My first experience inside the world of politics, outside of my political science lectures in good ole’ Stiteler Hall, has only lasted 3.5 days.
I refer to a fraction of time because today is not yet over.
I still have to attend a forum of some type; a filibuster to the regular schedule.
Despite my non-incumbent position in this realm, I have so far learned a massive amount about the culture of politics.
For example, the accusatory comeback, “pictures or it didn’t happen”, is more than just a quip.
If you don’t have a photo of you with a lace veil over your face, you didn’t actually immerse yourself in a traditional Catholic mass, for example.
In order to garner said photos, or press coverage in general, you have to attend a schedule of events.
I believe the role of a socialite may very well have been developed by the American politician.
In the international arena, constituents tend to flock landmarks where a figure of authority is already expected. Rarely do these leaders travel to where the people are.
With that said, I understand that it is a universal campaign tactic for politicians to display themselves in all their glory.
Many a Hindi film have included true to reality depictions of politicians traveling among throes of people. These politicians, however, are not going to the people. The politicians are traveling to already decided upon destinations. They are traveling for their own agenda.
Motorcades consisting of a politician’s flags, banners with his/her position on issues and slogans from his/her
minions campaign coordinators are meant to synthesize the politician’s celebrity status.
Au contraire, American politicians tend to make themselves available to the people.
When I say, “the people”, I am not referring to the average or even the poor. Rather, I am referring to persons from every strata of society as a collective entity.
In the United States, the politician is only superior to constituents in so far as the number of days they are dressed in a suit.
Even then, this is no longer true.
If the Occupy movement has taught us anything, it is that, in this country, those who wear suits to such a high frequency that they are indiscernible from pajamas, are the business moguls, not the politicians.
The Next Day -
As I sat through the debate yesterday, I was intrigued.
It was raining, my feet were sore, and I still had a long way’s traveling before I could enter the threshold for which politically-incorrect statements are not judged - home, yet I was still sitting on that folding chair with my back erect despite the onus of my backpack and laptop messenger bag strapped across my chest.
I felt that I was a part of something bigger.
As much as I disagree with the politician who’s campaign I am helping to unfold and as much as find American politics, historically and up until now, to be trivial, I love politics.
I love the dialogue that politics provoke.
I love channeling my serious facade into a well-formed argument against points that seem not to have a point.
I love being able to work in an old New York City building with Ivy League grads who, unlike myself, seem to know each other from heir ritzy private school days on Lexington Avenue.
It’s nice to know we’re all on the same page in the present despite our distinct pasts.
Lastly, I love the whole picture of me sitting in this building, working, and finally being able to wear my beloved dresses, skirts, 1 or 2 sizes too large-blouses, and v-neck cardigans.
Call this what you may, but I’m loving the way this painted political portrait is turning out.
I don’t care that the politician and her minions are lacking social skills and ignore my presence when they so choose to. Not greeting people won’t get you far; I suppose this absence of manners is ample evidence of how our pasts are different.
It’s a mutual-coexistence relationship we have here.
We’re both hosts and we’re both parasites but at least I’m not the one running in an election that I could lose.