Roller Skating into America’s Future

Last night I installed an interior door in the basement of my ancient, crooked home in New Jersey.

I have a beautiful son, a gorgeous wife, I was voted “best ass” two years running in my college dorm, but THIS may have been the proudest moment of my life.

Partially as a result of the aforementioned wonkiness it took hours, over several days, and more than once it looked like I might have to swallow my pride and call the contractor in. Then around 11 PM on Tuesday June 20th, in the year of our lord 2017 I turned the screws to tighten the handle, gave the door a nudge and it fell perfectly (or close enough anyway) against the sash. The click of the latch was one of the sweetest sounds these ears have ever heard.

Afterwards I made myself a drink and slumped on the sofa, both exhausted and elated. For three hours I had left my phone on a windowsill in the corner of the room while I did battle with 30 pounds of masonite. I grabbed it, intending to Google “drywall videos”, but before I could get that far the news feed updated me on the big story of the night. One I was planning on following closely, before disappearing down a DIY black hole.

John Ossoff, the all-things-to-all-people, milquetoast millennial running in the special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional district had lost, quite handily it seemed, to some Republican lady who looks sort of like Claudia from the Americans.

Cheer up Jon.

I was prepared for Ossoff to lose, mostly because he’s a Democrat and that’s what they do these days. But I think somewhere, deep down, I thought this might be the first victory in the war on Trump. It wasn’t to be, in fact the 30-year-old neophyte slightly under-performed Hillary Clinton’s numbers in the district, where she lost to the Donald by only 2-points back in November.

Generally speaking, the liberal pundit class fell into two camps in their analysis of the latest blue wave turned puddle. There was the, “Democrats haven’t held this seat in 40 years so this was a solid performance” group, and the “Ossoff isn’t liberal enough” group.

I’m not a pundit, but I was feeling that second argument more than the first.

I’m not sure the party needs to move to the left or the right, I just think they should nominate candidates with a more robust message than simply pointing out that our current President and his party are a bunch of heartless meanies, though that is manifestly, inarguably true.

The truth is I’ve just about had it with the Dems, but where do you put your energy and anger in a two-party system when one party makes your skin crawl and the other is so spineless and feeble they couldn’t beat an egg?

As we all know there are no third parties, or none that matter at least. In fact, if you listen to the mainstream media you would think that they are either expressly forbade by the constitution or somehow a physical impossibility. We have to work within the parameters of our two party system we are told, that’s just the way it is.

Europe on the other hand is lousy with niche political parties and rogue candidates, like Lord Buckethead or the guy dressed as Elmo, both of whom made appearances in last week’s general election in the UK. In Germany they have a Pirate Party (Piraten Partei) that actually holds a seat in the European Parliament.

It struck me that this politics as farce route may be the way to go. I’m sure starting your own political party takes no small amount of vision and a fair bit of scratch too. One of those I’m not sure I have, and the other I know I don’t. In fact, the one and only thing I can confidently say about politics at this point is that it makes me profoundly unhappy.

I can’t watch cable news, but when I do, it leaves me with a pit in my stomach. Even the fleetingest, unintentional interaction with it sets my heart racing and my hands fumbling for the remote. When I have a doctors appointment I will linger just outside the front door of the waiting room to avoid being exposed to a CNN 9-box discussion of the President’s latest tweet storm.

Don’t get me wrong, I care deeply about issues like health care reform or school choice, but I don’t want to be unhappy, and Democrats and Republicans talking about these things, or anything really, makes me deeply unhappy. Pirates and Elmo on the other hand, that’s a different story.

So I decided to start with the question what makes me, and presumable others, happy? I took a scientific approach, and set up a grid where the Y axis represented how happy something made me, and the x axis how consistently it made me happy. It wasn’t even close. Finishing miles ahead of dogs, ice cream and the movie Roman Holiday was the answer…

Chimps dressed up like people.

I dare you to watch a video or look at a picture of a chimpanzee dressed in people clothes, possibly on roller skates, and not smile. It is literally (like starting a third party) impossible.

And so the Chimps Dressed Like People’s Party of America (CDLP for short) was born right there on my downstairs sofa, standing firmly on a platform of inclusiveness, job creation, innovation, fairness and chimps dressed like people.

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2017 Preliminary CDLP Platform

1.) Access to videos, photos and/or personal interactions with Chimpanzees dressed like people is a right, not a privilege, which all Americans should enjoy.

2.) Global warming is real, even the chimps know that.

3.) The CDLP is down with Capitalism, but we refuse to pretend it is a system that either can or will make everyone rich if they just “work harder”, Americans work plenty hard. The system does not function properly without someone doing the dirty work, and more often than not being paid less for their efforts. These people deserve as much, or more, respect than hedge fund managers or CEO’s. Therefor the Chimps Dressed Like People’s Party of America is committed to assuring that all Americans have health insurance, assistance during economic downturns, access to high quality public education, and the opportunity to retire and live out their lives in a secure and dignified manner.

4.) The CDLP believes that legal immigration has been a net positive for literally every developed nation in the world. People are the planets greatest resource, and we believe that they should be encouraged — regardless of color, gender or religion — to come to America to live their dreams, and reach their full potential.

5.) Terrorism is both a threat to a be guarded against vigilently and a consequence of living in a free society. The CDLP believes strongly in focusing time and resources on intelligence gathering and police work to lessen the threat of terrorism both home grown and foreign. We believe strongly, however, that America’s greatest tool in the fight against terrorism is the natural openess and inclusivness of our society, which should never be sacraficed on the altar of fear.

6.) Ayn Rand is off limits to anyone over 18, the age at which most people begin to understand that the world doesn’t revolve around them. We’re looking at you Paul Ryan.

And now our first campaign video:

Does the CDLP have a place in our modern political landscape?

Well, we already have someone busy making America great again, let’s get to work making it happy again too.