Getting by in a ‘hostile environment’


My friends on both sides of the political divide ask me on occasion: How do you cope with living in an area where you are part of a distinct political minority?

It’s easy. I am comfortable in my own skin.

My wife and I moved here in 1995 understanding that we were about to take up residence in what one might consider hostile territory. I knew of the Texas Panhandle’s John Birch Society heritage and of the ardently conservative politics that drove the region upon our arrival and which continues to this very day.

I knew immediately I wasn’t about to change anyone’s mind.

I trust my neighbors understood as well they weren’t about to change mine.

With all that laid out there, I remain perplexed, to say the least, at the “anger” of many Americans at the direction the country is heading.

A blog post notes that the writer of the essay is offering thanks to President Obama “on behalf of an ungrateful nation” for the job he has done for nearly eight years. Here’s the post:

That’s what I’m feeling today as I watch individuals such as Donald J. Trump painting this dark and forbidding picture of the state of play these days.

Perhaps the most fascinating public opinion survey statistic out there is that so-called “right track/wrong track” question pollsters keep asking Americans. They get a 70 percent “wrong track” response.

What does that mean?

I keep wondering if it includes those who think the country hasn’t veered far enough to the left along with those who want it to lean hard in the other direction.

We keep hearing those on the right — now led by GOP presidential nominee Trump — repeating the mantra that America is hurtling along on the “wrong track.”

Let me be as clear as I can be: I don’t believe it.

I remember as clearly as everyone else where we were headed when Barack Obama took office in 2009. He decided to take some bold steps to end the economic free fall.

Spoiler alert: They worked!

Have they worked as well as everyone would want? No. Those on the fringes of the spectrum say (a) too many Americans aren’t yet earning enough money or (b) the national debt has ballooned too rapidly.

Yes, we live in a dangerous world. It’s always been a dangerous world.

I’ll continue to see this world through my own prism. It’s different than the one used by so many of my neighbors here in the Heart of Republicanism. I get it.

Just as my neighbors are comfortable in their own skin, though, I am comfortable in mine.

As the essayist writes in the blog attached to this message, thank you, Mr. President, for doing your job well.


2 thoughts on “Getting by in a ‘hostile environment’”

  1. I moved here from Columbus, Ohio, a few years before you came here. Previously, I lived in Rhode Island, grew up in northwestern Missouri. I do not understand why everyone thinks everything is so awful. I do think news comes faster and faster about disasters all the way across the globe which was not the case even ten years ago. Perhaps this frightens people. Except for the very poor, I see no economic disaster looming. The stock market remains at record highs and any one with a pension or 401 K or who teaches or works for any governmental entity, will benefit. If people had so little money, why does nearly every restaurant in town have lines on almost any evening of the week?

    1. Thanks for your comment. I, too, just see the world through a different prism from our neighbors. I appreciate your comment and that you are reading the blog.

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