April Awakening: Day Seventeen
I’m a lot more liberal than people give me credit for. I don’t believe in the death penalty, I think all drugs should be legal, I recycle literally everything I can, and I’m married to my “partner.” Or rather I would be, if I were. But over the years, I think people have painted me as some hardcore, red-hatted, gun-totin’ freedom-lover, and in some ways I totally am. I think everyone should own a gun, abortions should have limits, and I’ve purchased MyPillow products. But then on the other hand, I think we should end the Federal Reserve and chop government into, like, I don’t know, a sixteenth of what it is now? “Give me liberty instead of a headache” should be my new campaign motto.
But what kind of political party would I fall into if I ran? I’ve had more than one person tell me I should run for office. There’s aspirations there. It’d be funny to hear “Would the Senator from New York please stop rolling her eyes?” in the most holiest of our political chambers. But I feel I have no category as I get older and discover just how much each wing absolutely stinks. And as much as it astonishes me, we’re still not ready for a nuanced conversation about political affiliation.
“The other side” is your enemy, and you mustn’t ever find resolve with them. In fact, insulting them and accusing them of all sorts of nonsense is all part of your job. But then you have to convince them to work with you if you want to get things done. It just feels government is one big high school debate team paid for by the taxpayer, chosen by contests I have lost all faith in. I got into a Twitter argument one time with some rando because I said I don’t trust New York City elections. I don’t have to show an ID when I go vote. Even at my insistence of flashing my driver’s license when I’m at the table, they tell me they can’t look at it. The guy kept telling me how hard it would be for someone to steal my identity and vote in my place, but that’s not what I took umbrage with. How in the world am I supposed to trust the process when they can’t even verify who I am? The whole system stinks and I keep feeling like if I can get my foot in the door, I can enact real change around here. But it feels impossible as long as the party is the most important part.
I’ve gotten political on here before. I really don’t mind having discussions. New Yorkers are a tough nut to crack, though. Many I speak to don’t even want to get into politics in this day and age. Perhaps they’re too embarrassed by who they obviously voted for and how much that choice obviously sucks. Hey man, I tried to tell you. But there’s still such a distrust of that “other side” here that it’s going to take an act of God to fix it. There’s a woman in my building who I’ve certainly seen in a MAGA hat before. No big deal, really. People can wear things I wouldn’t and that’s fine too. I was up on the roof deck with some neighbors the other night and this woman came up in conversation. One man used to have a nice relationship with her but then, in his words, “Trump happened.” They couldn’t even have a discussion with one another after that. She’s not the friendliest person on planet earth, so that played a role, but it was a sad story regardless. Then they all started talking about “how there’s a Republican living on the first floor,” to which one guy acted like he just found out an unchained tiger was roaming the halls. “I mean, who cares?” I said, when he asked which one was the dreaded Republican. I held my tongue after that, but I also wanted to be like, “Is your life any better with a Democrat in charge? Is it not worth considering maybe both sides could be bad, but one side you keep voting for also sucks out loud?”
I miss the days of the Blue Dog Dems and the Red Blood Repubs. Now it’s just partisan this and extremism that. There’s no one to root for. It’s just one big cringefest. I wish this was my cheeky way of saying I’ll be going up against Jerrold Nadler in 2024, but that time has not come yet. All I’m doing at the moment is begging my fellow New Yorkers to cut the bullshit for one second and forget about party lines when our lives are on the line. No “D” or “R” at the end of someone’s name is going to matter if the nukes fall tomorrow. It’s time to wise up and move past the affiliation and remember at the end of the day: We’re all Americans. One nation under God. When one of us goes down, all of us do. Really, it’s not as impossible as they want you to believe. That’s one thing I’ll never stop fighting for, not as long as you’ve chosen me to represent you. One day, New York. I’ve certainly got the Cute Congresswoman card to play if I need to.