A vote for me is a vote for unadulterated political will.
Which is to say, I’m not the “plan” guy.
But when it comes to choosing legislators to act on climate change, think of it like this:
There’s a storm outside. Your roof starts leaking. It’s coming down like crazy and the leak quickly worsens. You put a distress call out. Two different guys come over and offer their help.
One of the guys shows up looking sharp in a tailored suit. He’s holding a leather portfolio filled with sketches of a gorgeous replacement roof – terracotta gable with solar panels. It’s truly ideal. He invites himself in and asks for a cup of coffee to take the chill off while you talk financing.
The other guy shows up looking bummy in an oversized raincoat. He’s awkwardly carrying a ladder, a staple gun and a couple of garbage bags. “Point me to the hole,” he says. You don’t really want this guy in your house, but that turns out to be fine, because he’s willing to be paid in beer on the porch.
Appearances aside, which guy do you think is going to work harder to keep your family dry through the storm?
It would be arrogance where it wasn’t complete folly to think that my personal (and absolutely perfect) recipe for climate legislation will make it through the sausage factory that is our legislative process intact.
I merely offer myself as a volunteer to work the meat grinder, willing to get my hands bloody.
Greater minds have already provided us with plans galore for the climate fight. Plans that I will advocate for. Amazing scientists are already conducting revolutionary research. Given the chance, I will fund their brains out.
But if I am elected, I will be one of 100 United States Senators. Counting the House, I’ll be one of 535 Federal legislators. And I’ll be gunning for climate legislation that would touch all 320 million Americans.
That’s a pretty serious obstacle course for a perfectly worded sentence.
So while I believe it is a distraction to promise you specific laws, I will, right now, promise you specific things under my complete control that I am willing to do to advance climate legislation through congress:
• Sit patiently outside of fellow lawmakers’ offices, waiting for them to talk to me.
• Say things like “You better not let us all die, Senator McConnell,” when debating legislation. It will sound like I’m joking, but under the thin veneer of humor, it will be clear that I’m serious.
• “Peacock” – wear unique and showy pieces of clothing and/or jewelry that will catch fellow lawmakers’ eyes and pique their interest in me. Then, I go in for the kill.
• Eat bugs for votes.
• Stand over the shoulders of certain Senators during climate votes and puff my chest out. I won’t actually do anything, but they don’t know that.
• “Negging” – give fellow legislators backhanded compliments to lower their self-esteem. Then, I go in for the kill.
• Glad-hand like crazy.
• Learn about other politicians’ interests. Use that to strike up conversations with them. Lure them into friendship. Have them over for dinner with my family. Enjoy a few drinks and a few laughs. Set up scenarios where I save their lives. Cash in on those debts.
• “Kino” – implement strategic touching in conversations with fellow legislators. This will make them feel familiar and physically comfortable with me. Then, I go in for the kill.
• Spend every session of congress crying loudly until climate change is fixed. You’d be surprised how hard it is to ignore a 200-pound crying man.
• Do a 180. Start vehemently denying man-made climate change. Maybe the deniers will respond in kind and become climate change activists. I call this the “Duck season, rabbit season” approach.
• “Exclusion” – arrange an activity that includes some legislators, but not the particular one I am targeting. When that particular legislator is brought back into the fold, he/she will be more grateful for my attention. Then, I go in for the kill.
• Disable the thermostat on the senate floor. Just as, like, you know, a gentle reminder that, ultimately, we exist at the whim of the planet that sustains us.
• Use every dollar and ounce of support I can get my hands on to recruit the right scientists and policy experts to get us the exact perfect plan for the political and scientific climate we will be inhabiting when I am in office.
• “False Time Constraints” – I will convince legislators that we only have a limited amount of time together, to lower their inhibitions. For example, tell them that we are all going to die when, in truth, it’s more realistic that our children are all going to die. Then, I go in for the kill.