Last night I was Ubering and I got a ride request at the old landmark Johnnies Coffee Shop on Fairfax and Wilshire. It was lit up like Christmas and surrounded with placard bearing Bernie people cheering at passing cars. The exterior had been Bernie-ified with hagiographic muraling and artwork.
Enthusiasm was infectious. My rider, a young man bedazzled in campaign togs and paraphernalia, reluctantly broke away from a group of friends plotting Election Day volunteer assignments. Door knocking? Yes! Phone banking? We’ll do that too!
He needed to get home, to Beverly Hills, in time for curfew. And by Beverly Hills, I mean all the way up, as Fat Joe would say, way up past the Hotel, past the reservoir where Jake Gittes lost the tip of his nose, up where the architectural showcases perch on the spines of the ridge tops looking down the city like glass box gargoyles. He was 17.
“Tomorrow 8 PM, is going to be the most stressful day of my life, even more than the SAT.”
I asked him for a prediction. Even though he was unable to cast a ballot, he didn’t want to jinx it. As a backstop, there was always the hope of a Hillary indictment before July. But he hoped they didn’t need it.
Tomorrow is now today and in a few hours, by the time most of you have read this, we will know the answer to the first question.
He talked on, cheerfully dogmatic, about the banks and the oil companies running the country, how they had to be stopped, and how that would help put an end to inequality. He was a Mini-Me Bernie, minus the Brooklyn accent, chattering away in the back seat, texting friends, making plans. He was so sweet about it, one couldn’t mock him, even in the privacy of one’s thoughts.
If nothing else, this primary election, the first to matter in my lifetime, found a way of gathering a critical mass of idealists to each side. None were more positive and hopeful, in LA anyway, than the Bernie people. It speaks well of them.
When I got home I turned on the TV and saw that MSNBC had “called” the election for Hillary, before any ballots had been counted.