Dem Summers: Gary Gerbrandt’s Government Gauntlet

The Dems have been busy over the summer: interning, working, volunteering, traveling, and of course, indulging in some leisure time not oft found in Cambridge (leave it to a Harvard student to be busy spending leisure time.) This is part I of an indefinite series. If you’re a Harvard Dem (or rising pre-frosh with interest), we’d love to hear what you’ve been up to. |  E-mail 

Gary Gerbrandt’s Government Gauntlet


Gary Gerbrandt: Service Director extraordinaire

This summer has been quite the experience — I’ve been working in the
marketing department of a massive professional service form,
copy-editing and project-managing and email-writing my way to
“success”. Fun fact: I’m actively helping to privatize various parts
of progressive governments thanks to the department I work in. (This
wasn’t what I planned.) But I’m enjoying the experience. Mostly, I’ve
been sleeping on commuter trains, wandering around an underground
mall, and looking dreamily out at Toronto from my (boss’s) office
window. As you can see from the attached company photo, I have
forgotten how to smile, keep both eyes open, and, yes, brush my teeth.
In my spare time, I have been injecting television, the New York
Times, Twitter, and, lately, the remarkably addictive game Dwarf
Fortress directly into my brain. I have been in a hyperventilatory
state for the past few weeks about the debt nightmare-shitfest-crisis,
but I know that by the time we’re all back on campus, it will be a bad
dream. A bad dream without any revenue increases for absolutely no
reason. A bad dream with a disgusting disregard for the worst-off in
America (a category which arguably now stretches from the poor to the
“middle class”). A bad dream which shows no signs of ending.
What can progressives and Democrats and the fiscally sane among us do?
I’ve been wondering that constantly since the deal was reached and
America barely squeaked by its largest fiduciary crisis in memory. How
can we possibly address the gaping holes in the social fabric which
are sure to grow faster with these cuts?
Then, I’m reminded of what I do with the Dems. Service. Service is the
one inviolable way which we can serve the causes that the modern
Democratic Party adheres to — ones which every person depends upon.
Equality, freedom, activism, communities, anything and everything. We
need to give of ourselves to bridge the fundamental gaps in society,
no matter what happens in Washington.
Despite this nightmare — and its powerful ability to shake a
Democrat’s faith in their party leaders — we must all remember that
we’re on the good side, fighting the good fight. I’ll remember that.
And I hope that everyone else will show their progressive stripes this
fall and spring by volunteering at Service’s events.
I can’t wait to see you all there. Enjoy the rest of your summers, and
keep your ears to the ground about upcoming events!