Demokratie live erlebt: Besuch von US-Kongressabgeordneten an der THG

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Unter dem Motto "Demokratie live erlebt" bekamen die Schüler*innen der Trude-Herr-Gesamtschule (THG) einen beeindruckenden Einblick in die Welt der Politik durch den Besuch von zwei ehemaligen US-Kongressabgeordneten.

Congress to Campus

Congress to Campus 2023 - Trude-Herr-Gesamtschule Köln-Mülheim - THG

Meeting with US Politicians at THG - A Day to Remember

The 25st October 2023 was a very special day for grade Q1 of the Trude-Herr-Gesamtschule, Cologne. We had the honor to host a meeting with two politicians from the US and had the possibility to discuss different questions and opinions about American politics in the context of the project “Congress to Campus”, organized by AmerikaHaus NRW.

Val Demings and Luke Messer: The Key Figures

The former representatives who visited us were Val Demings and Luke Messer. Valdez Venita "Val" Demings (born March 12, 1957 in Jacksonville, Florida) has represented the state of Florida in the U.S. House of Representatives since January 3, 2017. She is one of seven children in a poor African American family. In her youth, she attended schools that were still segregated by race. After high school, she studied criminology at Florida State University between 1976 and 1979. After that, she attended Webster University and the police academy. She joined the City of Orlando Police Department in 1984. In 2007, she became the first woman to rise to the position of department chief. She held this post until 2012.
Lucas "Luke" Messer (* February 27, 1969 in Evansville, Indiana) is an American politician. Since 2013 he represented the state of Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has a law degree. After his admission he began to work as a lawyer. At the same time, he started his political career as a member of the Republican Party. He served on the staff of four congressmen in the following years.

Enlightening Conversations: Topics of Discussion

During our discussion we were able to talk about different aspects. Not only did we talk about life in the US, the American Dream and changes in the American society but also aspects of global politics and current conflicts in the world. Other topics we discussed were women in politics and the importance of the current generation for political change and its influence on the future.

Empowering the Youth: Age and Change

Both politicians stressed that the younger people lead to change and that age should not limit us. They are both convinced that only the personal ability and performance show if the person is suitable for the political job. Every person who has a vision and the desire for change should be active and not forget that change only happens through action.

Furthermore, we dealt with the issue of migration because it is an important issue that not only affects especially Germany and the USA but also the entire world. Mr. Messer said in that context that "you have to have immigration for your country to grow". It was a good answer because all countries are linked with each other and they should help each other.

In addition to that, we dealt with the topic of social media and its influence on politics. Especially fake news are a big problem for the political discourse since many people use wrong or only a few sources. This leads to a lot of confusion among young people and adults and also leads to heated and one-sided political discussions. An important aspect in that context is that in our current generation the news is spread much more quickly and that is why it can get easily out of control. Mr Messer suggested that in order to be thoroughly informed we should use social media and classic forms of news.

In summary, we had an unforgettable day because thanks to the AmerikaHaus NRW, our English teachers and our principal. We would like to thank Mrs Demings and Mr Messer for giving us the opportunity to discuss such important aspects with experts on political field.

By: Naghm A., Dilek T., Merve S.

Democracy at its finest

Congress to Campus 2023 - Trude-Herr-Gesamtschule Köln-Mülheim - THG

Ein Kommentar von Lukas Pfeifer aus der Q1

Am Nachmittag des 23. Oktobers 2023 versammelten sich die beiden Englischleistungskurse der Q1 in der Mensa, um einen Vortrag von zwei waschechten amerikanischen Politikern im Rahmen unserer Themenreihe „American Dream“ anzuhören. Zu Gast hatten wir den Republikaner Luke Messer, ehemaliger Repräsentant des Staates Indiana, und die Demokratin Val Demings, ehemalige Repräsentantin des Staates Florida.

Zunächst stellten sich die beiden vor und erklärten uns, wie und weshalb sie jeweils ihren Weg in die Politik gefunden haben. Danach erhielten wir die einmalige Gelegenheit den beiden - ganz nach journalistischer Manier - persönliche aber auch politisch kontroverse Fragen zu stellen, die dann mehr oder weniger unterschiedlich von Demings und Messer beantwortet wurden.

Auch wenn die beiden bezüglich ihrer Ansichten nicht immer derselben Meinung waren, traten sie dennoch stets sittlich als geschlossene Einheit auf und schlugen sich nicht - entgegen meiner Erwartung - die Köpfe ein. Dies war schön mit anzusehen, da so Demokratie im Optimalfall auszusehen hat.

Somit ist die eine Sache, die ich an jenem Nachmittag vor allem mitgenommen habe, die Tatsache, dass demokratisches Zusammenleben auf dem Konzept des Einander-Zuhörens und dem Konzept der Toleranz beruht.

Dies sind Prinzipien, die wir stets in uns tragen sollten, mit Blick auf die Zukunft einer demokratischen Nation.

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