Kimberly Wilder at On The Wilder Side:
Okay, I am not sure if you should vote for Rent Is Too Damn High candidate Jimmy McMillan. Though, you sure have to give him credit! He has gotten his message across. He has launched a message and a slogan that is at three million plus views and counting.
As of 5:19pm on Monday, October 25th, the main, Daily Beast video, with a montage of Jimmy McMillan’s comments at the Hofstra NY Governor’s debate, is up to 3,418,925 views. (Three million, four hundred thousand, nine hundred and twenty five views!) If you want to watch the view count, you can keep checking in at Youtube, or check here. I am becoming thoroughly entertained by checking on these stats a few times a day.
Now, with all these views, and all this attention, Jimmy McMillan is getting quite confident. He has told The NY Magazine that with the Youtube hits, and the bump from the Saturday Night Live spoof, “‘Election over. Jimmy gonna win it,’…’That put me over the top. It’s over. This election is over.’”
What? You don’t think so? Is Jimmy McMillan really going to win for Governor of New York State?
If you say “No”, then I say: Prove it!
I think it is a shame that in this day and age, Jimmy McMillan can go around a week before the election, telling people he has won it, and, people have no way of knowing whether he is really succeeding. There is no polling information to give some idea about public opinion, not way to let the voters give feedback about if Jimmy McMillan is a contender in this race.
The attention and enthusiasm for Jimmy McMillan and the other third party candidates at the Hofstra debate should inspire some news organizations, think tanks, and/or researchers to do a Governor’s race poll right now, which offers third party candidates, by name, as specific choices. How else will people know the difference between people who are inspired by Jimmy McMillan, and people who will vote for Jimmy McMillan?
And, speaking of inspiration…
Some people are looking at the Jimmy McMillan phenomenon in the wrong way. If you simply ask the question, “Will Jimmy McMillan earn enough votes to win?”, or even “Will he earn enough votes to gain automatic ballot status for The Rent Is Too Damn High Party?”, then your thinking is stuck “in the box”.
Jimmy McMillan’s presentation at the debate was not only politics. Jimmy McMillan’s presentation was part performance art, part cultural work, part preaching, part public awareness campaign. The message was about paying attention to people who struggle with hunger and housing issues. His message was to listen to a child’s stomach growling because she doesn’t have enough to eat. His message was that people like him — people who are not politicians — can make their voices and demands heard on the political stage.
I see that Jimmy McMillan has made an impact already. On the artistic/cultural front, there are now dozens of videos which mention McMillan, or promote his message. There are spoofs, songs, and collages. One excellent one I found is below:
Rent Is Too Damn High Song
And, McMillan has provided a launching pad for people to think about, and make connections about, tenants’ rights. There is an article inspired by Jimmy McMillan at AOL’s Housing Watch: here.
The AOL article got me to thinking about progressive places for people to seek out when their rent is too damn high. I can recommend a radio show on WBAI 99.5FM radio in NYC. It is called Housing Notebook and airs on Mondays from 8pm to 9pm. Described at the website as, “Housing Notebook: advice on tenants rights, decent affordable housing and related urban affairs coverage, with call-ins.”