THE STATE WE ARE IN

My rear view mirror filled with pick-up trucks and SUV’s and then they were all around me. The sides of the freeway sprouted signs. MACY’s, WALMART, HOME DEPOT, TARGET, and IN AND OUT BURGERS. Bumper stickers on rear windshields said Vote Bush/Cheney. I pulled into an Albertson’s parking lot and saw a real cowboy. Where was I?

Fifty miles east of San Francisco, much to my amazement.

For the next two weeks I lived among Folks Who Voted for Bush. They included my sister and her husband as well as my parents. I tried my hardest to talk the four of them into staying home on election day. “You don’t want to go out in that rain,” I said. But they went anyway.

Apparently lots of other folks we San Franciscans aren’t familiar with got out too.

When I got home, people were saying, “How could this have happened?” And “We are f_____d!”

I’m wondering how it is that we San Franciscans could have been so unaware of what most of the country, including half of our own state, was thinking. Who they are. What they believe.

Just an hour east of San Francisco, there is fast food in place of gourmet cuisine. “My Big Obnoxious Boss” on Tuesday night TV instead of a good book. Jessica Simpson on TV too instead of a night at the symphony. Work instead of living.

The National Press Club was on C-Span tonight discussing the election results. “If California broke off forty miles inland,” one of them said, “Bush would have taken California by a safe sixteen electoral votes.”

I knew America was changing, but California?

Back home in San Francisco, I received the following email invitation:

“Come join us to breathe and shake out the feelings we have in our bodies about last nights election results. Take a quantum leap…Deepen your connection with your spirit…We’ll do breathwork to unravel our limited beliefs and blocks…And we’ll use high frequency sound tubes…Join us for this transformational experience at the _______ Institute.”

I laughed outloud. California wasn’t going red any time soon.

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