March 8, 2019

"Go Home to Your ‘Dying’ Hometown/I did, and it isn’t what I expected. I am more involved..."

"... in social and racial justice, economic development and feminism than I ever was in a big city," writes Michele Anderson (NYT). The hometown she moved back to is Fergus Falls, Minnesota. The "big city" was Portland, Oregon, where her work "felt trivial and temporary" and life "somehow lacked meaning." And it was expensive.
In a 2009 commencement address at Northern Kentucky University, [Wendell Berry, the Kentucky writer and farmer] encouraged students to consider whether they might be better and more responsible citizens if they embraced the concept of homecoming rather than the desire for upward mobility, which lures them to places to which they have little connection, to participate in a destructive and extractive economy....

My move felt like a sort of protest against the idea that creative young people need to live in coastal cities. I pictured myself taking dreamy walks on the prairie, or cozied up in cafes during blizzards, writing. I thought I would learn gardening and canning, or how to clean freshly caught fish....

Particularly since the 2016 election, I hear the national media — or even my friends back in Portland — dismiss my rural colleagues, family and neighbors as out of touch, hateful, fearful of immigrants, and doomed to a life of boredom and poverty.... [I hear] exaggerated or even fake “Trump country” exposés, to well-intentioned but out-of-touch efforts to mend the “urban-rural divide,” to patronizing television contests in which viewers vote for the “best small town” in their state....

Maybe a different conversation can start with us, the homecomers. We are bridge builders, skilled at identifying the opportunities for “local adaptation” that Mr. Berry hopes for, able to act as translators across ideological divisions.....

103 comments:

David Begley said...

Fake news. Everyone who grows up in MN knows how to clean fish.

Phil 3:14 said...

I feel a certain amount of dread from this, not for myself but for her former hometown citizens.

The miss know it all who moved away is coming back to tell us how “important” our lives are and how we need to raise our feminist consciousness.

Get a REAL job.

rhhardin said...

That plus Facebook and Google respectively are building new complexes in former rural cornfields just down the road a couple miles.

rehajm said...

Yes, but what if your hometown really sucks?

I lived in Portland for a time and felt the same way about it. I can't imagine how insufferable it must be now.

Isn't her hometown where Rocky and Bullwinkle lived?

David Begley said...

Frostbite Falls

BUMBLE BEE said...

Journalist or used car salesman? Beware one who gets paid by the word.

David Begley said...

Fergus Falls has some really nice looking brick houses.

Wa St Blogger said...

You can take the woman out of her pretentious city, but you can't take the pretentiousness out of the woman. Maybe if she did work that got her hands dirty she might understand why the "old guard" is resistant to upstart west coast urban replants.

Ralph L said...

a destructive and extractive economy....

Lawyer.

Shouting Thomas said...

So, she plans to devote herself to being a complete fucking pain in the ass.

And she's proud of it!

Shouting Thomas said...

Is the purpose of feminism to convince us that misogyny is entirely justified?

phantommut said...

What Shouting Thomas said.

Temujin said...

"...social and racial justice, economic development and feminism..."

Of the 4 areas of focus above, which one does not belong?

These people, so full of their superiority, having destroyed the larger cities where they all congregated in large numbers, now split off to become the same disease to their smaller hometowns as they were to the larger cities.

I say, be the vaccine. When they show up back home with their wokeness hats on, laugh at them. Tell them to grow up and get productive. Tell them to leave free people free. Tell them to just shut the fuck up.

rehajm said...

Oh, that's funny...

Sally327 said...

She's happy to be back home and proud of her ancestors who came before her but feels bad about taking the land from the Dakota.

That's just so phony and pretentious. She can't be taken seriously. But I did enjoy the laugh, I'm still smiling about that.

Phil 3:14 said...

“I thought seriously about what sustainability means, “

It means getting up early, maybe going for a run, getting the kids up and ready for school. It means going to work. It means going to church and being a part of that community. It means respecting your neighbor who is an electrician, who hunts sometimes and who votes Republican straight ticket. (And yeah, he voted for Trump so deal with it and move on.). It means generally keeping your mouth shut about how things are done in Portland. It means soccer or T ball when the kids get older.

After awhile it will create its own “meaning”.

Humperdink said...

....social and racial justice, economic development and feminism..."

"Of the 4 areas of focus above, which one does not belong?"

Normally it would be economic development, but the writer equate economic development with a coffee shop on every corner.

Temujin said...

Beautifully stated, Phi 3:14.

tim maguire said...

Phil @6:30 sums it up. Arrogant woman comes home to tell the rubes how important they are.

Leland said...

I've started reading Victor Davis Hansen's "Case for Trump". So far, it reads a lot like this lady's column down to "coastal elites" calling "rural [people] as out of touch, hateful, fearful of immigrants, and doomed to a life of boredom and poverty." The next description by the writers seem better, but all of it still comes across as othering.

rhhardin said...

My hometown went seriously upscale and is far too expensive to live in today.

Darrell said...

Is everyone who works at the NYT nuts?

Fritz said...

But what if you're home town is Los Angeles?

MikeR said...

This comments section reminds me of the recent story about a knitting website, where a lot of angry SJWs piled on some poor lady who said she wanted to visit Inida.

rhhardin said...

It used to be a town of plumbers and carpenters and now is a town of bond traders.

gilbar said...

As rhhardin points out, Fergus Falls is less than a hour from Fargo; so, she's now actually in a Bigger, Better, Hipper Trendier town than Portland

Mr. Forward said...

Bullwinkle retired to Fergus Falls, there wasn’t a Walmart in Frostbite Falls. Rocky’s working right down the road at the Amazon fulfillment center, doing the deliveries drones won’t do.

rhhardin said...

A lot of $4M mortgage foreclosures in 2008.

Darrell said...

Go back to your shithole sanctuary cities.

Mark said...

Maybe a different conversation can start with us, the homecomers. We are bridge builders, skilled at identifying the opportunities for “local adaptation”

You're not "bridge builders," you are arrogant disruptive busy bodies who, after having left, now want to come back and fundamentally transform things in ways that many/most of the people who live there do not want.

EDH said...

She sounds exactly like someone slowly deprogramming after being in a cult for many years.

Phil 3:14 said...

And since your back into Minnesota you try reading and listening to this guy:

Lileks.com

He can help you know what’s what in the Twin Cities and beyond

Mark said...

Doesn't everyone love the kid who goes away to college and after graduating comes back home armed with a world of special knowledge and expertise to tell mom and dad and siblings how to change everything in the home and make it better.

Humperdink said...

Reminds me of a bumper sticker that started cropping up in Florida in 80's: "We don't care how you did it up north".

gilbar said...

Mark said...
Doesn't everyone love the kid who goes away to college and after graduating comes back home armed with a world of special knowledge and expertise to tell mom and dad and siblings...


When i was a teenager, i couldn't believe how mindless and ignorant my dad was;
When i got back from college; i was surprised how much the old man had learned in 5 years

Robert Marshall said...

Fergus Falls was falsely flogged by Der Spiegel's fabulist fraudster, Claas Relotius. So the townfolk may not be super-impressed by a home-coming wokester, come to teach them how to be woke like her. They've had their fill of fakery already, no doubt.

whitney said...

Great. All the denizens of Portland can now return to their hometowns and destroy them also.

Lewis Wetzel said...


Well, that was pretty awful.
Fergus Falls isn't her home town, it was her grandmother's home town, so she isn't returning home at all.
She wants to turn Fergus Falls into Portland. The people she praises are the same kind of people that she happily left behind in Portland. There are required references to "sustainability", and "land stolen from the Dakota people" (who undoubtedly stole it from someone else, all the while engaging in violent and misogynist behavior).
Nothing like going to a town you never lived in, after failing some place else, and telling the people who have lived there for years that they have been doing it wrong. I'm sure that they have been waiting for for someone to show up and tell them how to live.
Anderson doesn't have the power of insight to ask herself how much she has invested in living in Fergus Falls compared to the crusty old guard who are annoyed by newcomers like her.

Titus said...

I could never return. It's so gross out there and people are fat and so white.

Shouting Thomas said...

This writer has alienated 95% of her homies by writing this piece of crap article.

Nothing endears the locals to you quite like telling them they are dumb hicks living in a "dying town."

She has a very hard road ahead of her.

Shouting Thomas said...

@Titus

You'll probably go home when you're dying of AIDS and gay male bowel syndrome.

My mother, an LPN in one of those "dying towns" cleaned the shit off the asses of plenty of jerks like you before burial.

Henry said...

So she falls into the well-intentioned but patronizing camp?

paminwi said...

I just hope the local newspaper reprints her article. Then tells the community to hold on to their hats and get ready to fight her SJW ways. Or solicits comments, as the NYT didn't.
And trust me, those folks already know about sustainability-just not in the way she means it!

Lewis Wetzel said...

As near as I can figger, "sustainability" means control of the future. This has been the goal of almost everyone since time began. It doesn't work, at least not in the way that people think it does. There is no way to make the people of thirty years from now care about "sustainability" as Anderson imagines it. It shouldn't work, either. Suppose you at twenty could force the future you of fifty to live as your twenty year old self thought that he should. That's slavery to a dead ideal. Now imagine the people of 2050 forced to live the "sustainable" lifestyle imagined by the people of 2020.
No one really wants sustainability. They want growth and future of possibilities, not restrictions.

Rob said...

Her initiatives for racial justice must be interesting, given that per the 2010 Census Fergus Falls was 1.1% African-American. That was 14 people. I wonder if that three or four families has grown, and how they feel about being the object of her tender mercies.

narciso said...

Like a missionary explaining exotic customs:


https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/03/08/trump-jfk-225697

Meade said...

“If a man is not a liberal at twenty, it is because he has no heart, and if he is one at forty, it is because he has no brains.”

And if at 60 he can’t appreciate with bemused affection the hearts and heads of 20 and 40 year olds, it is because he has dyspepsia.

Wa St Blogger said...

These people, so full of their superiority, having destroyed the larger cities where they all congregated in large numbers, now split off to become the same disease to their smaller hometowns as they were to the larger cities.

It's called metastasizing.

Ralph L said...

with bemused affection

Are disgusted affection and amused contempt oxymorons?

Ralph L said...

Anyone else getting nothing but Whoops?

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

"I am more involved...in social and racial justice, economic development and feminism than I ever was in a big city," writes Michele Anderson (NYT). The hometown she moved back to is Fergus Falls, Minnesota.

There goes the neighborhood.

hawkeyedjb said...

She seems like a rather more tolerant example of the type of person who wants to befriend the locals rather than look down on them. In the end, ideology is the most important thing in her life, which is sad - her "job at a nonprofit arts and community development group" doesn't allow her time "to garden, go fishing, or learn how to can food." In other words, she is a welfare case who has never produced anything, and won't take time to learn to produce anything. She lives off the labor of others. That wasn't a fulfilling life for her in Portland, but she thinks it will be in Fergus Falls?

BudBrown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

Surely she’s read Main Street. How did this plan of action work for Carol Milford Kennicott?

John Lynch said...

"I didn’t foresee the urgency of the issues I would find myself immersed in as part of my job at a nonprofit arts and community development group. "

I see. You can leave Portland, but Portland didn't leave you.

John Lynch said...

"I’ve also spent much of my energy trying to navigate the entrenched cronyism in local decision making. People who are not part of the “old guard” are frequently dismissed. Even more than finding practical solutions to economic challenges, Fergus Falls faces a deeper question of participation, and how to dismantle the powerful forces that have had their way too easily in small towns for too long."

Maybe they don't like carpetbaggers?

I lived in a town where the immigrants from California and Oregon took over. I preferred the old guard. Now there are homeless people everywhere and no work except for service industry.

chuck said...

> "my job at a nonprofit arts and community development group. "

Free money!

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Rob: Her initiatives for racial justice must be interesting, given that per the 2010 Census Fergus Falls was 1.1% African-American.

Strange how wokesters* seem so often to prefer pursuing "racial justice" from whitopias.

For the less well-off wokester, that means moving to smaller towns. Only the well-heeled among them can afford to be w(oke)af in prohibitively expensive w(hite)af metropolitan neighborhoods.


*ht to Robert Marshall, above.

ALP said...

Not going to read the article but I do wonder if this was written in a 'honeymoon' period. The problem with the idea that changing your location alone will bring deep happiness is that - wherever you go, there you are. Six months of pushback against her ideas may change her tune...or not.

Charlie Currie said...

Blogger Fritz said...
"But what if you're home town is Los Angeles?"

Then, as I, you wish all these dipshits would indeed go home so we natives can have our city, and state, back.

I much prefer the illegals to the citizen socialist who migrated here for the sun and fun and then started telling us how deplorable we were.

Matt said...

Why is it so hard for women and leftists to mind their own f'ng business?

As if it isn't enough she's a busybody, then she has to go and humblebrag about how wonderful she is.

Barf.

AllenS said...

Sometime in the 1980s, a new house went up on the other side of the road across from the north end of my property. Since it was spring, I did what I did every spring, spread cow and horse manure. Him and her (from Minneapolis MN) stopped over to my place and said: "What are you going to do about that smell?" "We have people coming out for a large party with a band this weekend." I explained the process, but it didn't matter, they were pissed. I've told this story before in a comment to something or another.

How many in Fergus Falls look at Michele Anderson and think: "Go the fuck back to Portland!"

Fernandistein said...

I live in a town with a lot of stupid fat ugly people so I feel relatively smart slim and beautiful.

wwww said...

Mah. Articles like this glorify ordinary things. She grew up in a MN town of 450 people. She went to college in Portland. She moved back to be close to family, got married, and is pregnant with her first child.

For some reason she feels the need to justify her choices. She doesn't have to go on about sustainability or whatnot. She's not from Portland. Her family is from MN. It's the most normal, natural thing in the world to want to live near her parents and extended family to raise her child with her husband.

wwww said...

She grew up in a small town. My guess is that she wants her children to be raised in the same environment. Add the benefit of grandma and grandpa to the mix, and it's not a hard decision.

I guess the NYT wouldn't publish and article about the benefits of raising children near grandma and grandpa.

Oso Negro said...

@ wwww - All that money on education! She can't simply come home and keep her mouth shut.

Amadeus 48 said...

Life in the heartland is not for everyone, including this woman. She should have read Main Street and thought about this move to Gopher Prairie a bit more before she did it. Carol Kennicott did it all before her:

"I do not admit that Main Street is as beautiful as it should be! I do not admit that Gopher Prairie is greater or more generous than Europe!"

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

John Lynch: I lived in a town where the immigrants from California and Oregon took over. I preferred the old guard. Now there are homeless people everywhere and no work except for service industry.

Ha. I wonder how many of the "Oregonians" were actually Californians fleeing from Oregon after working their magic on Portland.

People who lie to themselves about why they do what they do can be incredibly destructive. The californicators of places like Portland, OR or Boulder, CO can hardly be honest with themselves about why they choose to move to "hideously white" places where they can get a huge bang for the buck in housing. That would require seriously re-evaluating their comfortable view of themselves as so much better than those grasping materialistic racists out there. (That is, the locals they're going to condescend to enlighten).

There can be few things funnier in the way we live now than listening to wealthy people bewail the lack of diversi-tah, and the inexplicable decline of "affordable housing", in the communities they have chosen to grace with their noble presence.

BudBrown said...

She should read a Sara Palin bio to get a sense of how it's done?

Fernandistein said...

relatively smart

In another thread I used "e.g." when I meant "i.e.", but it's OK because it's an adaptation of a translation across grammatical divisions.

buwaya said...

Driving along Philippine provincial roads, every few miles one comes across some enormous, brightly colored, ornate building - well, confection may be a better word - planted out in some rice field.

These are the marks of some local boys triumph, one who has gone to suffer in Saudi for a few decades, and has finally come home. The first thing is to put such a mark on the old land. And of course to house and employ his relatives, until the money runs out.

This lady, I think, isn't that different. She is looking for a ricefield on which to plant her mansion. She may do OK if she brings money.

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

Oh I left my balls in Fergus Falls,
But found ‘em in my overalls.


The only song lyric I know of that mentions that town.

Ralph L said...

Then, as I, you wish

Whom are you addressing, Sir?

Big Mike said...

She writes "I am more involved in social and racial justice, economic development and feminism than I ever was in a big city."

Seems to me that what she's most involved in is being a pain in the ass to her neighbors.

Sebastian said...

"I am more involved... in social and racial justice, economic development and feminism than I ever was in a big city"

Uh, oh. Please go back to Portland!

Seeing Red said...

She's happy to be back home and proud of her ancestors who came before her but feels bad about taking the land from the Dakota.


My girlfriend tried that BS on me in our 30s.

I told her if she really feels that way, that guilt, she should pack up her family, move back to .... and sign her house over to a tribe.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

"I am more involved in social and racial justice, economic development and feminism than I ever was in a big city."

I've seen this a peck of times in NW small towns. Frustrated with her inability to effect SJWChange she'll eventually gravitate to community theater, where they'll sit around telling each other how enlightened they are compared to their deplorable neighbors. There might even be time for a six person anti-war (regardless of whether or not there's a war) protest in the town park by the library. If it starts raining, they'll adjourn to the closest thing the town has to a hipster restaurant, to plumb the vegetarian menu selections. Then, pleading a lack of equipment, they'll ask a local volunteer organization to send someone to mow their lawn and clean their gutters. Classic and predictable.

buwaya said...

The silly ideas have to do, for a repressed American, whereas the Filipino can go wild with tons of concrete and steel and bright paint.

Iowan2 said...

This circles back to how success is defined. Money is your preferred metric?
That’s up to you. I refuse to judge. I also refuse to be judged by others that insist as using only that metric. This writer has a vision, my guess is reality will set in on her over a relative short period of time. Small towns will not move by a couple of Twitter posts. It requires knowing the movers and shakers. Often they trade in influence, not wealth. It requires personal connection. The writer will evolve as to what the real issues are and their success importance
Phi 3:14 nails it

Sam L. said...

I've seen Portland; I wouldn't live there, either.

n.n said...

Economic development is good. Color justice is notoriously discriminatory. Feminism is chauvinistic and has been historically a cause for sex discrimination, a reason for baby trials, and a justification for cruel and unusual punishment. Social justice anywhere is injustice everywhere. She needs to do better.

Tina Trent said...

Wendell Berrry writes sort of crappy regional poetry that would never be praised by the gatekeepers if it didn't degrade the deplorable locals.

So. What do you do this that?

Henry said...

Wendell Berry is a local and has defended the local way of life his entire life.

RK said...

I love the location of Fergus Falls -- the transition zone from forests to prairie. But I'm imagining her Minnesota twang coupled with sanctimonious lecturing and it's not pleasant to think about.

gerry said...

Rocky’s working right down the road at the Amazon fulfillment center, doing the deliveries drones won’t do.

Golly, that's perfect!

Bobb said...

She leaves Portland, Oregon, where her work "felt trivial and temporary" and life "somehow lacked meaning." And it was expensive.

She is a representative of the people who cannot live in the befouled liberal paradise ruined by progressive policies. She is so self-unaware that she immediately seeks to foul her new hometown by trying to impose the same values that ruined Portland.

DavidD said...

“social and racial justice, economic development and feminism”

There is no such thing as social justice or racial justice—there is only justice and not-justice.

I fear for rural Minnesota’s economy if someone is trying to introduce “social and racial justice, economic development and feminism” to the area.

elkh1 said...

Don't do that, woman, don't write about small towns. Don't let city folks, especially the smug ones, the self-centered, patronizing liberals "discover" the small towns and "gentrify" them. Don't bring the plague to small towns, please!

Howard said...

it's coming because the millennials cannot afford to buy houses in the coastal elite cities so get ready people for the Blue Wave and the darwinian extermination replacement project evolution it's not just a theory it's your demise

elkh1 said...

"I am more involved in social and racial justice, economic development and feminism than I ever was in a big city."

Meaning: even Portlanders couldn't stand her busybody meddling and booted her out. Now she tries to ruin her grandma's hometown. Why does she hate her grandma so much? Her grandma, like the Brilliantest President's grandma, was just "a typical white person". When she left for college in the Big City, her grandma said "Thank God, she is gone." Her homecoming has almost shattered her grandma's faith.

Bunkypotatohead said...

Why was this published in the New York Times instead of the Fergus Falls Times?

Paul Snively said...

Grew up in Columbus, IN, a town of maybe 40,000. Work in software took me to suburban Chicago first, then Silicon Valley proper, then LA for 25 years. Two years ago, I moved outside Asheville, NC, population around 90,000. Major factors were being closer to Mom in IN, living in a real neighborhood where everyone knows and looks out for each other, a lake and trails and other amenities, the Blue Ridge mountains, and yes, leaving behind California's unique brand of self-destructive political woo. I still work for a company in San Francisco, so they still fly me in from time to time to remind me why to be profoundly grateful I don't live there.

Asheville is "purple" as most Americans would judge such things, I think, and that suits this Libertarian just fine. More importantly, it just doesn't come up unless you're hanging out with a group that tends to self-identify in a particular way, such as the local "skeptics" group. Love 'em, but skeptical of leftist politics they ain't.

Skippy Tisdale said...

"Why was this published in the New York Times instead of the Fergus Falls Times?"

Because the Fergus Falls times has a better understanding of "All the News that's Fit to Print"

JaimeRoberto said...

I'll give her credit for not looking down on rural communities, at least not as much as her friends in Portland, but maybe she should consider that people just don't want to be lectured about her hobby horses. Even the Jehovah's Witnesses know when to back off.

Earnest Prole said...

I grew up in a small city almost exactly the size of Fergus Falls, which disintegrated in the 1982 Recession and never recovered. Ironically, I had to move to the San Francisco East Bay to reproduce the kind of small-town values and safety I had as a child.

h said...

Hardin: "My hometown went seriously upscale and is far too expensive to live in today." (And Earnest Prole and others make similar points.) The unstated and unexplored undercurrent in this kind of attitude (and that of other Wendell Berry accolytes) is: You too can lead a simple and fulfilling life, if you will just get your poetry published or your documentary film released. (And don't your parents have some money they can use to help you support your dream career?) It's a point of view that is attractive to those who grew up in upper middle class suburbia and graduated from college (and perhaps post college). It sounds like odd advice to people of the same age who grew up in lower social strata and who are still worried about paying student loans and making sure their parents can survive in retirement. It is fundamentally a "classist" argument.

Earnest Prole said...

It is fundamentally a "classist" argument.

As are all human societies ever — I think Jordan Peterson argued hierarchies are so ubiquitous that even lobsters now mimic us.

Known Unknown said...

"Big city" Portland has less people than Memphis or Fort Worth, Texas. I doubt she would consider those as enlightening cities from which to glean newfound cred to spread to the dimwits back in Nowheresville.

Scott said...

One journalist in the 1940s called Minneapolis “the capitol of anti-Semitism in the United States.” Two generations later, it could be why Minneapolis voters elected Ilhan Omar to Congress. She speaks a language that makes them long for the good old days.

Lurker21 said...

This is a novel a latter-day Sinclair Lewis could write. Does she grow disillusioned or embittered or enraged trying to change Fergus Falls? Or does she settle into the life of the community and adapt? In some places, there's the possibility that she could actually change the town, and end up making it like the city she left. How satisfying are any of those resolutions for herself and for those around her?

Maybe it's a matter of age and adaptability. At forty or fifty it's easier to go back home than at twenty or thirty. And some people actually relish being the "town liberal" in Fergus Falls or "the last conservative" in Portland. They develop a way of coexisting with their neighbors and even enjoying it.

Localism of the Wendell Berry sort is popular in some corners of the Internet. I wonder if the believers really spend as much time with their local neighbors as they do online.

Portlandmermaid said...

Wendell Berry's short story, "Fidelity, " is all about love and one of my favorites.

Lurker21 said...

Her twitter feed is available online. You can tell from some of her comments that she could be quite annoying to locals, promoting candidates and causes they don't like and using jargon that is also off-putting. Or she's being really "excited" by some new arts initiative (which also may not ingratiate her with her neighbors).

But surprisingly most of the tweets deal with Claas Relotius, the journalist from Der Spiegel who just made up stories and presented them as the truth. Some of his work dealt with a Minnesota town. He just invented the details to make the town look bad. And that town was ... Fergus Falls.

So this really does have the makings of a feel-good film. She comes back to town. Annoys folks with her PC SJW warrior ways (exaggerated for the movie). And then everybody comes together to fight the foreign enemy (once again, a German). She learns to stick up for the town. The town learns she's not that bad when you get to know her. Fighting Germans brings everyone together. Happy ending?

DavidUW97 said...

Once a decade I think about moving back to Milwaukee. So cheap. Familiar. I could easily retire now if I lived there.

So I visit in February.

California's terrible politically and socially but just can't do that February in Milwaukee anymore.