Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Happy people who treat everyone nicely

A Rotary International luncheon in Fairfield, Illinois in January, 2017.

     Not much changes in Fairfield, Illinois.
     “Honestly? No. It really hasn’t changed much,” said L. Bryan Williams, who owns an insurance company there.
     The seat of Wayne County is right where we left it four years ago, 275 miles due south of Chicago, when I visited just before the inauguration of Donald Trump.
     Why go then? Well, if you line up Illinois’ 102 counties by how they voted in the 2016 election, Cook County was at one end, with 74.4% voting for Hillary Clinton. And Wayne County was at the other end, with 84.3% voting for Trump.
     Why return now? As we enter the Joe Biden administration at noon Wednesday, it seems worthwhile to circle back to Fairfield, and see how they’re doing and what they think about the four years past, where we are now, and where we’re going. Perhaps it’ll give a glimpse of what’s ahead.
     There is one change here: even fewer jobs. When I visited in 2017, the big employer in town, Airtex, an automobile fuel pump manufacturer, had just shut down, sending nearly 1,000 jobs to Mexico and China. But the lights were still on and several dozen people were still here, administering. Now the lights are off. Even the skeleton crew is gone.
     ”The community has adapted to not having Airtex here,” said Williams. “It’s become a little bit more of a bedroom community. But you wouldn’t see anything startling.”
     That depends on what startles a person.

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  1. Tom Mathews, another idiot in a long line of idiots that confused the number of people showing up for rallies, versus the actual people that voted!

  2. "We treat everyone nicely". No doubt. Credit to our host for maintaining the listening mode. Many of us would have found that difficult.

    1. I'm kinda used to it at this point. There's a New Yorker cartoon of a man on a psychiatrist's couch, while the doctor, pad in hand, face irate, leans forward and says, "Why you swine!" It's only funny because doctors—and journalists—aren't supposed to do that.

    2. Listen and then analyze. Two psychiatrists standing on a corner when a former patient passes by and says "Good morning Doctors." One turns to the other and says "What do you think he meant by that?"


  3. I'm sorry but I have had it with these people. I don't give a flying damn how decent they are, how well they treat their dogs, etc. If you voted for Trump or support him in any way, you are a toxic idiot and I want nothing to do with you.

    1. I'm not sure that's a luxury many of us will have. They're there. They're not going away. Ignoring them is part of the reason they gave us Trump.

    2. We ignore them at our peril. My former dentist displayed a poster that read: "Ignore your teeth and they'll go away." Rust never sleeps...and neither does deterioration. A decaying dam is a disaster waiting to happen.

      I've been a Joe guy for years. But I've also been a Cub fan all my life. A born pessimist, who hopes for the best, but expects the worst. I'm ecstatic about Joe, but five-plus years of orange hell have left me worn-out and edgy. I think we're where Lincoln was in 1861, and this spring and summer are going to be like nothing ever seen before.

      Since the Insurrection, I no longer believe in any sort of appeasement or bargaining with the Trumpsters, be they urban or rural, suburban or small- town. Nor do I have any further tolerance for their resentments, their grievances, their conspiracy theories, their paranoia, or any of their innumerable Lost Causes.

      Trump, and Trumpism, were the cancer symptoms, not the illness itself. He made us painfully aware of how sick we've become. But before we can begin to excise the malignancy, by whatever procedure becomes necessary, we first have to eradicate the Plague. That is Priority Number One. All else follows. So even out in corn country, Cletus and Jethro had better mask up, and stay out of the Moose Club.

    3. I just watched "The Social Dilemma", it might not be their fault. Facebook et al selling us whatever truth advertisers will pay for. Probably not effecting old farts as much, but scary just the same.

  4. It's so frustrating to listen to these good folks stand up for Trump. You want to take them by the shoulders, give them a good shake, and say, "How can you fall for the sales pitch this obvious fraud and con man is offering you? If he were selling you spavined horses, fake Rolexes or get-rich-quick schemes, you'd tar and feather the guy and run him out of town lickety-split." There's something there that I will never understand, but I do know that the doubt and fear he has sown over the years with such careless disregard for consequences will not go away just because he does. Good luck, Joe. You'll need it.


  5. "He built that wall, very important so not just anybody could come in"

    Very telling statement. If the segment of border protection that was upgraded and paid for by american taxpayers stopped anyone from entering the country , it's poor brown people which trump supporters don't want living in their communities. This was trump's appeal to the millions that voted for him. Fear or brown people.

  6. Thanks for doing this and covering it. The country is very big and lots of people see things differently. I think Mr. Griswold speaks for many Trump supporters. They like the tax break, rolling back regulations, etc...but became disturbed with his behavior. That's a Republican agenda but Trump happened to be their only choice. 2024 the Republicans could have a similar agenda but Trump I don't think will be around anymore. Mr. Mathews also has an interesting point: If they feel the vote counting should end the day after the election, then I see why they feel it was stolen. The biggest problem I thought were the people in power lying about the rigging of the election. Like watching Fox news or listening to Limbaugh/Hannity, I look and think "Who would believe this garbage?" But there are lots of people out there that unfortunately do. Hope the pie was good and glad you're back safely.

  7. The genius of the GOP is that they can convince rural working people to vote against their self interests. This is in no small part due to every rural radio station in America running Rush Limbaugh each day. Limbaugh has taught them that liberals aren't just wrong - they are beneath contempt. Limbaugh is a cancer upon rural America, a man who has done more to divide America than any other.

    I know Fairfield as I spent time there visiting a friend on numerous occasions. Nice people, now completely hypnotized by one of the most toxic conmen in history. There is a direct connection between GOP policy and the economic ruin of Fairfield and most other small towns in America. 60 court cases thrown out and still they think the election was stolen. Willful delusion.

    The newspaper publisher may be nice, but he is a cult member. Trump lied and obfuscated while 400,000 American citizens died, then promoted an insurrection against our elected officials and nation. Not just the worst president ever, but a sociopathic traitor.

  8. I declined the opportunity to read this column yesterday, on the day that a certain aspect of our long national nightmare was over and a new day was dawning. I'm glad I did, as it is as dispiriting and annoying as I'd have guessed.

    “Does he think the election was stolen?

    ... 'There’s very little evidence. That for me is just a tough call. I have no firsthand evidence that it was done.'

    But it was done?

    'I would say yeah, probably.'"

    Magical thinking in service of a charlatan. And this unwarranted, very dangerous conclusion comes from the *reasonable* guy who found the guy he voted for twice to be "a severe disappointment."

    One would imagine that he and his nice, peaceful, happy buddies make most practical decisions in their lives based on evidence. As opposed to their views regarding this political issue which are based on incessant lies and conspiracy theories.


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