I voted yesterday — and the joint was packed! The county’s early voting polling place on 7th St. had a line snaking out the door. But I’ll tell you this, they’ve got the operation down. From getting in line to attaching the “I Voted, Have You?” sticker to my shirt, a total of a mere 15 minutes elapsed. They’re running an assembly line, babies.
So what can I conclude from this experience? Well, we need some more data points:
- I’ve been hearing this time and again since early voting started this time around: the polling place has been crowded every day
- Women came out in droves for the May primary
- Taylor Swift gave the pop music crowd a…, well, swift kick in the pants the other day and there ensued a significant bump in millennials’ voter registrations
That enough for you? We’ll see in 20 days. The Pollyanna in me sez scads of voters from sea to shining…, or should I say non-voters; those who went AWOL in 2016, opening the door for this holy land’s first Jerk Presidency, are suffering from well-deserved senses of humiliation and shame and are eager to atone for their mortal sin.
Women are more enraged than ever now that President Gag’s second Supreme Court nominee — that’s right, the Wannabe Corporate Fascist has installed two associate justices on this nation’s highest bench — skated through sexual assault charges and got hisself confirmed by a bunch of alabaster he-men.
For the most part, Hillary Clinton, the greatest lightning rod for borderline psychotic hatred in American history, is pretty much sitting this campaign out. Natch, she’s not running but, thankfully, she’s also largely keeping her mouth shut, giving the hate-mongers little ammo on that front.
In any case, maybe — just maybe — there will be a Blue Wave next mo.
Then again, I should have learned two years ago never again to make election predictions.
A Brainy Pol
Loyal Pencillistas are well aware that I’ve rarely dodged an opp. to lambaste our town’s reigning mayor. For chrissakes, I’ve practically begged a certain county official to throw her hat into next year’s mayoral race.
Nevertheless, I’ve got to say this about the Honorable John Hamilton: the dude is a reader, kids. F’rinstance, he’s devouring a biography of the Hoosier State’s own Wendell Willkie, and if you don’t know who that cat was, y’all oughtta at least look him up on Wikipedia. He ran for president in 1940 against two-time incumbent Franklin Roosevelt and then tried to run for the Republican nomination in ’44 but fell embarrassingly short. He was what we in a later day might have called a Rockefeller Republican, meaning he was rather progressive on social issues. Almost alone among GOP-ers in the days leading up to America’s entry in WWII, he was a strong proponent for our land’s international involvement.
Mayor Hamilton eats that kind of stuff up as well as some of the most important and compelling fiction, both classic and modern. Hell, he’s almost as well-read as his bride, law school prof. and former Clinton and Obama administration shingle Dawn Johnsen. The two of them bounce into the Book Corner on any given Saturday and chatter about all the impressive tomes they’ve read.
In the long run, I want my public officials to be readers rather than barely functionally literate louts like, well, you know who.
Gas Money Guzzlers
I dunno if the laws have been changed recently but I notice a disturbing new trend at gas stations. Seems a lot of them are posting phony prices on their signs.
Like you, I’m an inveterate gas shopper. By & large, I stop at the cheapest station so long as it’s not some cut-rate purveyor of rubbing alcohol. Finding the best deal on motor juice ought to be a simple procedure — simply find the lowest price posted. But some stations these days are pulling a fast one. A few months ago when gas prices topped $3.00 hereabouts, I saw one sign proclaiming the fuel’s availability for $2.65. Bingo — I squealed into the joint and stuck the nozzle in my gas hole. Lo and behold, the price registered as $3.05. Some quick detective work revealed that the $2.65 quote was for “Members Only,” a caveat in the smallest possible type on the station’s main sign. Now that’s fraudulent kids, no matter what the law says.
When I’m careening down the boulevard at 53 mph, I ain’t got time to read the fine print.
There ought to be a law.
My KInd Of Town
Spent the afternoon in Indy yesterday after dropping off The Loved One at a downtown hotel for some professional conference or another.
Make no mistake, Indy — for a big city — is awfully nice and awfully manageable.
First off, this state’s capital missed the building boom of the 1980s and ’90s, meaning all its old, quaint, pretty structures from the later years of the 19th Century and the opening anni of the 20th, weren’t yanked down, higgledy-piggledy, to be replaced by soulless glass and steel boxes. So when Indy’s downtown renaissance finally did come, it was at a time when we all were attuned to the historic and esthetic values of heretofore underused Art Deco structures, modernist towers, neo-classical public buildings, and even Palladian cultural centers.
Then there’s Indianapolis’s refreshing dearth of crowds. Like the town’s award-winning airport, the city is fabulous because, in the main, nobody’s around mucking up the place. There’s everything you can want in a big city: live theater, museums, monuments, tall buildings, fine restaurants, and the one or two hundred people who do traverse downtown Indy’s streets are representative of many of the world’s races, creeds, colors, and toupee styles. Traffic moves swiftly, there’s rarely a tie-up, thousands upon thousands of pedestrians aren’t converging on your hot rod the nanosecond the light turns yellow, and so motoring through the central city is a dream.
Now get this, I had to pick up TLO at five o’clock, normally an apocalyptic hour in any other big city. Somehow, though, I knew that if I drove directly up to the big downtown hotel where her meeting was, I’d be able to stow my iron remarkably close to my destination.
Y’know what? I found a parking space half a block from the hotel and, to top it all off, there was an hour and a half left on the meter!
That’s a city I can love.