The Corner

Campaign 2016: Scenes from a Diner

Pre-concert, I was at a diner, close to Carnegie Hall. An old waiter friend said, “You should have been here a couple of hours ago! Bernie Sanders was here! We all had a picture taken with him.”

Wish I had been there. Wish I could give you a report. But I can tell you this:

Sat at a table cheek by jowl with two women. Their discussion turned to politics (alas). One said, “Can you believe that Ted Cruz went to a matzah factory? The nerve! Who’s he trying to fool?”

I fancy myself pretty good at interpretation, but, honestly, I could not quite tell what the lady meant. I’m not sure whether her friend understood. I think the lady meant roughly this: “How dare Ted Cruz be a human being, instead of my cartoon of him! Shouldn’t he be in a fundamentalist church down South, handling snakes, instead of up here in a matzah factory?”

The more people know Ted, I think, the more they will like him. They will see how broad he is. And how American. He loves the country, in all its diversity. (I am using “diversity” in the old sense, not in the modern, corrupted, nauseating one.)

As I’ve mentioned before, Ted is nuts about musical theater. And movies. And the rest of that general world. I think he’s settling for the presidency because musical theater is not an option. Pretty sure he’d tell you the same thing.

A tidbit about Heidi? Well, I’ll tell you this: If New York is not her favorite city in the world, I’ll eat my hat. And yours.

As I was leaving the diner, I performed an act of magnanimity (if I say so myself): I offered those two yentas half of the enormous cookie I had ordered (warm, with whipped cream). They gaily declined. They were very friendly, which is their natural state, I know.

They have been badly, badly misled. They haven’t the foggiest idea what conservatism is or who conservatives are. I’ve seen it all my life, starting in Ann Arbor.

If your world is the New York Times, the college you went to, and the products of Hollywood — how do you ever learn? How do you bust out of the cocoon? How did I? Well, I guess I found Bill Buckley and Norman Podhoretz — and there was no turning back …


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