With the announcement of Donald Trump’s jaw-dropping victory on Wednesday morning, a massive question mark now hangs over the country. Will Trump’s reign be equally as volatile as the GOP candidate’s campaign? Hard to say, since the guy clearly gave very few shits about consistency. What’s more, it’s often next to impossible to understand what, if anything, Trump believes in (even his own ghostwriter has described Trump as a “living black hole”). But our first “orange president” has made one promise resoundingly clear: Immigrants are going to get hit hard.
The mood was shifting just as I made my way toward House of Yes around 10 pm last night. Commentators on NBC, CNN, and anywhere else were starting to look flustered– especially Wolf Blitzer (a guy who looks like he passed up coffee to stick his fingers into an electrical socket) whose discombobulated outbursts and spastic reportage were only adding to a slowly-building sense of panic. Many battlegroud states were still too close to call, but Trump and Hillary were now neck-and-neck. That menacing meter on the New York Times site, which measured the probability of a Trump victory, was jumping up from its position at “we’re cool” to “we’re so, so fucked.”
The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and I somehow just got an email from Al Franken with the subject line “Time to panic.” Looks like it’s Debate Day.
As Hillary and Donald face off in Long Island tonight, some will watch alone in the dark, while clutching a pint of ice cream in sheer fear. Others will jump into the thick of it and head to Hofstra University, where street performer and purveyor of love and farts Matthew Silver will be debating fringe candidate Vermin Supreme. Good luck finding them. Thousands of protestors — not to mention a 51-foot joint — are also expected to descend on the Hempstead school.
Don’t worry, you can also watch from a safe distance. Here’s who’s throwing watch parties, offering drink specials, or otherwise spicing up this evening of discourse.
Let’s be real about this right up front– if we’re talking actual votes, Ralph Nader hasn’t exactly seen a lot of success as a presidential candidate. We’re taught that, as a third-party candidate who has run with the New Party, no party, and Green Party, Nader’s campaigns have been doomed from the start, just like those of every other non-binary (i.e. neither Democrat nor Republican) political player seeking the highest office (or really any office of consequence) in the land.
Most New Yorkers don’t like to be reminded that the current orange-hued Republican presidential nominee is technically one of us. Yes, it’s true. Say it with us: Donald J. Trump is a New Yorker. (Ugh– we know, we hate to admit it too). Considering that Trump’s name can be found all over the city, usually in huge gold letters, you’d think that our tiny-handed GOP candidate has something to prove. Whatever the motive, Trump’s habit of branding his structures with his own name serves as a constant, nauseating reminder of his inextricable ties to the city.
To meet with Debbie Medina, New York’s first Democratic Socialist candidate for State Senate, I was invited not to a campaign office, nor a public appearance, not even to join her on a campaigning stroll through the 18th district, but to Medina’s Williamsburg apartment– specifically, her dining room table. Here, she advised me not to take off my shoes. “You’ll ruin your socks if you do that,” she laughed.
It became clear to me immediately that Debbie Medina, who’s running her second grassroots campaign to snatch the 18th-district seat in the fall, isn’t at all like other politicians. For one, hers isn’t the sort of practiced, regal charisma that most politicos have– a perfect grin and an unerring face, both provided with extra protection from the elements by a layer of effervescent self-assurance so infectious that if you’re not careful it can briefly paralyze your capacity for doubt, and turn you into a nodding, agreeable dimwit.
If you don’t know who the North Brooklyn Democratic District Leader is at this point, well, then you probably haven’t attended too many Community Board 1 meetings, and it’s also safe to say that you’re definitely not a member of the Brooklyn Young Democrats. But if you live in or around Greenpoint or Williamsburg and care to be involved in the future of the Democratic Party or the Progressive movement, rest assured there are easier ways to get to know Nick Rizzo than crashing a tedious land-use committee hearing.
For one, you could always convene with Rizzo on the Lower East Side, where you’ll find him working behind the bar at 151. It was clearly a slow night when I stopped by last week (he’d just finished doing the glamorous work of juicing some oranges), so Rizzo had some time to chat about Bernie Sanders, Elena Ferrante, and a rather awkward encounter at Vito Lopez’s wake, among other things.
An uninvited guest popped by Anthony Weiner’s Gramercy apartment building this morning, in the form of a giant inflatable rat. Union members have gathered in front of the mayoral hopeful‘s Park Avenue South address to protest a controversial cost-cutting measure in his education platform. And they aren’t exactly being subtle about it: “DON’T LET THE SEXTING PERV BE MAYOR,” reads one sign.
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