Desperately searching for an issue to be less than apathetic about, centrists are increasingly turning to an extremist anti-pistachio agenda to rally voters. That’s according to a recent survey of self-identified American political centrists, who make up a significant portion of the population but struggle to compete with attention-grabbing rhetoric from more extreme sides of the political spectrum. “It’s sort of like a rallying kind of thing,” explains Molly, who identifies as center-right. “Like, moderates exist, here we are, we hate pistachios—now get out there and vote!”

Political analysts agree that it’s a smart move. “You know, the left has the social justice thing, the right has the pro-life, Second Amendment thing, but what do centrists have?” says Dave Figlioni, a writer and professor of Political Science. “Finally, just in time for the midterms, they have something to unite them: disdain for the pistachio.”

In particular, anti-pistachio sentiment has spread like wildficre on social media platforms. A viral video on TikTok features one user declaring “I was born into a society that taught me it’s okay to like pistachios. Now I know better.” The clip has spawned hundreds of imitations, some in jest and some apparently genuine. On Twitter, meanwhile, #EndPistachios began trending after Erwin Graham, an independent candidate in the Georgia midterm elections, tweeted “REPUBLICANS and DEMOCRATS are EVIL for not SPEAKING OUT about PISTACHIOS” on his official campaign account, spawning a cascade of agreement from moderate voters. A number of other independent hopefuls are following suit. Notably, however, none of these anti-pistachioists (or “pistachiain’ts,” a term gaining traction on Reddit) have been able to explain exactly why pistachios are such an abomination. The origins of the movement are equally unclear.

Needless to say, it’s a phenomenon that has baffled Republicans and Democrats alike, who question whether anyone actually believes in the anti-pistachio cause with such fervor. To find out, the Campus Times interviewed a number of Rochester centrists in-person. Most had at least heard of the campaign, and some were staunchly in favor: “I think we should stop treating it like it’s normal, because it’s not,” said a concerned parent of toddlers. “I saw someone eating pistachio ice cream the other day and nobody reacted. We’ve become desensitized to this stuff.” And it’s not just people’s way of thinking that has changed—many, even here in Rochester, are taking drastic action fuelled by pistachio-related radicalism. As of the date of publication, individuals walking behind the Subway on Genesee Street will be treated to a graffiti mural depicting Senate Leaders Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell adorned with devil horns, reveling in a snack of pistachios. Police in counties where pistachios are produced have expressed concerns over possible violence, although they admit the concerns are probably unfounded, since the last recorded instance of political violence instigated by moderates was during the Panic of 1837, when Jeremiah Taylor gave his Whig brother a mild shove. (Witness reports described Taylor fleeing the scene yelling “Martin Van Buren is doing the best he can, you heartless baboon!”)

It remains to be seen how this new development will impact the midterm election results. Whatever the case, the two major parties are already responding. The idea of a “right to pistachios” was reportedly raised in a private meeting of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and sources close to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told the Campus Times that the representative was considering adding a “mild disapproval of mangoes” to his reelection campaign at the last minute. When asked about the reason for the switch from pistachios to mangoes, our source eloquently explained: “He doesn’t want to look like a nut.”

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