Politics, By Way of Nashville

Because sometimes, we all need to laugh at politics or parenting or life, I present to you:

The Day I (Really) Should Have Known Trump Would Win

Two weeks before the election, a friend and I went to Nashville for a girls’ weekend. Nashville is a vibrant city, filled with young people, artists and musicians, all hipper than I will ever be. The bartender in one of the trendy restaurants, a recent transplant from San Francisco, told us that 90 people a day are moving to Nashville. While I didn’t check his numbers, it’s clearly an up-and-coming city.

One night, we wandered “South of Broadway”, with its Honkey Tonks-bars and clubs where amazing Nashville musicians play for tips. Like Goldilocks, it took us a few tries to find the club with the right fit. The first bar was too hottie, crawling with bachelorette parties, the second too filled with sleaze. The third was Layla’s, a casual music club and the home of Nashville Hillbilly Music, according to their sign. We grabbed a spot at the front of the balcony bar, and chatted with an older couple next to us.

They were gregarious and easy to talk to. They had been visiting Nashville from the mountains in North Carolina for years, they said. They told crazy stories about New Year’s Eves on Broadway and lamented that lack of dance space in the bars since the tourists moved in.

Thirty minutes into the music, the husband, who was a couple drinks in by now, leaned over to me and whispered, “So, who are you going to vote for?”

Me: Shocked silence.

I live in Seattle. I believe in marriage equality, in women’s rights and racial harmony. I want a ban on assault weapons, laws that support reproductive rights and legal pot, even if I’ve never tried the stuff. Hell, I drive a Subaru and I’m not actually into country music. I am a walking liberal stereotype. I know this.

I tried to change the topic, to steer the conversation in another direction. I tried to pivot.

It didn’t work. “No, seriously, I want to know. Who are you going to vote for?”

Me: Uncomfortable silence.

I told him that I thought that politics and religion should stay out of the bar.

“Now I’m really curious! Who are you voting for?”

Finally, I told him I was a woman from Seattle, and those two facts alone should point him in the likely direction of my vote.

Which is when his wife leaned over and said, “But do you like facts?”

Yes, I told them, I do. I do like facts.

There was a pregnant pause. Then, they both started to talk at once. “So, who are you voting for?” he said. “Do you care about Benghazi?” she said.

At this point, my friend, also a walking liberal stereotype, started eyeing the door.

We had a moment of reprieve. Two young guys on the other side of North Carolina couple jumped the conversation, to shout their support for Trump. Then another. And a few more.

There we were. Just two liberal 40-something gals at a spontaneous Trump rally in a bar in Nashville, the town that is young and hip and artsy and full of musicians and transplants from all over the country.

Right there. That’s the moment that I should have realized what this election would bring.

I leaned over to my new friend and his wife.

“If you are going to run us out of the bar, could you give us a little notice? We just want some time to get ahead of the crowd and get down the stairs.”

I was enveloped in an inebriated hug. “We’re not going to chase you out. You’re an American. I’m an American. We gotta get along. Also, my wife and I are going to steal Johnny Cash’s mailbox tonight.” Then he high-fived me, repeatedly.

Everybody returned to the music, except my Johnny Cash super-fan friend. He proceeded to tell me, in great detail, the elaborate plan to steal the mailbox. Where it was located. Why it had not yet been liberated from its legal home. How he and his wife were the perfect people to own it.

He was hilarious, although possibly not covert enough for his operation. I left shortly after and on my way out, I told his wife good luck with the Johnny Cash mailbox mission. Her mouth dropped open. “I can’t believe he told you that!” Then she hugged me goodbye.

I don’t if they ever managed to get Johnny Cash’s mailbox. But if it’s gone, I don’t know anything about who took it or where in the mountains of North Carolina it might be. Because I’ve got their backs. Just like they had mine.

2 thoughts on “Politics, By Way of Nashville

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