This month, AAPC caught up with new Student Member, Taimur Ahmed.
AAPC: Who do you look up to in the industry?
Taimur: The man I look up to the most in the industry is Mr. David Axelrod. I have always been told that politics is a rough and brutal game and in order to win, you must have a ruthless demeanor and be willing to take down any opponent to get ahead. David Axelrod has proven on a local and national level that kindheartedness, humility, and hard word can be just as effective, if not more, than the rumble and tumble politics we are use to today.
AAPC: What do you love about politics?
Taimur: I love everything about politics. Politics to me is the universal bridge on which we all, as members of any given society, must cross over; ultimately with the goal of getting to the other side. Throughout history, we have seen so many societies leave behind their downtrodden, the weak and leaving some without even the option to cross the bridge itself. The American political system is, however, far from the aforementioned. To aspire toward ideals such as all men are created equal and that the rights given to each and every one of us are inalienable, bestowed upon by God, is exactly why I love American politics.
AAPC: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Taimur: The best career advice I have received was given to me during my first internship in Washington D.C. by Congressman Elijah Cummings of the House of Representatives. He advised me to gain a number of transferable skills, including being able to debate and examine issues from all standpoints, an ability to identify, analyze and find solutions to problems and to make reasoned arguments as though you are trying to convince yourself on the other side.
AAPC: Where do you go when you need to be inspired?
Taimur: When I am in search of inspiration, the best place I know which will give me just that is the John F. Kennedy presidential library and museum in Boston, Massachusetts. President Kennedy will always be remembered as the man who aspired to do the impossible, “not because it was easy, but because it was hard.” I am always left in thought as to how much this one man could have accomplished had he lived his life to its organic completion.
AAPC: Why did you join AAPC?
Taimur: I decided to join the AAPC to better understand the field of politics from those who practice it as a means of their livelihood. I feel that in order to fully understand the commitment it takes to devote your entire professional career this field, without the guarantee of any success, I must meet these folks firsthand and let them know I aspire to be just as committed to helping this country become a more perfect union as they are.
AAPC: How do you manage high-stress situations?
Taimur: When I am under high stress situations, specifically working in the realm of political stress, it helps me to hone in and remember the ideal for which I feel it will be all worth it. It is the feeling that my career was a calling, a double opportunity to work for what I consider right and to challenge what I consider wrong. I could make a difference by practicing politics, that a single man could use our system of democratic governance to change an entire society.
AAPC: Why is being part of a bipartisan organization valuable to you?
Taimur: As a trained historian that wrote his thesis on the American presidency, bipartisanship is the blood that flows through my veins. I also believe it flows through the veins of this great nation. A nation that has freed more people and pulled even more from the jaws of poverty and death, could not have been able to do so had the founding fathers been partisan hacks such as the politicians we are faced with today, many of them in leadership positions, paralyzed from practicing any leadership given their partisan divides. President Lincoln famously once said, “a house divided, cannot stand.” E Pluribus Unum, that out of many, one. The AAPC and the bipartisan nature it inevitably withholds is refreshing and can be enlightening in these dark partisan times.
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