With the New York primary on April 19 just a few weeks away, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are still both grasping for the youth vote (hey, that’s probably you!). In debate after debate, we’ve seen how Hill and The Bern feel about the economy, gun control, campaign financing and all those other mainstream issues. But what about the issues that matter to you: The young, struggling Brooklynite who’s never actually seen a gun but who has watched The Wire an embarrassing number of times? We’re talking about hard-hitting issues like the L train, café etiquette and dating.
Like most cities, New York’s issues are mostly ignored during the campaign, because even though we are a huge population center full diverse people getting along, we’re somehow not considered an important part of the democratic process. Well Brokelyn is changing that: We asked both candidates to respond to a litany of the Brokelyn community’s most pertinent questions and got you answers*. So here you are: The first ever Brokelyn democratic presidential debate.
Bernie Sanders is the candidate most likely to play accordion on the Brooklyn bound L train for small contributions https://t.co/xzvI8bDQC3
— DJ Dunson (@CerebralSportex) February 5, 2016
Senator Sanders, Secretary Clinton, thank you for joining us. There’s been a lot of talk so far this year about the imminent, potentially years-long shutdown of the L train. If this plan moves forward, thousands of Williamsburgers and Bushwiccans will be forced to take two, even three, different trains to get their underpaying and soul-sucking jobs in Manhattan.
In your opinions, should the MTA shut down the line entirely to finish the work faster or cut off late night and weekend service sporadically over a much longer period of time?
Clinton: I don’t think a halt is necessary… I know it’s not going to happen overnight and everything that can be done should be done. But the process should move forward… Because I do believe that we have a history and a tradition, that is part of our values system and we don’t want to sacrifice our values.
Sanders: What you have now is a very dangerous moment in American history. The secretary is right. Our people are fearful. They are anxious on a number of levels… We all understand that. But you know what else they’re anxious about? They’re anxious about the fact that they are working incredibly long hours… I come from a rural state. People drive 50, 100 miles to and from work every single day. That is true all over America.
— Hannah Kreiswirth (@hannahteak) February 27, 2016
Fascinating. Well, many of us don’t actually need to take the train into the city anyway because our freelance “jobs” require us to work from home or nearby coffee shops. Now, every time I go to the café near my apartment, the same five or six people are always taking up all the tables and I can’t use my laptop. Should I say something or should I just let them stay? They do always buy coffee and an almond croissant.
Clinton: We are not Denmark… it’s our job to rein in the excesses of capitalism so that it doesn’t run amok and doesn’t cause the kind of inequities we’re seeing.
Sanders: We need real change in this country, in my view, a political revolution, which says to the people on top, “You know what, you guys can’t have it all.”
OK, great. So, I really like this girl that I went out with the other night but she lives in a weird part of Crown Heights and I’d have to take the bus to get to her place and that sounds like a whole thing. Worth it or nah?
Clinton: Here’s what I would say: I will go anywhere to meet with anyone at any time.
Sanders: I’m not a psychoanalyst. Boy, would a psychoanalyst have an interesting time.
That’s a little rude but moving on: I want alcohol but I don’t want to pay for it. How many times do I have to go to the bar around the corner before the bartenders start buying me shots? And is it worth it?
Clinton: I know it’s hard, but I also know you’ve got to work at it every single day… I see a lot of my friends from the Congress and I know that they work at it every single day.
Sanders: The struggle… will be extremely difficult. But this I know: despair is not an option if we care about our kids and grandchildren. Giving up is not an option.
— The Hill (@thehill) February 10, 2016
Inspiring. So hey, is the new season of Girls any good?
Sanders: There is too much shouting at each other. There is too much making fun of each other.
Clinton: It has been heartbreaking and incredibly outraging.
— Ryan Mack (@rjmack) February 15, 2016
Oof, I just remembered that I texted my coworker just the turkey emoji when I was drunk last night. I should just pretend that didn’t happen, right? She’ll forget?
Sanders: The problems we face did not come down from the heavens. They are made, they are made by bad human decisions, and good human decisions can change them.
Clinton: I could not be standing here if I had not been forgiven many times and if I had not been able to forgive, myself, those who I thought had in some way disappointed or wronged me.
Empty out those vacuum pennies, for Bernie! pic.twitter.com/SPLasf37qE
— DJ Pure Applesauce (@DJ_P_Applesauce) March 1, 2016
Speaking of wronging me: My roommate won’t clean the apartment, but I’m also way overcharging him for that tiny room. Do I just have to suck it up or what?
Sanders: I would say that the key doctrine of the Sanders administration would be no, we cannot continue to do it alone; we need to work in coalition.
Clinton: There is not another leader. There is a vacuum.
When Bernie Sanders talks about the need to create jobs, you can tell he's passionate because the Brooklyn accent comes out.#ProblemSolver
— Lulu Cheng (@luludcheng) October 12, 2015
Is LinkedIn too embarrassing to use, do you think? All my friends have way better jobs than me is all and my job sucks. Is everyone sick of those “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” emails?
Clinton: We have to do the best possible job of sharing intelligence and information. That now includes the Internet.
Sanders: The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!
Uh oh. Just realized that if Trump is elected president they'll have to shut down most of Midtown every time he comes home to Trump Tower.
— Brooklyn Spoke (@BrooklynSpoke) January 29, 2016
Fine, sorry I asked. Moving on: My parents keep trying to get me to get lunch with my cousin who just moved to the city but he’s super boring and he lives in Midtown. I don’t have to hang out with him, do I?
Clinton: I know how much young people value their independence, their autonomy and their rights. So I think this… would be bad for everybody.
Sanders: No argument, the secretary is absolutely right… This is beyond disgusting.
One last question: Future or Young Thug?
[*Disclaimer: These are real quotes from the candidates used for entertainment purposes only. We did not interview them directly nor do we know if Sanders or Clinton have made statements about the L train. If either campaign would like to hold a real debate, please contact Brokelyn and suggest a DIY venue of their choosing, preferably at happy hour.]
Follow Sam for more of this level of political discourse: @SamHWeiss.