“Well, it’s finally over,” I sigh as I lower my aging body slowly into the most comfortable chair I can find at the café.
“You look relieved,” says Beverly as she brings two pots of coffee to the table. “But John boy there looks discouraged.”
“I don’t care what it is,” John mutters. “Just make it an extra jolt because now the work really begins.”
“Whoa, Nellie!” Beverly exclaims. “Then you better load up on our post-election special Sulawesi Toraja Espresso for the long haul.”
“Uh…isn’t that kind of pricey?” I worry.
“Shush,” Beverly whispers. “John will buy anything today.”
“It’s not post-election,” complains John. “It’s post-truth. All emotion and no logic.”
“Okay…” I concede. “But why does that matter now that the Electoral College has officially chosen The Donald as the new president?”
“Now, now, boys, don’t fight.” Beverly intervenes as she fills our two cups. “What ‘real work’ (Beverly makes air quotes) were you talking about when you came in?”
“The popular vote! Just look at the popular vote. Hillary got three million more than Trump!” John shakes his head.
“Such is life,” I commiserate.
“That’s easy for you to say. You love the Electoral College system!” snarks John.
“Well, it is the Constitutional way,” I savor my Asian brew.
“So…John…what is this work you’re talking about?” Beverly presses.
“We need to spread the pie…share the load…have equal distribution…the system is rigged.”
“You know this coffee tastes better with every sip,” I smile.
“Yeah, I was surprised there weren’t more defectors among the Republican electors in the nation’s state capitals yesterday.” Beverly puzzles. “What with the Hamilton Electors campaign and all. I thought some folks would bolt.”
“Party loyalty is hard to crack,” I note.
“Can’t you see that John’s hurting.” Beverly consoles. “You should be more compassionate.”
“You’re right,” I lean forward. “Let’s look at the facts.”
“I don’t trust you,” John wavers.
“Seriously, I agree with you about sharing the pie and more equal distribution,” I acknowledge.
“I don’t think John’s talking about the increasing disparity of wealth in America,” Beverly suggests. “The fact that the divide between the very rich and the poor grows wider every day.”
“Right, I’m talking about how to get more voters back into the Democratic camp in the battleground states of the Midwest,” John clarifies. “What happened to them?”
“You mean the Rust Belt where the manufacturing jobs disappeared and the voters feel abandoned? Where alternative employment has failed to materialize? Where political promises have been forgotten as Washington promoted high tech innovation elsewhere?” I provoke.
“Yes! I know it’s hard to rebuild but something has to be done to regain faith. I mean…”
“Busing?” John and Beverly ask simultaneously. “What does school desegregation have to do with…”
“Busing” I repeat. “Look, Clinton got nearly 3-million more popular votes than Trump. And 4-million of those came in California alone.”
I lean back happily. “There’s your solution, John.”
“Absolutely, you give millions of California Democrats one-way tickets on buses to Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Alaska,” I propose.
“Wait, that seems…just…very wrong somehow,” Beverly argues.
“John, if your friends want to ‘spread the pie…share the load…have equal distribution.’ (I make air quotes) If you all really want to make a difference, I’m sure they’ll step up..and onto those buses…and move east,” I challenge. “Party loyalty, right?”
“I don’t know,” John thinks.
“John, you’re not seriously buying this are you?” Beverly concerns.
“Let’s see, a bus ticket from Pasadena to Madison, Wisconsin is…” (John goes to Google on his cellphone)
“Ah, Sulawesi Toraja Expresso and post-truth. This is a tasty combination,” I smile.
Beverly urges, “John, stop it. Turn off your cellphone. John, John…!”