Advice to Millennials on the Rebound: An Intervention
I get it. We have all been there. You finally find the perfect relationship and then it ends. You weren’t together long, but you hung on his every word. You felt the Bern. You made plans for your future together. You named your cat Sandy.
And then suddenly, it’s over. You mourn. You rage. You are not sure you can go on. You close your door at work and cry.
And then, one day, some old dude named Gary offers you an edible and a few well worn lines and you are smitten. “ We share the same values, you gush to your friends. He supports gay rights. He hates war.”
What do you really know about him, your friends ask? Not much you acknowledge, but he makes me happy. You imbue him with magical qualities. He can mend the hole in your heart. Isn’t he so much like your lost love? You rename your cat Liberty.
You are in a rebound relationship. It makes you high. It blots out the sadness. Your friends warn you that it it will not end well. You know that there is some truth to that; there was that rebound thing with the psychology major on the third floor you would just as soon forget about. But that was in college.
This time will be different. You have Gary, a candidate who understands you. You don’t have to vote for those hated mainstream candidates, whose names you cannot bring yourself to utter. Beside, you can’t tell them apart anyway. The goal is to survive this election with your integrity intact. And that’s the main thing isn’t it?
Of course, there are his weird brain freezes. He calls them his Aleppo moments. You find them endearing. This stuff happens. He reminds you of your favorite uncle Sam. At least he didn’t think Aleppo was a rock band, like your idiot cousin Ira.
You don’t know much about the Libertarian Party. How did you not know about it before? Your older sister said something about somebody named Rind or Rand something or another. But, she was screaming so loud, it was hard to understand.
No, it can’t be Rand, you think. That was the name of that awful woman you studied in your political theory class, the Objectivism person. What did she believe again? Something about selfishness as a virtue? Bernie must hate everything that woman stands for. But thankfully Gary says he opposes wars and the death penalty. He cares about criminal justice reform. He is just like Bernie.
Your squad stages an intervention.
“ You know nothing about Gary Johnson. How long have you known him, two months online and now you want to do what, give up your apartment and move in with him? He is not Bernie.”
“Do you really know what the Libertarian party believes? “ Tears well in your eyes as your friends force you to read the Libertarian party platform. https://www.lp.org/platform.
You begin, “As libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereigns over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.”
“I don’t even know what that means,” you protest. “It means,” your mansplaining friend Jason opines, ,” that while the government has to respect civil rights, private parties can do whatever they please.”
“Want an all male or all white workforce? If that is your “ standard of association,” then go for it. Don’t want to rent your apartments to African Americans or immigrants? Thats great. Don’t want to bake a wedding cake for a LGBT couple? Nothing makes you more unhappy than gay marriage? Don’t worry, you don’t have to sacrifice one bit of your happiness for others.”
“If you don’t like it, you can always protest. Thats why you have free speech.”
“ But that’s not what Bernie believes, “ you whine.
“And you know how Bernie is all into income inequality ? Gary Johnson doesn’t even support an increase in the minimum wage. He has even called it a “non-issue. That just makes me cray-cray.”
“How about free college?” I can’t even”, snaps your sister Molly. “Libertarians don’t think the government should play any role in education, except maybe vouchers to parents. Its that free market thing again. You know like those for-profit colleges that make money by targeting veterans and low income students with shady marketing and then saddle them with enormous debt.”
“Student loans,” you venture? “Nope, Johnson thinks that federal student loans should be abolished. He blames loans for the high cost of college.”
“Global warming?” Molly’s partner Kate chimes in. “Well, the platform is pretty clear. Repeat after me, free market. At least I know what that means. Johnson says, even if the planet is warming, the sun will burn it up in billions of years, so.... sorry, my head hurts.”
“Health care? Single payer? Affordable Care Act? “ Stop playing. He would repeal the ACA. You want to support that man? You should rename that cat Free Market. Seriously, you should cancel.”
The door to the apartment opens. “Nana”, you ask bewildered , “what are you doing here?“ “ Bubbela,” she says in a breathless voice, “I think you’ve been starfished. Or maybe it’s catfished? I don’t think it was whitefished? Anyway, that man is not who he says he is. Or maybe he’s not who you think he is. “
“But Nana”, you cry, “I am so lonely and my precious vote is at stake.”
“Just follow Bernie my treasure. Follow Bernie. He knows what to do. Your vote isn’t about you. It isn’t about 30 seconds in the voting booth or a selfie of your ballot. Its about your country, your community, your values. It about what you hope will happen in the country over the next four years.”
“Will Gary Johnson will give people minimum wage? Make college more affordable? You want bubkes or you want progress? I know you will do the right thing.”
Liberty becomes restless and leaps from your lap. He meows angrily to go out. You open the door. “Bye Felicia,” he snarls. He stops and looks back at you. “And by the way, my name isn’t Liberty, its Hillary.”