In a war-torn nation, a town tries a lot of politeness

Lovettsville, Virginia (AP) — When Maureen Donnelly Morris came from nearby Leesburg to open a cafe in Lovettsville, she received a warm welcome. Neighbors gathered to help her. The splits that are split between their town and their country have been set aside. The wrath of American thunder was a distant feeling.

They sank the post because of her parking sign. They brought solar lights into a cheerful outdoor space, sharpened the blades of bagel slices, and donated plants. All of this signaled that it would be a backstreet brew, a social hub for the town and a common place for its citizens.

Forget red, blue, left, right, pro-playing cards, anti-playing cards for at least a moment. No one asked the Leesburg woman: on which side are you? (And if they did, she wouldn’t say, but it wouldn’t.)

With about 2,200 people nationwide, this and other communities continue to have neighborhood methods and social connections, even in countries that appear to be at war with themselves. It’s a quieter force than all the screams that separate Americans. But as the anniversary of the riots at the US Capitol on January 6 approaches, the country’s redemption and its future of democracy may depend on it.

Moe says that everyone calls her, at least among the cafe’s neighbors. “You are allowed to be a Republican and I don’t hate your guts. And you are allowed to be a Democrat and hopefully you if I’m not. Will love me. “

In a terribly painful United States, that feeling is no longer taken for granted.

A year after a violent attack on the Capitol by supporters of the defeated President Donald Trump, the United States split in almost every conceivable way. The sacrifice of sharing seems to be an artifact. It is notable that we are not “all together with this,” as the pandemic Cliché argues for coronaviruses and other issues. There is no common fact.

Americans who are still under threat and exhausted from COVID-19 cannot agree that vaccination is better. Elected officials refuse to say that even the second Republican of the House of Representatives did not steal President Joe Biden’s legitimate, legitimate and fair elections from Trump. For the sake of clarity, it wasn’t.

The fight is filtered to professional sports, with some players confiscating $ 400,000 games to maintain the right to expose themselves and others to the illness that killed more than 800,000 people in the country. I was willing to. Abortion, a long-established constitutional subject, is an ongoing political debate that divides the United States further than usual as the Supreme Court considers whether to overturn the Roe v. Wade case. ing.

Very complex questions about race, custody, school education, and history teachings are a fiery simple slogan and voters that Democrats are not in contact in Virginia or elsewhere in the November elections. Created a sense of. Virginia citizens have put a brake on the transition from red to blue and elected the Republican governor for the first time in ten years.

Republicans forge conspiracy theories from the highest positions, distort elections to local Republicans, throw eggs to make them, and perhaps he easier to win, and throw Republicans in primaries that don’t support him. It remains a threat to the threatening man. The lie that the 2020 election was a fraud.

The The public is deeply divided Whether to believe in unquestionable facts — Democratic Biden was honestly elected. In the aftermath of January 6, about two-thirds of Republicans said Biden’s elections were illegitimate, by the fall. Their interest in seeing the rebels prosecuted was diminished.

For Fiona Hill, who served the three former presidents across political parties as a Russian analyst, it’s all added to US politics as “Mortal Kombat, a video game.”

“We have to kill the enemy,” Hill said. His new book explores the root cause of the rise of Trump and other Republican leaders. Factions and shades of blue are fighting themselves. … Republicans, the party of the people I worked with when I was new in the Bush administration, they all disappeared. “

That is America during the war. It will be performed in Washington, at apparently non-citizen town meetings across the country, and via radio waves. It infects social media and people lose their hearts with their own approval.

There is another, quieter America. It asks about the family. It sympathizes with the water bill and shoots a breeze. It’s a place where people who are disgusted with Facebook can meet and be polite. Often it meets over a cup of coffee.


‘I hope you get well’

There is no doubt that Trump has pushed people further into their political corners, making things bigger, coarser and more chaotic. And the one-two punch of political and social distance was sacrificed.

Trump and the pandemic “drilled a hole in the center of town,” said Chris Console, a leftist activist and former city planning commissioner for Robertsville.

The breach featured Back Street Brews in a building shared with the Painted Pig Craft Shop in late 2017, after serving people outside the window for months plagued by pandemics in 2021. Expanded to fill the space. The town has become the first place to hang out, sit with a laptop and play the guitar.

Worship groups, new moms’ gatherings, and various other coffee clutches have taken root. There is rarely a fierce debate, but political debates pop up. And when you sneeze in one small hole, a stranger in another small hole calls out, “Bless you.”

“It’s not really a place like a pot stirrer,” said Moe, who gives a wonderful smile to everyone who comes in. “I don’t invite it. And once it comes up, as long as it pays homage, you can talk about whatever your beliefs are. I don’t care. You If you make this stubborn or make it stubborn, I always say, keep it away from here. “

Long-time retired foreign service officer John Ferguson, who moved here five years ago, donated a flag and solar lights to the backstreets of Pennsylvania Avenue in Robertsville, which is barely wide lanes for two cars to pass through. Did. He is often there and runs to Costco for Moe. He was very relieved when Trump vacated a large white house on another Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.

Ferguson grew up in the “FDR Democratic” tradition of Hartford, Connecticut, where Republicans were wealthy businessmen and almost all Democrats.

Ferguson, a history student and career diplomat, trembles with fresh memories of Trump on the rally stage, like Mussolini, an Italian fascist of World War II.

“Huge turmoil and tragedy,” Ferguson talks about Trump’s legacy. When it comes to defending the integrity of the election and being wary of further riots like January 6, “as long as Trump is on the scene, you can’t step in for now, and certainly. think.”

But what about Democrats?

“They seem to have a kind of self-righteous attitude. They treat Trump voters as if they were stupid. That’s a big mistake. It’s very alienating them. It’s dangerous. “

Federal consultant Erik Necciai brought his family to the outskirts of Robertsville over a decade ago. In the early 2000s, he was a Senator on the Small Business Committee of Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry and Maine Republican Olympia Snowe. He knows about quaint bipartisan. He also finds it convenient to have a shovel.

So when another neighbor made a wooden stanchion for a narrow backstreet parking lot, Necciai bought concrete, dug a hole and poured scaffolding.

“We all have different political views,” he says, stating that he himself is moderate. “Today it’s very difficult to have a conversation in public. But I was sitting in this coffee shop a while ago … and some topics came up, and suddenly I We were solving 5 or 6 different political problems. Russia, what do we do about it? China?

“Everyone’s opinion has been well received, and I think we need a little more. We now live in a world where we are better learning not to judge people by appearance. Still, someone is specific. If you bring a hat, a red hat, we will judge them instantly, not necessarily when you don’t know. “

Jessica Sullivan, a professional tarot card reader who also works behind backstreet counters, moved to Robertsville 15 years ago to teach at a private school across a river in Maryland. The town was then renowned for its backwaters in Loudoun County, a fast-growing region of northern Virginia, including technical corridors and rural towns and farms on the outskirts of Washington.

“There is nothing in this place and no one knows, so God, please don’t die here,” she said. But since then, as the town has grown, her attachment to the people has grown.

Now she says, “I don’t want to live anywhere else …. I’m so relaxed and calm, no one needs to think of the same thing I think to be a good person. to me.”


“Mask book” period

Still, Sullivan said, “We sometimes have some sort of dark undercurrent.”

In one provocation, a parade of protrumps that passed through the town during the 2020 campaign bypassed Main Street, stopped outside the activist console and his wife Sheryl Fry’s house, and horned to intimidate the couple. rice field.

It was also in 2020 that the couple turned the vast fence line into a showpiece and painted the gay pride rainbow flag. This was intended as a statement of support for LGBT youth who, like everyone else, were pandemic and isolated at home.

Celebratory decorations have delighted many in the town, confusing some of their cultural rights.

Explaining how 20 people appeared to help the console paint the fence, her cat sits on the lap of the pouch, and the roaming chicken stops listening and tilts her head sideways.

The parade was a clear sign of friction. But behind the social media shield, where you can vomit and don’t have to look into someone’s eyes, the tone was harsh and confrontational.

The owner of a local gun store inflamed the sign outside the store, regularly posted a slogan that hates freedom, was furious on social media, and announced the sale of AR-style rifles in 2020.symbol Named the sale after “crazy” Chris and her neighbor The spelling of the name is broken by the call to “arm”.

But on both sides of the division, people share a consensus on several things. First, Lovetsville is a family-friendly place where you can safely send your 10-year-old child to Seven-Eleven alone.

Another consensus is that Facebook has given some ugly voices an oversized megaphone. Half hidden behind an online veil that Moe calls the “Mask Book”.

In a live exchange at a local Facebook group, downtown homes and families displaying multiple pro-card banners were accused of being “card dumps.” From the other side, vulgar insults are thrown at homosexuals and those on the left.

Many of the towns have stopped this cruel online competition. Others can’t look away completely, just like a car accident rubberneck.

In the forum, “people are free to say what they like and attack,” said a woman in the garden who boldly expressed her husband’s and his support for Trump. “I heard it all.” She asked not to reveal her identity because of local tensions.

While she was speaking, her cat jumped on a chest-high fence with the 2024 Trump flag and rubbed the interviewer’s face persistently.

Apart from Facebook, Trump supporters have some liberal friends and don’t hesitate to visit Backstreet, sizing Moe “definitely in the middle”. “We bring small things to milkshakes, etc.”

So is the extreme left-handed. So is moderate. So do so with just ordinary people.

They will all shoot a breeze, ask about their families, and complain about water bills and so on.

Then return to the ramparts. It’s America for you.

“It’s affecting people,” Moe said of the dangers of this era. “It’s not me. It’s not my bubble. Everyone is fine! We step into the coffee bubbles.”