What I saw, what I heard ...

America's divisions: what people were telling me in 2019

I am amazed that all the hippies I grew up with are now voting for Trump. I think they are scared of immigrants, which is really sad. Here we see them as good labour’ – smallholder in Colorado

 

‘People are more open with their racism… Some folks get into the car and I have to reassure them – that I am a teacher and have a master’s degree’ - African American Uber driver

 

‘The one thing I can tell you about President Trump is that he is consistent – he does not lie’ – retired engineer

 

‘Most of my circle have got fed up with Trump. He has no moral centre … I wish he had grown up as a Scout: that might have made a difference’ - local historian and Scout leader

 

We want to make sure we are not living through the last days of the Roman Republic’ – Police Chief

How mobile phones have changed the bus experience

I quickly found out in 2019 that travelling on Greyhound buses is not as it was in 1969. 

 

Back then we got on the bus and talked. It was the time of the Vietnam war, and I spoke to veterans going to and from the field of battle, some in favour and some definitely not. I spoke to students from many parts of the world, to farmers and small business people and professional people like architects and teachers.

 

In 2019 it was completely different. Passengers had their mobile phones out even before they boarded the bus, and once installed they would rarely venture out of their little bubbles and speak to other people.  

 

Public discourse is not what it used to be.

'A darkly funny adventure'

Two Summers: Nixon and Trump by Greyhound Bus, by Tim Albert, Elbow Publishing

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© Tim Albert 2020