Here we are, folks. After about two years of me subjecting you all to my political eccentricities, this is the last time I will wax poetic on the, uh, let’s call them “quirks” of our federal government.
I know, I know, but you’ll be ok, I promise. Someone else will write about politics. Someone who actually covers it even! You’ll see.
While I am sad to lose my monthly outlet for expressing how adorable it is that five members of the Supreme Court were nominated by people who became President after losing the popular vote, I know that my work here has been instructive and impactful. After all, I’ve gotten to voice my opinion on topics as wide-ranging as Donald Trump’s lack of fitness to run literally anything at all to the fact that Iowa Democrats apparently didn’t feel like hiring a competent app developer. It’s been a trip. And I have no doubt that my words here have rattled the pillars of our government at the highest levels.
So, like, thanks to me… we’re good now, right?
Wait what? Oh man, that sucks. I really thought we had it there for a minute. Apparently, the downside of building your country around the goal of a “more perfect” union is that it never is actually perfect. I suppose it’s hard to get too upset about that. Few things are genuinely perfect outside of Viniero’s chocolate-covered cannoli and the movie True Lies, but you’d think the federal government could have a higher batting average than this.
After all, without getting on ground too dangerous, I would expect that allowing half the population to have control over its own reproductive organs is, like, the bare minimum in a free society. Then again, ensuring no one dies because they’re poor and not politicizing a free, widely-accessible life-saving vaccine should be pretty low-hanging fruit, too. Americans, as the saying goes, are masters at doing the right thing after exhausting all other options.
Unfortunately, on this front, I don’t have the answers. I genuinely thought I did. Why else would I have cranked out 1,000 words explaining a transformative Covid relief bill? Was it just so I could make fun of Ted Cruz?
Ok, the answer to that is no, but I can’t lie and pretend making fun of Ted Cruz was not an enormous incentive.
Either way, as I leave Stern, and my post as your political columnist, I can’t help but feel as though the job is unfinished. But even if I can’t rely on the dozen or so people who read this to reassure me that, yes, I’ve fought the good fight to great success, I can always think about Jewish Space Lasers and how the concept made me giggle so.
Who knows where I’d be without the chance to imagine that Donald Trump’s fundraising emails were actually a sequence of attempts to romance me? Where would I be without the opportunity to turn my home ownership troubles into a grand metaphor for Joe Manchin’s refusal to reinforce progressive policies? How could I have really felt whole without taking my step at mocking the Trump campaign for its press conference at a landscaping company in a desolate strip mall, which was totally deliberate and not at all the result of a completely lazy lack of due diligence?
For the record, I think we, as a society, have really, really, really underrated how hilariously stupid that last one was.
Look, the world is a complicated place, and our government has an alarming number of people in powerful positions who are completely looney tunes and do inexplicably nonsensical things. Also, Ted Cruz, despite the wishes of literally everyone outside the Texas Republican Party, is still there for some reason. But sometimes you have to find a way to laugh about that, or at least vent. The past two-plus years of American history have brought us a polarizing election, a literal attempt to overthrow the peaceful transition of power, and a global health crisis that exacerbated and laid bare the fissures that underscore our tumultuous present and uncertain future.
I’m not sure what, exactly, you rely on to cope with all that, and if the answer is “not paying attention,” I’m jealous. But for me, the best way to exist in such a messy universe is to blow off some steam about this nonsense. Over the past 30 months or so, the chance to spill about all of this in The Oppy has been my seldom-effective but personally necessary soap box. I even got to do one or two real interviews along the way!
Does throwing together this chicken scratch each month actually solve any problems? Come on. If I thought my political opinions would bring universal healthcare or push Putin out of Ukraine, I probably would have been focusing on that as a career instead of getting an MBA. I’m not naive. My platform isn’t changing the world, not when I fill it with as much snark as righteousness.
But it does help me sort through it just a little bit. And that ain’t half bad. Maybe in my next life, instead of merely complaining, I’ll actually do something that makes a real, tangible difference.
Apparently, we’ve got one or two things to take care of.