In a long election year of Uber driving, I heard many things. On occasion, I was asked pointed political questions.
Guess who people wanted to talk about?
Some were eager to let me know how wonderful or terrible Trump was. Others, very furtively, wanted to suss out my views. It was phrased in terms of gee, what are other people saying?
Quietly, they were seeking my consent to vote for him.
Lotsa Bernie People in my Uber, too, and they were a very agreeable bunch. Free college for everybody may not be sound fiscal policy but it galvanized people and you have to give a measure of respect for the enthusiasm of your fellow Angelenos. Bernie put meat on the table. So did Godzilla.
No one asked about Hillary. Her name went unmentioned in Hillary-ville, across a span of 1,436 Uber rides. Jill Stein was mentioned once.
A month ago, I watched her motorcade roll down San Vicente on her way to a fundraiser…black, silent, funereal, an ambulance bringing up the rear. In Brentwood, no one waved. In the break room, my Latino co-workers ignored the TV when election coverage was on, which surprised me.
The gulf between moments like these and the smug triumphalism in the media could not have been broader.
Eight years ago, Barack Obama was presented to the world as Jesus Christ in political form. Once in office, he had nowhere to go but down. Even competent governance would play as anti-climax.
The Trump election has been presented to us as an extinction-level event for democracy. If he manages to not burn down the White House while chasing Melania through the East Wing with a cigar in his mouth, he will surprise to the upside. Imagine all the wet pillows then.