Leftist heartache at the upscale gym
I've sometimes written in these pages about what it's like to be a moderate Republican living in the fifth most progressive ZIP code in America, the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. Before I get to what happened over the weekend, I offer a brief history of some of my experiences.
A few weeks after Trump's election, I was at a restaurant where a large party was celebrating the fact that one of the group members finally had the "courage" to leave her home — apparently being in public in the weeks after Trump won was too frightening for her. A few days later, at a local coffee shop, a man asked that I put away my Wall Street Journal, as it apparently was too triggering for him. About a year ago, a woman sitting next to me on a train made a big show about changing seats, because she saw me posting to a pro-Trump private group on Facebook. About six months ago, a friend who lives in my neighborhood sent me a text canceling our meeting for drinks after work after he watched one of my media appearances, stating: "Until you get on the right side of history, I'm going to need to re-evaluate our friendship." (Proving the old adage that no good deed goes unpunished, I helped this "friend" find a job after he was out of work for six months.)
But none of this prepared me for what happened at my gym this weekend. The gym is located in the heart of the hard-left part of the neighborhood. It's the kind of area where if you wore the hat of a relative "moderate" like Biden, Klobuchar, or Bloomberg, you'd run the risk of someone quickly denouncing you as a racist. (I cannot even imagine what would happen if I wore my MAGA hat.) In any event, the class was especially somber. The instructor asked what was up, and one young white man who looked to be in his late twenties got off his bike in tears and left the room.
The instructor followed him out and then came back in and reported the man was upset about Bernie's loss in South Carolina (an entirely predictable result). Several other class participants nodded their heads in sympathy. The class went on, but at a much less energetic pace than normal.
As I left the gym, I put a note in the comment card dispenser that perhaps the gym should consider hiring grief counselors. If Trump is re-elected, this may be a necessity for many businesses in my neighborhood.
Josh Kantrow is a Chicago cyber-security lawyer.