Milwaukee was a relief after a ghostly Chicago. We have been exploring the Lake Superior and Lake Michigan coasts in Wisconsin and really enjoying the vibe of lighthouses, boats and the last weeks of summertime sadness.
Wisconsin, a swing state in the upcoming presidential election, was all about red and blue. The political tension is in the air all over the country of course, but the experience, feelings and conversations are amplified here in Wisconsin. As a result, this diary entry is going to be highly political. Beware!
Below is a re-creation of a conversation I had with an elderly lady in an antique store:
"How are you keeping up with all this madness around?" she asked me and immediately added "I know we are not supposed to talk about politics, but who cares anymore, we need to talk about it."
I smiled back politely and looked her in the eyes trying to guess if she is voting red or blue. If she is voting red, I am interested in hearing her reasoning around voting for Trump and if she is blue, it is easy to continue the conversation. But how do I know which one is it?
She smiles back at me and says: "I am for Biden, go ahead."
"Oh good!" I sighed and we began talking about global warming, racism, which is acceptable again and even cool in this country, and eventually she told me about a plumber, who would not finish a job he had already started if she did not take away a "Vote Biden" prop from her own yard. What a bully.
The lady also added that one of her four daughters might vote for Trump so she asked the daughter to leave for a while until the lady gets accustomed to the fact that she carried a Trump supporter in her womb.
Anyway, our conversation ended quickly when she realized that I am not able to vote. The only comfort I had to give her was that I do not personally stay in touch with anyone who would possibly vote for Trump that I know of. As we were having this conversation, mailboxes were being collected to limit opportunities to vote by mail.
Another funny observation was that most mansions and fancy houses that we had passed had "TRUMP 2020" props and it was mostly the scrappy homes that were pro-Biden. It became a joke that we could decide which way the owners are leaning based on the condition of their home.
While we are mostly staying away from the political protests unless we run into them accidentally, we do hear politics being discussed more frequently than we did a couple of months ago. Unfortunately, I have not witnessed any constructive conversations between the two sides yet.