As my dog Sam and I stroll around this affluent Nashville neighborhood for our nightly walk, one thing is very clear. Just about all of my neighbors for blocks around are big Romney supporters. Passing by each well-tended large lawn fronting the large houses, I am greeted by 2 or more Romney/Ryan signs next to the street, complete with little waving flags. If there are any Obama supporters in the area besides me, they are cowering in their bunkers until the war is over and they can resume normal life again.
It’s tough being a liberal in a very red state, and I have the added disadvantage of working in the country music industry, which is loudly backing Romney and other Republican candidates with both money and personal appearances. Actually, a lot of musicians and other industry professionals are Democrats, but for the sake of our careers we don’t bring up that uncomfortable subject in mixed company. We all remember what happened to the Dixie Chicks, the great girl trio that was on top of the world until lead singer Natalie Maines mentioned that she was embarrassed by President George W. Bush at a concert in England. The reaction here was as if she had been caught butchering babies, and the group’s records were banned from country radio, sending the group into a tailspin from which they never recovered.
So I don’t have an Obama sign in my front yard, which I admit is a little bit cowardly. But I’ve still got to live here after the election, and get along with all of the other folks on the street, who are actually pretty nice as long as we keep the conversation confined to gardening, how lousy the Titans are this year, and when are we going to have another yard sale.
My wife and I are people of modest means, and we were able to move into this neighborhood because we bought a house that had been wrecked by bad renters, and fixed it up. But just one block away, houses are selling for over a million dollars, and the mansion in the TV series “Nashville” that young singer “Juliette Barnes” lives in is just a quarter mile away. There are no black people or Hispanics living in the neighborhood that I know of, and the residents are overwhelmingly Christian, white, affluent, and enthusiastic consumers of Fox “News.”
"Juliette Barnes" house
I think Obama is going to squeak out a win in the election, and the Romney signs will probably come down pretty quickly after that. I’ll breathe a sigh of relief, because I don’t like thinking bad thoughts about my neighbors. I know that we all are being manipulated into this us-against-them mentality by the increasingly partisan political parties and their media outlets, and that if you sit down with folks one-on-one, you realize they can be reasonable and willing to compromise.
But not until Wednesday.