Thursday, November 9, 2017

Trump Country

 I wrote this a year ago. I am finally brave enough to post. 

If I had been an editor or a news reporter, I would have screamed for this story. But I probably wouldn't if I lived in the big cities of Philadelphia, New York City or Boston or even the smaller cities on the northeast coast. And never if I lived in California. Except I am from here and being friends with many supporters of Trump, maybe I might have picked up on the posts and the comments of how many signs for Trump/Pence there were as opposed to Clinton/McKane. Well, there were the Hillary for Prison next to the Trump posts.
One Hermitage neighbor counted four hundred thirty-five to thirteen on long trip in western Pennsylvania. He also is in the military. Right there are stories that journalists could investigate. How does the military vote? Who do they want for their commander in chief? Instead of relying on their own opinion about some words, most likely taken out of context.
But that is not the point of this piece. I do not want to write about the bias of the media. I do not want to write about how lazy the journalists are. I don't want to acknowledge too much about their short comings. Except they really missed the ball with this story because they didn't visit or live here.
I did something today, I never did in Emporium, but always wanted to do. I got up early and took a walk. Harrison, my dog, was restless and at a quarter to seven, leashed dog in hand, I left the house, the sun not quite over the mountain on the east side of town. The rain with snow mix left the forecast pleasing me with scattered clouds pink. The temperature cool, but comfortable for me in a hoodie, a Penn State one, of course.
I head west toward the school. The sleepy town before waking up struck me with the thought: these are good people only wanting their small-town decency. The ones that didn't have to leave the area for work, like my husband did many years ago. They want jobs. They want the closeness of the family, many enjoying four generations. They want to watch their Steelers on Sunday afternoon after church and dinner.
I near the school. I marvel at the sign announcing parent teacher conference. They start at three thirty, one at six thirty and then nine this morning. They have the decency to realize most parents work and they seem to accommodate the parents. In Hermitage, I never got that courtesy. Either very early before school started, when I needed to get the girls ready for school or during the day. Even the elementary music concerts were during the day to fit the teachers schedule. But I am digressing.
The Emporium school district used to consult the churches in town to not schedule anything to interfere with religious functions. No sports on Sunday because they knew the parents wouldn't let the kids go. At one time, they also refrained from having events on Wednesday nights, a traditional mid-week night for church, because week to week is not enough. I can't say for sure they do this anymore.
I know even in this mountain town, they have had problems with “Mexicans.” The European sounding names represent families here, whose parents or grandparents immigrated the legal way. The stores in town were started by such families. The new illegals do cause trouble with drugs.
I return to the home of my ninety-one-year-old mother-in-law. I think, this is a place where people still put their birthday cards on the dining room table. She has many, but not as many as last year on her ninetieth.
In years past, this town and many like it were split somewhat evenly with the presidential election. I knew Tuesday evening, they were like the rest of rural Pennsylvania and the rural Ohio I saw. A movement of anti-establishment, called affectionately the Trump train, rolled through this country. I didn't think it would be enough to win this man the election. I kept telling the Facebook crowd, this is what I am seeing. It may be anecdotal, but this is what I am seeing. Don't be surprised if he wins.
They were. One likened it to as tragic as the world trade towers coming down. Now we are smeared by those who can't understand the disgust most people had with Hillary and Bill Clinton. NAFTA played a role for those who could remember industry leaving the Shenango Valley. People want to work. They see small business getting hammered with regulations and closing in recent years. I do find it interesting that across the border in Ohio's Mahoning County, with the six thousand Democrats who changed parties to vote for Donald Trump in the primaries, it was one of only seven counties that went for Hillary Clinton.
So, those who don't understand the vote and the election win, don't see what I have seen. People have felt the failure of low paying jobs. They see regulations strangling small business. Maybe they really don't hate the rich, but only want to be able to pay their bills with decent jobs. Maybe they all want more money in their pockets. Maybe they only want those truly in need to get help. They see too many not working and liking it. They see some do make more money not working, making it hardly worth working.
Prosperity could help with the supposed hatred they are painted with. If we are a working America, we won't have time for the idleness of name calling. If we are producing, we can concentrate helping each other and the world as the promise of America is.
A cub reporter back, even in the summer, should have asked, “Hey, can I go to what they call fly-over country and feel what the mood is? I can write a story about Trump's appeal.”  A few pieces to at least get the disappointed ones to understand there are opinions other than theirs. I tried with a few East and West Coast family. They couldn't perceive there was even another view.
I guess that angers me the most. It always angers me. When people don't see both sides. I am angry at the liberal media who didn't do their work and fed lies. Generations spoon fed by this dribble, are scared when even the president they adore has told them we live in the best country. And I bet he never even had lunch with a deplorable, bitter clinger sitting in the bars of the VFW halls. But I forgive him and the woman who won't be president. As John Gleason proclaimed to DW in Meet John Doe, “The people have spoken.”
We will be happy because we're tough. And in eight years, another peaceful transfer to power will come to the other party. We'll be working then in meaningful jobs. That is what Americans want to do: work and live in peace with little interference from the government. Government only needs to protect us with the armed services and local police and fire departments, help maintain the roads so we can travel, and give us back choices about our health care. Open it to a free market. And may abortions be limited and infrequent, not for the convenience of the woman, but realizing another life is involved. And may all our eyes be opened to what a great country we live in, because we wouldn't be able to protest if we didn't live in freedom.