February 16, 2017: A woman and her dad push their grocery cart down the aisle where I am a bagger. I have a niggling feeling I’ve bagged for them before and it did not end well, but that’s as far as memory takes me. Today she loads her groceries onto the belt and stations herself to watch as prices scan onto the computer screen above the cashier’s head. “Paper and plastic or plastic?,” I inquire. She responds, “Paper,” then says smugly, “So. How are the election results working out for you now?” Oh. Now I remember our last encounter. One month into his presidency, this same woman is seeking confirmation that she was correct: President Trump is a moron. But to her annoyance, I say, “Oh, isn’t that your Dad? I’m glad to see you again.” I ask his name and she tells me it is Eric but adds he will never remember me anyway. She does not say this meanly, but matter-of-factly. I say “Hello, Eric” and his answering smile is like the sun coming out from behind a cloud.
February 18, 2017: Today I am bagging for a cashier named Debbie. An older gentleman comes down the line wearing a bright red Make America Great Again baseball cap. Debbie has only recently stopped wearing a safety pin that denotes her solidarity with those who think President Trump is dangerous. This should be interesting, I think. “Paper and plastic or plastic?” I ask. He replies, “Oh, I don’t know. You’re the expert, do what you think.” Debbie doesn’t utter a word and processes his order with unusual velocity. I want desperately to nod at his hat and signal my approval but Debbie is too watchful and the moment passes. When he departs, she turns to me and hisses, “I wanted to say, ‘You don’t know anything! You voted for Trump!” I like Debbie and don’t want to endanger what passes for friendship, so I let it go.
This is what I find intriguing. First, what is it about liberals who assume I think as they do? Is it that I am a bagger, i.e., lower class, who would then, presumably, be on the same page as they politically? Or, is it that they discern a lively intelligence that is the province of liberals alone? (I’d like to think the latter—surely someone so clever, so witty cannot be a Trump supporter!) Second, do they not see the American flag pin affixed to my work apron? I mean, not many liberals wear American flag pins except when it behooves them to win an election. At least that’s been my experience.
But today the liberals are enraged and it is obviously important to them that we all know it, all day every day. Joy Behar can't go five sentences without dragging the conversation to where she can smack the President around. Berkeley students opposed to right-wing Trump supporter Milo Yiannopoulos speaking there were successful in turning his caravan away and causing $100,000 damage to the campus in the process. During Donald Trump's inauguration, parts of Washington, D.C.--just blocks from where he was taking the oath of office--were trashed, cars burned, storefronts smashed.
None of this should come as a surprise, however. The lead-up to Trump’s win was a prelude of what was to come—remember all the protests at his rallies? So the conservatives went underground, and to some degree, I think we still are. As long as the liberals are going to be hankering for a fight, we'll not be obvious, but we'll have our secret handshake. It's the American flag.
© Scwolfrom 2017. All Rights Reserved.