Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Find The Trump Voter

"I just got back from my voting precinct.  I walked in beside an elderly couple, observed a mom inviting her teenage daughters to watch her mark her choice on her ballot, and stood in line behind 2 Muslim women and a young Hispanic woman.  My ID was taken by a woman who may have been of Greek descent, and I was given a ballot by an African-American woman.  A retired white man showed me how to submit my paper ballot, and a college-aged guy gave me my I VOTED sticker.  This is how we roll in America!  Whatever the outcome is today, we are in this together."

This is what my wife wrote yesterday after returning from her trip to Short Pump Elementary School where she had just voted. It was a beautiful sentiment. I too had been in that same gym several hours earlier doing the same thing. I too noticed the diversity of the folks in line ahead of me. But, unlike my wife, I was busy playing a more cynical game called, "Find the Trump voter."

There were about 40 people ahead of me in line when I arrived around 8:00 AM. The first person I noticed was a young guy with a man bun, wearing clothes from the 1970's Goodwill Industries collection. I immediately judged him to be a Bernie Sanders voter. Check.

Since I vote in a Short Pump precinct, there were only two African-Americans in line, a petite older woman directly in front of me and a college aged girl in the front of the line. Considering the fact that blacks are the only demographic in America who vote monolithically, there's a roughly 90% chance that these two women were Hillary voters. Check.

Then it got tougher. Here was a middle aged man with a neatly trimmed beard in khakis. Over there was a older man wearing jeans and a Titleist hat. Behind me, a harried younger woman with two toddlers had just walked in. Any of these people could have been Trump voters. Even the man directly behind me was suspect. He was a large man who smelled of banana bread and had started humming the tune to Onward Christian Soldiers. I thought, either Cruz or Trump. Check.

Then it occurred to me, that others in line might be playing the same game. If so, I wondered how they would judge me. I was wearing black dress pants and a casual shirt, with my black Raybans balanced on top of my head. Maybe the dude with the man bun had me pegged as a self-satisfied suburban sell-out who was probably going to vote for Jeb Bush. Check.

The results from last night were disappointing for me. Rubio came so close to pulling it out here in Virginia, but failed. Cruz won his home state and a couple of neighboring ones to remain relevant. If Rubio doesn't win his home state in a couple of weeks he will be gone. The big winner of the night, again, was Donald Trump. I just can't even.....

But, on the bright side, in my home state, 65% of those who cast ballots in the Republican primary cast them for someone other than Donald Trump. In addition, nowhere last night did he receive a majority of the votes, which I take to believe means that not everyone has taken leave of their senses. Still, unless voters can coalesce around a single alternative, the Republican nomination is Trump's for the taking. For the Democrats, it was never going to be anyone but Hillary Clinton. Note to Sanders supporters: you don't win elections by posting crap on Facebook, you win by actually showing up to vote!

So, now we wait for the next round of contests and look forward to weeks and weeks of political ads. As I walked back to my car after voting, a chilling thought came to mind . . . If America can make it through this election without somebody getting shot it will be a miracle.