Patriotic Kentuckians Might Recognize Biden As POTUS If He Rebuilds Their Homes
President Joe Biden visited Kentucky last week after the tornadoes, and some random asshole greeted him with a juvenile chorus of “Let’s Go Brandon.” Most residents were polite, though, as the Washington Post noted in its article “In Trump Country, A Willingness To Set Aside Politics As Biden Visits.”
Obviously, there’s no such thing as “Trump country.” Kentucky is part of the United States, and Joe Biden is the president no matter what deranged conspiracy theorists believe. Yes, Trump won 62 percent of the state's vote in 2020, but in 2016, Hillary Clinton carried California by 30 points. No one claimed California was “Clinton country,” and residents weren’t offered cookies for treating Trump with basic respect when he visited during the wildfires.
Cliff Giambrone most certainly didn’t vote for President Biden and, in fact, was outside the U.S. Capitol protesting the election results on Jan. 6. On the trailer hitch on the back of his van, he usually uses two 10-foot poles to fly a flag with a derogatory message aimed at Biden: “Let’s Go Brandon.”
But when the 67-year-old retired construction worker drove from his home in Hamburg, Pa., to help the recovery effort here, he made a conscious decision to leave that flag at home, bringing an American flag instead. “Believe me, part of me wants to wave that flag and smile when he looks at it,” he said. “But I don’t want to be that guy.”
Giambrone said he "didn’t vote for [Biden], but he’s still my president. I want to support him.” Well, that’s moving.
Biden visited Mayfield, Kentucky, on Wednesday, and the Post treated it like Richard Nixon going to China. The Post describes Mayfield as "perhaps the most conservative place [Biden] has visited as president, the one where open hostility would be most apparent.” It’s still the United States, so that’s a problem. The article reveals that many of Mayfield’s residents protested Biden’s election, which is their First Amendment right, and still don’t accept that he’s the rightful president, which is seditious, anti-democratic nonsense.
In Dawson Springs, Kentucky, where 75 percent of the homes were destroyed, tattered Trump flags still hang outside damaged houses. Trump wouldn’t piss on these people if they were on fire, yet they idolize him. Emergency personnel picking through rubble wear “Make America Great Again” hats.
Many Mayfield residents appeared to be wrestling this week with their emotions toward Biden, combining a deep-seated disdain and even contempt with a respect for the presidency and a sense that Biden deserved credit for coming. And there was a recognition, grudging for some, that they desperately needed help, or at least money, from the federal government.
Biden has done nothing to earn this “deep-seated disdain” and “contempt.” But at least they’re on their best behavior so President Brandon can give them some cash. He would’ve helped them anyway, because he’s not a psychopath like their hero Trump.
While sitting outside her brother’s destroyed home, Tami Trevarthen said she approved of Biden’s visit because he needed to “see what’s going on here.” However, she wondered if he’s “coherent” because she believes whatever Fox News tells her. Her brother, George Long, an Army veteran, said he’d be courteous to Biden and “even call him president.” That’s patriotism for you! Long is willing to acknowledge objective reality.
But Trevarthen would only say she’d be “cordial” to Biden. She needed to see what he’d do for people before she’d extend the basic courtesy of calling him president, which he is.
Tim Andreasen, a disabled veteran whose house no longer had a roof, said he didn’t trust Biden to fix his many problems.
“He can shake my hand and say, ‘I’m here to help you,’ ” he said, “and it’ll go in one ear and out the other.”
That is unfortunately what happens to the truth in “Trump country."
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."