The 22-year-old political science major was present to invite DesJarlais to speak at the local AIPAC chapter. AIPAC, she explained, stands for American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
“I wanted to talk to the congressman about Israel and what’s going on over there and a bill titled the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013,” the North Georgia native said. “He was able to tell me about his trip to Israel and his interest in the region.”
Swick’s and DesJarlais’ viewpoints seemed to be in agreement.
“He seems to be a very big supporter of Israel and liked his visit there,” she said. “As a political science major, I believe Israel is the perfect ally for America.”
Swick, a senior, said she eventually wants to be a congresswoman, but in the meantime, she just wants to learn how government works and move to Washington, D.C., when she graduates.
DesJarlais said, “I do share her interests in Israeli issues. Some people say we need to stand behind Israel. I say we need to stand beside Israel. Iran’s nuclear threat is real. We’re going to have to deal with that issue and we’re going to have to deal with it together.”
Though Swick is an advocate of a strong relationship between the two countries, she is not in the position to speak on the other country’s political policy or to any possible settlements between Israelis and Palestinians.
DesJarlais congratulated Swick for her political involvement at a young age.
“A lot of our younger generations need to be involved because quite frankly, our country has been mismanaged for decades and they’re going to bear the brunt of that mismanagement,” he said. “I think the more people that get involved at a young age and understand the problems we have in the federal government, that’s a great thing. People are going to have to be engaged because the days of thinking the federal government is going to do right by us and spend our tax dollars wisely are long-since gone.”
Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis introduced DesJarlais and commended the second-term congressman on his conservative voting record Davis said complements local views.
The congressman said opening the local office only makes sense because of the county’s size and significance in his district.
“We try to put our offices where we can serve the most constituents and I think this is a great location,” he said.
Constituent services representatives Shirley Pond, Jeff Lewis and an unnamed staff member will operate the office Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
DesJarlais said he got into politics after 20 years in medicine after patients quit talking about football, deer hunting and children.
“They began talking about their concerns about how they are going to get by and keep their house. It was just a notable change,” he said. “Honestly, prior to 2009, I didn’t pay close attention to politics like I should have. We see our freedoms eroding. We see more and more government, more regulations and it is just swallowing up our ability to do what we want to as Americans.”
He said, “The great thing about America is we always seem to produce great Americans. I’m glad to see there are students like Anna who are very active and came here to invite me to speak to her class, which I’m anxious to do.”