There are three people dressed like Lincoln gazing in my attitude as I curve the Public Square. Cleveland. The third Lincoln from the left is truly “re giving me” the business with his eyes. Thats what they do when theyre looking for you, for their Uber. They try to lock attentions. Cool, I see. Maybe thats my guy. Maybe I get to drive Abraham Lincoln.
I edge to the curb, roll down my space, and call out.” Are you Ken ?” I say in the instructions given by the third Lincoln from the left.” Are you waiting for an Uber ?”
All three Lincolns turn their gaze to me like bearded owls. And the committee is two much shorter Lincolns behind them. Lil’ Lincolns.” We havent started yet ,” one Lincoln says.” Weve have work to do .”
I check my phone again. Kim. Kim , not Ken. “Sorry,” I say. “Sorry.”
I dont know what the Lincolns are there to do, what they want to assert by slapping on those lipless bogus whiskers. From my set behind the rotation, it feels something like a none-of-my-business event. Im exactly an Uber driver.
Its hard to register the tenor of the exhibitions at the Republican National Convention from the front seat of a moving sedan. From where I convene, concepts rise, unfold, get loud, crowds seethe, faces press in, melodies start, containers, invectives are thrown, megaphones, rock and roll, funny hats, person, something, gets publicly excoriated.
And then people will need rides.
Late night, suit crinkled, tie askew, one person speaks from my backseat.” Its not what I signed up for ,” he says of Trump, whose candidacy was thrown in stone merely hours before and only a few hundred grounds from the reces where I picked him up.” But beings voted for him. More polls than anyone in record. So I gotta get in line .”
Are you voting for him?
” Probably not ,” he says.
He chuckles.” No, never ,” he says. This is the refrain in Cleveland.” Im a Republican okay? A real Republican. Thats why Im here. Thats why Ill be here in four years. Until then, Ill digest this person .”
So why not vote for him?
” For me its the immigration concept ,” he says,” And that friggin wall. I mean, my wife is Mexican. Theres too much to justify about the guy .” We stare at the yellow-white strand of streetlights along Cedar Road. Late at night, Cleveland is a small metropoli again.
The College Kids
I schooled college for 28 times, and college girls know concepts. They know that writing is hard-boiled. So who better to judge whether Melania Trump plagiarized the First lady than the generation thathas learned to live in the cold darknes of Internet temptation presented by the availability of easy clip-and-paste solutions to writing troubles? I asked all the college girls that journey with me. They were uniform. Same answer, in slight variances, with no pause , no matter who they arevoting for.
Yeah, thats piracy . Yes . Well, its plagiarism . Obviously . Right. That is theft . Its filch. Thats infringement . Textbook infringement .
Only one recent college grad , now a fundraiser for the Heritage Foundation, suggesteda different potential. This, on a journey from a remarkable museum to a Politico function by the water:” I think its a distraction ,” he said.” I think they wanted to take the eyes of the commonwealth off the storey engage yesterday. That was a real campaign. And no one covered it today because everyone was haunted with this theft mess .”
His sidekicks objected.” You think they did it on purpose ?” one said.
” I think its arguable it wasnt plagiarized ,” he went on. But they hooted him down, exhorted him to be real.
“Yeah,” he said.” Yeah, I know. She didnt do it on purpose though. Im just saying maybe somebody did .”
End of day, I had a long price, an hour and 16 times, 11 miles exclusively within the downtown province, is an attempt to get about a town clapped shut by roadblocks, with a wonderfully loud-mouthed, totally clearheaded woman from the East Coast. She identified her capacity in the articles of the convention as a catalyst. She connects people. She moves coin. She makes happens happen.
The Calayst has been to six conventions, she said. “This is a shitshow,” she excused.” The worst drain pact ever. And “thats just not” the working party I connected. Trump and his parties are not people I know. Or want to know. I didnt come here to meet them, or familiarize myself with them. I came here because this is my party and I have to believe it will subsist these morons. The moron.
So, let me guess: Anybody but Hillary, right? Youll sit this one out?
” Im voting for Hillary ,” she said clearly.” Because that is the only real dissent be voting in favour of a real Republican. Thats how much it matters to me that he doesnt win, and that it registers with the party for the future .”
People who arent in Cleveland most often ask me one of two questions about me being an Uber driver at the RNC.
1) Does it feel hazardous?
2) Are the Republican playing Pokemon GO?
It does not feel especially dangerous. The most common view in downtown Cleveland this week was a groups of seven officers, motioning groupings of ninecops through a cross walk, as they watch 13 cops on superhighway motorcycles sizzle through the intersection. It feels snug with armour in the same way Times Square feels snug with shield. Wow. So numerous policemen. So many dark possibilities. Something could happen here. It genuinely could. Something bad. Oh ogle! Shaved ice!
I eventually learnt Kimthe Uber fare who was standing around the square from the many Lincolns. It turned out she’s a talk radio multitude from Boston. I expected her, as we left the city, ramp-climbing one of the interstates,” Does it feel dangerous here to you ?”
When she didnt respond right away, I stupidly crowded in the quiet.” I necessitate its doesnt to me. It feels absurdly safe. It must really ogle different on television .”
She ignored me. Wisely.” I was at the Boston Marathon bombing ,” she said.” And this feels something like that. Beings moving around. Sunny day, enormous date. I was going out of the truck when we heard the first explosion. And we knew it was going to be bad .”
And after a minute she said, Everything changed. Since then, I dont know .”
I gestured my acquiescence. What could I add?” I represent ,” she persisted.” I dont know threat anymore .”
My tires thrummed that interstate.
As for the second question from the outside world, heres a final complete from your transporter, the Uber captain of Euclid Street.
According to a young GOP pollster, who caught a travel to The Intercontinental Hotel from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:” The harbour was over-run with Charizards this entire week. And there are about five really good gyms down there. And tons of liquid Pokemon for the taking !”
Oh, Cleveland! Oh, humanity.
Trump: 14 votes
Clinton: 8 votes