“Democracy is based upon the conviction there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.” (Harry Emerson Fosdick)
When Ruth and I embarked on our most recent road trip on September 26, I realized an opportunity that our cross country travels would place us in an advantageous position of seeing firsthand some 2020 pre-election vibe in places we would visit along the way. With no particular strategy in mind for the most part, we soon experienced some extreme political messaging amid the Deep South, Midwest, and Rocky Mountain regions of our country.
One striking caption for example posted on billboards along I-95 in the Carolinas compared Donald Trump’s status as a religious savior on par with God. Another catchy phrase posted on the side of a parking delivery truck in farmland Iowa made reference for Trump “Degenerates” to rally now for him in “Let’s Roll” style. Mobile messaging for Trump most prominently took place as well on passenger cargo trucks in rural counties with “Make America Great Again” banners flashing in the breeze. In striking contrast to the Trump Ad blitz we encountered then, Biden/Harris signs throughout the trip were found “far and few between.”
Yet there were other occasions on this road trip where I took a more proactive approach to election matters during my leisure time. I would for instance take advantage of a forest fire slowdown in Granby, Colorado to send hundreds of handwritten postcards to prospective voters in a nearby Battleground” election states reminding each recipient to vote on November 3. Motel and restaurant lobbies also provided fertile ground for informally exchanging issue views with strangers. During these interactions, I intentionally avoided the temptation of playing judgmental “mind games” concerning their political affiliation. At those times of Corona risk in such indoor venues, I also stuck firmly to the Biden game plan of social distancing and wearing my mask.
Alertly then, we would return to South Florida two days prior to our intended arrival date to pick up our “mail-in” ballots and make sure that they were submitted to the election office on time. Our travels will now be on hold for awhile as we join with so so many others to heal from the pervading cynicism in our country that’s been perpetuated in the past four years by Donald Trump’s disturbing Presidential presence. Consider thoughtfully then the following photo images from our 2020 road trips for I believe that a Joe Biden Presidency inspires hope for a much brighter outlook for our country. His leadership will make a positive difference in our lives to protect the blessings of nature, appreciate diversity’s presence, silence systemic racism, safeguard our health, and unite us as a country.