Is This How You Want To Be Known?

When we moved to this small southwestern Indiana town twenty years ago we envisioned spending a restful existence here for the remainder of our lives. Small-town life was appealing to us. I had pleasant memories of my high school years in a small town so why not spend my retirement years seeking those same type of memories. It started out pretty well. For the first 10 years or so we are known as “those new people” on our road. I’m sure some also identified me as the “old deaf guy” but never said that to my face. Then about 10 years ago it seemed like things started to change.

People, via the small-town newspaper letter-to-the-editor, started complaining about all those city folks stealing their money to support their lavish urban lifestyles. The people in local government, particularly the county commissioners, started their power grabs. They began acting like local czars. Then came 2016 and things got way uglier! The top came off things when the pandemic happened. People were told to wear masks and almost the entire population of my small town adamantly refused. They are starting to come around now, especially since we are now considered a State hotspot but still many won’t consider wearing masks. Walmart corporate mandated masks but the locally owned grocery store which is the only one in town was filled with non-masked customers and even some employees for months before masks were mandated at the State level.

At that point I was beginning to feel like I was behind enemy lines. It was just not safe anymore to shop in this small town. I started driving 25 miles to a medium-sized city for all my needs. One of the home improvement centers there came out early on with a mandate that all customers were required to wear masks, no exceptions. The Kroger store did the same a few weeks later. It just felt safer to spend the extra hour on the road to keep from getting this dreaded virus that seemed to lurk all around me.

The final clue was when my small town went 70% for an in-your-face, lying, totally untrustworthy narcissist for another term as president. Being in Indiana for the biggest portion of my life, that was not unexpected but I still was surprised that given the things he has done for the last four years they still praised him.

Now to the final point of this post. By voting for that despicable person for president people are either saying trust, truth, and empathy don’t matter to them, or they actually endorse those terrible characteristics as now being small-town values.

Is that now how they want to be known?

Are small-town values about lies and lack of any empathy or trust? Is that the new norm for life in the hinterland?

I am seriously considering leaving small-town America and it’s way of life for something less fearful and more Christ-like. The feeling of being constantly behind enemy lines is just not something that makes for a satisfying retirement.

4 comments

  1. Like you, I knew my vote for the more sensible candidate, would undoubtedly be outnumber in the county and state where I live. Still I was shocked when I read the results of the voting and how huge the percentage was in my district that went for Trump. I know and like many of my neighbors, but I absolutely don’t understand what they are thinking.
    Thank God enough people voted differently elsewhere.
    January 20th cannot come quick enough.

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    • Thanks for the thoughts Jackie. Like you, I just don’t understand why they love this guy so much. I am starting a major project here on RJsCorner to try to get into the minds of MAGA folks. More on that in a near future post.

      I still think there is another possible shoe to drop before he leaves. He has spent his time in the Oval Office dissing almost everyone, but can’t accept any of that for him. He will likely try to do some serious damage before he leaves. I am holding in my final sigh for noon on January 20.

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  2. They simply do not care what others think. These folks will not change, ever. All facts will be bent to fit this ideology. Religion, science, economics, truth etc. If Trump is still around in four years they will fervently support his return.
    We may not have known how strong this undercurrent was before Obama, but we do now. Having a black man as president is definitely the match that lit this fire. This is not about the claim of socialism is taking over. These same fools that spout that cannot survive without their Social Security and Medicare. This is about the inability to accept the inevitable ethnic changes happening in our country and around the world. Very soon whites will not be the majority group in the USA. There is absolutely nothing that can be done to change that. The folks that will have the kids that cause this shift are already citizens and they are not leaving.
    The small towns you speak of will change in one of two ways. Some will die off and blow away. Others will have younger people move in that work from home on the internet. They will be educated, believe in science & much more accepting of other cultures.
    The short answer is the deplorables will be overwhelmed or disappear due to evolution. Both will take time.

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    • Thanks for the thoughts Fred. As usual, you are a little more pessimistic than I am. I agree with you for a segment of MAGA. They are kind of like the Democratic Party now in that they can’t claim to be an organized party anymore. Many racists and such have surfaced. I will never believe that 49% of our population are as you describe. I am starting a study about the differences between them and Democrats. It will be based around two NYT best sellers for both points of view. Several posts will be coming out around this study in December.

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