Really, it was not planned with politics in mind. In Harrisonburg, VA we are an hour drive from Charlottesville, VA, and we have in the past maybe about 2 times every 3 months or so go over there to shop, eat, hang out, etc. I used to go to UVa to the library or to see people I know, but all that has faded away to nothing over time. In the pandemic, we have cut it way back, and it had been several months since we had been there. But today the weather was nice, clear, and in the 70s, with the leaves just past max over there, so time to go, not to mention picking up some holiday stuff. We had been planning it for several days, again, nothing to do with politics at all.
The word of the Biden-Harris victory came just before we left to go there, but we still did not think about political implications. Indeed we initially did some upscale grocery shopping elsewhere before we went down to the Mall, where 4th Street crosses, where Heather Heyer was killed by a white nationalist, and where the statues of both Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jonathan Jackson (that is what is no the base of it) still stand, probably to go in the not too distant future finally.
I had thought nothing of all that as got there, although we did see the statues as we drove up and discussed their status. We parked several blocks away, but it was only as we got within a block of the Mall, oh about 3 PM, that it finally dawned on me. People were randomly breaking out into cheers. Music was playing, and people were clearly celebrating vigorously and with great pleasure. We would eat at a funky restaurant sitting on the Mall, and regularly people coming by would start shouting and cheering, and everybody would join in (or most of them anyway), and the place was packed on this gorgeous afternoon. It was a massive and total spontaneous celebration.
Thank you for your “regards and peace” comment to all of us. How I wish it was so simple to get back to normal. Still much work must be accomplished to reverse the damage trump has purposely done to all of us.
I have not been to Cville in many years, but I will always remember it as a special place. As I understand it Unite the Right had to import their brethren from out of town which is consistent with how I remember Cville.
There are stark contrasts among towns and cities of VA. When I lived in Orange in 66-67 it was a sweet town still under the influence of that wonderful lady Marion duPont Scott. My parents had moved away from there by her passing in 1983, so I have no idea what followed. Albemarle County was far more up scale than Orange in general, except for Ms. Scott. She was a hoot. The only time that I ever saw her she was driving a tractor then still just in her early 70’s. Most of the rich folk in Albemarle County were political conservatives and cosmopolitan liberals, about opposite of Lady Scott, a progressive social leader.
Madison County evolved from its mixture of artisans and farmers into a commercialized version of its former self selling hospitality to trout fisherman and canned sweets and hand made pottery and jewelry to tourists. Culpeper County was more industrial blue collar. At some point the socio-political trajectory of these two counties reversed their positions, Madison County evolving into marketable rustic charm and Culpeper County devolving into even greater repression and anger from the loss of union activism and higher wages.
The death of Heather Heyer was emblematic to the stark contrasts among communities in VA, particularly western upland communities. I now live at the western edge of the eastern low country now. The high ground is home to rich people raising mostly thoroughbreds and the rest is black people fishing, crabbing, and growing tomatoes (truck farming euphemism) as well as attending the peripheral businesses from grocery stores and auto repair shops to barbershops and wood stove stores. Sure we have our white rednecks too, but in the course of civic activism the police presence here is to protect the racists from everyone else, not everyone else from the racists.
P.S. I live on the Middle Peninsula. The Northern Neck has more high ground and general farming along with the marine harvesting and the Virginia Peninsula has more high ground and a lot of stinky chickens and pigs. What people do for a living goes a long ways towards forming how they look at life, including their politics.
My great grandparents were all farming families and fervent populists back in the day when William Jennings Bryan was their leader. Fast forward a few generations and my baby boomer 2nd and 3rd cousins that still farm are freakishly ultraconservative nuts who adopted Trump like a long lost brother. I guess farming these days doesn’t inform you the way it used to.
The common thread in this, Kwark, is indeed populism, which has always had a both right and left wing manifestations, with what separates them at least partly depending on whether “the people” include all races or just one of them.
Given the role of populism in the classical fascism of Mussolini, it is not surprising that his views have often been seen as combining left and right wing elements in a fervent nationalism that ultimately was racist. So one gets leftist elements coming from his past as a Socialist with lots of government intervention in the economy while at the same time emphasizing a supposedly anti-socialist and anti-communist program and stance with its emphasis on unifying classes in a racist nationalist combination.
What do the popular populist know about populism or Mussolini? Angry bears of a different feather do not flock together.