Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has decided to retire from Congress after what seems like a millennia of public service. It may be hard to believe, but Ileana has been somehow representing her district since 1989, a year so long ago that it isn’t even primarily known as a year anymore. It’s just the name of a Taylor Swift album at this point.
How different is the world now from when Ileana Ros-Lehtinen first ran for Congress in 1989? So different that a voter in 1989 could have theoretically driven to the polls in a Ford Courier, listening to Young MC’s “Bust A Move” for the first time on contemporary AM radio, voted for Ileana, then gone to see Back to the Future II in theaters before heading to the Mutiny in Coconut Grove to dance to Madonna’s new single “Express Yourself” and openly snort cocaine alongside the chief of police before finally driving home to her spacious 2-bedroom apartment in Miami Beach that cost her only $300 a month. That's so long ago! No one listens to music on A.M. radio any more! Come on!
For 28 years, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has been able to maintain her hold on the District by building a coalition of hardline Cubans refugees interested primarily in keeping their taxes as low as humanly possible while still getting theirs, along with liberal constituencies who happen to face the exact same issues that impact members of Ileana’s own family, but only those issues. Indeed, for years Ileana has received money, support, and accolades from clearly Democratic LGBT groups happy to support a Republican in order to show its donors that they are “non-partisan” because they backed Ileana, who was brave enough to come out in support of transgender rights after her child announced that he is transgender…even though supporting Ileana meant not supporting Democratic challengers who would have absolutely been better for the LGBT community.
But now she is going, and her base of your grandparents has lost their political edge anyway and it is finally time for someone new to represent this district. And that person is Matt Hagman, probably. A very nice man who is probably speaking in at least three places at this very momement and who has endeared himself to the entire community by being charming and affable and handing out money to organizations throughout Miami-Dade County like it was going out of style.
But I, Milo, the fictional editor of The Plantain, am also running, and I’ll tell you why:
I’m a narcissist. I believe that I am smarter than you are and that you desperately need me to lead you. I also always wanted to meet John Legend and think that could realistically happen if I were elected to Congress. His voice is just so beautiful and he is always singing the National Anthem at something, so I'm sure our paths are bound to cross if I were elected.
My 10-Point Platform For Congress:
1) I will never tell you the truth. Probably: Except for just then, when I told you I would probably never tell you the truth, I will probably never tell you the truth. Part of the problems we have with our politics is we expect our leaders to be honest and they constantly disappoint us. Here, I’m going just tell you that everything I do is probably going to be for my own benefit and I don’t care what you think of it because I’m only running to meet John Legend anyway.
2) Totally judgment free abortions: I will support a woman’s right to choose, and I won’t even couch it in language like: “While I would never, ever personally choose to have a horrible abortion, I begrudgingly accept that women should have some agency over their body, I’m so sorry white Jesus….” If I could, I would have an abortion, but I was born without a uterus, so I can’t. That’s my burden to carry as a man. If you have the ability and desire to have an abortion, then do it. If you don’t, then don’t. I don’t care. Just don’t have a kid you don’t want, because that kid is eventually going to start texting and driving and we don’t need any more of that.
3) I’m pro my own texting and driving: Sometimes I need to tell someone I’m on my way and don’t want to have a telephone conversation about it because I don't like talking on the phone. And no, it can’t just wait until I’m at a red light because I need to text someone else when I get to the red light. I am, however, very much against you texting and driving, you maniacs.
4) If Bill Nye tells me climate change is real, then I assume its real: Look, I’m not a scientist. I’m a half-assed editor of a hardly-read local fake news publication. I don’t know if climate change is real or not. But I like Bill Nye. He looks like one of those flying dinosaurs and wears a bow tie and his theme song is still in my head from when I was a kid, and he was better than Beakman. So, if he tells me that climate change is real, then alright, great. Can I get a picture with you, Bill Nye, so I can show people online that I met you? Also, do you know John Legend? Let’s fix the planet! Science Rules! BILL! BILL! BILL!
5) I don’t care what the Constitution says, you shouldn’t have that many guns: The Constitution says a lot of things. It uses words like “Franking” and “Emoluments” and says that Black people are only 60% people. That’s just bad math! So, even assuming that the Second Amendment says you should be able to carry around an assault rifle (which it doesn’t), you still should not be able to have an assault rifle. And it’s not even because YOU are a bad person. It’s because you’re stupid and live in a society where there are bad people, and we don’t want your stupid ass to accidentally shoot someone or yourself and don’t want one of those actually bad people to have an assault rifle and shoot your stupid ass.
6) Standing Rock: I don’t really know what that is, but I know I should be against it. That’s all I got for you right now. More coming…
7) Nuclear War With Russia or North Korea or Canada: I am usually against war, but I also own a lot of stock in Raytheon, so I may be able to be persuaded. Look, running for Congress is very, very expensive, and the truth is the anti-war folks aren’t as quick with the cash as the military hawks. So, as a practical matter, I’m going to need to support some war sooner or later or I just won’t have any shot at all and this whole thing will have been a huge waste of time and I'll never meet John Legend.
8) Trump: I hate Alec Baldwin, so therefore I hate Donald Trump. God, aren’t we all sick of Alec Baldwin? I mean, can you think of anyone who takes himself more seriously? I mean, this is the cover of Alec Baldwin's new memoir:
An Alec Baldwin memoir! Who is the audience for that? Not even Stephen Baldwin wants to read that, and he is mentioned in it twice!
This is true: I once ran into Alec Baldwin in a Gap in Encino, California in 2003. He was with his daughter (the one he called a fat pig) and I walked up close to him to check out some sweet cargo shorts and he, thinking I wanted his autograph, preemptively told me to fuck off. Like anyone wanted Alec Baldwin’s autograph in 2003? That’s an absolutely a true story, by the way, and I still have the cargo shorts, so I have a hard time believing that he is this wonderful big-hearted liberal just because Tina Fey gives him her stamp of approval.
[Editor's Note: The Plantain loves Tina Fey’s Capital One commercials, 30 Rock, and everything else she has ever done, except her film "Admission." I mean, she was fine in it, but I just don't think the world needed yet another story about a college admission’s officer falling in love with the father of a student applying to her college? God, can’t Hollywood think of any new ideas?]
9) I Believe in the First Amendment, So Long As I Don’t Personally Find What You Say Distasteful: The First Amendment is cool, I guess, but sometimes what people say offends me. Now deep down I believe it’s better for people to be offended than to censor people, but at this point I’m trying to get some millennial voters, so fuck it: We should ban offensive speech because sticks and stones can break your bones, but offensive words can also cause harm to marginalized communities and should also not be tolerated.
10) Other Issues: I have various vaguely worded opinions on other issues that you should use to project your own feelings onto and assume that I agree with you.
I expect this to be a very difficult race and hope to earn your vote. This district has been stuck in the past for too long, and together, I hope to bring it…BACK TO THE FUTURE II.