There were two short walks to work that hold distinctive spots in my mind. The feelings that accompanied me on those days were surreal.
Walk One: September 12, 2001. As a Downtowner, I could still smell the smoke while attempting to swallow the uncertainty of the world.
Walk Two: November 5, 2008. It was the day after our nation elected President Barack Hussein Obama. I controlled the urge to hug every person I saw or to kiss the American concrete on which I was floating.
There is now a third.
Today’s walk made it to noteworthy status, resembling that feeling on September 12. I know others in our divided nation feel the urge I had to curb eight years ago. They carry that magical hope that possessed me on November 5, 2008.
The divide lives in the results of Bush-Obama America. Donald Trump’s performance in purple counties was mixed. He lost all of the swing counties in North Carolina, but swept all but one in Ohio (Hamilton/Cincinnati) and all of them in Wisconsin and Michigan. That is a tribute to his successful rustbelt strategy. It is noteworthy that three of the swing counties in North Carolina are university strongholds and the other two have large African American populations. Below are partial results from swing counties.