It probably comes as no surprise to anyone who knows us that we did not vote for the incumbent. But this election has made me think long and hard about the state of our country.
Strangers In A Strange Land
Our hometown—Ashland, Oregon—is about as liberal a town as you’ll find anywhere. That’s one of the things that drew both Eric and me to live there many years ago. For decades, we lived in a town of like-minded folks, where the biggest controversy was how to humanely manage the deer mowing down people’s gardens.
We now find ourselves in Eastpoint, Florida—a stronghold of conservatives, where we are liberal outliers in a community rife with Trump flags and signs.
When we took to the road for our fulltime travels seven-and-a-half years ago, one of my fears was that we wouldn’t find people with whom we had anything in common. That has not turned out to be true. Our network of friends has expanded into a rich and satisfying tribe that extends from coast to coast.
In our travels, we’ve also discovered that people, by a vast majority, are decent. Even if we aren’t destined to become close friends, we’ve been touched time and again by the kindness of strangers, no matter what their political or religious beliefs. That includes our neighbors here in Eastpoint, who have been unfailingly kind and generous as we’ve navigated these difficult months of dealing with my parents’ home, my father’s death, and the pandemic.
The Long Road Ahead
This election was certainly not the Blue Wave that we anticipated. While we are thrilled to have Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as our new president and vice-president, it is painfully clear that we have a long road of healing ahead. And it’s up to us, the people, to heal our nation.
I hope we will be kind to one another, that we will approach each other in a spirit of generosity, that we will listen to each other’s concerns, that we will try to understand, and that we won’t fall into the seductive trap of labeling and dismissing anyone who votes or thinks differently. (I am excluding anyone who voted for Trump for racist reasons. That includes anyone flying a Confederate flag or wearing a MAGA hat. Anything that alludes to the idea of white supremacy is abhorrent.)
We do not have an easy task ahead. Personally, I’ve been outraged and terrified by the behavior of the president of our country over the past four years. But along with the vast majority of our neighbors here in Eastpoint who voted for Trump, Eric and I both have family members and friends who voted for him. These are not racist, unkind, ungenerous people. They had their reasons for voting for Trump, just as we had our reasons for voting for Biden. Somehow, we need to find compromises.
The chasm is wide. But we have to bridge it, for the sake of one another, our country, and our world.
Well said Laurel. The issue I have is that those who support a person who openly encouraged violence and total disregard for our system of laws is very telling about their own values. I can’t associate with those people.
Stay safe and enjoy your travels
Michael, it’s very difficult for me to accept that anyone could possibly support Trump, witnessing the destruction that he’s wrought on our country and knowing that he openly encourages violence and racism.
I’m afraid for our country. I’m holding onto the hope that if we can put aside our differences and our distrust and really listen to each other that perhaps we can come up with some compromises. Those who have white supremacy as a goal do not get a seat at the table, though.
As a combat veteran I have been shaken to the core thinking I came within inches of being killed for a country I no longer recognized. When 45 awarded the Medal of Honor to true heroes it was more than I could take, talk about hypocrisy at the pinnacle of absurdity, that was it.
Thank God we see some positive light at the end of the day.
Be well, love your blogs.
Robert, thank you for your service to our country and for your comment. I can only imagine how devastating it must be to know that you risked your life for a country that is no longer aligned with your values. The hypocrisy of Trump and his disdain for the sacrifices of our country’s military is despicable. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to endure him as the president of our nation.
As you said, we do have light ahead. Here’s to restoring decency to our country!
Always enjoy your articles, just surprised that today’s was political.
I trust that you realize that just because the news media called it does not make it official in any way, shape or form. There is counting still taking place. There is litigation taking place. Lots of drama unfolding. It’s far from over. And finally, the Electoral College casts ballots on December 15th. That’s when the next President is selected. Until then, it’s just noise.
Well said, thank you Laurel. We count ourselves as very fortunate to have met you and Eric along the journey.
And we feel fortunate to have met you and Karen, Riley. Here’s to better days ahead!
M, you’re right, I don’t write a political blog. But this has been such a tumultuous four years, and this is such a pivotal time in our country’s trajectory that I don’t feel like I can write a post right now about our carefree travels in Halifax last summer. This is the most important thing happening right now, and it’s deeply affecting all of us.
Unfortunately, as you said, there is a lot of noise. I’ve never witnessed an election like this. But I believe the people have spoken, and that the message is clear—we must restore decency to our nation.
I’m hoping for a peaceful transition, and that is up to Donald Trump. Whether or not you voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, they have clearly shown by their actions and words that their goal is to heal this tragic divide.
Laurel and Eric- You said it well! What a happy day to wake up to! As Joe has a long history of working “across the aisle”, I feel reassured that our time ahead will be one of cooperation and mending. It may take some time for this change, so I hope folks don’t get too anxious if they don’t see it happen right away. It might be a slow evolution, but I hope for a steady and gradual time of positive growth. Tone of voice will be as important as policies, and Joe and Kamala demonstrate that a respectful tone will help the “opposition” to first, save face, and second reduce the temperature. The “winning” side must also be gracious!
I feel relief, like the huge Hurricane has blown over, like there is indeed a God and she has heard us! – Tom
Tom, we also feel enormous relief and have great hopes that our country will move in a positive direction. As you said, Joe Biden’s long history of working “across the aisle” will help, and hopefully, the two sides will be willing to make the effort to bridge their differences.
Your suggestion that we all be patient is perfect. The chasm is wide and will take time and diplomacy to heal. Let’s hope the next two months goes smoothly…
While conservative, Michael and I did not vote for Trump in either election. Watching the news on Wednesday night I experienced an overwhelming sense of calm that I would not have to listen to the absurdities spouting from Trump’s face any more. Do I wish we had elected a president with views more in line with conservative values–yes–but I am also willing to give Mr. Biden a chance. And I do so hope Biden and Harris present us with a calming influence.
Janna, we also felt a huge sense of relief knowing that our days of enduring Trump’s crazy talk will soon be over. It has been frightening to witness the destructive influence his lies have had on so many people, and how his antics have torn apart our country.
We’re trusting that Biden and Harris are going to continue to be a calming influence, and that they will promote an agenda that will help to heal our country.
I love what you said and agree with you completely.
Thank you, Kay. Here’s to a much better, brighter, more peaceful future!
This is indeed a time to celebrate, my friend. :-)
Yes well put… we are currently in Inglis, FL working our way back to Texas. We have seen more confederate flags in this part of Florida than we have seen anywhere else in the USA, yet, as you say, most people are nice and friendly. Let’s hope we can all meet somewhere in the middle!
John, those Confederate flags need to go away for good. Maybe put them in a museum, where they belong. I don’t care what anyone says, they are a symbol of white supremacy. Just as are MAGA hats.
I’m having a hard time reconciling that decent, kind people voted for Trump. And yet, there are many who did. It seems that the only way through this is to dig in and really try to understand one another, and then, as you said, to try to meet in the middle. It’s going to take some serious compromising on both sides.
Huge sigh of relief from this corner of the left coast! I agree with you that most people are kind and generous. It’s hard to retain that belief when I see so much ugliness (including those casting doubt on our democratic elections) but I have to remind myself that those are in the (albeit, very noisy) minority. The congratulatory notes that I’ve received from friends all over the world lets me know that the relief we feel is being felt far and wide.
Janis, we’re also hearing from friends from all over the world who are hugely relieved at the way this election played out. Trump is a danger not only to our country, but to the world.
I’ve had such a difficult time understanding why people I know who are kind and not racist still voted for Trump. His way of behaving has been so despicable. I’m hoping, as you said, that it is a minority that is being noisy and ugly. Everyone, both on the right and left, needs to take a deep breath and focus on the goal of peace before we destroy ourselves.
I took a deep breath of relief. We will never be perfect but better than we were.
Deb, you’re right, we’ll never be perfect. But at least we can strive for thoughtful compromise instead of being hell-bent on destruction. A deep breath of relief, indeed.
Well said Laurel. I admire your optimism. Unfortunately, hope springs eternal – on both sides of the divide…..
We miss you both.
Sue, I’ve decided to be optimistic, even in these dire times. I know we have a long road ahead of us, but I’m hoping that we won’t ever again fall prey to someone as destructive as Donald Trump. I think the healing needs to start with each one of us as individuals, and spread outward. At least I can hope, right?
We miss you guys, too.
So well put. I have often said, and I truly believe, that the biggest obstacle to true reconciliation in this country is social media. When real people sit down at a real table and just talk to one another, they rarely yell and scream and call each other names. But on social media, the anonymity brings out the worst in people. And these platforms repeatedly confirm users’ biases, feeding them an endless stream of material that hardens their positions and makes them feel like they are 100% correct. It is a huge problem that needs to be solved, or at least recognized, if we’re ever going to make progress. In the meantime, I will continue engaging with my friends and family who supported Trump and hope that there is common ground to be found. The alternatives to finding those opportunities for compromise aren’t very appealing for any of us.
Laura, that’s a really good point. Although I’ve avoided social media in general—I may be the only person you know without a Facebook account—I’ve seen the insane lies that Facebook and their kin promulgate. It shocks me that people are taken in by that craziness, but there is apparently some kind of appeal, and the lies spread like wildfire. Whatever happened to critical thinking? It’s definitely something to add to school curriculums.
Anyway, as you said, I will also continue engaging with people who think differently than I do and hope that we can find common ground. I also encourage them if they are seduced by conspiracy theories or other wild claims to at least check out the facts from a variety of reputable news sources.
Hear Hear!! What a relief that the four years of nightmare are now coming to an end. You are of course correct that it will be a long road to reconciliation with those have actively supported this racist regime. We too were absolutely shocked by the large number of people who still voted for trump despite knowing what he stands for and what he has done in the past four years. We know that there are many perceptions and different opinions and very much different REALITIES based on different news networks and social media pipelines. To us, it became more than politics, more an issue of morality.
Your post is full of hope and optimism and that is a good place to land on this November 7th. Okay gotta go now and continue celebrating.
Peta & Ben
Peta & Ben, what a ride this has been. I do feel optimistic, although I also know that we have a very long road ahead. I’m not sure that we’re up to the challenge, but I’m holding onto the hope that good and truth will prevail.
I agree with you, this has become an issue of morality. And that’s why I am so grateful that many people who have been lifelong Republicans refused to support Trump for another four years. Now if we can just find common ground, perhaps we can move forward and once again become a country that we can be proud of.
You are quite brave to take up this topic in your blog. I am relieved that I may not have to be told about every tweet this man makes and listen to such unending efforts to divide this country and pit us against each other. I feel extremely sorry for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris having to clean up after him and deal with the continuing presence of the militia and other militants he told to stand by. I continue to be fearful of violence to come as he attempts and is unsuccessful at finding some legal leg to stand on in an effort to keep himself the center of everything.
Sherry, I feel like we need to talk about this, even though politics tends to be a ‘taboo’ subject. I hope somehow we will be willing to really listen to one another, and to understand that we ALL need to make compromises.
I feel very hopeful having Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to help us through this challenging time, but as you said, I feel sorry for them to be inheriting this huge mess that our country is currently in. They certainly have a difficult job ahead. Let’s hope that the transition goes smoothly.
I have been following your blog for yrs and this is the first I have felt compelled to comment. We too voted for Biden. We too have been on the road since 8/15/2013. We are from PA and are now in AZ. Due to where we were when the coronavirus outbreak hit, we had to become residents here. But our plans are to go back east to PA. Maybe some day our paths will cross. Love your pictures and blog.
T, I appreciate your comment. You’ve been on the road about the same amount of time that we have! That’s quite a story, that you ended up becoming residents in Arizona because of the pandemic. This has taken us all places that we never expected, hasn’t it? We certainly never thought that we would be in Florida for an entire year.
I hope that our paths will cross. Please stay in touch, and thank you for your kind words.
Politics doesn’t get more divided than we have in Florida and it is always interesting to see which way the vote will swing. Much of the state is conservative (like the Eastpoint residents you mentioned), and much of it is liberal. I appreciate the diversity and the checks and balances that make our state such a special place. I feel especially proud of our role in this election. After the ‘hanging chads’ of 2000, we committed to election reform and accomplished that mission. In addition, our state anticipated the challenges of counting unprecedented numbers of absentee ballots and got the job done prior to election day. An antiquated process in some states has left reasonable doubt in the minds of many. I imagine many of those folks feel much the way Gore supporters did in 2000 and could use a bit of grace right now. I am hopeful that civility will prevail, acceptance will set in and we will begin the healing process that we so desperately need.
Suzanne, Florida is an interesting split, for sure. Like you, I appreciate diversity. I also would have appreciated feeling comfortable displaying a Biden/Harris sign in our yard. Sadly, every Biden sign that went up in Eastpoint immediately disappeared, and the billboards supporting Biden were immediately paintballed. I’m assuming that was a small minority that did their work in the dark of night. But it tells me that people are angry and frightened.
I agree that the state seems to have done an impressive job of handling the election. I, too, hope that civility will prevail, that people will give Joe Biden and Kamala Harris a chance, and that we can begin healing this devastating divide.
Very well written, Laurel. You are correct about what lays ahead of all of us to bring our country back to the place it belongs. I spent four years as an embarrassed American. It will be challenging for me personally to move beyond those who backed Trump. I agree with your first comment from Michael. If you supported Trump, then in your mind bullying, demeaning, humiliating, lying, and racism is acceptable. You aren’t a person I want to have as a friend. It tells me a lot about you as a person. I will need as much work as the country…haha!
Pam, it’s hard for me to understand how anyone in good conscience could vote for Trump. I understand that he appeals to specific groups on certain issues, but the whole package of bullying, lying, racism, and his despicable behavior toward women is absolutely unacceptable. I, too, have been deeply ashamed that this narcissistic, tantrum-throwing, vindictive person has been the leader of our country for the past four years.
But knowing that almost half of our country voted for him this time around—after knowing clearly the kind of person he is—tells me that our survival as a nation is in serious danger. If we aren’t somehow able to bridge this divide, I fear our days are numbered.
Great work, Laurel. Thank you for writing it. We are relieved as well although it ain’t over until it’s over. Mr. Trump is the ultimate shadow figure and it has been hard to be present to all that we have, until recently, denied and glossed over. I am praying that we all emerge from this wiser, stronger and more loving. Happy trails to you!
Thank you for your comment. As you said, this isn’t over until it’s over. And our work is just beginning. I’m heartened by the morality and compassion of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. They want to heal this country, they want to help us all come together, they want to listen and understand. I believe them.
Like you, we’re praying that we all emerge from this dark time wiser, stronger, and more loving. I don’t think the stakes have ever been higher than they are right now.
Thanks you guys!!
The felt sense of relief is palpable here in Talent as I’m sure it is around the nation and the world.
Build bridges not walls!!
Love you, Cyn
Cyn, We have a long road ahead, but we have hope that we are at least now moving in the direction of healing, not destruction. As you said, bridges, not walls! Love to you, too, my friend.
I have obviously grown too cynical over the last 4 years. I fully expected that a Biden win would result in widespread political violence, and have been pleasantly surprised to see very little. So I guess there’s hope for our country yet!
Shannon, we’ve been fearful of widespread political violence, too, on both sides of the spectrum. I’m fervently hoping that we all understand just how much we have to lose if we don’t find common ground, and soon.
You have expressed my thoughts much better than I am able to. You are a beautiful writer and I really enjoy your blog!
Thank you, June, for your kind comment. These are difficult thoughts to express—I certainly don’t want to add fuel to the fire. I understand why many people choose to remain silent. But I think we need to talk about these issues, sharing our different opinions with kindness and compassion and the true desire to understand one another. Perhaps then we can begin the process of healing.
Mr Robert Wang (thank you for your service) said it best, I don’t recognize this beautiful country but I also don’t recognize my friends. I am not political minded, I might be a libertarian at heart and I am registered to vote as an Independent. Politicians start out with a sincere wish to better America, the power grabs their hearts immediately and the money gets the rest of them.
I have watched my most creative, community minded friends I have known forever turn into blind rage with razors in their mouth, I can’t believe they could express so much hate. If they could feel this way, what about regular people, people that I haven’t seen as so enlightened? It makes me fearful for our future.
And when I see the Amish, Orthodox Jews and Cuban Americans cheering for Rump, I have to stop and wonder, what do they see that I don’t. Their life experiences are so different from mine. What am I missing? And I can’t wonder about this with my friends!! The only people with whom I could discuss this curiosity. I am already ordered out of the circle of trust because I thought a modicum of peace in the Middle East was super cool.
I grew up in Louisiana, I saw with my own eyes Colored water fountains, White water fountains, even as a dumb kid, it hurt me in my heart so bad. Recently we visited Seattle, I went to visit my favorite library in our old neighborhood and there are signs: White people go into this room, People of color go into this room. I swear, I nearly fainted. Intellectually I know it’s for meetings/training, but my inner child wanted to cry. It’s making me cry right now.
I am really sorry to offload all this sorrow and confusion onto your beautiful blog, but I am confused.
I keep thinking of the parable of the Native American man told his son about the wolves in his heart. I know the wolf I want to feed. And since I am a concrete, task oriented thinker, how exactly do I feed him, how do I poke the right food into the correct mouth?? What can *I* do for my country?
I don’t think I can figure that out today, but I can refill the bird feeder. I might have to get a part time job to keep these beauties where I can watch them.
Nancy, I am so glad you took the time to write and share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. You expressed so poignantly the challenges that we’re facing.
I, too, am registered as an Independent, partly because our two-party system has so deeply divided our country, and partly because I don’t like being aligned with any particular political agenda. I value thinking for myself.
I don’t know how we are going to find our way out of this mess that we’ve created. I have to trust that speaking the truth, being willing to listen to one another, and ALL of us being willing to compromise will start the healing process. It’s not going to be easy. So far, I’m believing that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have the best interests of our country and our people at heart.
Meanwhile, we keep refilling our bird feeders, too. Peace to all of us.
We are utterly exhausted from 4 yrs of chaos, lies and drama. For us, he failed to protect the country, he couldn’t even protect himself. Pretending a pandemic will go away, all the dead americans. it goes on and on. How wonderful to listen to President Biden last night giving us a break from the trump show. There you have it, the trump show vs a biden presidency. I’ll take the president every time. We have a long road of healing in front of us. 💙
I did think FL might turn blue but boy oh boy it is like the wild west down here, god forbid they wear a mask for their fellow man.
Thank you for your thoughtful post.
K, thank you for your comment. We, too, are exhausted by the chaos of this past four years. We have hope that we can heal, but as you said, it’s a long road ahead of us.
Frankly, I have a hard time understanding how wearing a mask has become a political statement. It’s not political, it’s a practice of common decency for our fellow human beings. I don’t want to open up the can of worms labeled ‘mask debate,’ but I have spent decades researching and writing about health, and I am convinced that mask-wearing is one of the few simple things we can do to help prevent the spread of the virus.
That this issue has become politicized is just another tragic way that Donald Trump has divided our country.
Seems a decade at least since our walk together in Lithia park after the 2016 election…an unbelievable four years of assault after assault on the very foundation of our nation, our sense of truth, justice, equality …an assault on our very sanity as we knew in our hearts that the so called POTUS was not acting alone and yes, we no doubt had folks in our own circles who believed as he does and supported his rascist, sexist, misogyny…
Happy dance for our new leaders … serious work ahead to restore some essential trust and decency in our government and it will take everyone involved to right these terrible wrongs. The first hundred days must be about stopping the pandemic here and abroad, restoring our commitment to saving the planet thru our actions as a nation and in cooperation with the world, destroying the chokeholds that large corporations and the wealthy 1% have on our political process .. .. nothing about this will be “business as usual” or “back to normal”. There will be groaning and moaning from both sides of the political spectrum but none of the three imperatives for the first 100 days are political in nature … they are survival as a species issues!
Thank you for your kind and generous words and clarity of vision in your photos … Our collective angels are all working overtime and on call for all us “purple” people.
Diana, you said this so well! The agenda as you describe it for the first 100 days is exactly what we need. You’re absolutely right, these are not political issues, they are issues that determine our survival.
We have an enormous task ahead, but hopefully, sanity will prevail. No rearranging or fighting over deck chairs is going to save any of us if we don’t stop plowing full steam ahead for the iceberg.
I love your idea of ‘purple people.’ Red plus blue, we can do this!
I wrote a long comment which I don’t see made the posting…anyway your kind, generous words and clarity on what comes next is refreshing to read in this our measured happy dance. Love and light! Diana
Well, I’ve been considering a post like this, but I don’t think I could say it any better. May I have your permission to reblog this?
Gretchen, I would be honored if you want to reblog this. I hope you are doing well. Here’s to a brighter, more peaceful future!
Such a happy day for America when Joe Biden won. We just have to make it through the next 2.5 months…Then let the healing begin!
Lisa, we are incredibly relieved. And we’re hoping that truth, kindness, and peace will prevail over the next couple of months. I hope that you, Hans, and Rosie are doing well. :-)
So long, I will no longer be following your blog, I hope you can understand that many of us did not vote for Trump the man, but for his policies. How can a country thrive when we kill unborn babies and call it womens health? The Green new deal will kill much of the rural economy that relies on corn being turned to ethanol to fuel our cars and trucks.
LeRoy, I do understand that many people voted for Trump because of one or more of his policies. But I cannot separate the man from his actions. Trump has actively promoted violence and racism, and if he doesn’t like what someone says or does, he is childishly vindictive. He is a bully. He has surrounded himself not with advisors who care about the welfare of our country, but by people who will simply say ‘yes’ to him, no matter what the cost.
I voted for Joe Biden because I think getting Trump out of office is the only hope that our country has for survival. Fortunately, I also believe that Biden offers a path to healing for our country, or at the very least, a time out from our hurtling toward annihilation.
I believe that ALL of us need to compromise if we are to survive. I don’t know what that is going to look like at this point, but I’m willing to give peace and kindness a chance. I will not turn my back on people who think differently than I do, but I will actively speak out against anyone who promotes or accepts racism or violence.
You are the bravest person I know. Seriously!
How you put words together is a gift. To us the readers. I know your readers that didn’t comment because they disagree can see the love, compassion and kindness in your heart from all of your writings. That’s what it takes to heal.
Thank you, we love your blog.
Beth, thank you for your support and love. I don’t know if it’s bravery, or if I’m just so distressed by the past four years and the trajectory of our country that I felt like I had to say something. I’m tired of us tearing our country apart.
It’s not easy to have hope in these stressful times. I’m trying to nourish compassion and understanding because honestly, I don’t see any other way through this. I believe that our country voted for truth, kindness, and peace in voting for Biden and Harris. I’m hoping everyone will give them a chance. And that ALL of us will step up and do what it takes to bridge this divide.
I’m facing a conundrum here! I have a very firm rule of not discussing politics online, but I always comment on your blog. So, I will not address the subject matter here, but over tall glasses of kombucha for me, grain alcohol for you (hee!!!) we can talk all about it in January. <3
Joodie, you’re on! (But not grain alcohol, thank you very much.) I’m looking forward to interesting discussions in January. And I’m glad you commented, even if you don’t discuss politics online. I can certainly understand why you are reluctant to do so. I’m afraid for us as a people and a nation. I’m trusting in the goodness that I see in most people to prevail.
I read this when you first posted, and yet somehow I didn’t comment….Best part of that is that I had to scroll through all the comments to see if mine was in there. What wonderful, thoughtful discussions you stimulated in what is yes, a very brave blog post. You are braver than I am. I feel very much like you did, and have struggled through the last four years trying to deal with the rude, crude, dishonest…well I guess if I keep looking for adjectives it will get x rated…so I will stop. Worst part is that half of my children and some of my friends are in the Trump world and tolerate him or celebrate him based on reasoning that I cannot even begin to understand. Not surprisingly, the people in my world that I am drawn to, through the blog, through facebook, through my scientific work and previous co-workers, think much like we do about this. And yet I received a note from a very close friend this morning who voted for Biden and is thrilled with the result, and yet is absolutely frustrated with the far left agenda. I think this reflects what many of us see coming. Biden has a huge fight ahead of him, and so does our country. The thing that has made me the most sad in the past four years is the deep knowledge that Trump was merely the symptom, not the cause. He made it worse with his constant raving, but the people who voted for him and wanted his agenda (at least the agenda that they acknowledged other than his own self interests) were the reason he won that election in 2016. Those people are not going away, they are not going to embrace any new agenda, they will flock to Parler where they can continue the conspiracies and lies and that makes me just so very sad that so much of our country is in this huge divide that actually was building long before Trump. I try to fill my life with good people who are not toxic, and have done well with that. Some good friends who are Trump supporters are not the toxic kind of people that I usually associate with the far right. And some of my extreme left friends are vocal in ways that make it necessary for me to “unfollow” them on facebook. I can’t stand all that rabid stuff from either side. It is why I try to stay neutral in my blog, although my bias does slip through now and then I am sure. Just heartening to read your post and all the comments and know we are out there and still hoping for a shift in our culture and our world.
Sue, I appreciate so much your thoughtful comment. You are absolutely right that Donald Trump is a symptom and not the cause of the deep divide in our country. This has been brewing for a very long time. Sadly, through his actions and rhetoric, Trump legitimized ways of behaving that are dangerous, racist, and immoral.
I’m deeply concerned that such a large part of our population voted for him again in this election, this time knowing exactly the kind of person that he is. They are obviously concerned about what they perceive as the Democratic agenda. These issues are not going away. There are some people—I hope a minority—who are entrenched in their beliefs and are going to hate Biden no matter what. But I have hope that the majority of those who supported Trump will be willing to give Biden a chance if they are shown that they will not be ignored—and that he is not a ‘Trojan horse for the socialists.’
We all have to work together. None of us can afford the self-serving luxury of extremist thinking and agendas. I believe this is our only hope for survival.
Oh, and for the record, Josephine County voted 60/40 for Trump, Jackson County 50/50, Klamath County 75/25. So no, Oregon is not the liberal state that so many people think it is. However, I would bet Ashland was 90/10 for Biden!
Sue, those numbers don’t completely surprise me. As you know, Ashland, Eugene, and Portland are strongly liberal, but there’s a lot of the state that is very conservative, particularly east of the Cascades and in southern Oregon. Ashland is a wild little island of free thinkers, LOL.
Im just glad it is over! The noise was deafening which I think will continue. I can never talk politics for there is never a right or wrong. But I salute you for letting out steam of hope in a thoughtful way.
ML, I’ll be glad when it’s REALLY over. I can’t believe this is still dragging on. I agree with you, there are many sides to every issue. Hopefully, we’ll all somehow figure out how to listen to each other.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts during these stressful times. I enjoyed reading through the comments and hearing some other perspectives. These past four years have truly been difficult.
My issues with the orange man run deep, both for who he is and what he has been a catalyst for among his followers. It saddens me to see the vast numbers of people who cannot tell the difference between fact & fiction. Because so many people have become blind to the truth and to science – it’s difficult to fathom an easy recovery & a return to ‘normalcy’.
My wife & I plan to hit the road some time after covid is in our collective rear view mirror. Hopefully, our paths will cross and we can share some interesting face-to-face conversations.
Thank you for your comment, Ron. I agree with you, it’s difficult right now to know how we will find our way back to any kind of normalcy. Like you, I’m saddened by the vast numbers of people who have been swayed by Trump’s lies—what he calls his ‘alternate truths.’ I often think this is how Hitler came into power, and that truly terrifies me.
I hope you’ll stay in touch and that you and your wife will be able to get on the road. We’re hoping to return to our travels, too, and it would be wonderful to meet up with you. I look forward to some interesting conversations. Until then, let’s hope that there will soon be positive progress with the pandemic and with the political situation!
It was the most intense rollercoaster of an election (and past four years), that’s for certain! I’m still a bit stunned that the blue wave never materialized, but now I know never again to trust the polls. I have a few friends and relatives who probably voted for Trump, but we steer clear of political conversations. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. Maybe we need to spend more time asking them those hard questions in an effort to understand their reasons. I do find myself wanting to unfriend anyone who voted for Trump, but that’s childish and unproductive. I will, however, end a friendship if anyone makes racist remarks/slurs and I will tell them why I no longer want to have a relationship with them. It’s going to be a long two months and I hope our country can withstand whatever distractions and ego-boosting crap Trump inflicts on us before January 20th. I’m sorry you have lost a follower because you spoke your mind with honesty (and a willingness to listen to those across the aisle), but I agree with your response and that it’s difficult to separate the man from his “policies.” I just checked our results (Lincoln County, OR) and was pleasantly surprised: 12,336 for Trump and 17,248 for Biden.
Thank you for your thoughtful post and for all who responded. Be well, my friend.
Les, I feel exactly the same as you do about these issues. We also were stunned that the Blue Wave never materialized…but that also gave us some valuable information about the true state of our country. That’s why I’m desperately hoping that we can all somehow put aside our agendas and truly listen to one another, with the hope that we will be able to come up with compromises that allow us to move forward. Maybe I’m hoping for too much, but at this point, what is our alternative?
I, too, wish that Trump would stop his shenanigans and for once in his life, put aside his ego for the good of our country. Sadly, that is not likely to happen. The next best thing is that we just continue on, ignoring him as much as possible, and leave him behind. Because truth WILL prevail.
Laurel thank you for you and your stimulating thoughtful post. It’s been amazing to read so many interesting comments. Feeling a little numb at the moment with all that’s going on. Praying that more matters bring us together than tear us apart and that we come together guided by our own true hearts. Missin’ You!
Judy, I’m so happy to hear from you, my friend. I’ve found it interesting to read all of the thoughtful comments here, too. These times are so challenging…let’s hope, as you said, that there is more that brings us together than tears us apart. We miss you guys! Lots of good memories of our adventures in Florida several years ago. We’re heading to the island this morning and will be thinking of you. OX
Relief is the word I used to express how I felt about the results. Having a new grand baby born on election day helped to temper the stress of the day that turned into days. While having Joe and Kamala at the helm gives me hope, we do have a long road ahead to undo all the hate and division that has been and continues to be sown by Mr Trump. We also found ourselves in an area of Trump signs and flags although it was exciting to see Arizona go blue! The number and content of your commenters reminds us that it’s something we have to keep discussing, no matter the discomfort. Hugs to you and Eric.
Jodee, we feel relief, too…especially because now things finally seem to be moving forward! Like you, we were heartened to see that Arizona went ‘blue.’ I agree with you, we need to keep on talking about the issues. I’m still stunned by the legitimization of racism, misogyny, and hatred that Trump promoted in his four years in office. We have a long road ahead and we all have work to do.
Congratulations on your new grandbaby! All the more reason to work for a kinder, better, more just world.