Tag Archives: Politics

Let’s talk politics

I always hear people saying stuff like, don’t talk about politics. Keep it to yourself. Don’t get political. But that’s just one person’s opinion, to not talk about politics. My opinion is a little different. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. I like to only talk about politics, to everybody I meet. It’s one of the first things that I start talking about when I meet somebody. That’s not entirely true. It’s actually the very first thing that I start talking about, even before I formally introduce myself to a new person. My goal is to just bombard people with political opinion, and somewhere amongst this onslaught of clever commentary and smart insight, you’ll feel like you know me, know where I’m coming from, and I’ll consider us introduced. Obviously I won’t have asked you about your political opinions. But I don’t have to, because my critiques are always so fresh, so spot-on, that whoever I talk to always winds up automatically seeing things from my point of view, and once they’re there, they like it better, so much better in fact that they always discard whatever rudimentary political beliefs they had previous latched onto, and replace them instantly with my patented brand of clear-cut no-nonsense award-winning analysis.

People get frustrated talking politics. People get bored. They say why waste the time and energy talking about this stuff? It’s not like you’re ever going to actually change anybody’s opinions. But that’s only because you’ve never actually changed anybody’s opinions. I refrain from talking about politics on this blog because I don’t want history to think that I unfairly swayed the outcome of the 2012 election. Because if I started talking about politics here, my views would be so welcome, so needed by our misguided public, that word would spread way too fast, and everybody would try to log onto this web site at the same time, and I’m not paying GoDaddy enough money to support that type of traffic, and I don’t know what their business model is like. Would they permit the traffic and then send me a ridiculous bill afterward? Or would the crush of page loads simply destroy what I’ve built, rendering it completely inaccessible?

And it wouldn’t stop. Once I start talking about politics, people always wind up saying to me stuff like, “Well Rob, you’ve got my vote!” I can’t run for office. I don’t need to be the center of a cult of personality. Because that’s where it would lead. My views are so all-inclusive, they’re so what’s needed right now, that I’m not sure how I would change and react to such a tidal wave of national support. It’s only honest to think that I’d be changed somewhat. What do they say about the power of celebrity? I don’t know. That’s one of my writing tricks. Whenever I can’t think of something to say about something that I was talking about, and I want to switch topics without making it seem too abrupt, I ask an open ended question, like “What’s that they say about open-ended questions?” And I end it by saying, “I don’t know.”

But what’s that they say about not talking about politics? I don’t get it. We’re one day away from the election and, before Hurricane Sandy leveled the Northeast, it was all I heard anybody talking about. Politics. Barack Obama. Mitt Romney. Seriously, before the storm, what else was there to talk about? I wait tables for a living and, pre-Sandy, as I would walk around the restaurant, every single sentence I would hear from every single table would be about politics. “When Romney finally gets this economy moving again …” “I just don’t get why Obama doesn’t press Romney about his tax returns …” over and over and over again.

But whenever I open my mouth somebody invariably tells me to stop talking about politics. Usually it’s somebody who has differing views from me. Maybe I come across as a jerk. Maybe I don’t really give anybody else equal opportunity to talk. Maybe I get a little too physical when I’m trying to drive home my point of view. Maybe I don’t necessarily need to grab people by the collar and get all up in their faces, little foam spittle flying outward from my mouth. But what does it say about us that we’re only allowed to talk about politics if everybody in the group that we’re talking to shares the same beliefs?

This is pretty important stuff, politics, leaders, policy. We are the nation that we are because of the culmination of all the small political decisions that have been made in our history. And for each decision that was made there had to have been a counter argument. All of the arguments that won, they won because they were argued successfully and convincingly. So if you believe that something should be a certain way, you don’t just shut up about it because you’re not supposed to talk about politics. No, you get in there, you grab that guy sitting at that table with his family by the collar, you tell him that he’s wrong, tell him his family is a bunch of idiots, you tell him that he better listen to you or else there are going to be some serious consequences. Tell him it’s not a threat it’s a promise. Ask him to see some ID. Wrestle him to the ground and force the wallet out of his pocket. I know it’s hard to aim the foam spittle, but try to get as much of it as you can right in his face, right in his mouth. Because politics is important. And we should all be talking about it.

Why I’m running for everything

I’d like to announce that I’m running for City Council. I feel like this city needs a change in leadership, and I’m the one who’s going to pump some fresh blood into the system. Is anyone else tired of stop signs? I’m really tired of stop signs. Always telling me to stop. I have two solutions to this problem. The first solution is to put up another stop sign directly facing every existing stop sign. So it will be like the new stop sign is telling the old stop sign to stop. Like stop telling everyone to stop! But it might get confusing. And what if one of the stop signs falls down? Then we’ll all be back to square one. My second solution is to take down every stop sign and to put up a “Go!” sign on every single block where there normally wouldn’t be any signs at all. And the exclamation point will be a part of the sign. Wouldn’t it be better to be motivated by a sign rather than discouraged? Why be surrounded by big red octagons constantly bossing us around? “Go!” is a much more positive message. “Go!” for it, in your car, in life, everywhere. Just go! And if you don’t see a “Go!” sign, then that’s probably where a stop sign once stood, so you know, you might want to consider stopping, but it’s not a rule, it’s up to you. This all about empowering the people. Personal responsibility.

And that’s just day one. We’re looking at a whole new city here folks. And it will be a whole new city. Completely changed. So I’ll need new challenges, new problems to solve. On day two I’m going to announce my candidacy for State Senate. Why limit myself to a single city when I could be in charge of creating legislation for an entire state? Aren’t you sick of the same old machine politicians with their machine politics and their machine political parties? Normally I love machines. I love them doing everything. Everything except politics. We shouldn’t be governed by machines, we should be governed by people, leaders, me. Don’t you guys hate tolls? And taxes? They’re so annoying. If I’m elected to the State Senate, I’m going to totally eliminate tolls. Or taxes. Not both because, well, let’s just try to get things done one at a time here. If I get rid of the tolls, I’m going to raise taxes, and vice versa. So it’s really just a matter of finding out which one is the bigger group, the people who pay tolls or the people who pay taxes. I’ll win over one group and make the other pay double. Either way I’ll be a hero, to the majority anyway.

I’ll have really made a difference. A political outsider, cleaning up his city and then tackling the entrenched corruption of the state. People might get really excited about my prospects as a career politician. There will be this huge grassroots movement to try to draft me to run for governor, to really consolidate my power. Someone might make a facebook page called, “Go! Rob! Go!” endorsing me as a gubernatorial candidate. They’ll use my “Go!” signs from my days in the City Council as part of the graphics, like as a throwback. So I’ll hold a press conference and I’ll make a big announcement. I’ll explain that state politics are getting a little boring, and that I’m really starting to feel the limits of state power. So I’m running for real Senator. State Senator is a pretty stupid job anyway. I can’t even name one actual State Senator.

And that’s that. Three weeks on the job and I’ll have already been elected to the Senate. And people will keep talking. What’s he going to do next? How far can he go? But that’s going to be it. Senator is the perfect job. You really only have to work like once every six years. If you want a little spotlight, you can grab a little attention, co-chair some committee or something. Or you could just be totally invisible. And I’ll just keep the job for the rest of my life. Every once in a while some muckraking journalist might start poking his or her nose where it doesn’t belong, but I’ll create a big distraction, claiming that I’m thinking about starting an exploratory committee for a potential presidential run. And people will start talking about that instead of whatever it was that that journalist was researching. And I’ll show up at state conventions and act all coy about my ambitions. But then I’ll just disappear again. Maybe I’ll be considered as a vice-presidential candidate for some unwinnable nominee trying to unseat a very popular incumbent president. That would be pretty cool. I think I’d give a great VP debate.

And then when I’m in my nineties I’d finally die in office, and everyone will be so sad that such a fixture of government is no longer with us. And all of the other Senators will give really long speeches. They’ll rename a bridge in my home state after me. And my firstborn son will inherit my Senate seat. And they’ll give me some cool nickname, like the Master of the Senate, or the Maestro. If I somehow knew that they gave me a cool nickname after I died, I’d be upset, wishing that they would have given it to me while I was alive, so I could have enjoyed it, or maybe even improved it, but I won’t have found out and I won’t have been upset, because, like I said, I’ll have already died.