Politics in a Lyft Ride

by Isabella Waldron

A dramatic scene with my Lyft driver “Rob”

(P.S. This actually happened)



Rob: So, were you looking at schools out here?

Me: Yep!

Rob: Good, good. You know, if you come here, ya gotta be careful. Find a good group of friends to keep you grounded. Otherwise, you’ll get into some bad stuff…bad stuff.  

Me: (Laughs nervously even though it was not funny)

Rob: I’m a retired NYPD, ya know. I’ve seen a lot.

Me: Wow…yeah, I can —

ROB ignores me and cranks up FOX news on the radio. FOX news talks about assorted political falsities.

Rob: And if you come here, you can’t let those professors fill your head with what they believe in. They try to push their liberal ideas on you, you know.

Me: (Laughs nervously even though it was not funny)

Rob: My son went to college and I’m a conservative but he comes back with all these professors filling his head. What they really gotta do is debate things, ya know, both sides of the story.

Me: Yeah, I could see that.

Rob: I mean there’s Bernie and Hillary and I don’t like those. Then, I got Trump or Cruz and you gotta pick the best for the GOP. They’re both outsiders, which I like. 

ME says nothing, confused as to how Texas Senator Kruz is considered an outsider to politics….

Rob: But the Democrats don’t like them and the Republicans don’t like them and so it’s like, who do they like less, ya know? But I like Trump.

Me: (Tries not to be silent for too long) Oh?

Rob: Yeah, the other candidates, they’ll go on the news and just answer things in a roundabout way, but he’s not a politician, ya know, so he’ll just say a straight answer. I like that.

Me:  Ah.

Rob: You know, now I’ll go into Costco and hear a different language in every aisle.

(ME braces myself for what ROB might say next)

Rob: And I don’t like it. It’s like no one speaks English anymore.

Me: (Dead silence)

Rob: And I’m first-generation American, ya know—

Me: Oh, where’s your family from?

Rob: Italian. But they came here and it was all about assimilating, ya know.

Me: Mmhm…

Rob: So I support Trump when he says this stuff about building a wall.

ME visually slumps into my seat

Rob: So what do people vote for out in Portland?

ME is pretty sure I must have told him earlier I was from Portland…I hopes…

Me: Well, it’s a pretty liberal place. I mean obviously there are different views, but most of the people I know are voting for either Bernie or Hillary.

ROB pauses, calculating his next move

Rob: I like Bernie but I just think his tax plan will bankrupt America. Socialism has never worked anywhere. In any country, they try it and they fall into ruin.

Me: Well—

Rob: It’s because they tax people who are making $250,000, 75% of their income.

Me: Well, in Sweden they tax about 30% but they get all their education and everything (SEE MY SWEDEN ARTICLE)

Rob: No, no, that’s for people making like $20,000 a year. For people making just a little more, they tax them like 90%.

Me: Um… Really??

Rob: Yep. Yep.


Addendum: The most appalling part of this ride was that somehow it cost me $130.