Back in the day when Berkeley Breathed lived in Summit County, Colorado, and penned the Bloom County comic strip, he used to generate a very fun vibe during Presidential election years. All the characters in his Bloom County world got into the spirit of the election and attended the caucuses and hung out in the local saloons and coffee shops and mountain meadows discussing the hilarious gaffes and outrages of the summer leading up to the November election.
So, in that spirit, and without any intellectual rights ownership, but also without any monetary gain whatsoever, I set out last Wednesday with my sexy secretary and driver, Gruntessa, pictured below in the Gruntmobile, to see how the mountain people were really feeling about this election.
One of the most obvious things that we encountered on our trip through the communities of the Rocky Mountain West was that the college towns have been pretty effectively wallpapered with Bernie Sanders stickers. Just about everywhere you go in these towns, the Priuses and VW Beetles and every inch of every lamp post have been covered in them. This wasn’t a huge surprise to us. Our oldest son who attends the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley had clued us in on this phenomenon. He’d also warned us that Hillary dementia was pretty strong in those towns, but that seemed limited to mostly the girls of feminist cant and the hard-core Social Justice Warrior (SJW) types.
One of our first stops in the more isolated parts of the west was the old mining-turned-ski-town of Telluride. Although Telluride is a favorite of the Hollywood set (Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were married here in 1990 before she came to her senses and dumped him), it is particularly hard to get to. For the last year, it has not even had commercial air service, so the drive to this isolated box canyon town is arduous.
However, that did not keep us from meeting up with a few other conservative bloggers for a wonderful dinner, political discussion and quantities of whiskey and other liquor at the saloon and dining room of the New Sheridan Hotel on Wednesday. One of those bloggers, LL of the Virtual Mirage site, was in the area on his annual 4×4 trip to some of the most scenic high-altitude mining roads in the world. During our conversations, we noted that the Rocky Mountain backcountry was mostly very conservative, especially where the Second Amendment was concerned. That made them tend very strongly toward Ted Cruz, first, and now Donald Trump.
Not all places were unified in that regard, though. Being a mecca for sporting youth, out-of-school college students and slacker trust-funders, Telluride showed a good deal of lefty leanings.
Sometimes, this was disturbingly apparent.
This made us particularly uneasy when Gruntessa and I retired to one of the local saloons to drink late into the night while our fellow writers returned to their rooms to attend to their blogs. While we were not the oldest couple in the bar, we were vastly outnumbered by the young local hipster population which comes out to play late at night in such places after the coffee shops close. They drink their wheatgrass martinis and practice their mating techniques on each other – mostly unsuccessfully. It was really rather pathetic. I think also that our rugged good looks, raw sexuality and old-school charm made them a bit jealous, actually. In any case, it wasn’t long before we hustled a few extra old fashions up to the room for a nightcap before passing out. Our dreams were a little uneasy, frankly.
The next day we headed north and ended up spending a little extra time in the wonderful town of Gunnison after our car lost a fuel pump without warning. No matter, we had research to do! And despite being a college town, the old ranching town of Gunnison was delightful in it’s apparent immunity to political correctness culture.
The food was wonderful, the people were friendly, the dogs were happy…
and the microbrewed ale flowed freely.
In fact, when it was time to wrap up our little survey trip, we found ourselves both excited by the encouraging signs of conservatism in much of the backcountry and eager to get home for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. As we drove over the many mountain passes on the way home, a constant stream of traffic was flowing the other way as tens of thousands of families from the Denver area were towing their boats to the lakes and trails to enjoy the holiday together. A sense of optimism and of hope prevailed.
Perhaps that is a good sign as we approach the Presidential election in November. In the mean time, God bless this wonderful country, and may we all celebrate this Memorial Day in a way that honors those men and women who gave their all so that this country would not perish. I’m sure that they would want us to preserve the greatness that remains.
Cross-Posted at Hardnox & Friends.