Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Life in New York - Electoral Politics

The Times has an interesting article about a very strange phenomenon here in New York: a street with four houses displaying McCain signs.

That may not sound weird anywhere else, but, politics, as with so many other aspects of life, in New York is definitely different. Here we are, 13 days away from the election, and I have yet to see any McCain-Palin signs or buttons or anything. About a month ago, I saw my first and only "McCain-Palin" bumper sticker; it was surreal, because my first two simultaneous thoughts were, "Oh, so that's what their layout looks like," and "How bizarre is this? It's September, and I hadn't seen any propaganda for McCain-Palin!" And the kicker to the bumper sticker? I saw it on a car from Jersey - not even a New York resident. (And I love the fact that, in the article, the Olson family had to go to New Jersey to get their McCain signs, too).

That's politics in New York. There are of course people who will vote for the Republicans here this election; after all, Vito Fossella was elected, and this is the home of Giuliani and Bloomberg (though to be fair to the latter, he at least became independent; to be unfair to him, he's also seeking to remove term limits, a move even Giulani didn't push for in the wake of 9/11, even if Giuliani did postpone elections). Still, you really don't see people waving around McCain-Palin propaganda on the streets or in front of their homes here. I've never been in a place during an election where I could remain so unaware of Republican voters and trends. That's not necessarily bad, but it's not necessarily good, either, because it makes it really easy to think that things are going great for liberals in the country if you don't pay a lot of attention to other regions' elections. In a lot of ways, you can't avoid a bit of the insularity that many people in the country accuse New York of having, but when there's so much going on in your own city, it's easier than you'd think to not focus so much on Pennsylvania, Georgia, Idaho, or Arizona.