Wednesday, March 17, 2021

A Scalawag Drives Through the South

We've lived in Florida for nearly five years, now. Florida used to be the embodiment of the swing state (2000, 2004), but it went pretty easily for Trump last year. Normally, living in a large city would obscure the Trumpian influence, but our particular large city ("easily one of the top-ten swamp cities in northeast Florida") is pretty uniquely Republican as large American cities go. Of the 13 cities in America larger than ours, 11 have Democrat mayors and two have Independent mayors. We are aware of the Trumpists around us.

Sunday we went to a state park in a more-rural part of the state. Literally at the first intersection after leaving the city limit, we came across a group protesting the outcome of the election. Remember the election that we had four months ago? The one with the winner who was inaugurated six weeks ago? These folks could think of no better use of their Sunday afternoon than trying to convince passing motorists that it was a sham. At this point, what do they hope to accomplish? Even if the election was stolen (spoiler: it wasn't), all you can really do about it is get super motivated in 2024.

All told, we must have passed about 20 Trump signs in our 50-mile trip, but the best of them was the Trump/Pence sign that the indignant homeowner had cut up to remove Pence's name. You know, that guy who upheld the Constitution according to his oath? The guy who oversaw his own electoral defeat? The guy who knew there was no Constitutional provision to do anything but certify the electors' votes? This homeowner couldn't possibly have his name around anymore, because someone might accidentally get the idea that the homeowner supported things like upholding the Constitution according to oaths.

Last week I read The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, and I thought there was no possible way I could review that book because basically every premise of Nelson's life is foreign to me, and I'm sure every premise of my life is foreign to her. Where would we even begin a conversation, and how short would it be before we disagreed? Nelson and I would maybe find each other unfathomable, but I feel this Pence-excising Trumpian and I would be equally befuddled by a conversation. There is just about nothing in his (I feel preeeeeeeeety confident that I am using the correct pronoun here) worldview that would be intelligible to me, and vice versa.

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