Road Trip 2016: Preface

What is THIS all about—driving out West and back? It was Embry’s idea, which must have been in her head last summer when we were in the middle of the around-the-world-without–flying adventure since I recall her suggesting a road trip around the U.S. shortly after our return. It all boils down to this: at our “advanced ages” of 74 (me) and 70, how many more opportunities are we going to get for doing something like this?

The idea behind this trip is to see as much as we can of our own country, visit dear friends and relatives along the way, and appreciate what we often tend to take for granted. But my hope now is that it will turn out to be more. Who could have predicted last fall that Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee and that our country would find itself at a critical moment in our history? I try to keep assuring myself that this guy won’t win, but he could. How could this happen: electing a mean spirited, inexperienced narcissist with fascist tendencies? I say it could never happen here. Yet it has happened in other countries like Germany and Italy, countries known for their culture and “advanced civilization.”

Besides the idea of being able to see and experience our vast and beautiful land, the “something more,” I am looking for is some insight as to why people feel the way they do. Surely many people are still hurting from the Great Recession, good jobs are hard to come by and wages remain stagnant. The gap between the “Creative Class” (professionals, successful artists and athletes, the highly educated, CEOs, entrepreneurs, etc.) and what used to be the Middle Class continues to grow, not to mention the gap between the one per centers and practically everyone else. The country is becoming more diverse by the day and within a decade or two will no longer be a white majority. I get this. I understand why there is fear and insecurity. But why The Donald? What is going on? What is behind the hatred of the federal government and the contempt for Washington? My hope is that getting outside the Beltway and into the heartland will provide some insight.

But fear not. This will not be a political commentary by bleeding heart liberals. The blog hopefully will be an honest account of two old codgers, winding their way along valleys, over mountains, through plains, deserts, and cities in what in my view has been and still is (at least for now anyway) the greatest country in the world. We have been blessed to live here at this time in history. It will be a joy to get one more taste of it before we pass the baton.

 

17 thoughts on “Road Trip 2016: Preface

  1. I so look forward to resuming my morning coffee routine with Joe & Embry! Glad you are hitting the trai again. You will have a chance to talk with my TX cousins in August — great folks with incomprehensible (to me) beliefs. True Texans. Be sure to listenn to your radio on the way and read the local papers — that has a LOT to do with what the Heartland believes. No NPR out there. FOX news reigns. QuinTango tours in a lot of little conservative towns, but none was as shocking as staying in perfectly manicured Mountain View CA ( we did a concert at Stanford) and discovering the 1%ers supporting the concert series and music festivals (and hosting us) were devotees of Glenn Beck and FOX. When are you leaving? and what are you driving? I love a road trip. Will have to live vicariously this summer, though.

  2. Embry and Joe!
    Bon Voyage and thank you for sharing what you’ll see, hear, taste and feel along the way.
    We Cleveland Parkers can use some hard truths from the heartland, and who better to puncture our bubble than you.
    Here’s to good times and no flat tires!!
    Wendy and Charlie

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