The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Fighting the Actual Enemies

Here's what events of the last couple years have taught me.

If you lie enough, use social media to turn up the volume on those lies, use race-baiting language, refuse to listen to dissent, decry mainstream media, let criticism throw you into a rage, and demand absolute loyalty and allegiance from your followers, your demagoguery might just win you enough converts to satisfy your enormous ego. Demagogues take advantage of times like these, and they thrive on fear, anger and prejudice. Any news that runs counter to the thesis becomes "fake" news. No compromises allowed, winning at all costs.

And no, I'm not just talking about #45. 😜 Let's just say I had a few friends over to the house today...

But enough unpleasantness. Today the Q chose to head to the Island of Staten, not exactly a hotbed of liberal activism, though it's truly beautiful this time of year, and right now it's home to an outpouring of enormous optimism and energy to turn the NY11th Congressional District from red to blue. There are many good people on Staten Island, and I've gotten to know some of them in the past two days of canvassing for a marvelous candidate who defies pigeonholing - Max Rose. He's a Purple Heart and Bronze Star decorated army Captain and universal health care proponent. He's had the good sense not to talk Trump to voters - people have already made up their minds about the Orange One, and to win a conservative-majority district you must focus on things that matter most to voters. On the Island that means transportation, the opioid epidemic, and meat-and-potatoes ma-and-pa issues like stagnant wages and tax-breaks for millionaires. He's a guy who feels he's been given a second chance, after an IED nearly killed him in Afghanistan, to practice some good old fashioned Tikun Olam (Hebrew for repair the world). He believes in true justice, and while he's not a fan of racist cops, he's not leading with the cop issue because - it's Staten friggin Island, know mean? That's called strategic. Because you don't win elections by leading with your chin.

So me and a pal humbled ourselves enough to get bossed around by kids less than half our age, some of whom did and some of whom didn't seem particularly experienced. Yesterday the field office on Forest Avenue was hopping with energy. But today?? Good lord the throngs were stopping traffic. People from all over Staten and NYC, eager to do their part to create an ACTUALLY powerful opposition to the hateful forces of ACTUAL white supremacists and racists who are dead set on thwarting progress and denying the vote to their enemies. And as we've seen, some are emboldened to take the rhetoric out of the political realm into far more ghastly shows expressions of ideology.

The Q was downright teary to see lines, yes, LINES of people ready to volunteer.

When the Q graduated college, he wanted to be a revolutionary. Today, he just wants the country to step back from the brink. Because he believes in white supremacy? No, because he's lived long enough to see what happens to countries that try to make radical change without majority consent. It's brutal. Truly, savagely brutal. We're not much more than beasts after all. And politics can be a beastly business.

We can wish for a better world, we can even fight for it. But somehow we also have to live with each other. The only other alternative? Die with each other. Yep. It's that stark. If you don't believe me, let me introduce you to a a bit of world history...


Anonymous said...

New York City comprises 12 congressional districts. The 11th district is the only district represented by a Republican. Tomorrow we'll see how things go for Max Rose -- He's a Purple Heart and Bronze Star decorated army Captain and universal health care proponent.

Let's see. Universal Healthcare. In NY State there are 6.4 million people enrolled in Medicaid. The total cost for providing healthcare for that group is $78 BILLION. Or, about $12,200 per enrolled person.

The population of NY State is almost 20 million. Thus, universal healthcare -- based on existing expenditures for Medicaid -- would jump to $244 BILLION.

At least $244 BILLION. We know the bill would move far higher simply because no one is happy with the quality of care provided by Medicaid.

But, in recent years, the actual total healthcare expenditures in NY State have run about $200 BILLION. Therefore, Mad Max is aiming to drop a big load of tax increases on all New Yorkers -- except those who don't have to pay taxes, which is a lot of people in this state.

And our dopey governor opposes fracking, which would, if legalized in NY, generate a lot of revenue of all kinds -- paychecks, income taxes, royalties, etc -- that would cover a lot of the bill for universal healthcare.

Unfortunately, Cuomo and Rose are business killers who believe in taxing and spending.

Anonymous said...

Have you done any amount of research into Fracking? I'm from Kansas, and my family still lives there. Since fracking really started up in Oklahoma 5ish years ago, there has been a 17% increase per year in earthquakes. Enough of a bump that they have started offering and even restricting people from receiving insurance for it depending on where they are at.

Fracking is a terrible response to a problem. You can't keep fracturing the ground to try and get more resources out of it without destabilizing everything around. It's barely better than strip mining. I can only imagine the damage even minor earthquakes would do to NYC infrastructure.