My brand is right of Bernie Sanders and left of Joe Biden. It fluctuates between Cory Booker and Pete Buttigieg and it hovers over Kirsten Gillibrand jump roping with Elizabeth Warren. It smoked weed with Kamala Harris in college. It did not listen to Fugazi with Beto.
My brand of liberalism was born in DC and molded in Baltimore, which means it has a little-brother complex with itself. It’s been to Ireland twice and spent both visits with Americans. It votes in the midterms, but from the comfort of an absentee ballot. If you look in the mirror and say, “I don’t even understand what a modern conservative stands for anymore!” three times, my brand of liberalism will appear and gift you a CARTER ‘76 button.
Pantone assigned the color Unmellow Yellow to my brand of liberalism because it didn’t have the appropriate shade of blue. A consulting firm associated my brand of liberalism with photos of JFK golfing in red pants, Babar the Elephant playing tennis, and the Kate Moss cover of George magazine. A think tank identified “adults working on their second novel” and “kids studying abroad” as target audiences with whom my brand of liberalism should engage.
If my brand of liberalism ran a book club, it would cover A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles every month. And it would serve Miller High Life instead of wine. If it ran a theatre, it’d perform Fiddler on the Roof every weekend. If found in a karaoke bar, it’d sing “You Can Call Me Al.” If it watched television, it would be unimpressed with Jordan Peele’s Twilight Zone because nothing can top Rod Serling’s. If my brand of liberalism could dine with three people, living or dead, it’d choose three Anthony Bourdains. If all three Anthonys weren’t available, it would dine with Gandhi. Gandhi wouldn’t be eating though, so my brand of liberalism would eat his meal too. My brand of liberalism is hungry.
My brand of liberalism plays in a softball league with Vineyard Vines’ brand of conservatism on Sunday mornings. They have a great pitcher-catcher connection, but do not share drinks after the games. My brand of liberalism did cover the other’s tab once (Vineyard Vines would have done the same for my brand). My brand of liberalism orders beer based on the design of the tap, and it reads the “On This Day” page of Wikipedia every morning.
It’s coastal, but not elite. It’s the media with a paid-subscription model, yet it’s not mainstream. It’s the New Yorker’s caption contest on a date with a kayak reading Sylvia Plath and listening to Childish Gambino. It’s a June Saturday at Ted Koppel’s Southern Maryland lake house. It’s John Mellencamp’s denim overalls on a Nantucket shore with Meg Ryan. It’s Meg Ryan in Top Gun. It’s small watches and big coffee mugs and medium-sized Rainbow sandals. It is arugula with highly caloric Caesar dressing. My liberalism contains multitudes.
Anyway, how much for this Iced Americano again?