Trump's Florida is a glimpse into another political world

PUTNEY — Since the election disaster in November, most of those I know have been overwhelmed by the level of destructive and frightening behavior of the Republicans in Washington.

At our store, Everyone's Books, every day we welcome people from the local area and from far afield who are confused, angry, and activated with new energy to resist this onslaught.

Every day, people thank us for giving them the freedom to express their fear and hope for a better country.

We are selling pins, bumper stickers, and feminist and political books at a steady clip. I believe we are part of a movement that is occurring in many parts of the country, but not everywhere.

I just spent a week in the tourism mecca of Delray Beach, Florida with my extended family - not my choice of a vacation venue. Because my parents lived there in the winter for many years, I am quite familiar with the area, but I have always felt disconnected from my actual life while there.

Every trip to South Florida includes my futile hunt for just one building or lot with solar panels present. I am an extreme walker: I walked at least 10 miles every day in residential and commercial areas, and yet again saw no evidence that solar even exists in the seven long, sunny days in Florida! None of these walks were in the many gated communities that explicitly do not allow solar.

The landscape is littered with ultra-expensive cars - they may be making Hummers just for this market! I saw exactly two T-shirts with political messages in a week: one said “Still, she persisted.” The other: “Girls just wanna have guns.”

I brought a load of anti-Trump pins, and wore one everywhere I went. Every time anyone said “I like your pin,” I offered one. Not surprisingly, most of those who were excited to see some resistance were workers in our hotel.

On the way to and from Florida, the JetBlue employees, almost to a person, were lining up for these pins. They were great conversation starters with the most interesting and smartest people I met in a week in Florida!

I was not far from the insanity of the ultra-expensive ($200,000 entrance fee) Trump resort in Palm Beach and I was very eager to demonstrate there, but being in South Florida, there was no way to get there without a car. And even with one, many of the area roads had been shut down for the weekends of fun in the sun for our new, hard-working grifter-in-chief, as well as local airports being randomly closed at the whim of this new regime.

I was grateful to get back to Vermont, but I am disturbed at the prospect that for so many, the suffering that is being inflicted on the poor, the non-white, the immigrants and refugees, and the Earth seem to be not even on their radar.

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