I was talking to a friend a few days ago after another morning news show had aired another segment on the failed Trump presidency with a some hand-wringing and a lot of self-righteousness.
I told him I thought Trump had little chance of a second term.
“Look at the map,’’ he said. “All the complaining comes from the big cities. It’s the people in the country who elect the president.”
“People who can change a flat tire,’’ I said.
“That’s right,’’ he said.
Maybe that’s so. I don’t know, but The New York Times put out something they called “an extremely detailed map of the 2016 election.” Looking at that map, you know that Hillary Clinton won in places where people live stacked on top of each other and ride public transportation and where the ocean, or the governor’s mansion, is close.
Clinton won the popular vote and Trump won where it counted, the electoral vote. If you look at the map as a nation, it appears he won 90 percent of the acreage.
There are exceptions to the open-spaces conservative vote, such as in Wyoming, which is mostly shades of red except for a couple of big voting districts. Clinton got 58 percent in Teton County, which includes all the park rangers and trail-mix eaters in and around Yellowstone and Grand Tetons national parks.
By the way, the trail mix is made with organically grown oats.
Also an area to the southeast of Teton County went for Clinton. Much of it is made up of the Wind River Indian Reservation, which leads me to Ogalala Lakota County in South Dakota and Apache County, Ariz., which went big for Hillary.
Another friend worried that uneducated people are going to vote with their wallets, that they’ll fall for this Democratic Socialism movement figuring it means free money.
“There ought to be a test before you can vote,’’ he said.
That’s wrong. Massachusetts, one of the best educated states in the Union, went for Hillary. No matter where you are in Massachusetts, you apparently aren’t far from Martha’s Vineyard, where the Clintons and Obamas probably have ceremonial keys to the ferry.
And if you look at North Carolina, Wake County, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill on the map, are all solidly blue. Those places are home to the Research Triangle — Duke, Wake Forest, the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State.
It’s also blue along the most populated stretches of Texas’ border with Mexico and in about every state capital.
In one vast area, the deep blue of the Arbalgeo Swamp, Trump barely made an electoral ripple. Actually, I made up Arbalgeo Swamp by combining a few syllables from Arlington, Baltimore and Prince George’s County, the area that surrounds Washington. If the Okefenokee is the Land of the Trembling Earth, the Arbalgeo is the Land of the Quaking Bureaucrat. This is the swamp Trump has vowed to drain. Keep in mind they also tried to drain the Okefenokee, so good luck with that.
Trump got 65 percent of the vote in Glynn County, just short of his McIntosh margin. The map gives us more details. Brunswick was solidly behind Clinton, but the south end was light blue while north of Gloucester was dark, dark blue.
Brantley County gave Tump 88 percent of the vote, and he tallied 65 percent in Camden County, home of Kings Bay. There are, of course, pockets of blue in that red expanse.
And thus the great divide. Blue-state liberals’ hopes lie in self-driving cars so they can continually Tweet bad things about Trump with one hand and hold a latte in the other while commuting to work. Conservatives argue over who gets to drive.
Blue voters buy extended warranties, Trump voters buy more tools.
Blue voters extol the benefits of kale. You say kale around a red voter, and his eyes will light up because he thinks you mean Cale Yarborough. At least we old ones do.
Blue voters try to include the word sustainable in every conversation. Red voters find that disdainable.
Democrats in Georgia are celebrating that the day is coming when the state will be purple and Republican dominance will fade. I don’t know.
At some point, you’d think the maps would be like those madras plaid shirts that were so popular in the 1960s. When you got under stress or worked hard and sweated, the colors would bleed and run together.
At the voting precinct, the colors only deepen.
Terry Dickson has been a journalist in South Carolina and the Golden Isles for more than 40 years. He is a Glynn County resident. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.