Ranked choice voting. So fraught! Much more complex than voting for the one I want. i had to think about whether & how to block someone I really didn't want, & how much to support my second (& 3rd & 4th & 5th!) choices.
These candidates seem so afraid of saying anything controversial that they end up all sounding similarly bland. Except, I guess, for Andrew Yang, who said, "Yes, mentally ill people have rights, but you know who else have rights? We do: the people and families of the city. We have the right to walk the street and not fear for our safety because a mentally ill person is going to lash out at us." One response (from an Assembly member): This is toxic ableism at its worst. I don't support Yang in the least for mayor but his solution was more psych beds, which other candidates have called for.
And then I think of former NYC mayor Ed Koch (1924-2013), who pulled no punches:
• Have you ever lived in the suburbs? It's sterile. It's nothing. It's wasting your life, and people do not wish to waste their lives once they've seen New York! When you have to drive 20 miles to buy a gingham dress or a Sears, Roebuck suit? This rural America thing -I'm telling you, it's a joke
• Listen, there's no question that some New Yorkers think I'm gay, and voted for me nevertheless. The vast majority don't care, and others don't think I am. And I don't give a s—- either way! What do I care? I'm 73 years old. I find it fascinating that people are interested in my sex life at age 73. It's rather complimentary! But as I say in my book, my answer to questions on this subject is simply F—- off. There have to be some private matters left.
• "He's a schmuck," about Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo's father Mario Cuomo ran against Koch in 1977, as well as for the gubernatorial Democratic primary in 1982. I well remember "Vote for Cuomo, not the homo," something Koch never forgave the Cuomos for.
And Earl Butz. Look 'im up.
Not that I advocate for crude or demeaning language but it's hard to talk (or write) if every single misstep or awkward remark can end your career. I myself am a coward & keep my mouth shut rather than invite antagonism. I have canceled myself in a couple of places, which I feel ashamed of. A thousand people in the street / Singing songs and they carrying signs / Mostly say, "Hooray for our side." // Paranoia strikes deep / Into your life it will creep / It starts when you're always afraid /Step out of line, the men come and take you away.