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Why I Can't Wait for Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black's Book

A liberal comic and an outspoken young conservative with a famous father take a road trip across America. Awesome.


When was the last time you saw Democrats and Republicans uniting in the name of comedy? Sarah Palin on SNL? (That was awkward.) Stephen Colbert at Bush’s White House Press Correspondents’ dinner? (Very, very awkward.) It doesn’t usually work…until maybe now.

Conservative blogger and author Meghan McCain is teaming up with lefty comedian Michael Ian Black to write a book called Stupid for America. Fer real. It’s going to be a road trip across the country—of course!—to talk to everyday Americans about why the system is “f-ed up.” Their publisher likens the duo to “Chelsea Handler and Hunter S. Thompson.” Don’t really get the Hunter comparison, but whatever—sounds hilarious!


Really, though, I’m weirdly excited for this book. Not because I want to see the two sides “find common ground” to bring back “civil discourse.” Not even because I’m a huge fan of either author—although I think it’s bad-ass that McCain has been on Maddow a few times, and I did love Black on “Adult Swim.”

It’s more that this book signals a kind of generational shift—younger people understand that political conversations can be playful, adventurous, and not always knee-jerk. More cynically: when it comes to politics, our culture of celebreality is the ultimate peacemaker. Comedians have been ribbing the other side since forever, but they usually don’t have the balls to crack jokes to each other’s faces. Perhaps this is our moment?

Out of the two, McCain particularly fascinates me. People have called her a RINO (Republican In Name Only). And given her stances on everything from gay rights to feminism, she may very well break with a party that has trouble supporting her social beliefs. But her work—and especially this pairing—serves as a reminder that the loudest GOP voices nowadays are, well, old. And stubborn. And super-serious. And pretty damn extreme. From the House of Reps to the Tea Party, conservative twentysomethings get ignored, especially ones with senses of humor.

Granted, there are armies of young evangelical Christians—we heard that loud and clear in "Jesus Camp" and books like Lauren Sandler's Righteous. But there are also a lot of conservative young people, regardless of political affiliation, who aren’t zealots. Our generation, both on the left or right, simply skews more socially liberal when it comes to things like immigration, gay marriage, and balanced parenting.

Salon’s Rebecca Traister said this when defending Tina Fey: "Ideology and political purity are frequently the enemies of all that is hilarious in the world.” Something tells me that Meghan and Michael get that.

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This article was produced in partnership with the United Nations to launch the biggest-ever global conversation on the role of cooperation in building the future we want.

When half of the world's population doesn't share the same opportunity or rights as the other half, the whole world suffers. Like a bird whose wings require equal strength to fly, humanity will never soar to its full potential until we achieve gender equality.

That's why the United Nations made one of its Sustainable Development Goals to "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." That goal includes providing women and girls equal access to education and health care, as well as addressing gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls.

While there is still much work to be done, history shows us that we are capable of making big leaps forward on this issue. Check out some of the milestones humanity has already reached on the path to true equality.

Historic Leaps Toward Gender Equality

1848 The Seneca Falls Convention in New York, organized by Elizabeth Lady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, is the first U.S. women's convention to discuss the oppression of women in sociopolitical, economic, and religious life.

1893 New Zealand becomes the first self-governing nation to grant national voting rights to women.

1903 Marie Curie becomes the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She is also the only woman to win multiple Nobel Prizes, for Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911.

1920 The 19th Amendment is passed in the U.S. giving women the right to vote in all 50 U.S. states.

1973 The U.S. Open becomes the first major sports tournament of its kind to offer equal pay to women, after tennis star Billie Jean King threatened to boycott.

1975 The first World Conference on Women is held in Mexico, where a 10-year World Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women is formed. The first International Women's Day is commemorated by the UN in the same year.

1979 The UN General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), also known as the "Women's Bill of Rights." It is the most comprehensive international document protecting the rights of women, and the second most ratified UN human rights treaty after the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1980 Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland becomes the first woman to be elected head of state in a national election.

1993 The UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the first international instrument to explicitly define forms of violence against women and lay out a framework for global action.

2010 The UN General Assembly creates the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) to speed progress on meeting the needs of women and girls around the world.

2018 The UN and European Union join forces on the Spotlight Initiative, a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

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As the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary, it is redoubling its commitment to reach all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality. But it will take action and effort from everyone to ensure that women and girls are free from discrimination and violence. Learn more about what is being done to address gender equality and see how you can get involved here.

And join the global conversation about the role of international cooperation in building the future by taking the UN75 survey here.

Let's make sure we all have a say in the future we want to see.

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Perez claims he was responding to insults hurled at him by the officers. The police say that Perez was picking a fight. The altercation left Perez with a broken nose, scrapes, swelling, and bruises from his hips to his shoulder.

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