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The Rent Is TOO DAMN HIGH- Jimmy McMillan

October 27, 2010

Take a second from your very busy, homework-packed day and check out this clip of politics and the freedom of speech at its finest.

His name is Jimmy McMillan and he’s currently running for Governor of New York. In regards to his political affiliation, he is neither Republican, nor Democrat. He is not registered as a member of the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, or The Working Families Party.

Jimmy McMillan is the front-runner candidate for the “RENT IS 2 DAMN HIGH” Party.

Yes, it is actually spelled with the numeral 2. Here is an official ballot to prove it…

Governor Ballot for New York, 2010 Election

Jimmy McMillan, a dark horse candidate for the New York Gubernatorial position, appeals his political agenda to the 5 boroughs of New York. He does so by using this simple ideology: “The rent is too damn high”.  Along with his political stance, McMillan’s campaigning tactics are equally interesting. The Rent Is Too Damn High Party has tailored its argument towards the lower-income areas of New York, while ignoring Upstate New York all together. This, McMillan says, “reflects the need for action where action is needed most.”

In addition to the rent, McMillan is very liberal in terms of his position on gay marriage and various other social issues. This reflects his extreme democrat background, which he used to run for governor of New York in 1996. Since then, McMillan has fractured off from the traditional party and created his own political affiliation.

McMillan’s credentials are both random and scattered throughout his life. McMillan served in Vietnam from 1966-1968. During his term of duty, he earned 3 Bronze Stars. In addition to his military background, McMillan also has a black belt in karate.

Unfortunately for the RENT IS 2 DAMN HIGH party, McMillan has little political experience. The highlight of his political career appears to be his journey on foot from Brooklyn, NY to Buffalo, NY and back. McMillan used this walk to accent his passion for the state of New York and his unusually brand of politics.

Though he lacks any shot of getting elected, McMillan’s stand is a refreshing one. While McMillan’s platform is both uneducated and inexperienced, it serves as a reminder that our government is a representative one; Both the legislative and executive branch should hold the best interest of the people in mind. (sound familiar?)

For now, McMillan’s political destiny is yet to be seen. However, one thing is certain. In the 5 boroughs of New York, much like everywhere else in the country, the rent is too damn high.

If you wish to learn more about Jimmy McMillan, check out his website here: http://www.rentistoodamnhigh.org/

19 Comments
  1. matteric9 permalink
    October 27, 2010 10:49 AM

    The rent is 2 damn high party! Wow at least we have a politician that speaks the truth. During these extremely tough economic times it is refreshing to see someone that is specifically concerned with an issue that affects us all. With the employment rate still extremely low the rent issue has become a very relevant issue in politics. Unfortunately, a candidate fighting one particular issue does not seem like someone that will get the job. I really enjoyed this post though, it was much different then what I had expected to read when I went to the blog today!

  2. Taylor Fields permalink
    October 27, 2010 11:20 AM

    Loved the post! All the post are greats but this was insightful and entertaining. As the previous comment, it is refreshing to see a politician who speaks the truth. But even more, it is refreshing to see a politician with a sense of humor. Politics is undeniably banal, candidates follow a set pattern to be elected: ads, lawn signs, commercials, party politics, etc. Though, as you mentioned, he really has no shot at winning, I bet he draws a few votes from people who are simply sick of politics, and are amused, and inspired to vote because he is so different.

  3. Joshua Henderson permalink
    October 27, 2010 6:48 PM

    I think I, like everyone else, thought his speech was hilarious and so was the candidate who had previously been a prostitute. Sadly though, Jimmy McMillan didn’t say what he was going to do to stop “the rent being TOO DAMN HIGH.” Simply acknowledging a problem doesn’t mean you’re capable of solving it, and he’d probably receive my vote (if I were able to vote in NY or anywhere in the US) if he gave a plan for how he would solve it and if I agreed with his method.

  4. Matt Wachsman permalink
    October 28, 2010 2:22 PM

    It is in fact nice, albeit comicaly rediculous, to see a typical person, who has a gripe with rent hikes, speak out. Although he may not stand a chance in any sort of election- he has helped to spark a discussion in relation to rents which people often cannot comfortably afford to pay for. That may be the beauty of such a system, where anybody can heighten the awareness of a particular issue. There remain many “third” party groups which never really stand a chance of gaining representation, but atleast they can voice their opinion and foster debates such as this.

  5. dmalks permalink
    October 28, 2010 4:33 PM

    I agree with matt, in that its not just about being elected as governor. The fact that Jimmy McMillian is presenting an issue that needs attention is an accomplishment in its own. Although, McMillian is clearly not going to be elected as governor, he is still providing voters with another issue to think about when making their voting decision.

  6. reedmarcus permalink
    November 1, 2010 10:11 PM

    Good comment dmalks, I agree with what your saying in that McMillian will never win this election, but he still provided a topic worth discussing. Although many will look at this video as just entertainment, I think he brings a unique perspective that voters can learn from. Some will say that this uneducated and unqualified candidate should never have been on the stage, I disagree as he highlights the basic freedoms and liberties that American politics prides itself on.

  7. greguff permalink
    November 3, 2010 12:10 AM

    I received an absentee ballot about a week ago, and while I was filling out the ballot for the state of New York, I came across the “Rent is 2 damn high” party featuring Jimmy McMillan. At first I thought it was a joke, but how could it be a joke- it is on an actual ballot for the state of New York! I find it very funny that you decided to blog about this, yet I think that you take this funny occurrence, and turn it into a substantial and meaningful blog. I agree with the previous comments that he knows he will not win the election, yet he is getting his point across. McMillan is representing the lower class, and with a sense of humor he is stressing the literal point that the rent is just too high. Although it is refreshing to see a different type of politician, McMillan should try to actually run under a major political party, and therefore decrease these high rents!

  8. Jameson McRae permalink
    November 3, 2010 3:39 PM

    In a day when there are so many third parties out there it is nice to see one that is so clear and concise. I find the Rent is 2 Damn High party to be very intriguing, and I think Mr. McMillan has found something that everyone in the state of New York can agree on, especially those in the city. From the video Jimmy seems like a good orator who makes a lot of valid points in his arguments. I like the idea of this party and I think other third parties like it will follow this example to try and create a platform for themselves. McMillan brings up the subject with comedy, I think that if his party does not win maybe the Democrats should scoop him up for themselves. Overall, I think this is a great example of the average person getting their political voice out in an effective manner. Jimmy is a voice for the lower class and I am sure he will stir up the political scene in New York.

  9. maxerich permalink
    November 3, 2010 9:31 PM

    As we now know, this candidate obviously was not going to be elected and was not elected. As everyone has said above it was still a good way to bring to peoples attention an important issue in the elections. Sadly i must inform Jimmy McMillan is sort of a fraud. According to some report, he hasnt paid rent since the 1980s and has actually been living rent free for a long time. Also, it has been said that he has made anti semetic remarks regarding the rent. Sorry for ruining the humor in this post.
    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local-beat/Rent-Is-Too-Damn-High-Candidate-Doesnt-Pay-Rent-105346278.html

  10. Katelyn Salowitz permalink
    November 4, 2010 9:32 AM

    I, like many of those above, loved this post. I think part of the problem with politics in America is that the average citizen sometimes forgets he or she can make a difference. Although I ‘m sure McMillan was not elected he at least raised awareness about an issue he was passionate about. In my mind, that is a start to changing government. Raising awareness is the first step in the long line of change. I think more people should take the chance to stand up for what they believe in. Afterall we do live in a democracy and raising awareness/getting involved in political action is our right, even our duty.

  11. November 5, 2010 6:16 PM

    Very funny post. I like how a generally “normal” person is speaking up for what he believes in, in a manner any person can understand. He is not associating himself with anything besides for his one, ultimately true, belief that in New York, the rent is just too damn high. He is clearly expressing his right to a voice in a democratic society and for that Jimmy McMillan, I commend you.

  12. Andrew Babat permalink
    November 5, 2010 6:26 PM

    This is a very funny video. I also think that McMillan is smarter than people are giving him credit for. McMillan clearly is not going to win, and I think he knows that. He is making everyone aware of his opinion that “rent is 2 high.” I think his goal is to get people to talk about the issue, which he has successfully done.

  13. November 7, 2010 10:35 PM

    It is disheartening to see a prospective political candidate so passionate about serving the people, but not having a fair chance of being elected because of his lack of experience. He reflects characteristics of an ideal sovereign, one whose sole duty is to protect the people. I wonder if his credentials should hold him back or should people have faith that he will accompilish things, based on his passion. Who’s to say it’s impossible for him to step up to the plate? He has to start somewhere! In that case, when choosing a public official, should people be more concerned with his resume, supporting that he can do what he says or are words and promises good enough to assure people they will be taken care of? After all, when people are put in office, there is still a risk regardless. Officials must show and prove after elections, and there is no guarantees with anyone!

  14. Kelsie Breit permalink
    November 8, 2010 5:13 PM

    This post was refreshing to read after a long day of classes.

    Although he never really poses a way to actually help the working class, bringing the issue to the table at least recognizes that there is a problem; it’s the first step in solving it, right?

    The fact that he never even mentioned the upper class at all is a good representation of who actually needs help in modern politics. The upper class gets a lot of support already, while most of the population isn’t upper class at all.

    The money distribution is not at all where citizens expect it to be in the United States. According to sociology.ucsc.edu, the less wealthy 80% of the population has control over 7% of the financial wealth for the year 2007. In contrast, the wealthy 1% of the population controls 47%. From the way the economy has been going, I can imagine that the percentages are moving even further in opposite directions.

    So, no the guy didn’t make any valid points or have anything to really back himself up except the hungry kids’ bellies he was listening to, but he does bring up a very relevant problem in society today. He is working for the “general will” as Rousseau would characterize it.

  15. chris070310 permalink
    November 9, 2010 10:30 PM

    Jimmy Mcmillan is for the peole. even though he sounds forceful in his thoughts for progress, you have to understand he’s talking for the working poor. He’s willing to make a change by thier comments and their opinions. How can you work for a government thats for the peole and not look out ofr their best interest. As a black man, coming from a middle-class society, these are the conversations that I hear from most people of my community. Its sad to say, that America sometimes cover up its scars like it’s perfect and help the next following man in need, making AMERICA feel more superior than the countries it helped. However, people fail to see that America would rather let the weak die of its own country and be shown with no faults, than to show the world that this so called GREAT SOCIETY has faults too, where people are starving and dying everyday from the lack of help this country offers.

  16. jmrusso permalink
    November 9, 2010 10:48 PM

    Personally when I saw this video I was captivated by the words of Jimmy McMillan. Although it did make me shed a couple of chuckles I came to a realization that McMillan was speaking the truth. As a resident of New Jersey living 20 minutes from the city, I have been able to notice how people are having issues paying bills. He was able to speak for the lower and middle class residents of New York City. McMillan obviously understands the struggles of life as he fought in Vietnam for two and a half years earning three bronze stars. it is evident that McMillan is not just looking for praise or popularity, but to spread his feelings on how the people of New York City as a mass are unable to afford rent. Although he does not have political experience he has been able to portray to people that he is willing to sacrifice for the general public.

  17. playdoh4life permalink
    November 9, 2010 10:52 PM

    Chriso70310, above me, states that Jimmy McMillan is for the people, but is he actually? Do citizens only care about rights when it comes to an upcoming election. Realistically, we do not live in a democracy. Instead, we live in a democratic republic where we elect officials to represent our beliefs. Keep in mind, we are not voting for someone to speak for the people directly and hear me personally, but someone who will vote and contribute with his personal voice. We vote for a voice. Honestly, I do not know any of his political or social agenda besides the fact that he believes the rent is too high. How does he plan to fix it? What is his stance on same-sex marriage. The party originated in Buffalo, typically a red area, so I am curious where it stands on various issues.

    All of that being said, I find it interesting when new parties emerge. Sometimes in life we are faced with the desire to be in a particular ‘group’ that believes in certain mottos. This idea could not be more prominent than at the University of Michigan where greek life is difficult not to acknowledge. Students ‘rush’ in order to fit into a group of people who have a similar set of ideas, mottos, and values as themselves. Does it always work out? By going against a political party, a candidate is stating that they are an individual. Socrates, in fact, preaches this idea of individualism which he defines as a type of complete withdrawal from politics. It’s ironic that McMillan is standing as an individualistic thinker while running for a political position. Juxtaposition or certain irony?

  18. November 16, 2010 7:18 PM

    Obviously many people liked this post, so I felt a need to read it and comment upon it myself. Why can’t this guy win? Yes, I know he is more of a comedian than a politician with his “rent to dam high,” said as he finishes a long argument. Still, he seems to appeal to the people and at least he is taking a real stand on something. I’m sure no one ever imagined the terminator in office and look how far he has come. I’m not saying this guy is going to win, but hey maybe that’s exactly what people want, someone who is blunt enough to say what they really mean and hopefully do something about it.

  19. Andrew Laing permalink
    December 8, 2010 6:23 PM

    Although McMillian never stood a chance of winning, third parties are essential for voicing opinions the two powerhouses choose to ignore. While under the electoral college a third party never has had a chance (at the presidency), it is important to know how they can effect the parties in power. I contend that McMillian hopes to share his voice for the lower classes of NY to influence the Democratic party in the state.

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