Brotherly Rivalry


Brothers Alec (left) and Matt (right) Liebowitz casually spending time with Vice President Joe Biden

With tensions high and the 2016 elections around the corner, political discourse is rampant. Recently, it’s rare to find Republicans and Democrats in peaceful constructive conversation, though lo and behold, upon our campus exists exactly this. Two brothers, Matt, and Alec Liebowitz, are from two very different sides of the political spectrum; Matt, a staunch Republican, and Alec, a loyal Democrat. While the both still have their political differences, they do accept each other, and their opinions. The Spartacus asked them about the current presidential election, and how they’re political differences came about,.


Q and A

Of the candidates still in the race, who do you support?

Matt: I really do not like Hillary, so I might have to choose between Trump and Hillary.  I might have to support Trump even though his ideals of temporarily banning muslims, and other issues, I disagree strongly on.  

Alec: I am a proud supporter of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential race.


How did you come to the political leanings that you have today?

Matt: Through watching tv shows and talking about politics with my family I was able to see what I identify with most on certain issues, however I would consider myself a liberal Republican.  

Alec:I just have the belief that everyone should have a chance to succeed and it should not be determined on anything else, but your merits. Now, with that said, I also believe in being inclusive and there is nothing inclusive about the Republican Party today.


What is your opinion of President Obama and the policies he has implemented?

Matt: Most to all of the issues I have strongly disagreed with President Obama on, most strongly Dodd-Frank which is hurting businesses and crippling our economy.  The only issue I agree with him on is background checks for guns, which will make us somewhat safer, however, it will not make us completely safe from going around the background check.

Alec: I personally believe that thanks to President Obama, his leadership, and the policies he has implemented, we have made significant progress from the disaster he inherited from President Bush. Now, I have differences with President Obama, but they are nothing compared to the differences I have with the Republicans, and the level of obstructionism they have shown to this President for doing his job is distracting to the challenges we have to deal with as a country.


Predictions for the November general election?

Matt: I believe it will be Trump vs Hillary and it will be extremely close, however I believe that Trump will win by 5 or 6 electoral votes, due to how many people hate Hillary and also the traction he has with Democrats and Independents will sway him to win the election – this will shock many.  

Alec: I don’t like to predict because I believe that the outcome is so frightening should Hillary Clinton not be elected, but I do believe that if Democrats are able to turn out our base then we will be extremely successful in the November elections. Now, with that said, if we cannot turn our base out, and if the turnout of voters is lower, than Donald Trump would be our next President.


Do your differing political leanings make for awkward interactions and/or conversations between you two?

Matt: Of course, all the time. However, many of our conversations are very constructive and we find that we agree on more issues than people would think, such as our support for gay marriage and our beliefs on abortion.  Sometimes they are awkward when talking about the economy and his radical beliefs on that.  

Alec: Sometimes it can cause a heated discussion, but I think that is good because it is the foundation of a democracy. Now, with that said, I do often get frustrated with him if I think he is just so wrong about something. I also believe though if you love someone, you can have fierce debate, but the love should not overtake the political differences we might have.


How often, if ever, do you talk about politics with each other?

Matt: It is very constant, approximately four to five times a day if not more, if that is believable; it is non stop and it seems that is all we talk about. It is great because it makes each of us better and more prepared if that is what each of us want to do.  He is always so prepared, and makes me want to better myself and become as prepared and motivated as he is.

Alec: I have to be honest that the conversation goes about everyday, and often multiple times a day. I am so engaged and passionate about it, and I will take some credit for getting my brother interested in politics.


Alec, I heard that you did a fundraiser for Hillary. How was that experience and what caused you to be so passionate about Hillary that you decided to throw a fundraiser?

Alec: I decided to throw the fundraiser because I believe that Hillary is exceptional, and for her to be successful we need as much money as we can raise. The experience itself was amazing because I got to see Hillary, and to have my family meet her was the real treat. And on top of that, they liked her better after they met her which made me even more happy.