"What did you think?"
"Oh.. I don't know. It was fine. A little college lecture-y."
"That's what I need! I tried hopes and dreams—we didn't get shit!!! Now we need a fucking plan."
. . .
There's a little old lady holding a protest sign out front along with a handful of other diehards. It reads, "I STAND WITH TRUMP." She's someones gramma, I suppose. That's a damn shame. Some eight year old somewhere is explaining to his Mexican friends, "I don't know, man. She got in with a bad crowd. Someone left the channel on Fox News in the old folks home and the next thing you know she was screaming BUILD THE WALL!!! BUILD THE WALL!!! Now she's out on the streets at random hours of the day holding up signs. She didn't used to be like this. She used to be decent. She used to bake me cookies."
. . .
How much of the dumpster fire we're living through right now is because the average American wants to be bigger than they have any right to be? And they'll vote for whoever tells them that they can? Where is the leader to sit us down and explain that we've wasted our resources and poisoned the earth and we're all pretty much fucked now? That we need people to start looking for high ground and figure out how we're going to live without electricity. Instead we've got a room full of suits talking about free college. Seriously? Free college? We need to start asking about free boats. I'll immediately switch my vote to whoever starts staging rallies where people are handed identification pamphlets to help learn which plants are edible and how to start fires with two sticks. Just kidding. According to climate scientists the vegetation likely won't survive.
. . .
There's a Navy Admiral on the stage talking up about how much it annoys him that people assume Military families are Republican. Having grown up a Navy brat and having spent a fair amount of time around bases, I can affirm that most Military people are for spending more money on the Military. I don't know which party that translates to, but I suspect it ranges towards the conservative side of things.
. . .
There's an awful lot of press in the building. I just talked to a guy from a Canadian paper. There's two news crews from Japan? I'm standing on a spot on the risers marked "Still Photography Only -- Please Rotate." I seem to be the only one taking photos from this vantage, everyone else is shooting with video cameras that cost more than my house. CNN, Fox, and CBS have spots one riser down from me. I keep expecting someone to tell me I'm not supposed to be here, but I'm left alone to snap away.
. . .
She's talking about hardship. A father who almost dropped dead of a heart attack. A mother who had to take on a minimum wage job to keep food on the table. A compelling story about how her mom sat on a bed chanting over and over again, "We won't lose the house." But the people she needs most to reach are sitting around asking, "How'd they buy the house in the first place?" The people she needs to reach the most aren't here. Because they can't afford a car and it takes two hours to get anywhere on a bus. The people she needs to reach the most had to take an extra shift on their second job because they've already used up their ten day grace period on the eviction hearing, and shit is getting real. Whoever taps into that vote, whoever figures out how to get them to the polls? They'll win by a landslide.
. . .
Can she win? I don't know. Probably? Pundits are talking up how hard he's gonna be to beat, but he lost the popular vote by a not-insignificant figure and it was really only about 85,000 people across three states who swung the electoral college his way. There's an argument to be made that she's too far to the left, that she'll energize the hoarders of our wealth to bring the hammer down. That people who are comfortable will vote with their worst instincts. On the other hand, maybe we live in a world where taking a selfie with someone seals the deal? And she's letting anyone and everyone who wants to take a selfie with her. And maybe the message she's pushing as she stands next to each and every one of those selfie loving believers will reach the people she most needs to.
Should she win? That's a more complicated question. I have a hard time believing that anyone who would run for the office deserves it, but maybe she's for real? Maybe the hardships of her early childhood made the kind of mark some of us want in a leader. There are worse options, I suppose. Really, I'm trying to vote for whoever will keep the casualties to a minimum while the world burns. I'd like to believe there's more ahead than that. I really would.
But the three thousand or so folks who showed up tonight obviously think there's more than that. They're true blue supporters who believe in her message. That's gotta count for something. Maybe they know something I don't. Maybe I should take the time to listen.
Maybe she really does have a plan for this?