The other day, as summer in the city became a stifling drag, I took some time to drive out to the country. Texas is full of charming small towns with colorful names on the banks of the state’s picturesque rivers. Those towns also are home to some of the best people and food you will find anywhere.
So out I drove, into the hills and away from the city that brags about how weird it is. Day tripping wasn’t really meant to be cathartic, but given how awful this year has been, nearly anything that isn’t terrible now feels great. Taking small things for granted feels very 2019 now.
Along the way I couldn’t help noticing something. The farther I got from the city, the more American and Texas flags I saw. They were everywhere along the country highway, in full bloom, with the odd Trump sign here and there too (and zero Biden).
I passed through several little towns and finally stopped in one to sit down for some lunch. Everyone was observing social distance and wearing masks just like they do in the city, but other than that the vibe was entirely different. All signs of hostility remained back in Austin. Texans of several races — I noted white, Hispanic and black in this joint — sat at picnic tables smiling and laughing and enjoying barbecue so good it’s life-changing. Brisket that melts in your mouth. Ribs so big they look like the butchers cut them from a dinosaur.
No one here seemed to have any issue with anyone else. A couple of local cops came in and everyone just went about their business, other than to smile or say howdy if they happened to interact with the officers. It was all just so normal, so much the America we seem to have lost these past few months. So yes, cathartic is a good word for it. The sun didn’t actually shine any brighter out in the country but it felt like it did. I came back home happy both for the spirit of the town and the unbelievable food.
That America is still there. Even amid the temporary violent Maoist takeover of part of Seattle, the ongoing violent uprising in Portland, and infantile city councils from Austin to Minneapolis slicing and gutting their police department budgets, which will lead inevitably to more violence on their streets, normal lives on. People put signs in their yards saying “Support the Police” or some variation and no one defaces or steals them.
In Leander, Texas, just outside Austin, the police are popular and respected and a local family (who happen to be friends of mine) have launched a Kickstarter campaign to put out signs supporting them around the town.
Like most police officers these days, they may be feeling a little frustrated and underappreciated with the divisive rhetoric in the national news. We launched this project to make sure they know we stand by them and how much we appreciate them for keeping our families and our city safe.
Helena, MT has a similar campaign going.
My colleague Tyler O’Neill wrote about a black Georgia Democrat who is standing with police, and incidentally with President Trump, and firmly against the forces of chaos and mayhem.
Are you hearing from liberals whispering about being “red-pilled” because their party is unleashing destructive anarchy? I am.
Even in the cities, which day after day feel more like they’ve been captured by some hostile foreign power, Americans of all backgrounds are recognizing that we need normal back. We need the police to bring it back. We need public safety and sanity restored.
There have been pro-police rallies in Brooklyn and Queens.
In Minneapolis, the misruled city where the latest unrest started an eternity ago, black residents are calling on the city to bring the police back. As they are witnessing, it takes years to get crime under control, but civilization can break down in minutes. It has there and New York and so many of our cities now. Decades of hard work, undone by fools, and endangering millions. Residents want the blue to return and bring order back with them. And that’s not too much to ask. Black people are overwhelmingly the victims of lawless cities, yet city councils signal time and time again that they do not care one whit.
Americans have turned out to rally to #BacktheBlue in New Mexico, Virginia, California, and Florida.
Frankly, I don’t have much hope for the cities in the short term. People keep saying “vote them out,” but the people saying that mostly don’t live in the cities. People who do live in the cities mostly don’t vote in their local elections. Those who do vote in those elections are more and more denizens of the hard left who see city government as their instrument of revenge and path to their destructive fantasies about “transforming” America.
Most Americans don’t want America transformed or reimagined. If anything, they want its best pre-plague aspects restored — such as the vibrant economy we had and the historically low violent crime rates we took for granted less than six months ago.
The urban cancel culture leftists are far outside the American mainstream, but they dominate city elections and thereby own city council chambers. When they call on city councils to defund the police, whether city council members agree it’s wise or not, they tend to go with the voters who put them into office and with the loudmouth shouting at them from the floor microphone. And the reality is, city council members and mayors in too many cities also come from the leftward fringe.
It’s easy to see their antics and the destructive path they are already taking our nation on and lose heart, but don’t. This is a difficult time in a very awful year. But more Americans are united than not, they just seldom if ever get any airtime. They’re not on Twitter amplifying their small numbers into a horde to cancel what they don’t like and ruin other people’s lives. They’re living their lives outside the urban city council chambers, enjoying meals and laughs together and looking forward to getting back to basics.
They intend to have their say in November.