Tiny Town Bartending & Political Conversations in Trump Country.

Bartenders listen to conversation all day, every day. Here’s an average day for me.

Image result for upper sandusky aerialI live and work in a small farming community in Ohio. 70% of the county voted for Donald Trump. I work as a part-time bartender and listen to the majority of our patrons discuss politics and current issues regularly, as the news is always on at least one TV. The one thing I keep hearing is how he’s ‘shaking things up, tearing down the establishment!’ from people. Maybe that’s true, and while we do need reform in Washington I don’t think that Donald Trump is the way to go. As referenced in the Mother Jones article linked at the end of this post- Politico obtained a transcript of his interview with WSJ, here is unedited Donald, giving non answers and stringing vague, nonsensical words into sentences:

BAKER: What have you been doing, Mr. President, sort of behind the scenes?



“You know, a lot of people say – they say, well, but the United States is large. And then you call places like Malaysia, Indonesia, and you say, you know, how many people do you have? And it’s pretty amazing how many people they have.”


What boggles my mind is the fact that these people listen to him talk but don’t seem to hear, process, or absorb-there is no substance or depth to his words. Trump is and always been just a salesman, talking in doublespeak and trying to make a quick sale. It’s such a whirlwind of an experience that a person is nodding along agreeing to what he says without realizing none of it made any sense- but there sure were a lot of words and assurances that they like to hear.

I struggle everyday listening to the conversations, but keeping my own very different opinion of politics to myself behind a frozen smile. Something I heard the other day after the news about Transgender people in the military was “Good! I don’t like those people they ain’t right!” or “Well I don’t agree with those people anyways, those are sick people!” “He’s gonna build a wall and get rid of the all the illegals, who are just feeding off the system anyways!” Again, this is a farming community with a robust migrant community in the summer picking months…. If they met a Transgender person and didn’t know they were Transgender, thanked them for their service, shook their hand, would they  then recoil when finding out the military personnel they just showered with accolades was a transgender person?

I guess I should mention I live in a extremely religious town, with 10 churches for a population of just over 7,000 in town in a county with a population of 22,000. I hear over and over again how people love what he’s doing but don’t give specifics, like they just enjoy the chaos and doom on TV everyday, as though politics were or are a reality show. Are they right though? So many people want things to change in Washington. Is Trump the catalyst? Will he be our turning point? Will America finally look at it’s ugly reflection in the mirror and see the deep lines of shame, the wrinkles of stagnation and archaic views, her cruel superficial eyes staring back? Will we resolve to do better?   How much longer will our elected officials hold out, putting party and personal interests before country?  I hope this is the catalyst, the ending to what 9/11 kicked off in this country.  I worry everyday about our future, the world we are giving to our own children, their children and down the line.

I realize that older generations have seen chaos and craziness at times in this country, but it always brought about change in one way or another. Which way will we swing this time? How far will fall behind or will we leap ahead into a new era focused on knowledge, prosperity for all, conservation and a clean environment, probing into new sciences and medical breakthroughs? Will I finally get a darn flying car?


Donald Trump Knows Nothing About Health Care, Taxes, or Trade