Alexander at Start of Tennessee Girls State: Aim for the Top, There’s More Room There

Posted on May 29, 2018

NASHVILLE, May 29, 2018 — U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today encouraged participants at Tennessee Girls State to follow the advice of his railroad engineer grandfather, who told him, “Aim for the top. There’s more room there.” 

“We have in America all the same problems everyone else does,” Alexander said. “What we have that is different is the capacity to do more about those problems than any other country in the world. And, we have you.”

Alexander continued: “You are here because you have already demonstrated more capacity than most Americans to make something of your life and of what this country has to offer. I hope one of you young women will grow up to be the real governor, the real school board member, the real mayor – someone who does her best to bring out the best in our country, state, and community.”

“The guitarist Chet Atkins used to say, ‘In this life you have to be mighty careful where you aim because you are likely to get there.’ And my grandfather used to tell  me, ‘Aim for the top. There’s more room there.’” 

Alexander concluded: “So ignore the angry voices on cable news, talk radio, and the Internet and instead remember and live by what you learned this week at Girls State.” 

Alexander today spoke at the opening ceremony of the American Legion Auxiliary’s Girls State 2018 program in Nashville. Girls State brings 550 high school juniors from across Tennessee together to spend a week learning about local, county, and state government by electing officials including a governor, working on legislation and holding legislative sessions, and running court proceedings.  

Alexander participated in Boys State in 1957 and was elected Boys State Governor that year. His platform included:

  • Pass a resolution that the right to work should not be discriminated against – referring to union affairs;
  • Civil Rights resolutions:
    • (Persons of color) should have equal rights in schools and living conditions without discrimination;
    • The Klu Klux Klan should be outlawed in Tennessee; and
    • A resolution charging the other forty-seven states of the union to investigate civil rights within their own state before criticizing  Tennessee.