November 17th, 2016
The morning after this election, the liberal nation was in a daze and even Trump supporters were shocked. The prevailing political wisdom and the polls were off just enough to produce an unexpected result and send President-elect Donald Trump to the White House, with a narrow 52-48 majority in the Senate and control of the House. Just 10 days earlier such an outcome seemed inconceivable.
The week after the election, the daze is slowly lifting, allowing more analytical thinking. Two questions must be asked and understood: What happened? What now?
I stood in front of the Pittsford Town Offices on Veterans Day with almost 100 other people at the dedication of the new Veterans Memorial. A fierce, cold wind whipped dead leaves in all directions, the temperature dropping by the minute. Flags were lowered and then raised above the new slab of marble etched with the words “Lest We Forget.”
MIDDLEBURY — One hundred singers will soon take their places on stage in the Robison Concert Hall at the Mahaney Center for the Arts as the Middlebury College Community Chorus presents its annual Thanksgiving concert. These free, hour-long programs take place in a special performance on Saturday evening, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. and an encore presentation on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. All are welcome!
Here are a few points that illustrate the dilemmas facing the Democratic Party, both here in Vermont and nationally, after last week’s election.
Democrat Sue Minter lost her home town, middle-income Waterbury, to Republican Phil Scott. At the same time, Minter defeated Scott in neighboring Stowe, a town with more affluent voters holding college degrees.
A friend of mine is a longtime cashier at the Middlebury co-op. She says last Wednesday, Nov. 9, was the toughest workday that she can recall there.
The co-op cash register is as much a social gathering as a place for financial transactions. So my friend’s workday last Wednesday was filled with a procession of grieving liberals dismayed by Donald Trump’s “victory” in the presidential election.
The illusion that idyllic Vermont was wrapped in a political bubble away from the hate and racism demonstrated in much of the country was shattered this week when two swastikas were painted on the front door of Havurah, the meeting house for Addison County’s Jewish congregation in Middlebury, and hate speech was scrawled on the dorm room of a female Muslim student at Middlebury College.
VERGENNES — For the past 10 years the Champlain Valley Christian School in Vergennes has held a Veterans Day breakfast and a ceremony thanking our local veterans for their service.
At this year’s breakfast, which took place last Friday, Nov. 11, there was an addition made to the program. Some veterans received a new pen to mark their service.
I may live in the fairly progressive state of Vermont, but I have traveled afair amount the last few years both in the U.S. and abroad. I have sat and talked with numerous Trump supporters and Brexit supporters from the UK on airplanes and in coffee shops.
I have had casual conversations in publicspaces from New England to New Mexico, in parking lots and boatyards along the Eastern seaboard, in urban centers, along small town streets, and in the halls of universities with people who viewed the world through very different filters than my own.