In my Bubble, We're All on the Same Political Team
I had years of being a sports fan. I loved watching my team win and it hurt my whole being when we lost. I can vividly remember the feeling of being a super fan of a team, while others in very close proximity were not a super fan of my team.
Being a native New Yorker, I adopted the Yankees as my baseball team. In 1992 or 1993, my boyfriend at the time and I went to watch the Yankees play at the Oakland A's stadium. I was happily wearing my Yankees hat, but I felt scared on Bart by the hurtful comments thrown my way.
My main team was the Cal Bears. Once, in Washington for a Cal v. University of Washington football game, I somehow got separated from the people I was with and I ended up in the middle of a quad on the UW campus surrounded by UW fans. I was wearing my Cal band attire (I don't remember whether it was our full uniform or the Straw Hat Band uniform) looking extremely out of place. I just held my head high and walked proudly (though terrified on the inside) through the quad back to my safe place among Cal fans.
Pivot with me now to politics. I live in Berkeley, California where 3% of this city voted for Donald Trump. Three percent. That's not a lot. And, in my specific precinct, only 1.2% of our neighborhood voted for Trump. This means that I can basically live my life without running into anyone who feels radically different about politics than I do. While shopping at the Berkeley Bowl (with my re-usable bags that I mend when they break), I often run into acquaintances and we do a brief chit chat before resuming our shopping. Our topic of late is how shocked and outraged we are that Donald Trump won, and our horror about what he's done so far.
I understand that not all "non-Trump voters" are completely alike on all political issues, but the spectrum of Trump / Anti-Trump currently dominates, and on this spectrum, I am in my community's norm. My daughter, currently in 1st grade, and her classmates are learning in a supportive environment which respects people of all races, religions, and transgender youth. Notices come home from school talking about how our school is a safe space for all kids and families.
But, is it my goal to remain in my comfortable bubble? Or, do I want to understand how people think who believe something else than what we believe? By retreating in my safe place, am I furthering the divide in our country - by allowing Berkeley to become more liberal while other parts of the country become more conservative?