The minivan slows to a crawl, then dies. The Latina driver with her daughter unbuckled in the front seat frantically tries the starter but the engine refuses to turn over. Within seconds she is surrounded by white men. Again she tries the engine, pumping the accelerator furiously, beads of sweat appearing on her forehead as she mumbles for the car to start. It refuses. She is stuck and on her own.
One of the men shakes his head. “Sounds like your battery’s dead. You need a jump.” The shoppers exiting Walmart smile benignly as the traffic moves slowly around the stranded minivan. No one honks. Honking is considered extremely rude unless you are using it to get the attention of someone you know.
I return to my SUV with the “Hillary For Prison 2016” bumpersticker and pull up in front of her and pop my hood as she exits. “What happened,” I asked.
“I was waiting,” she said, “Then the car stop.”
“That’s not the battery,” I said to the old man who became the de facto leader of our group of Deplorables. “The alternator should have kept it running.”
But I had cables so we popped the minivan’s hood and I attached them. Resetting them several times and gunning my engine failed to make any difference in the sound coming from the minivan’s engine. The thing was dead.
I put away the jumper cables as the Deplorables considered what to do next. The car had died right in front of the entrance, blocking traffic passing in front of the store as well as foot traffic into it. The old man decided the safest bet was to push the car in reverse and turn the wheels so that she backed into a parking aisle and into a parking spot marked with stripes.
Using simple English and gestures I tried to explain to the woman what I needed her to do, but when our group of Deplorables attempted to push her car, she didn’t turn the wheel, so we ended up pushing her along the front of the store.
One of the big Deplorables, a well-built man in his fifties with tattoos shook his head and sighed “Women drivers.” He pointed out to a young man with a slight build, “Why don’t you get in there and drive?”
So the woman got out and the Deplorable kid got in. The rest of the group pushed the car forward a bit, then gently pushed it backward, shepherding it into the spot where it was out of the way of traffic yet with easy access to the engine or for towing. I noticed the woman was on her cellphone, and I assumed she was calling for help.
And just like that, with no word of thanks, our little group of Deplorables dissolved into the crowd of larger deplorables here in rural North Carolina, a place where Hillary Clinton will never visit populated with people she hates. And though they will never say it (because it involves public swearing) none of them gives a damn what Hillary Clinton thinks.