Living around here where our economy is humming along, I was not prepared for what I saw in other states. I drove north on I-15 then east on I-70 to Denver. I-76 to I-80 in Nebraska then hooked a left onto I-35 in Iowa, which ends at my Northern Minnesota hometown. Returning I drove Minnesota 23 -- which I have driven many times in the past since it bisects the state -- and is a straight line to the Minnesota South Dakota border at I-90.
While Minnesota has a state budget surplus and is spending some of it on highways the whole of 23 is slowly being replaced by a Parkway. It looks just like the original Interstate Highway system -- out in the middle of nowhere -- complete to huge clover leafs to get on and off. But there are roads that branch off the parkway between exits without any traffic signals. But there ARE large yellow signs with yellow lights that flash when someone is coming on a side road.
Anyway it had been ten years since I drove 23 and as I drove through so many small towns, like I have in the past I was astounded at the diminished economy. There was not a single town that did not have empty stores and buildings and homes, ... every town DID have a prominently signed Trump Office. So I stopped and talked with them.
The basic story I heard is that of our government is taking away the livelihood of farmers to protect a bird or some other animal. I was told of families, who have been farming the same piece of ground for over 100 years, are being chased out of the business. First the Fed comes along and fences off a part of your farm and tells you to quit using that land. What does the Fed pay the farmer? Not even one thin dime.
Then when the farmer steps foot on HIS land the Fed arrests him and harasses him until finally he gives up and goes away and the Fed gets another land holding for free. Continuing my trip west on I-90 in South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho small and large towns, cities alongside I-90 I found the same thing; empty and abandoned buildings, stores, factories, homes; and, a Trump Headquarters.
It is the same thing in the west people feel that the Fed is in the process of taking over the whole country while chasing individuals to the larger regional cities. This year there were two major oil spills on the Yellowstone River. Whole small cities are using bottled and trucked in water. This is the same deal as the current Dakota Access Pipeline pipe protest. Two existing oil pipelines, hundred of miles apart, both cross beneath the Yellowstone River, sprung leaks and made the water unusable for hundreds of miles south of the spills.
In the west the Fed seems to constantly be in the process of turning what used to be Open Range suddenly becomes a bird sanctuary or a park or something that the Fed fences off and enforces with armed Federal Officers. Rancher's that used to pay the Fed a substantial annual fee to use that land to make a living were out of luck.
Home since August watching the election MOST was forecasting as a foregone conclusion that Hillary would win. Yet if one were nosy enough and interested enough to look around? There was what appeared to be polling companies with great credentials saying just the opposite. So November 8th I purposely did not watch any election results until 11 PM news, when I learned whom won. I must admit that the thought of President Trump made me physically sick to my tummy and I was off to bed early.