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U.S. Politics Moments in 2023 That Felt Like Watching Reality TV

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Like many Americans, I often find myself shocked at some of the things our elected officials do. Sometimes I’ll be watching C-SPAN and forget that I’m watching the government and not an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Before you jump to conclusions, no, I’m not crazy. I’m just a Political Science major who’s forced to keep up with U.S. politics.

A lot of times I panic over the behavior of our leaders, so to cope with this, I force myself to laugh at some politicians instead of yelling at them through the TV. Here’s my list of some of the funniest and most absurd things that happened in U.S. politics in 2023.

Ron DeSantis Wears Heels?

Why not start this list with one of the longest-running theories of 2023 that I’m personally fully convinced is true? In early debates for the Republican Presidential Primary, people started noticing that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was standing and walking a bit oddly. From there, the theory that he was either wearing heels or significant lifts in his shoes was born. The fact that several doctors have commented on this, saying that it’s the most reasonable explanation, is just the icing on the cake.

The Democrats’ TikTok

@thedemocrats

Remembering George Santos’s career in Congress (2023-2023)🙏 #dnc #houseofrepresentatives #georgesantos #thedemocrats

♬ always remember you – Abbi Sutphen

This one speaks for itself. Whoever is running the official U.S. Democratic Party TikTok account must feel very secure in their job, as they are posting some pretty unhinged content.

The Trump Mugshot

Former President Donald Trump has had quite the year with his criminal record, currently being a defendant in four criminal cases. On Aug. 14, the former president was indicted with 91 felony counts in Fulton County, Georgia. His campaign team ran with it, releasing T-shirts, mugs, and other merchandise with his mugshot on it.

There was even betting across America relating to his charges. Americans were placing all kinds of bets as to what shade of orange he would be in the mugshot, his booked height and weight, and more. Who knew some Americans were making a profit off the former president’s criminal record?

“Meatball Ron”

Sometimes I can’t help but laugh at some of Donald Trump’s nicknames for other politicians, especially Ron DeSantis, who used to be his No. 1 fan. The two are now feuding. The most famous of these names is “Meatball Ron,” but some others are “DeSaster,” “Tiny D,” and “Ron DisHonest.”

Biden’s Birthday Post

President Joe Biden rarely responds to criticism, usually letting it die out. But he did the opposite when celebrating his 81st birthday on Nov. 20. He had a cake with a concerning number of candles, 146 of them to be exact. He did this as a dig at Republicans who are always calling him “too old” to be president, joking that he is turning 146 years old.

The McCarthy Speaker Vote

Earlier this year, a new Speaker of the House was needed after Republicans got the majority of the House of Representatives in the 2022 Midterms. One would think this would be a simple process, as the majority party would just need to vote for the candidate, but no. It took 15 ballots before the House finally elected Representative Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House due to some holdouts in the Republican Party. Looking back now, it seems a bit pointless, as McCarthy was ousted as Speaker on Oct. 3 and is now resigning.

George Santos’ Lies

Everything George Santos has done since his election in November 2022 has seemed like the plot of a bad spy movie, creating his persona for office. He’s been caught lying about numerous things. One of these was that he was a volleyball star at Baruch College, a university he never even attended. Santos was expelled from Congress on Dec. 1 and announced he would not be running for re-election to his seat in the House of Representatives in 2024.

“ChatGPT”

If you want pure political mania, look no further than the Republican Presidential Primary Debates. One key moment from the four that have happened so far is former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s verbal attacks on Vivek Ramaswamy. He compared him to the AI software ChatGPT, but had plenty more for the party newcomer, each more brutal than the last.

The Fire Alarm Distraction

Congress seemed to have been in a state of disarray this year, especially during voting. Earlier this session, New York Representative Jamaal Bowman pulled a fire alarm in the House of Representatives to delay a floor vote. This, of course, delayed things but has backfired on Bowman, as the House voted to censure him for his actions.

Fights in Congress

I never thought that the Senate floor would be grounds for fighting, but here we are. In early November, Oklahoma Senator Markwayne Mullin threatened to fight Teamsters President Sean O’Brien during a Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions committee union hearing. Mullin was very serious about his threat, so much so that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders had to step in and calm both parties down, something that no one expected. What’s even crazier is that this is the second almost-fight in Congress this year, as Representative Mike Rogers threatened to fight Representative Matt Gaetz over his postponing of the McCarthy speaker vote in January.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg. I could keep going, but it’s best to think about politics in small doses. If you are eager for more crazy U.S. political content, don’t worry! 2024 is just around the corner, and we’re bound for some crazy election stories leading up to November.

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Michaela Galligan is a third-year student at Florida State University originally from Tampa, FL. She is studying Editing, Writing, & Media Studies and Political Science with a minor in Communications and hopes to one day enter the field of political or sports journalism and reporting. She is passionate about politics, sports, music, traveling, and all things FSU!