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."
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.
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.
Michael T. Hertz