Seiler brings political world to classroom

Michael Grovier, Co-Managing Editor

In September 2018, Lake Land College history instructor David Seiler told The Navigator that he would be running for State Representative. We reported that he “wants to be the voice for those who haven’t been able to be heard for quite some time.” Now, nearly a year and a half later, Seiler is only looking forward. For the same reason as in 2018, he is once again on the ballot for Illinois House of Representatives District 107. He believes that “if we have situations where people aren’t running, then people don’t have a choice. They don’t really have an opportunity to compare the ideas, and society gets stagnant.”
Seiler, now in his twentieth year as an instructor at Lake Land College, has been interested in the democratic process since his own college days. Through his history classes, he makes an effort to emphasize different points of view about each historical era. “I teach from a political standpoint. Really, I think that’s kind of my viewpoint. And so that comes out through my classes, but it really started here at Lake Land.” Over the years, Seiler has seen many political events through their impact on students. He recalled national tragedies and triumphs, and shared that each one has been experienced with his students and colleagues. “The world’s going on while I’m here,” he states.
In addition to his emphasis on the political side of history, Seiler has a strong appreciation for local government. He believes that, while many national issues never make it to the Lake Land College district, local elections have a direct impact on students and members of the community. After all, they were elected to represent the issues that matter to our community. Seiler thinks that it’s “a darn shame” that citizens don’t utilize their connection to government by sharing their ideas and views with their representatives.
Running for local government can be difficult, and Seiler’s experience is no exception. In 2018, he lost to Republican candidate Blaine Wilhour by 39.4 percentage points. On the 2018 election, Seiler stated that “when you hear complaints and you hear people from the other side make comments, it’s hard to not internalize those and feel bad about them.” It’s the 11,779 people who voted on his side that keeps him hopeful. “I think they were glad I ran, and that’s why I’m running again, really. I think they needed a voice,” he says.
When not campaigning, Seiler is happy to find a balance between his campaign and his teaching career. He has enjoyed his time at Lake Land College and is grateful for those he has taught alongside over the years. Despite this balance, teaching and campaigning, for him, go hand-in-hand. “I feel like in so many ways I am prepared to do what I do out of my campaign because of the years of walking around these issues.” Because of this balance, Seiler also has the chance to step back and look at his career with Lake Land College. He summarizes his twenty years in one sentence, “It’s been a good ride here.”

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