Wednesday, December 13, 2017

How Many Americas?

We live in too many Americas to count.

I reside in North Carolina in Wake County, which is part of what is commonly called The Research Triangle, an imaginary boundary that connects Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh. Toss in Hillsborough, and you have the Research Trapezoid. It is as blue as blue can be.

Heading east from Raleigh and venturing into Johnston County, a traveler leaves one America and soon discovers he is in another … and in another era … perhaps the early 1950s.

As a North Carolinian, I have often cringed while visiting blue regions and hear residents of those areas dismiss my home as if it were Alabama, one of the deepest, reddest states. I have been quick to reassure those yapping through wind-blown hats that there are "plenty" of blue people in North Carolina, that it is a swing state, a state that voted for Obama in 2008, and elected a Democratic governor in 2016.

In spite of knowing that even Texas boasts an oasis of thought in Austin, I admit that I forget that reasonable people live everywhere. That there were folks just as upset with the 2016 presidential election in red states as there were folks distressed in blue states. What we didn’t or couldn’t fathom was how many were livid in the heart of Republican control.

Last night in Alabama, we witnessed a glimmer of hope, that instead of wondering how many, we can say, “Enough.”

Enough people voted. 

Moore, who refused to concede, handled loss as about as well as North Carolina’s former governor, Pat McCory, who eventually went down in hubris flames.

According to a graphic in The New York Times:

Doug Jones received 49.9 percent of the vote —  670,551.

Roy Moore received 48.4 percent — 649,240.

Granted this was an election tainted with a remarkably bogus candidate in Moore, and in my view, a trashy echo of the presidential disaster in 2016. But this time, sanity prevailed.


Perhaps Alabama is a microcosm of the question of How Many Americas? We would be foolish to assume Alabama is turning blue any more than it would be absurd to fail to grasp that Moore’s defeat had much more to do with Moore than it did Jones. Again in my view, Moore is a gun-toting, bible thumping nuisance, a vastly flawed candidate, even if one is thick skinned and Cro-Magnon enough to dismiss the sexual harassment claims. Like Trump, Moore is a serial liar, and his loss last night gave truth an unanticipated triumph.

In a state that breathes the expression “Roll Tide” …. Perhaps this is the first wave of what is to come — that more and more reasonable people will activate a resolute trudge into a voting booth.

I refuse to believe that those who support Trump, and to a certain extent Bannon, are the majority. I believe that hope has walked into the building, so to speak, simply by showing up to mark a ballot.

If Alabama can muster enough votes for a man with (D) beside his name to deprive a ludicrous candidate, great things can happen in states where elections have been more competitive.

Sweet Home Alabama, indeed.


  1. Sweet, indeed... I have always believed in the decency and fairness of people... Appeals to our lesser angels can at times lead many from the path of goodness, but eventually the center will hold. People don't like mean people... They admire strength, but they don't like bullies. And they don't like hypocrites...

  2. Well said, Mark. Solid observations and perspective. The majority of us, I'm confident, are hoping for and/or working toward a return of decency and intelligence in our leadership. We need to continue to encourage people to be engaged and do all that we can to get people to turn out to vote. If we do, we'll get this country back on track.