Coons, the New Castle County executive who is running against GOP Rep. Michael Castle [my note - heh] for the state’s open Senate seat, wrote of his political evolution in the May 23, 1985, edition of the Amherst Student.--------------------------------------------
The source of his conversion, Coons wrote, was a trip to Kenya he took during the spring semester of his junior year—a time away from America, he wrote, that served as a “catalyst” in altering a conservative political outlook that he was growing increasingly uncomfortable with.
“My friends now joke that something about Kenya, maybe the strange diet, or the tropical sun, changed my personality; Africa to them seems a catalytic converter that takes in clean-shaven, clear-thinking Americans and sends back bearded Marxists,” Coons wrote, noting that at one time he had been a “proud founding member of the Amherst College Republicans.”
“[I]t is only too easy to return from Africa glad to be American and smugly thankful for our wealth and freedom,” added Coons. “Instead, Amherst had taught me to question, so in turn I questioned Amherst, and America.”
Dave Hoffman, a Coons campaign spokesman, said the title of the article was designed as a humorous take-off on a joke Coons’s college friends had made about how his time outside the country had affected his outlook.
Hoffman said the trip to Kenya helped lead to Coons’s decision to become a Democrat.
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