Mined from the notebooks. Wednesday. September 7, 2016. Posted Friday, September 23.
What I was saying a little while back about those aggressive drivers of bright shiny new pickup trucks?
Not all those bad drivers are Trump supporters. Not all Trump supporters are bad drivers. But I think it can be safely assumed that many Trump supporters, if they’re not menaces to traffic, go out of their way to make themselves obnoxious in some other way. They’re like Trump himself in that regard. Never happy unless they’re sticking it to someone else. Like this guy we saw yesterday, driving his not very bright, not very shiny, not very new pickup with a YUGE American flag flying from the bed, a TRUMP sticker on the rear window, and a Gadsden yellow and black DON’T TREAD ON ME sticker on the gate.
His obnoxiousness wasn’t in how he was driving or what he was driving but in where he was driving.
We were up on Ken’s new college campus, picking him up after class. SUNY New Paltz is one of the best and artsy-est and most diverse of New York state’s colleges. The village of New Paltz is decidedly Bernie Sanders’ kind of town. It’d be Jill Stein’s kind of town, if she wasn’t such a crank. It’s had a Green mayor who got himself in trouble by marrying same-sex couples years before that was legal here. The driver, a middle-aged character wearing a fatigue cap, knew he was in what he surely regards as enemy territory. I suppose he could have been a non-traditional student. He could have been what I was, just a dad with a kid enrolled there. He could have been a professor. He could have been on the staff. He could have just been lost.
He could have been.
But I doubt it.
He was looking for a fight.
At least one he could fight and win in his own head.
The country is full of guys like him, middle-aged and old men out looking for fights---young men too---not out of meanness or simple belligerence or because they’re full of restless, violent energies that need to be let loose.
They’re desperate to make a point. Not necessarily a political point. In fact, even the ones who think they’re making a political point are probably really making another point. I’m here. I’m alive. I matter. I have worth. I have strength. I have a right to be here. Here being the planet.
These guys are in an argument with a Fate that has decreed they’re to live lives less than they deserve, to be less than they feel they are.
I’ve written before how I think Trump is the candidate of these men. Angry, insecure, disappointed men, needing to feel like the heroes they believe they should have been, could have been, would have been, if only…
I imagine this guy driving through campus every day, hoping. Hoping someone will give him a reason to stop. Some student will mouth off from the crosswalk. Some professor on his---or her, maybe preferably her---bicycle will roll up next to him at a stop sign and sneer or sniff or scold. And he’ll have his chance. He knows what he’ll say. He knows how he’ll shut them up, make them squirm, leave them speechless and sputtering and embarrassed and beaten.
Then he''ll drive to his favorite bar or diner or coffee spot where he'll meet up with a friend or two, angry, insecure, disappointed men like himself, and tell them how he won the day on their behalf or would have won it. And for a little while they'll sit there enjoying the moment, feeling like the winners they know they’d have been, if only...