American Values 2024 Hosts Anti-Uniparty Youth Event in Brooklyn

American Values 2024 Hosts Anti-Uniparty Youth Event in Brooklyn
American Values 2024 | May 18, 2024

By Leah Watson, The Kennedy Beacon

On May 17, at the Absurd Conclave in Bushwick, Brooklyn, American Values 2024 hosted an event they cheekily called, “F*ck The Uniparty,” designed to encourage young voters to participate in politics.

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The Absurd Conclave venue is in a large basement of a classic brick-and-mortar building, lined with mirrors with a bartop where the bartender served free drinks to approximately 50 spirited attendees.

Unlike a typical political event, where a politician lectures to a group of people, “F*ck the Uniparty” was a festive event where like-minded people could gather to socialize, share their opinions, and feel accepted without judgment. It brought together left and right-leaning people to talk, drink, listen to comedy and music, and share their opinions without fear of being silenced or censored. Most importantly, it created a feeling of hope for change.

“They are slowly shortening the leash,” said one attendee, Geno Bisconte, commenting on online censorship on YouTube and other social media platforms. Bisconte said that it has become nearly impossible for people to be able to express their opinions freely without being silenced. Referring to the hip Brooklyn venue, he added, “these are the last places where we can speak freely and speak [our] mind.”

Brooklyn native singer and songwriter Steph G performed her popular new single “Feeling Myself” and encouraged people from the audience to dance along with her. Following her performance, comedian Keanu Thompson took the stage to share her act. “I like the sentiment to vote for someone you actually believe in,” said Thompson. “Why do we have [to choose] between these two white people that we hate?”

Thompson went on to say that she doesn’t like the notion that by voting for a third-party candidate, you’re “throwing your vote away.” Other attendees shared a similar sentiment, that in a traditionally “blue state” like New York, voting independently may not tip the scale, but might have more of an effect in swing states. However, the state of the political system as it currently stands is “clearly not f*cking working for us,” added Thompson.

Thompson suggested that perhaps someone in the middle, who could pull from both the left and the right, could decrease the polarization that plagues the country.

“People are fed up with the two-party system and are looking for change,” said Sarah, an attendee who, like others interviewed for this article, preferred her last name be kept anonymous. “People lost faith [in politicians] between Obama and Trump. [They feel as though] politicians don’t have their best interests at heart.”

People at the event expressed their fatigue with politician’s predictable tactics to win votes. “It’s self-preservation,” said Thompson. Candidates, she continued, tear each other apart, tear each other’s supporters apart, and create a tense environment in which people on opposite sides of the aisle feel they should hate one another.

In the end, Thompson said, people feel forced to choose between two “wrinkly old men fighting each other to self-preserve… they don’t care about us.”

Voters are searching for a candidate with new qualities. Someone, as Sarah said, with “honesty, consistency, and integrity.” However, even though people are looking for change, they often don’t know where to go and who to turn to. “Most people feel needlessly cynical and needlessly hopeless,” said another attendee at the event, who also preferred anonymity. “The energy toward real progress is censored.”

“I wouldn’t be voting if it weren’t for RFK Jr.,” one attendee told me. “[He has] a standard of governance that this country hasn’t seen in decades… [he has] experience as an outsider and a renegade who has gone against the system.”

The narrative that alternative candidates don’t stand a chance of winning is foisted onto people, so they don’t believe that viable third-party candidates like Kennedy have a chance to win the election.

“If I vote, I’m voting independently,” said Thompson, who said that a third-party option may be the solution.

American Values 2024 funds The Kennedy Beacon

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