The Tragic Irony of the Trump Campaign

In class earlier this week I read to my Italian students that famous line from our nation’s founding document: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. I asked them very plainly if they could identify the two grand hypocrisies inherent in these famous words. The answers did not take very long at all: in these lofty, oft-repeated lines there is no mention of women, the human beings whose bodies actually perform the work of creating new human beings. And the wombless men who signed this piece of paper owned slaves.

It is not possible to understand our nation’s history or present without first reconciling oneself to the grand hypocrisies with which it was founded. It is not possible to understand America without first …more

Update: I voted in the NY Presidential Primary!

You can find the recap of my registration fiasco here.

On Tuesday I went in to the county BOE to present my case to a judge, who (much to my surprise) quickly ruled in my favor and signed a court order permitting me to vote in Tuesday’s primary.

Now, my situation was somewhat unique, but there were at least 4 other people waiting to see the judge alongside me, and each of them came out of the judge’s office smiling. I spoke to them a little bit while they waited – some had just barely missed the deadline to change addresses, etc. etc. Seemed like mostly clerical stuff, but the judge was very sympathetic and said she wanted to make sure as many people voted as was legally possible.

I did have one last hiccup at my polling place – the poll workers had never seen a court order like mine before …more

why I won’t vote in the NY primary election

If I’m lucky and things go as I think they should, I may still vote on April 19th. But I’ve become increasingly convinced that I will not be allowed to. I’m writing this to provide a full record of why not.

Let’s start from the beginning. I first registered to vote in NY at my high school, during my senior year. The town clerk actually stopped by our classroom and walked us through the paperwork. It was 2007, not even a presidential election year – she just decided to have us all registered for the sake of prudence. [1]

That day, while I was still 17 years old, I decided not to register with any political party. [2] I didn’t see the point. I didn’t believe in a two-party political system and didn’t want to participate in one. I didn’t yet understand that my participation was not voluntary, that I …more