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Not too long ago, a bird magically flew down and landed on the podium that Bernie Sanders was using at a Portland rally. Quickly thereafter, the bird became a symbol for Bernie's campaign. It became a symbol from practically the moment it landed. "Bernie Sanders’ little sparrow [is] symbolically significant. His platform emphasizes strength in numbers, people coming together to create change, shunning of extravagant wealth, and an acceptance of everyone, regardless of social status."

Bernie Button

I had a touch of the same symbolism this past Sunday when I wore my Bernie button to the Los Angeles Festival of Books. I didn't notice any other people wearing buttons for candidates (including Bernie), although I met a guy with a Bernie shirt while I was there. My button attracted a lot of attention, though. About 25 people exclaimed, "A Bernie button!", "Feel the Bern," "I hope Bernie wins!", and other positive remarks.

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But the "bird like" symbolism came early on, when I got in line to park my car. You have to pay $12 flat to park at the University of Southern California, where the festival was held. (Better than the $20 they were charging at the public lot across the street.) The line wasn't bad, and I made it to the booth to pay in a few minutes. The ticket taker was really young – he looked 15 or so. He took a glance at me and, with a big grin, said, "Hey, a Bernie button." I had my $20 bill in my hand to pay. Then he grabbed a yellow receipt and handed it to me. "You get comped parking." So I parked for free.

I thought quite a bit about this. I really didn't earn this free parking; Bernie did. So I did what seemed to be the right, symbolic thing to do. I donated $12 to his campaign.


Go Bernie!

Michael T. Hertz