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U.S. Sen. Carl Levin discusses voting against the majority at Sunday speech

U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said he does not always vote with the common view and that is not a bad thing.

“More than 80 percent of Americans supported tax cuts,” Levin said. “It was my judgment those tax cuts would harm the interest of Michigan and the nation.”

Levin spoke to students, faculty and the community Sunday night at Moore Hall’s Bush Theatre as a part of the Philip A. Hart and William G. Milliken Endowed Speaker Series for Integrity in Politics.

About 300 people came to listen to Levin, said assistant director of University Events Keith Voeks. Approximately one-fourth of the audience was students.

He said he chose Central Michigan University over thousands of other requests because of the characters of the two leaders CMU had chosen — Hart and Milliken.

Levin’s topic varied from tax cuts, the war in Iraq, Watergate and advice using analogies, stories and jokes to get his points across.

“Make sure there is something else you love to do, like a fulfilling career that you can pursue outside of politics,” Levin said on the most common advice he gives to people who ask about politics.

Levin said whether a person gets elected or not, having something else a person loves to do will better equip them in a career.

“I feel like he was really honest about issues that are going on right now,” said Rockford senior Ashley Devries. “I got a feel for what he was talking about.”

When it came to the war in Iraq, Levin said he voted against it, but used a story about Abraham Lincoln to show why he voted for funding on the war.

Levin said Lincoln voted against the Mexican War because it was unconstitutional. Lincoln felt morally bound to provide funding for the troops that have been committed to that war, however, Levin said.

Levin defended his statement by quoting something Lincoln said on the issue.

“The administration had done wrong in getting us into the war. The officers and soldiers who went to the field must be supplied and sustained,” Lincoln said.

Levin said some of his colleagues voted against funding for the war. They were using their authority to end the war, he said.

Clawson sophomore Kayla Rusin said she thought the speech was a dull experience.

“I felt like the intro was longer than the actual speech that he gave,” Rusin said. “I thought there was going to be more students.”

One Comment

  1. I am very disappointed that CMU raised over $1 million for this new speaker series, but decided to bring in Carl Levin – who couldn’t even charge an honorarium because he’s a senator. Why don’t they spend the $1 million and bring in real speakers? Levin speaks at all sorts of events all the time. There had to be someone else? How about Colin Powell?

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