They couldn’t be more different. Their views have nothing in common. Ditto for their constituencies.
Yet in many ways Lauren Boebert and Tay Anderson are similar figures with a common approach to politics. By looking in the mirror, each one might well see the reflection of the other.
Boebert is a gun, oil and gas-loving, election-denying congressman from western Colorado. Anderson is a very progressive Denver Public School Board member, leading in protests and protecting camps.
One could not be more Trumpian, the other more ultra-awake.
But below it all are similar people. Both are relative young people. Both came from ungrateful and privileged backgrounds, where prospects were scarce and tenacity cultivated.
And both travel, with great success, in the same political realm – that of hyperbole and outrage. Both are defined much more by who and what they despise than by much of an affirmative agenda. Neither will be seen as serious political diehard with a penchant for rolling up their sleeves and delving into the details and hard work of governance.
Both embrace the contempt of their enemies and profit from it. This animosity and even this depreciation that comes to their mind is like oxygen for each of them. Their personalities love it and they thrive politically.
Sadly, disturbingly, Boebert and Anderson appear to be politicians for this age. Everyone makes a point of playing with their political base in a constant and unwavering manner. Neither will ever be accused of being some sort of sane centrist, looking for a compromise, or trying to do something.
Perhaps most notably, both are artists at a time when too many people revere those who achieve celebrity status. Their performances are purposely meant to generate heat, which makes them a good TV and social media currency.
Oh, and they both have the word “censorship” next to their names. This reprimand came to Anderson from fellow school board members for improper conduct of social media flirtation and later for intimidating messages directed at his accusers, even though a lengthy and costly investigation could not substantiate more charges. serious sexual assault and harassment.
As of this writing, it is not clear whether Congress will proceed with a motion of censure against Boebert for repeatedly playing on hateful and anti-Muslim stereotypes by inferring that his colleague, US Representative Ilhan Omar, could be a bomb carrying terrorist.
While more normal humans would be inclined to think deeply and even bow their heads at such a rebuke, for Anderson and Boebert, it’s just extra fuel that allows them to play martyrdom and rally the base. It’s just another twist in the performance plot that serves to keep them in the coveted spotlight.
To be clear, it is possible, even wise, to denounce the American representative Omar without subscribing to Boebert’s inflammatory absurdities. Omar had to go back or clarify his comments about Jews so often that they can no longer be considered false statements. At this point, we must accept that his repeated words reflect what is in his heart. But it’s one thing to label someone, with evidence, anti-Semitic and quite another to suggest that she is a terrorist on hold.
For all of Boebert’s media exposure, I challenge the Coloradans, whether they are residents of her district or not, to name a substantial bill she has introduced. Or a serious legislative question in which it is at the center of the debate. Take your time, I’ll wait.
Meanwhile, Boebert’s husband, who had previously worked as a thug in the oilfields and later as a site supervisor, made nearly $ 500,000 last year as an energy consultant. The sudden increase in his fortune is surely a coincidence with his wife’s position.
Turning to Anderson, he too showed an instinct to monetize what had been an unpaid volunteer position. He used his social media to solicit money through Venmo for his birthday and as a tribute to his grandmother after her death. In recent months, he’s made his social media services available to other school board candidates, for a fee of course.
We don’t know how Anderson fully supports himself and no one blames him for living. But it was his choice to run for an unpaid post, and also his choice to devote the rest of his time to political activism and organizing protests. If money is a problem, as it apparently is, there is no shortage of good paying jobs in this market.
Lately Anderson has been pushing and pushing the Denver School Board to start paying its members. Admittedly, this budgetary item is insignificant in the scope of the finances of the district. Yet, this once again demonstrates a selfish impulse and too widespread focus on the wants of adults as opposed to the needs of children. This is the case even though the allowance will now only go to newly elected board members and Anderson will not be eligible for it unless he is re-elected in two years.
Despite the censorship of just a few months ago, don’t get me wrong, Anderson is running the show on this forum. It was his slate that he has beefed up in every officer position, including the flamboyant newcomers who have just been sworn in to now serve as chairman of the board, secretary and treasurer, along with Anderson himself. as vice president.
It doesn’t take vast powers of premonition to guess how it’s going to turn out.
Fervent followers of Boebert or Anderson, thinking they have nothing in common and, in fact, despising the other, will be indignant at this column. I can already anticipate the “how dare you” mails and the match charges.
So be it. Both are peas in a Colorado pod. Let’s call them what they are: a contemptible division duo. Or for an alternate alliteration, a pernicious pair of provocateurs.
Boebert and Anderson’s mutual mode is noise and their motto is rage and resentment. They understood this polarized moment and each one mastered it. The entire ride they laugh, perhaps with a wink, as the Twitter clicks soar and the cash register rings.