I read the Sept. 3 front-page article “The homecoming” with dismay. As someone with a similar background as the subject of the piece — I’m an Oklahoman who volunteered and donated to Hillary Clinton’s campaign while at a university on the East Coast — I noticed a gross oversimplification of all things “country.”
In reality, the experience and opinion of the farmer in Pawhuska, Okla., is just as integral to the democratic process as those of the Nobel Prize-winning Harvard University professor.
The piece got one thing right: Down here, politics is not the first item on everyone’s mind. In the conversations about sports or soda or county fairs lie the fundamental beauty of flyover country. Rather than constant agitation over events out of our control, there’s a focus on the simpler things in life.
Since the election, a slew of pieces transporting an academic into the heart of Trumpland emerged in an attempt to understand the so-called Trump voter. I contend that this article hit only one aspect of the grappling many are doing post-election. Culture does not fully explain our current political divide. For every student who looks forward to leaving town and going back to school, there’s a college kid who can’t wait to return home, put on some cowboy boots and end the hiatus from country music.
Nathan Levit, Tulsa, Okla.
Emily and Cristian Reyes , the young couple featured in “The homecoming,” would instantly find a home and kindred folks here in Greenbelt. No more need to stifle their voices. This has been a progressive town since its beginning in the 1930s at the height of the Great Depression, founded by the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. The Reyeses would find people with whom they could relate in many ways, some who have even read “Ulysses.”
They could start out at the New Deal Cafe and join the thriving Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Democratic Club. At the three-day Labor Day Festival, they would feel right at home among thousands of people of all races and creeds.
So pack your bags and spend a weekend here and see. If you feel homesick for Americana, we’ve got that, too. Plenty of funnel cake, hot dogs, burgers and small-town pride. And no pretense.
Neil Williamson, Greenbelt