Part of being a librarian is that you talk. You talk a lot. Much like bartenders and taxi cab drivers, people unburden themselves to you. You become part priest, part counselor, part sounding board.
One of my patrons is a very good man named Keith. I met him years ago when he would come in every weekend and ask how President Obama was doing in the Gallup polling. For several weeks I would perform this task, trying to figure out if he was happy or saddened by his sub-50% numbers. I don’t quite remember how we outed each other, but we discovered that we were kindred souls in our admiration for this president, and have been fast friends since.
He came into the library this week, and as usual, he sat down at the reference desk and we began our kaffeeklatsch, sans the coffee. Our conversations range widely, but politics are always the center of them.
Of course, we were over the moon over the wonderful week we and the President had with ACA and marriage equality. And then the conversation turned to that buffoon, Donald Trump.
“I can’t believe that Trump is doing so well in the polls,” he said.
“I can. He’s the only GOP candidate who’s not hiding his racism. He’s speaking to the GOP program.”
“Oh, now, you don’t really believe that GOP leaders are racist, do you?”
“Of course I do. Look at their utterances.”
“But the intelligentsia is horrified at what Trump is doing.”
“Look Keith, here’s the thing: in their heart of hearts, the ‘smart people’ might be aghast at the naked racism of the base. But, since Nixon, they made the calculation that kowtowing to that racism was the only way they could even hope to stand against the Democrats. And now, after 50 years, they have nothing else. No Republican can win a primary without pandering to that racism. And Democrats won’t let the survivor run away from what he had to do to secure the nomination.”
“They created a monster which is eating them.”
“And I feel no sympathy for them.”