A Spot Of Tea That Really Hit The Spot

(Photo shamelessly stolen from http://brooklynyr.com!)

Probably the best thing to come out of Bloomberg's latest flirtation with the Republican party is that NYC Republicans are active. They're talking online and in person, debating the pros and cons of this issue and others. And it's great to be part of.

Prime example: I walked out of work this past Wednesday heading towards the City Hall station as is my usual practice when I became a part of the Tax Day Tea Party at City Hall - one of many events organized all over the nation by Newt Gingrich and his new PAC in response to government taxing the life out of all of us.

Anyways, in the crowd, I spotted Jonathan Judge, the President of the Brooklyn Young Republicans. Jonathan is someone I would classify as a "true believer" in Republican ideals - his passion for the Republican party is matched by few. We were on the opposite side of the mayoral debate at the March meeting, and had only talked in formal settings and online.

I thought that this would be a good time to formally introduce myself, and break the ice a little.

Well, what started as a quick chat on my way to the train turned into a half-hour chat about different political issues that affect New Yorkers. And all the while, we were inundated with people handing out flyers about their cause, people trading email addresses, or even just meeting up to say "hello" to one another.

We didn't agree with everything the other said, but the dialogue was its own reward. We both left off with an understanding that we're both on the same side, and that there was a lot of work to be done. We made no plans for the future, but made a commitment to keep working together, even if from opposite sides of an issue. Agreement and conformity should never be a goal. I'm a firm believer that honest disagreement is the fertile soil form which great ideas grow. On this evening, I believe Jonathan and I planted a few of those first seeds.

But here we were, outside of City Hall within this mass of humanity, having a civil discourse about all things New York politics. It was a beautiful thing. It was energizing - an energy I hadn't felt since back in college when all I did was hang out, talk politics and have fun.

While I'm probably too old for all the hangin' out and can't afford to just have fun all the time, I sincerely hope that this was the first of many conversations that I have with Mr. Judge and others both here online and in person.

After weeks of talking about the ugly underbelly of NYC politics, specifically in my neighborhood, I finally have something positive to write about politically.

Thanks, Jonathan.

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