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The Mendo Coast Enclave

Where do you stand and what do you believe in? That moment when someone says, “I can't believe you would vote for Trump.” I simply reply, “I'm not voting for Trump.” I'm voting for the First Amendment and freedom of speech. I'm voting for the Second Amendment and my right to defend my life and my family. I'm voting for the next Supreme Court Justice(s) to protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I'm voting for the continued growth of the 401K of those who have it and the stock market. I'm voting for a return of our troops from foreign countries and the end to America's involvement in foreign conflicts. I'm voting for the Electoral College & the Republic we live in. I'm voting for the Police to be respected once again and to ensure Law & Order. I'm voting for the continued appointment of Federal judges who respect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I'm voting for our jobs to remain in America and not be outsourced all over again to China, Mexico and other foreign countries. I'm voting for secure borders and legal immigration. I'm voting for the Military & the Veterans who fought for this Country to give the American people their freedoms. I'm voting for the unborn babies that have a right to live. I'm voting for continued peace progress in the middle east. I'm voting to fight against human/child trafficking. I'm voting for Freedom of Religion. I'm voting for the American Flag that is disrespected. I'm voting for my children and my grandchildren to ensure their freedoms and their future. What are you voting for?

This was shared with me by a Californian in his mid-forties. I taught and coached him in sports during the 1980s. He and I don't agree on politics all that often. My purpose in reprinting his Facebook post here is definitely not to pick apart anything he is saying. He lives in a part of this state far removed from Mendocino County. It may be hard for some in this county, especially the Mendocino Coast, to understand where he is coming from.

That is part of the point. Much of this region is locked into something akin to a fairyland of self-anointed, so-called liberalism to such a degree that they have lost touch with what life is like for a sizable portion of the electorate, whether they reside in Cottonwood, California; North Platte, Nebraska; or the outskirts of Money, Mississippi. Mendocino County and particularly its coast has grown into nothing more than an enclave of escape for those who want to stand up for the George Floyds of this country, they'd just rather do it from the safety of their retirement home while watching Rachel Maddow. Once in a great while they'll take to the mean streets of Mendocino to stand together for social justice. 

If the polls hold and Mr. Biden defeats Mr. Trump, there will still be a sizable portion of the populace so disaffected by the same-old-same-old of statewide and national politics that they did vote for Mr. Trump. They still will hold almost all the views expressed above. Simply putting a political boot to their throat won't work or we as a nation will be right back where we were in 2016. 

My former student and I exchanged messages earlier today. I told him that one of the saving graces of this county's politics is that party affiliation is not attached to local candidates, despite the efforts of relatively small cabals to paint some candidates as the chosen ones or the unacceptable ones. No party affiliation allows for more of a one on one, individual to individual, manner of solving problems and occasionally creating true progress on issues more meaningful in the long run than a name applied 160 years ago. So if you are planning to cast your vote for a candidate more progressive than Mr. Trump, you also need to be ready to sit down with someone who holds the views expressed at the beginning of this piece and find some common ground. 

If you can't do that then skip the reaction of 2016, skip over the American Civil War, and go back before those imperfect slaveholders and profiteering merchants put pen to paper to declare their independence from a king. For all their personal and practical flaws, for all their “mansplainin’” in everyday life, a disparate group of Americans worked out their differences in 1776 and again in 1787 to create a fairly good bedrock of governmental principles. They made mistakes that we are still grappling with today.    

However, if Mendocino County denizens simply gloat over a Biden victory and/or a Democratic Party controlled Senate and don't budge at all toward a conversation with their fellow citizens, who hold their truths to be just as self-evident as your own, well, then… there will never be any true progress. And to call oneself a progressive in that climate will be a lie not unlike those spewed by the current resident of the Oval Office.


  1. Pacololo October 14, 2020

    Couldn’t agree more….
    The extreme left around here has become insufferable.
    Especially the core of women bent on reverse prohibition in a societal sense.
    They screwed the pooch royally with the Coast Hotel deal.
    Their little kiosks all over town, where empty storefronts are more the norm are a prizenas well.
    Thing the Goobers are greedy?
    Talk to the likes of Carole White and her crew….
    Pretty well Bullshit Reading time with her ass around…

    • Mark Scaramella October 14, 2020

      “Extreme left”? Please. These people are not “the left” in any sense of the word. That’s an insult to what few lefties there are in this area.

      • George Hollister October 16, 2020

        Bigoted might be a better description than extreme. You can be bigoted and not extreme.

  2. Douglas Coulter October 14, 2020

    Left out!
    Extreme does not solve problems it creates more of them.
    If the right wing and the left wing cannot function together
    The turkey does not fly.
    Blame never solved a problem.
    Dogma is delusion in a tuxedo
    History will ALWAYS repeat because the human race is retarded yet dreams they are genius

  3. Professor Cosmos October 15, 2020

    Lots of things now unfolding may rattle alot of us to the point where we become unglued from our most precious imaginings about everything.

    I think as we deal with our pathologies, many of them gloriously illustrated by Trump in such an acute manner that we can longer leave these currents unaddressed (the silver lining of his existing!), we will be soon transiting to a bigger playground, engaging with new players in new games. Wont feel like too much fun for awhile.

  4. mr. wendal October 15, 2020

    Too bad the current middle-of-the-road Democrats who claim to be liberal are the ones who try to run every non-profit and governmental seat in Mendocino County. They refuse to converse with those who disagree with them or ask them for data to support their claims. Instead, they use name-calling and attacks on people who aren’t willing to step in line and go along with everything they say or want without questions or thoughts of their own. They do it to everyone along the political spectrum and it’s prevalent in Fort Bragg. You can see some of them in action at quite a few City Council meeting recordings when people could attend them.

    Mr. Macdonald is right in saying that things will never improve if people can’t even talk to those with whom they disagree. Their disdain for those they believe are not as enlightened as they shows that these dems are not enlightened. And they certainly are NOT liberal.

    • mr. wendal October 15, 2020

      I am not referring to the current City Council or city staff here. It’s those who keep trying, unsuccessfully, to take the reins and create a community that mirrors their own closed-minded beliefs alone.

  5. George Hollister October 16, 2020

    Malcolm, well said. But how realistic is it to expect people to have a conversation with others of different views? We don’t do that. Almost never have. I would hope for some humility, and self reflection, too, but that seldom happens either.

    What we do is play on the same sports team, play in the same bands, and support the same Fire Departments. In these situations we have a common goal, respect our team members, and keep politics out. Maybe we should do this on a national level. Respect people who walk a different path than ours in other parts of the country who have entirely different political views than ours, and expect them to do the same of us. That means don’t impose, and avoid crusades. The fundamentals of freedom can be maintained in a broad range, that includes many political views. That is what should be meant by strength in diversity.

    • Harvey Reading October 16, 2020

      Hollow words from a devastator of forest and stream. Like other conservathugs, you peddle fine, high-sounding words to cover your real beliefs, and actions.

    • Douglas Coulter October 16, 2020

      Trump shook the tree! And oh what fell out.
      America is a nation of blame, who can be blamed for the failure of a system built upon failure.
      Rules subdue human interaction. Don’t hurt my feelings

      Please hurt my feelings? Because that is how I detect friend or foe.
      Trump is a classic narcissists. Me and my feelings.
      America is a nation built upon profit! What can be gained!
      That is not the same platform for friendship. Trust and agreement.
      Treaties are meaningless to the western mind but clearly identified by scripture.

  6. George Hollister October 18, 2020

    I cut, pasted, and e-mailed this piece, with all the appropriate acknowledgements, to a number of my Mendocino County friends and received a surprising number of positive replies. They continue to come in. There are times when the essence of a situation is summed up with some good writing.

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