New York Magazine recently published my photo and a quote. Relating to the upcoming presidential primary.
First, some background. I went to a Manchester Republican Christmas party a few blocks from my apartment in early December. While there, the photographers and journalists from New York Magazine gave their little shpiel about how they were looking for 100 voters from New Hampshire and Iowa ask them who they are voting for and why.
Alright. Sounds like a nifty feature. Why not? They took a couple photos. And the Christmas party? That’s why I’m wearing a tie with little snowman on it. It’s an ugly little tie reserved only for Christmas parties. (Probably not a soul noticed the snowman tie.) After the photo, I spoke to a reporter for probably 15-25 minutes.
“Who are you voting for and why?”
Easy enough. Rand Paul. I explained why I thought Rand Paul was the most sensible candidate running. I didn’t think he was good on everything, but he’s better than the others. (Some of the Republican line-up is just batshit insane.)
To be clear, that was the topic we spoke about: the candidate and your rationale. Can’t speak for most of those people, but I would never suggest we need a strong president. While the author is describing in aggregate, such words have certainly never come from my mouth. And while the author writes that abortion and gay marriage barely registered, I very clearly recall discussing both of those issues with the reporter. Because he brought them up.
But my whole discussion got boiled down to the tax code. Even though it’s totally divorced from the greater context of a Ran Paul’s 14.5% flat tax. And the phrase “small business rights”? I don’t even know what that phrase means, and I’m pretty sure I’m misquoted there. I think they jumbled up two entirely different sections of our discussion. The latter part, I was explaining that progressives have not fundamental respect for economic rights, and those are especially important for working class folks; you’re not really helping working class people if you purport to give them free stuff, but then–on the turn-around–reserve the privilege to take away everything they have.
In summary, it’s always interesting to see how various media–television, newspapers, magazines–can twist around what you’ve said to make it fit their narrative. That’s not terribly surprising on the whole. But, each time, you have this, “Oh, wait, no,” moment. But that’s how it goes. And that’s why it’s so important that people learn to read news media critically.