Hi, I’m your local legislator. You probably didn’t do enough research to know who I am, but I’ll fill you in anyways. I can be anyone you want, but most likely I’m a 52-year-old white male who likes playing golf and drives a giant SUV and who makes an intern buy my coffee with three sugars every morning before I get to my office.
My office being at the state capitol building, of course. My job is to create policies for all you people and pretend like I give a crap about the common good. Though, I really just spend all of my waking hours going to dinner parties with socialites while eating hors d’oeuvres and drinking a whiskey (neat, duh) because that boosts my image and lets you think I’m an amicable leader.
That’s exactly what I was doing when, last week, news came out about the school shooting in Florida. Twelve dead. One kid with an AR-15 assault rifle.
This was yet again a perfect chance to boost my political agenda and deny any real facts. As a public leader who wants the masses to love him and will do anything to boost my ego, I put on my matching suit and tie (check my hair, would you?) to give the public my opinion even though I don’t understand the other side.
I’ll start by claiming everything is fake news. I’m actually the one killing kids by letting unchecked individuals carry military-style weapons? Fake news. I’m the one personally responsible for these deaths because I failed to push for gun restrictions, so families are just as angry at me as they are at the killer? Fake. I’m unaware of my privilege and am putting the lives of Americans at stake so the NRA can keep funding my million-dollar political campaigns? F-A-K-E. My life’s full of disappointments too, okay? My $40 ribeye steak doesn’t always come out medium rare and my poodle poops on my neighbor’s lawn. Moving on.
Now I’ll go on to blame Obama for everything. You’re devastated about the situation? Let me blame Obama for not passing gun control legislation while he was in office. It’s not like I can do anything now that I’m a lawmaker. When in doubt, it’s Obama’s fault. Starbucks still messing up your name on your grande latte? Also Obama’s fault. Blaming Obama clearly pushes progress and keeps our country safer, and I’m definitely not using this to mask the fact that the real corrupter is myself.
Still aren’t convinced? Well, there’s nothing I can do now. Let me offer you my prayers instead. Let me mumble something about how “no one should go through this” until you start believing I genuinely care about your wellbeing. Then let me flash a smile and offer my condolences so I can avoid a real conversation about how my policies are completely selfish.
I’ll go on to tell you how America is the greatest country in the world, and how our founding fathers gave us the “freedom” to own weapons, so we should have that freedom too. Never mind background checks, because paperwork is a hassle anyways. Yes, that paperwork is different from the endless paperwork I give prospective immigrants to remind them it’s impossible to get a visa, or the piles of tax paperwork to remind you that you’re stuck in a perpetually doomed middle class. Oh, but you’re pointing out that while I believe in the freedom for gun ownership, I don’t believe in the freedom for you to marry anyone of any gender, or the freedom to choose if you want to have a child? Pshh, those freedoms are different.
Oops, something went wrong, and someone actually used their gun? Let me blame mental illness for the 100th time and pretend like that’s the problem, instead of my lack of action. Let me romanticize an illness that affects millions in a way I will never understand to my advantage, and oh hey, blame Obama again.
You’re unhappy with the fact that I dictate all the policies of your state, and you’re saying “there’s nothing you can do?” Ahem. That’s probably because you haven’t done anything to convince me otherwise. Look, if you haven’t called me or petitioned or started a campaign or even just spoke out in the slightest way, there’s no way you’re changing my mind. Speak up first, convince me why I should listen to you. Then we can talk.
But hey, I’m not complaining. Now that I’m the big boss, I can wield my money and power and exaggerated love for lobster rolls to push for more money to the top one percent, while my neighbor Becky feeds her kids with food stamps and comes home at 2 a.m. because I made getting maternity leave impossible. God, someone serve crab cakes instead of lobster for once, would you? Life’s so unfair.
You’re saying I’m still oblivious to my injustices and push everything toward a money-making agenda? Uhh I have no more answers for you. Let me do what I do best in situations like this, which is to once again give you my deepest condolences and offer you my prayers. God bless frikin America. Until the next shooting, folks.
Kelly Song is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. The Songbird Sings runs biweekly. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.