In a rapid-fire series of speeches that one participant likened to a college haring, the six new fellows of the Kennedy School's Institute of Politics (IOP) last night told as audience of 200 why they chose politics as a career.
Asked by IOP directors to "speak about their passions, " the fellows talked about formative moments that ranged from disappointments, in the fifth grade to triumphs at the age of 60, in general stressing the immediacy and intensity, of the times that first directed them to politics.
"I turned on the television to watch Teen Dance Party or something and saw a young man, a vibrant man, on the television, " Thomas Axworthy, policy advisor to former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, said in a burst of enthusiastic candor. "He told us that if we could channel our energy into politics we could change the world " The man was then candidate for President John I. Kennedy.
William Sutherland, South Africa representative for the American Friends Service Committee, said he was in a jail cell when he "Found his identify " For being a consciences objector in World War ll. Sutherland was sentenced to four years in prison-twice the term of any previous offender. "I have become convinced that there can be no social or political change anywhere unless people take direct action, without that, nothing happens, "Sutherland said.
In a similar vein, most of the fellows said that the continuing attraction of polities is the excitement generated by the continuing human contact. It necessitates: "What motivates me in politics is people." said David M. Sparks, field director of the 1980 Bush Presidential campaign and former Boston Regional Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"If you start out in college being interested on politics, you will still be interested on it when you become my age, " said 60-year old Wisconsin State Representative Mary Lou Munts. "It's a drug. It's an addiction," Munts added.