This is the last of my travel journals. We had journeyed across the flyover states that President Obama snobbishly declared was where people still cling to their guns and their religion. There is no surprise, that the DNC at their recent convention in San Francisco actively solicited the support of the non-religious and secular humanist. Having a society whose core values are transiently based on the popular culture of the day is a very dangerous change in America. Without having basic standards such as those espoused in the philosophies of Western Civilization and especially the Decalogue, (popularly called “The 10 Commandments” but more correctly referred to as the 10 Statements or Decalogue) makes our civil society a very unstable and dangerous place.
We finally arrived at the town of Buchanan, Michigan, population approximately 5000. It is a rural community in a highly wooded part of the state and is rich in agriculture. It is also the hometown of my wife, which was the motivation for our trip. Before they left for China and other locations, it was the home of Clark Equipment and Electro-Voice. When such vibrant factories relocate from small communities like Buchanan, it invariably leaves the town economically distressed. That is what we saw when we last visited Buchanan some three years into the Obama administration. Main Street was shabby and largely boarded up. Driving around looking at her family and friends’ old homes and haunts, we observed most were in dire need of repair, paint and roofing. There was a depressed feeling in the town.
We learned that one million dollars of President Obama’s American Recovery Act money had found its way to the two blocks of Main Street via carpetbaggers with cash in hand from Chicago. They opened shops and businesses that addressed needs and services for which there was no demand in rural Buchanan. It turned out that one of the new antique shops was operating in its basement a major illegal drug distribution center serving the addicts of Southern Michigan. When the Obama Bucks ran out, so did the carpetbaggers leaving the town center dilapidated and boarded up.
That was then. What about now? After two- and one-half years of President Trump’s economic policies, what a difference. The town was sparkling. The homes were freshly painted and in a high state of preservation. There was a positive feeling in the community. Our hotel was packed with workman and contractors who were there to work in Southern Michigan. Major remodeling was occurring in the shop spaces on Main Street.
There seemed to be two holdovers from Obama Bucks. Two antique shop owners who told me they made few sales in town. They mostly shipped their goods to wealthy neighborhoods. Their antiques were acquired in Chicago of course. They both were very excited about three large recreational cannabis shops coming to Main Street in one year. They were convinced it would be great for the community and the economy. Think about it. Three cannabis shops in two blocks in a town of 5000. What do you think is happening? I doubt it’s very much about serving the local predominantly very religious community.
I just read about the ex-Canadian Prime Minister attacking Trump for emission policies and hoping that Mar-a-Lago would be destroyed by Hurricane Dorian, ignoring that the US has reduced more CO2 than any other industrialized nation. Instead of cutting back on our economic drivers, perhaps we should be growing more plant life that takes in CO2 and gives back oxygen. Oh yes, I just drove through 1000 miles of oxygen producing corn and soybean fields. Keep up the good work, America!