I joked I’d be missing the first of the Biden-Cheeto debate because I had a song to learn on my guitar. I don’t regret it, but I felt like I needed to be “a part of” things after hearing about all the commotion (“Will you shut up, man!?”), so I watched the Harris-Pence exchange during which that fly was literally drawn to shit when appearing on Pence’s head, and then came a more “civil” exchange between Biden and Trump in Nashville. During both debates, I heard all of the candidates refer to “American families.” The constant mention of the word “family” in political rhetoric has become a pet peeve of mine since I began my work in Singles Studies. I mean, what, individuals don’t count?
However, during the Biden-Trump debate, I had a thought: maybe, in this context, it’s best for me to let that one slide. While we in CoSP as well as those in major cities and on the coasts tend to be more enlightened when it comes to issues of singlism and familism, that’s probably not true for folks in the heartland (the Midwest, the South), even if they do consider themselves liberal, and especially, if they’re undecided. So in order to conquer the great Orange Empire, the good people probably need to use language that those folks are familiar with in order to get their votes. Plus, Biden and Harris are a lot more teachable when it comes to these issues, particularly Harris, who gave multiple definitions of how family operates at her speech at the Democratic National Convention this past August.
Sometimes, we have to make sacrifices in order to achieve a bigger purpose, like with pawns in a chess match. If it helps to move our world’s thinking forward, I’m willing to put my peeves aside (especially since the opposition thinks like it’s 1935). Besides, my son/cat Chester and I are a family unit.
Maybe after the election when (please god) Biden wins (knock on air) that’s when we can start to advocate against this “family” language. Remember Kamala had that terrible patronizing “let’s remember our single friends” comment in early Covid days? I love Kamala but I don’t want to criticize her rhetoric until after they’ve totally won.
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My name is Craig. I'm an educator, writer, and unapologetic singleton. When not reading, writing, or teaching, I enjoy hiking, running, watching movies, going to concerts, spending time with friends, and playing with my cat/son, Chester.