Happy Columbus Day, Merkins! Are you so grateful to be a citizen of the US-of-A on this, the day we commemorate how we came over and righteously kicked some Injun ass? How about if you knew we had given our righteous ass-kickings so terrible man-children could live in their parents’ garage apartments, decline full time jobs teaching in their fields, take long meandering drives to nowhere, and then whine about how hard it is to choose between Miffed Romney and B. Barry Bamz, because Mr. Bamz has yet to bring them their own personal ponies? USA! USA! Wonkers, meet the most punchable man in America.
Tyler York lives in a comfortable space above a three-car garage. He has his own entrance and kitchenette stocked with Capri Sun and frozen bagels. There’s a queen-sized bed, a plush leather couch and a large, flat-screen TV. The land around the house is wooded with old oaks and maples, and the yard is curated by the former president of the local garden club. There’s an in-ground pool out back with an HGTV-inspired slide.
It’s a great life, and none of it belongs to him.
Tyler has Capri Sun and frozen bagels. But are there hardships? THERE ARE. Please remove all children and pregnant ladies from the room, you guys: the wifi does not reach all the way to the pool! HOW DOES HE LIVE????
Mostly, Tyler sits on his couch, or poolside, drinks his juicebox, and turns down jobs. But sometimes he goes to his nieces’ birthday party and barks “BE BETTER” at them when he yanks his palm away from their high-fives. Being a dick to children is like a full-time job right there!
Sometimes, he gets in the car for long drives to nowhere in particular. Once he might have considered it a waste of time, but lately he thinks he gets a lot done when he lets his mind drift: work, his little brother’s college decision, his friends’ money worries, politics, the world, right and wrong, what’s next.
“What’s going on?” he wonders. “Am I really happy?”
Is Tyler happy? We should worry about this for a while. Oh right, no we shouldn’t.
But what about Tyler’s vote? Who will earn it?
Tyler can rattle off a quick opinion on almost any issue in the news. He thinks we should rework education and job training entirely, move away from using coal for energy and give women complete, unbiased medical information if they have an unexpected pregnancy. He’s fine with paying taxes but wants the money spent wisely on libraries, fire departments and schools. He does not like public money to be funneled to boondoggles, like, he thinks, Boston’s Big Dig. After all that time and money, he doesn’t understand why it still needs fixing, or why he sits in traffic for hours to visit his girlfriend at her apartment near Fenway Park.
None of those issues are likely to decide his vote. He would back a candidate he disagreed with if he thought the person could make people work together, he says. Tyler thinks all elected leaders — not just the president — should cooperate to help the country grow. He might not like some of their decisions, but he respects the process.
“Being a voter, you just want to see progress, and there really hasn’t been for how many years now?” Tyler says. “If you have a strong argument supporting your opinion that’s different than mine, I’m more than willing to have that conversation with you. I want to talk, I want to understand why you think that way. It could change my mind … but I won’t know unless I have that conversation.”
That’s true, there has been no progress at all for the past four years. Tyler says so!
Of course he doesn’t want his friends or family or anyone else to struggle or be at a disadvantage, he says, but he doesn’t think that’ll happen if politicians will stop being stubborn and start working together.
It is true, if Romney is elected, Congress will stop being stubborn and start working together … on things like slashing education and job training, gifting more subsidies to Exxon-Mobil, banning abortion, and the opposite of every other thing Tyler was jabbering about five paragraphs ago. Teamwork! Tyler is just a super-smart, cool young man, and his parents are very lucky to have him drinking his juicebox in their garage apartment.
He will vote in November, along with millions of others trying to figure out the same things: What’s really going on here? Am I really happy?
He thinks the decision will be good practice, a nice exercise, if not a simple one. He doesn’t like things to be too easy, anyway.
Abortion should be legal through age 26.