Statements by Vice President Harris to Political Science Students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

VICE PRESIDENT: Well, what are your questions? What’s going on? How do you think about life?

STUDENT: I ​​am really nervous right now. (Laughter.)

VICE PRESIDENT: What’s your name?

STUDENT: Noah. I’m glad to meet you.

VICE PRESIDENT: Hello, Noah. (Inaudible.) Well, listen, I — you know, I’ve been traveling around the country and most of my work lately has been meeting them, now that all the COVID restrictions are lifted. students. You guys are right where he is. I’m telling you, you guys, where are you?

STUDENT: (Inaudible.)

VICE PRESIDENT: Well, you’re very — very kind, but what I want you to know is that I need your leadership, and we need you to lead. Alright?

When you look at what is going on in our country right now, there is a lot that is very fundamental about whether we will stand up for our democracy, the principles on which we are founded, about freedom and liberty.

I don’t need to tell you guys – we’ve come out of a nearly two-year pandemic where we’ve been telling people to literally isolate and what that means in terms of people feeling lonely.

And you know, when people feel lonely, it can be very debilitating. And our nation’s strength has always been: one out of many; We think we have much more in common than what separates us.

And part of your leadership I ask of you is to remind people of communities and wholeness and the fact that we are all together in it. This is really important.

And one of the other things I’d really like to ask you to get ahead is to remind everyone you know of the importance of the climate crisis, including those who are active in the sense that they have finished school.

You will pay for what we did and what we did not do.

I was meeting with a group of people, talking to the FEMA executive – the president of FEMA – about a conversation about what’s going on in Puerto Rico, how the island has been devastated by extreme weather conditions.

And in my hometown of California, we’re seeing extreme weather conditions – wildfires. My brother-in-law is a firefighter.

Let me tell you – right? — what’s going on with people, evacuating entire communities because of these forest fires. We used to talk about “Bushfire season”. It’s been all year now.

You’re looking at hurricanes and floods.

And what are we supposed to do – right? — it should be about that: Let’s save this planet, save these precious resources that this planet has and gives us to sustain life.

And I’ll count on you to remind the nation of the truth – let’s not accept the wrong choices, shall we? Investing in a clean energy economy is about creating jobs. It’s also about ensuring that you, your children and grandchildren can breathe clean air and drink clean water.

What we have to do is work with our partners around the world, because — hey, I’m the head of the Space Council. Let me tell you something: When I talk to astronauts who are in space from time to time, I talk to them. And the last group, because I was at the Johnson Space Center in Houston and then I went for the Artemis launch in Florida. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned; We postponed.

But when I talk to astronauts—some of them (inaudible) in space—I ask them, “Tell me, what did being in space change your perspective on this?” I say. And almost one-on-one, they say to me, “You’re in space, you look at Earth and you realize how sensitive and fragile it is.” TRUE?

So the work of each of us on this issue of the climate crisis, in addition to all the other issues that you might consider in the context of your government’s work — right? — what do you think about what we should do as members of a democracy to address some of these issues and eliminate unnecessary conflict and partisanship, and it’s really like, “Hey, let’s get together on this, because we’re all in this together.” It doesn’t matter who you voted for last time or who you vote for next time. If we don’t come together on this, we will all pay the price.

Anyway, I just wanted to come to you, except for one person, to say that I’m really proud of you for starting freshman year – (laughter) – and keep going. This is an exciting time. You guys meet and sit next to each other, these will be lifelong friends, I tell you.

In my freshman year, I met the people I eventually became – you know, we finally became – to be the godparents of their children. TRUE? People you will know for the rest of your life.

So enjoy this experience. And your big brains are like sponges right now. So absorb them all. Ask all the questions. And just lead. Just take the lead – because we need you guys. Alright? OK. Thank you all. (Applause.)


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