God bless America, Land that I love, Stand beside her and guide her, Thru the night with a light from above;
From the mountains, to the prairies, To the oceans white with foam, God bless America, My home, sweet home. God bless America, My home, sweet home.
My parents retired to a small mountain town in North Carolina about ten years ago, an area they have had a second home in for twenty years or so. The community is made up of three type of residents; part-timers, people who come-up in the Summer and on holidays, full-timers, people, like my parents, who are retried or just wanted a change of scenery and decided this is where they would spend the rest of their life and the natives, mountain people whose families have lived there for generations.
This is a white community, a very white community, 96% white. It is also a heavy Evangelical Christian region primarily under the Southern Baptist banner. Between the conservative, wealthy, white retired business executives and the white Evangelical natives an Asian, gay man would stick out like a sore thumb. Hell he would probably make the front page of the weekly paper.
For the residents of this little community this is their America, the America they support, the America they breath. An America dream where the men drive pick-up trucks and shoot guns and the women raise children and bake apple pies. They are not interested in change, they will keep their guns, money and freedom and everyone else can keep the change as Hank Williams, Jr. sang.
But in their minds the American dream is under siege by the government, liberals, and city people. Obama represented city people, not them. The American dream has eroded. The factories their Daddy and their granddad worked for have moved to Mexico. They don’t know who to blame so the government is the most convenient culprit. Mom can’t afford to stay home with the kids and bake pies and sew anymore so they blame the government for that too. These are people who honor the past, veterans, and God. They are terrified of the future, and refuse to change. Talk isn’t the answer. Bombs get your attention and the point across. We are Americans, this planet wouldn’t survive without us. Simply stated, don’t mess with the good old U-S of A.
Like every small town across America this community has a July the 4th parade led by the Sheriff and his deputies on horseback. There are no grand floats, just tractors pulling trailers. Elected officials ride in convertibles with cardboard signs, Church youth groups walk the route throwing out candy to the crowds lining the street, dance troupes clog their way down Main Street, and anyone and everyone that owns a motorcycle or an old truck or Model T fills in the gaps. The end of the parade is always the same, every emergency vehicle the town owns brings up the rear with sirens blazing.
As I stood on the side of the road watching this little slice of Americana pass me by I understood how and why Donald Trump was elected President. He sold the people in these little sleepy communities an enchanted picture of the past. A picture painted with tough words, baseball caps, and a catchy red, white and blue slogan. Never mind that this man has never gotten dirt under his manicured fingernails, or gutted a deer and wouldn’t be caught dead in a pair of Wrangler jeans and a t-shirt. He was the anti-Obama, anti-government, anti-Democrat candidate.
If any of these red, white and blue patriots had done even the smallest shred of research they would have uncovered several pro-Obama, pro-government, and pro-Democrat traits in Trumps past. But they didn’t. They bought the bluster, and the marketing and the propaganda from a man without a plan beyond running for President.
Trump pitted the metropolitan against the rural. This from the man who is the poster child for the metropolitan. He likes to portray himself as the everyday man, the modern-day Andrew Jackson the “people’s president”. But I just don’t get it. Jim Coffey who lives in a double-wide, works for the state on the road crew, grows a few Christmas trees, and does a little farming on a steep, rocky patch of land his family has owned for 150 years couldn’t walk through the front door of Trump Towers or make it through the gate of Mar-a-Lago. But Donald Trump, the man who has been married three times, the man who lives in a 33,000 square foot penthouse with 24K gold bathroom fixtures speaks for the Jim Coffey’s of the world. I just don’t get and I have yet to have a Trump supporter be able to explain it to me. Apparently being the old white male, anti-Obama, anti-government, anti-Democrat man without a plan is enough for Jim Coffey. Is it enough for you?