Hiccup. Excuse me. I was just enjoying the vestiges of 4 a.m. freedom in Las Vegas. “Jose Cuervo, you are a mad bastard!” “Ay! La Garganta Del Diablo!”
I’m sorry, where was I? Oh, right. A question that was bouncing around the bar as a parade of bores came on the TV begging for our votes. Why exactly is it that virtually none of the well-known Nevada politicians truly embrace the blow-this-mutha-out lifestyle that’s the cornerstone of Nevada’s specialness?
Sure, there’s the singular exception of the face of Las Vegas, our beloved Mayor Oscar “Bombay” Goodman, but as he leaves on the wings of term limits, is there any chance that someone with as much debauched charisma will replace him? Doubtful. Supersquares are already coming out of the woodwork to be the new mayor. I fear their real agenda is to “take back” Las Vegas from Mayor Goodman’s beloved downtown and refocus energies on the suburbs. It’s all so passive, uneventful and boring. In a word—it’s unNevadan.
And how about the great Senate race of 2010? Whatever else you may think of “liberal” Harry Reid, at his core he’s a big ol’ cultural conservative. A devoutly religious stick-in-the-sand who shies off coffee let alone gambling, drinking, smoking, whoring or any of the other vice benefits of our grand city-state experiment. His principal opponent, Sharron Angle, is a teetotaling Bible-ist who openly advocated the abolition of alcohol and seemingly views almost all of the most unique things about Las Vegas as cardinal sins.
When U.S. Sen. John Ensign’s dalliances with a staffer’s wife were revealed, I kvelled. But instead of embracing his philandering as “cool where I come from,” Ensign repented. Sigh. What else could we expect? He’s a Promise Keeper, after all, and a member of the elite and evangelical “C-Street Fellowship.” He asked the world to forgive him, and I instantly did—well, for everything except the hypocrisy. If only Mr. Ensign had embraced his human, or at least Nevadan, condition! Only then would he have eternally secured my swing vote.
When did libertine and libertarian Nevada lose its way? Shouldn’t our representatives sorta kinda represent the emblematic Nevadan? When they do the same things many of us do, why not do them with a smile?
In this election cycle there’s a whole lot of frustration. Hence all this talk of tea. To me, though, the Tea Party is an anachronism wrapped in salty bacon with a gooey religious center that has a tang of bitter Darjeeling. I mean sure, everything tastes better with bacon, and a lot of the supposed Tea Party tenets such as lower taxes and more freedom sound appealing.
But the whole execution of this tea-losophy seems to be steeped in a lack of economic practicality or applicability in Nevada. These people talk like they’re either new to Nevada or they’re self-hating Nevadans. And don’t hand me this libertarian thing—no one who wants the government out of our lives would support a candidate like Sharron Angle, who wants so desperately to be part of the government and is, by a reasonable interpretation of her own words, generally intolerant of lifestyles not her own. All of which is so not the Nevada flavor! We don’t need nannies force-feeding us their moral castor oil; we need something that sings, swings and goes down smooooth.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I propose the Nevada Cocktail Party. It’s time to create an environment where we can step up the weirdness and the wonderment for fun and profit. We need a Party of Yes.
The tea partiers supposedly dig the Constitution. Well, the Nevada Cocktail Party is in love with the Declaration of Independence—mostly the part about our unalienable right to pursue Happiness (yes, the capital H is in the original).
Now far from being heathens or drunks (though both are welcome), we the people believe that as we pursue our Happiness, our government needs to cast aside impediments and foster sustained enjoyment. We envision a citizen-government partnership to ensure no one gets physically injured and that the Nevada way is protected from interlopers.
Does that mean legalizing all substances that make us feel better? Yes. Does that mean anyone who wants to get married should be able to? Yes. Does that mean that when we overindulge and need help recovering the government should have safety nets in place? Yes. Does that mean that there should be magnet school for high school girls (and boys) to learn how to be successful and prosperous strippers if that’s what they choose to do? Possibly.
See, the Nevada Cocktail Party loves freedom above all else. But if we’re going to do the Nevada thing right, we’ll need a bit of cooperation from a government of Nevadans, by Nevadans and for Nevadans. So elected officials endorsed by the Cocktail Party have to appreciate that the prime directive is to work within the vice-industrial complex to pave the way for Nevada to restore and maintain its original splendor. That government is there to catch us when we fall, but also to prop us up when we need a hand. Misguided morality police and staid, stoic politicians have no place in the Old School Order.
Nevada First, my friends. Have a drink on us!