The thing about staying up all night is that the evening never ends. It will continue until the sun rises, alerting you to changes in the world around you.
At 3 AM on November 4, 2020, nobody knew who would be the next president. We still don’t know. CNN and MSNBC especially are surely enjoying the horse race. A “NAIL-BITER ELECTION COMES DOWN TO AZ, GA, MI, NC, PA, WI” while much of our audience tries to sleep through something that would in most years be done by midnight. Our horribly broken electoral system may once again fail to do what it was meant to do, balancing power between the states.
Political parties spent millions trying to get the votes of people like me and my parents because we live in a Designated Swing State, even though our votes have been set in stone since November 9, 2016. Everyone on Twitter needed to spend their night screaming at about 300,000 people in Florida, or at a governor who barred over twice that number from voting by forcing them to pay unreasonable amounts of money to vote.
At the same time, there are many on the left screaming at the Biden campaign for not reaching out to Latinx voters in much of the Sun Belt. It seemed that they just assumed they would get the same amount of votes they got in 2016 there, not bothering to see if that was actually the case or if anything strange was up. There was a sense of complacency, that they could just count on things happening because that’s what happened before. Although it’s too early to draw any conclusions about a nail-biter election, it does remind me of what this blog has become for me.
Back in April, we featured Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain), representative for Michigan’s 108th state House district, in an article entitled “The Weirdest Guy In The House.” We expected the article to reach our normal audience of bored James Madison students at MSU. Instead, it reached LaFave himself, who posted about itseveraltimes to prove that he was not mad and even selectively quoted it in his Twitter bio as if it was not an article making fun of him.
This sort of childish behavior is something you expect from say, a student blog, not an elected official. Fortunately, voters in District 108 have a much better choice. We had the honor to sit down over Zoom with Dr. Renee Richer (D-Gladstone), the candidate running against him this November, and we’re proud to say that we came away with a better understanding of what a good representative for the district sounds like.
No figure in American politics combines weirdness and consequential power like the state legislator. Just in the past decade, examples include the Georgia senator who was tricked by Sacha Baron Cohen into biting the head off a dildo and screaming the N-word to deter terrorists, the New Hampshire state representative who founded /r/TheRedPill, one of the most misogynist areas of Reddit, and the Tennessee state representative who drank out of a chocolate syrup bottle on the House floor (a privilege that I would ABSOLUTELY take advantage of).
Many of these civil servants reside and work in other states outside of Michigan. Here, we usually have legislators who don’t stray too far into personal weirdness no matter how strange their beliefs. However, there always seems to be an exception to the rule, and Michigan’s exception truly embodies this spirit of deep weirdness to go along with his munted conservatism — Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain).
You may wonder why this publication, which usually writes about campus issues, is writing about a guy who represents a remote part of Michigan over 400 miles north of East Lansing. Well, about two months ago (ten years in COVID-19 time) we came into the possession of meeting minutes from a joint meeting between the MSU College Republicans and MSU Turning Point USA. The slides were filled with useful information about upcoming conservative events along with some cursed boomer memes. These organizations wanted to bring LaFave to the university in some capacity, which brings us to the man himself (a recent graduate of this very university).
Here are many things that Rep. LaFave has done that would be bizarre to any sane human, but are selling points for MSU’s College Republicans.