Biden has taken the lead in our current election—a good thing!—and is likely to win. But here’s a memory of an election that went—the wrong way.
The stolen 2000 election. I’m still traumatized by that fucking thing.
I was driving a cab in those days. I went and voted (my man Gore!) and then hit the streets, hoping to make good money. And I did! It was very busy. Lots of activity.
At one point in the evening I was dropping off a journalist (from New York Magazine, I think) at the Governor’s Mansion. I was dropping him off on the Guadalupe side, and he was paying, when around the corner came a battalion of drunk frat boys chanting “Bush! Bush! Bush!” One of them had uprooted an unfortunate bit of shrubbery and was waving it around. And there were many other trips, and the night went on, and it got cold and rainy, and my cab was acting hinky—stalling and lurching.
Around 10pm I was going by the Governor’s Mansion again, and a DPS trooper flagged me down. I pulled over. One of the drunk frat boys—well, a drunk frat boy—was with him. “This guy’s had too much to drink,” the trooper said. “Can you take him home?”
That’s always an unpleasant thing to hear. But, yeah, I took the kid. At Guadalupe and MLK he bailed on me. A fare jumper! I pulled out my maglight and took off after him—I was going to smash the little fucker—but he dodged into a convenience store and cowered by the cashier and I didn’t want to smash him in front of witnesses and so he got away and he probably voted for Trump this year, the piece of shit.
I drove on. Made more trips. I listened to returns coming in on the radio, and it was grim. Gore conceded. I was bummed.
Then my cab broke down, on MLK by the university. I had passengers in the car—I called for another cab to take them, and then I called for a tow truck for my cab, and then I called for a cab for myself and I left my cab blocking a lane in the rain.
By the time I got back to my apartment more returns were coming in. I got in my personal car, went to the grocery store, and by the time I came back, Gore had unconceded and was ahead.
Judy Woodruff was on CNN being speechless. (This is about the time I stopped watching CNN—their coverage was lame. Over on MSNBC, Mike Brzezinski was scribbling numbers on a whiteboard and Lester Holt was calm and collected).
I drove some Japanese journalists around for a couple of nights. They said they were going to mention me in their story, and they sent me a link—but it was in Japanese, so I couldn’t read it.
One afternoon I was explaining the electoral college to a woman who was confused about the process, and she said—“You sure know a lot, for a cab driver.”
Yeah, fuck you, too.
I was in line out at the airport when Gore made his second concession speech. I was just—fucking sad. And angry.
So much was lost.