I’ve about had it with these incessant articles from an incredulous press, where some reporter runs off to some exotic (to them) rural locale where the locals mostly voted for Donald Trump,
and they goggle a bit and report back that, amazingly, the people here belong to the genus Homo
and have two legs and two arms and two eyes, and gosh no, they ain’t racist, no, not a bit — they’re just economically distressed. It’s a genre of lazy reporting that also includes all those interviews prior to an election with “the undecided voter”, as if finding the least informed, most chicken-shit citizens in the country will reveal some great insight.
Finally, though, one reporter turns that all on its head and journeys to the heart of anti-Trump country to report on the savage opinions of the well-educated. He goes to Mount Airy/Germantown in Philadelphia. I knew those places well, although I was apparently not well educated enough, liberal enough, or wealthy enough to actually be able to afford to live there.
In Philadelphia’s 22nd Ward, which covers Germantown and parts of Mount Airy, Clinton got 12,050 votes in 2016, and Trump received a mere 342 — and I did not run across any of those lonely 342 during my reporting. One of the more ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the city, Mount Airy and Germantown are also well-educated spots, described once as “a Ph.D ghetto.” More than the numbers, though, I wanted to see a place where, in the words of one Nobel laureate, there was “There was music in the cafés at night/And revolution in the air.”
As you might expect, all is not well among the aboriginals.
“Everybody here hates Trump — that’s why I like to live here,” said Raab — a sentiment I heard from more than one person. “I have a neighbor who couldn’t eat for four days” after the election. Like many folks, Raab has turned to activism — joining the January 21 Women’s March in Center City and giving away what she called “tons of money” to groups like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. Despite all that, Raab said she feels pessimism about where America is at after one year of Trump, hours after the president used Twitter to threaten war with North Korea. “I don’t have hope,” she said, “as everyday there’s something worse and worse.”
I’m not giving up all hope just yet, although it is only hanging on by a sliver. I’m still hoping the next election will be a massive uprising to overthrow the known-nothings and bigots.