The Brazen Word

Surprise, Mike Bloomberg will remain your mayor for another four years.

In an election that saw a heated Democratic primary, a runoff that led to Anthony Weiner’s dropout from the race, and a joint effort by Democrats to link Bloomberg to President Bush, the race for mayor ended in an anti-climactic landslide.

The long-predicted blowout victory produced a largely apathetic New York voting core, as many looked passed the election because of Bloomberg’s nearly guaranteed victory.

Our campus, just like New York City during this election, and many other university campuses these days, is wrought with apathy, and it’s a damn shame.

We see it everywhere- it doesn’t take more than a stroll through Marillac cafeteria or a sit-in on an introductory government class to realize that most of us just don’t know or care much about what’s going on in the world.

We’re all guilty of it.

Admit it, one time or another we’ve all stated an opinion on something we just did not know enough about. We “hate Bush,” we “hate Kerry,” and we don’t have the time, energy, or interest to learn enough information to support our broad claims. Heck, we’re kids, we don’t want to discuss foreign policy, we want to talk about the new Kanye West album.

But to be considered in the know, many of us still voice our cliche-based opinions that we get from newspaper headlines and television broadcasts.

And just like any predicted landslide, the 2005 New York City mayoral race was afflicted with potential-voter apathy, both on and off campus.

This race, outside of the few standard political controversies and debates, was just plain boring. Incumbent mayor Michael Bloomberg started with a lead amongst both major parties, and ended in a landslide victory.

Everyone had an “opinion” on this one; most of us preferred Bloomberg, probably because the city seems to be running smoothly, while others bought in to his promises on education and affordable housing (both perceived as strong talking points for Fernando Ferrer).

Considering that Bloomberg, a moderate Republican (a former Democrat at that) or Democratic candidate Ferrer are anything but conservative, neo-cons were left without a candidate this election. Many New Yorkers felt disappointed with both candidates, but none of these discontent metropolitans seemed to have a solution. So I beg the question, why not research some alternative candidates?

Ferrer posed no major threat to Bloomberg’s mayorship, all his voters had to do was make sure they didn’t stay home on Tuesday. Looking beyond the two major party candidates, it’s not hard to see that Mayor Bloomberg had some stiff competition.

Few paid close attention to these political races, and that’s a crying shame because after researching some of these obscure candidates, I was left crying laughing.

So, in light of the elections, and widespread disappointment in both candidates, here’s to a couple of third-partyers, the no-names, the guys that slipped onto the mayoral and public advocate ballot just to get their name and cause out on the forefront- or in this case, the back burner.

First, there’s the mayoral race. Besides “Mr. Money bags” (Bloomberg) and “Parochial school Freddy” (Ferrer), there was another standout political stud. Jimmy McMillan gets my vote, not for mayor, but for the funniest personality in the election.

To start, McMillan is running on the “Rent is too Damn High” party ticket.

Huh?

His campaign, or lack there of, was focused on one issue: “rent is too damn high.” According to the New York City Campaign Finance Board, when asked to address some important issues in his campaign, McMillan said, “RENT is to damn high. There is nothing else to talk about.”

This guy is great. He is so anti-diplomatic; You have to just love an angry, third-party, single-issue candidate like McMillan.

Then there’s public advocate nominee Jim Lesczynski. Lesczynski ran on the Libertarian ticket, and vowed that, if elected, he would, “eliminate the position of public advocate.”

A nominee that wants to win an election just so he can eliminate his position? That’s gold.

“Want to save the taxpayers of New York City millions of wasted tax dollars every year?” Lesczynski said. “Simply eliminate the position of Public Advocate, fire the staff, and board up the offices…If I am elected Public Advocate, I promise to report to work just long enough to fire the staff and padlock the office.”

The race between Bloomberg and Ferrer was a status-quo election between two Democrats, the former labeled with an arbitrary “R” next to his name.

Apathy is a disease that plagues this campus and this country. It has the ability to squelch a strong political candidate, or in this case, cause us to miss out on a barrel of laughs.