So what will my friend accomplish by leaving Amarillo and moving to Denver? What was the aim of all those people who said that if Trump won that they would leave the country? Is there anywhere really to run? Run to what? Run from what?
I took a look at how Texans and Coloradoans voted in the last election. In Texas Trump received 4,685,047 (52.33%) of the votes over Clinton’s 3,877,868 (43.24%.) Trump beat Clinton by a margin of 8.99 percent in Texas. In 2012 Romney won Texas over Obama by a margin of 16 percent. Trump lost ground owing to large Texas metropolitan areas that usually vote Democratic—or Republicans who refused to vote for him. In Colorado Clinton received 2,019,221 (74 %) votes to Trump’s 1,607,610 (59%). Nationally, the latest vote count has Clinton leading Trump by almost 2.6 million votes. On the local level, there were 54,965 registered voters in Potter County. Of this number 29,016 voted—20,604 for Trump and 8,412 for Clinton. Of the 24 Potter county precincts only two chose Clinton over Trump, precinct 223 and 422. In Randall County, 43,462 votes were cast for Trump, 8,367 for Clinton. In Colorado red and blue played out differently depending on the county. In Denver County Clinton received 73% of the votes to Trump’s 18%. In El Paso County (Colorado Springs) Trump received 56% of the vote to Clinton 33%. In Pueblo County, the vote was almost dead even, 27,947 for Clinton and 27,746 for Trump.
What does the overwhelming Potter/Randall Counties support for Trump mean on a variety of issues? If states that have traditionally voted Republican, or recently shifted (within the last 30 years) to vote Republican, should there be any great surprise that local voters cast “traditional” red ballots regardless of the candidate? Would it have mattered if Trump has been a baboon in a suit so long as he was a Republican in traditional “red states?” And the same goes for Clinton? Was this not the tug of war during the election, to get pass the pretty much 40-40 Republican/Democratic voter split and to sway the middle 20 percent? Is this what happened allowing Trump to pull more electoral votes? But what explains his huge loss of the popular vote? Does a Trump loss of the popular vote by 2 or 3 million votes represent a gross departure from what the election outcome should have been? Or was this election so negative and so in the sewer that voters just held their noses and voted? Was Trump’s ability to double down and re double down on Clinton’s negative (compared to his own) the key to his win? Or was there something else about Trump becoming President that portends a rough road ahead for America in so many ways?
There is no reason for me to restate all the objections I had to Trump as a candidate for President. My numerous columns on this website enumerated every visceral dislike I had, and still have for Trump. I was not alone in my assessment about Trump’s “unfitness” to serve as commander in chief. But we shall see what his presidency will usher in for this nation. Are we to follow the suggestion of Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, that we start to horde cash to ride out the economic disaster that Trump will soon cause? If a man who has not even taken the oath of office can cancel an order for new Air Force one jets, a move that will soon lead to thousands of pink slips and a huge loss of investor equity, what else lies ahead from a man who can so easily manipulate the world’s financial market—even for private gain?
Beyond political and global issues, will a Trump presidency lead to more and more private acts of hate all across this country? Is a Trump presidency the equivalent of the White Citizen’s Council in charge of the federal government? Do we now have a closeted John Birch Society member in the person of Donald Trump as commander in chief? What should the Denver principal say to explain to her 17 year old daughter why she was called N word at a Denver gas station? What is she to tell her son about how he should navigate his own life in Trump’s America? Or is this giving Trump too much power to control our lives? Is Trump’s victory more symbolic than real, but, still allowing too many hate-filled white people to engage in openly racist and bigoted behavior? Still, the question I asked my friend moving to Denver needs to be answered: “What do you white people really want?” If, especially in Amarillo and Texas, whites already have all the top local, state, federal, and private industry jobs and wealth, what more do you want? Do whites want all other ethnic groups to “just leave” America? As I said in another column, if all non-white students at Amarillo’s Caprock High School were to go somewhere else, how many white teachers and administrators would soon lose their jobs and their homes? If all the immigrants were to leave America, or Amarillo, who would be left behind? What I do know is that my friend was paying an Amarillo landlord $975 a month rent. The house now stands vacant without a tenant and it was vacant for months before.
Is there really nowhere to run for those of us still bothered by the prospects of a Trump presidency?Is finding someplace to run a good strategy for many Americans under a Trump presidency? Can we run from racism and bigotry in Texas or in Colorado? Or should there be a collective “Hell NO” to Trump’s trickle down bigotry? Is it a good strategy for parents to do like my friends and leave Amarillo for their own good and that of their children? For all its Republican “red-ness” what are the children of Potter and Randall counties learning that will broaden their horizons about a world larger than the patch of earth called the Texas Panhandle—other than how to fly a confederate flag? And explain this, when I returned to Amarillo from Denver, I decided not to fly because of the long travel distance to the Denver airport. Instead I took a Greyhound bus. When I boarded in Denver, the driver looked at my ticket and said, “One person going to Amarillo—lady-there’s nothing there.” For all its red-ness, pro Trump, confederate flag waving elements, what is Amarillo really all about? Why are so many young people so ready to leave Amarillo in search of meaningful lives? Why are so many young Amarilloans so ready to break with family traditions, voting and otherwise, and move forward with their lives with depth, vision, and purpose—far away from Amarillo? Why are so many young Amarilloans looking for “somewhere to run?”
Copyright 2016 – L. Arthalia Cravin. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.