Last week I drove a 20-foot box from Brooklyn to Arkansas and back. Ostensibly, the purpose was to move a couple to Fayetteville for a fee. But this was a chance to take the temperature of that strange terrain we call Middle America.
Each day, after hours of driving, I’d tuck into a bar in some town and talk to the people. They had a lot to say.
First stop: Wheeling, W. Va. At a little sports bar called T.J.’s, I met Chuck, a Vietnam-era Navy vet who is concerned about American foreign policy but generally confident in President Trump. “If you’re a Democrat, he’s the worst thing since Stalin,” he told me. “If you’re a Republican, he’s Jesus.”
On Venezuela, Chuck wanted more aggressive policies; on the Middle East, less. But when I asked him about the Democrats running for president, he struck a note I’d hear over and over: He wasn’t sure how much they cared about average Americans.