There’s one scene in Sex and the City that comes to mind when I think about this campaign season. Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha are sitting in a restaurant talking about their interest—or lack thereof—in politics when Samantha and Carrie list the reasons they’d vote for a potential candidate, naming swimsuit competitions and general attractiveness as major priorities. Samantha says, point blank, “The country runs better with a good looking man in the White House.” The apathy that arises from these three white women during this scene is palpable. Miranda, in contrast, name-drops FDR and scoffs at her friends’ shallow political musings.
In true Carrie style, I couldn’t help but wonder if, in the era of Time’s Up and Trump, this same apathy toward politics would be impossible. That maybe Nixon’s Miranda Hobbes would be the undoubted protagonist of a 2018 Sex and the City.
Still, when I first learned of Cynthia Nixon’s gubernatorial bid, I wasn’t thrilled to see another celebrity campaign for a job for which they had no apparent qualifications. It felt redundant—a mistake we’d seen play out just two years ago to horrible ends. However, Nixon is a Democrat and an alumna of the very school I attend now, so I didn’t want to dismiss her out of hand.
As Nixon began to campaign, my skepticism toward her shrunk. When our graduate student workers were on the picket line, she marched side-by-side with them in solidarity. Rather than distance herself from her past, she embraced her sitcom roots in campaign gear that celebrated Miranda’s pragmatism. And, above all, she continued to promote inclusive policies and progressive ideals like a statewide health care system, disability and immigrant rights, universal rent regulation, the legalization of marijuana with priority to marginalized communities, and, of course, the long overdue renovation of the MTA throughout her campaign.
It’s not just that she’s a better option than Governor Cuomo, it’s that she’s a better option for New York.
It took some time for New York politics to matter to me. I’m a native Californian, and drama in Albany always felt far away and irrelevant to my own life. But over the past year, as I continued to experience delays in the MTA, Nixon’s persistent attention to this issue drew me in. Suddenly, New York politics became something in which I had a tangible stake. Sure, I’ll be voting in California this election, but that doesn’t mean the New York gubernatorial campaign isn’t going to affect me. Over the summer, I became a fierce Nixon advocate. Now, on primary day, I’ve realized that she has a real chance of winning.
Although I might not be able to vote for Cynthia Nixon, if you’re registered here, you should.
More apparent since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s primary win in New York’s 14th district—one not too far from our own campus—the Democratic party has been having an identity crisis: To endorse or not to endorse? To move left or stay center? While Nixon has chosen the former of both those questions, detractors of Nixon are perfectly fair in their analysis that she’s still an exceptionally white, elite, and wealthy candidate. In truth, I think Nixon can be both problematically privileged and admirably qualified—one doesn’t negate the other. She’s adopted far left policies and understood that much of her potential constituency doesn’t look like her, so she’s listened to them. That’s the mark of an effective public servant. Meanwhile, it’s somewhat of an open secret that Governor Cuomo flirts with corruption, and has failed many of his constituents of color. In many ways, Nixon mirrors her alma mater—she’s the more liberal, less problematic version of her male counterpart.
And while it’s easy to dismiss this race as irrelevant compared to what’s at stake in the House and the Senate, it’s important to understand that what happens tomorrow will inevitably affect every single one of us on campus. Because, believe it or not, by living in this city, we’re directly affected by the state’s policies and policymakers.
So tomorrow, don’t let yourself become a Carrie, or a Samantha, or a Charlotte. Be like Miranda, but be even more like Cynthia—and maybe consider voting for her, too.
The author is a sophomore at Barnard College studying English. She’s an associate editorial page editor for Spectator and she definitely considers herself a Miranda. If you wanna talk to her about the election or about Sex and the City, shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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