A wet and freezing Thursday night. The main door to Littauer is locked, but luckily someone’s just inside. With a cold glance, she makes a brusque hand gesture with a meaning that is all too clear: you have to go around. Welcome to politics.
“When we think about taxation, we need to remember that General Electrics is not a person” says a Republican. A girl sitting nearby replies: “really?!” Her face is full of disdain. Later, a Democrat quips: “Unless Texas has accidentally executed it, it’s not really a person.”
One Republican’s oration is segmented by disconcerted pauses and rigid gestures: “I don’t see what’s wrong with income inequality. The free market is about competition. The whole point of capitalism is to make money. Lebron James is good at basketball, do we begrudge him that?” Everybody loves a good sports analogy.
Formal debate has come to a close. It is now time for audience questions. The moderator had planned to alternate parties, but asks, “is anyone here not a Democrat or a Republican?” A precaution. “My blockmate is a libertarian, but he left,” one student responds. Welcome to American politics.