Let’s face it: identity politics is unavoidable. Race, gender, sexuality, and class are inextricably interwoven with every important issue we’re debating in this next election. You cannot have an effective political conversation without taking identity into account.
So, as long as we’re doing that, can we put in a request that the next President of the United States be named “Tammy?”
We know what you’re thinking: “What does being named ‘Tammy’ have to do with being a great president?” Well, we’re sure you’d agree that, all else being equal, a person of color is best suited to represent the interests of other people of color. And a woman in political office is more likely than a man to advocate for women.
By the same token, a President Tammy would be uniquely positioned to fight for historically underrepresented constituencies like aunts, midwestern softball coaches, sleepaway camp nurses, self-declared “dog moms,” and, of course, the hundreds of thousands of Americans currently named Tammy. (These groups are not mutually exclusive.) (These groups are all people named Tammy.)
George. John. Thomas. James. James. John. For years, names like these have dominated the American political landscape. From this, we can draw two conclusions: one, the homogeneity of these names reflects the iron grip that the wealthy white cis straight male ruling class has held on American power for centuries. And two, none of these people have been named Tammy, and that’s a damn shame.
We understand that there’s already an unprecedentedly large and diverse field of candidates to choose from. Some may wonder: do we really need a Tammy? To that we say… no. We don’t need a Tammy. But when has need ever dictated our political choices? This is America, where more is more and want is need and Tammy is president.
Plus, who knows? We didn’t think we needed an entire week devoted to sharks, and now? None of us can imagine a world without it. We’re not saying a president named Tammy is the next Shark Week. But then again, no one has presented an alternative theory of what could be the next Shark Week, so our guess is as good as anyone’s.
Except maybe Tammy’s guess. We’d like to think Tammys are remarkably good guessers.
We’d also like to think that President Tammy would care about the issues facing everyday Americans. Issues like taxes, tariffs, terrorism, totalitarianism, trucks, tarantulas, and Trader Joe’s. Is it a coincidence that, like Tammy, all of these things start with the letter T? Probably not. But we don’t see Beto being called out for caring about the border, or Warren for taking on the wealthy, or Hickenlooper for talking about… hosiery? Hecklers? Honestly, who knows. We’re still 50/50 about whether that guy really exists. Nevertheless, with so many issues to tackle, President Tammy would understand that you have to start somewhere. And what better way to determine that somewhere than with good old-fashioned alliteration.
A President Tammy would also bring some much-needed decency back into politics. Washington — and what’s more, the world! — is full of swindlers, sleazebags, and swamp creatures. Instead of electing another one of those things, why not elect a Tammy?
Still need more convincing? How about this: under President Tammy, we’d finally get the bold, revolutionary change we deserve. It would be bold because President Tammy’s name would be in bold on TV. We don’t really know what the revolutionary part would look like, but hey, that’s why we’re not suggesting we become president. Let’s leave the hard stuff to the experts. Experts like Tammy.
Some critics have asked: why is this Tammy’s moment (or, the Tammys’ moment)? What of the presidential aspirations of Kathys? Of Nancys? Of Lindas? Of Stacys? Of Sherrys? Of Cindys? Or even of Tiffanys, who are the Tammys of the millennial generation? Well, there are some critics — who are definitely not us using a rhetorical device to introduce our own concerns — who think the country just isn’t ready for someone not named Tammy. Not yet, at least. Maybe we can bet on a Denise when the stakes aren’t so high.
Besides, there is already an exciting precedent for Tammys breaking into politics. As recently as 2012, there were 0 Tammys in the United States Senate. In 2013, that number skyrocketed to 1 Tammy with the election of Tammy Baldwin (TAMMY-WI), followed by a 100% increase in Senatorial Tammys in 2017 after the swearing-in of Tammy Duckworth (TAMMY-IL). At this rate, Tammys will comprise a majority of the Senate by 2037, the entirety of the Senate by 2041, and by 2129, the entire Tamnation will be subsumed by Tammys of all colors, creeds, and calligraphy classes.
Speaking of calligraphy: the writing is on the wall, and it’s the word TAMMY. What? We didn’t write it there. It was definitely there before we got here.
Look, people still vehemently disagree about what lesson Democrats should take from 2016. Did Hillary Clinton lose because of an undue focus on identity politics? Or did underrepresented groups not turn out because they weren’t seen enough?
Either way, we know one thing for sure: she wasn’t named Tammy. So, uhh, maybe that’s worth a try?