agree, and still willing to listen. To me, it was a testament to how great the MFS community is and I think the experience really showed what America is really about. It’s important for young people to understand things that are going on in our country. Sometimes young people make judgments without understanding the situation or the context, and MPE can help students understand the political process better.” – Isaac Munoz ’17
“As a Democrat, I did not expect to agree with many of Marco Rubio’s stances on various issues, but by representing him and learning about the logic behind his ideas, I began to see the some of the light behind Republican party ideas. Representing Marco Rubio has taught me that regardless of political party affiliation, all candidates’ ideas are aimed towards creating a better America.” – Ian Millstein ’18
“The day of MPE felt more real and authentic to me than I expected. I felt actively engaged and it was easier for me to get into character as Hillary. For the full day, I wore a pantsuit just like Hillary, the yearbook staff followed me around all day to livetweet, and I also took over Trump’s booth for 20 minutes. I learned so much about candidates and policies, I don’t know if I’ll ever be
as educated about another election again since I really lived as a politician campaigning for five months.” – Rachael Whitley ’17
“MPE was more than just a simple extracurricular activity. It was a great way for me to expand my horizon in politics and real-world issues. As a child, I never watched the news or followed politics, but now, especially because I am growing older, I need to be able to keep up with how the world is evolving. Whoever is elected will become the new leader of the United States, and being knowledgeable about what he/she may do is very important. Especially because I will be voting in the next election, this is a great way for me to introduce myself to the world of leadership and politics.” – Dragon Ding ’17
“I saw over the summer that Donald Trump was running, and I thought representing him would be fun since his opinions are much more memorable than any other candidate. I knew MPE was going to be a lot of work, but being Donald Trump was the best way to have the most fun with the political process. I did have many conversations with Mrs. van Tijn though on the necessity to tone down quotes or how to portray Trump in a Quaker environment. I think Trump ended up winning the Republican primary because, as Mrs. van Tijn likes to put it, Middle Schoolers can be compared to a swing state. I wanted to get the Middle School to laugh and connect with them by making myself funny, but still take the process seriously and discuss policy too.” – Nick Tursi ’17