Meeting Senator Murphy

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Tonight I had the chance to spend some time with Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT).  It was my first time attending a political fundraiser, and my attendance was in no small part driven by the fact that he is a fellow Williams alum (and rugger!).

I am an unabashed fan of Ephs succeeding in the world. Textbook basking in reflected glory, I suppose. And so in addition to fangirling for Tim Layden stories on SI and eagerly streaming each Pod Save America and Lovett or Leave It episode, I’ve followed Senator Murphy on Twitter for a while, always happy to see what seemed to be a real person coming through.

When you meet people in real life, there’s always the risk of finding out that it was all a façade. That without the scripts, or the ability to edit, people won’t live up to your expectations.

And so it was great to meet Chris and come away feeling that he is exactly who he seems to be. A little funny and a little angry, but mostly determined, hard-working, sincere, optimistic, and above all genuine.

Chris opened the dialogue with the concept that American history has always been the story of two steps forward, one step back. At one point someone asked about the frustration of dealing with morally bankrupt Republicans, and the discussion included something to the effect of: you’ve got to pick your battles.

But maybe we don’t.

A few weeks ago, when news of the Parkland school shooting broke, I think many of us settled in for another round of “thoughts and prayers.” But then the Parkland kids lit a fire under America and now it seems like anything’s possible.

March For Our Lives, San Jose 3/24/18

A few weeks ago, gun control wasn’t on the list of battles you’d pick (and expect to win). But now it is. We had become complacent, and now we are not.

What other battles are similarly ripe for disruption?

We hear a lot of talk about how a blue wave is coming, or maybe even a tsunami. But maybe it’s more grounded than that. Maybe it’s more manmade. Maybe it’s a dam about to burst, on all of these issues that Americans overwhelmingly support. Maybe it’s a blue flood.

Whatever we call it, I am here for it. And I’m glad Senator Murphy is, too.

 

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