If you didn’t know this already, we live in a weird place. How else can you explain why Mississippi voters embraced conservatives Donald Trump and Cindy Hyde-Smith–each won with almost 60% of the vote–but voted at roughly a 70% clip to change the state flag and legalize medical marijuana? Have Trump and Hyde-Smith supporters been smoking crooked cigarettes all this time? Our leaders must think something is awry. They’re already trying to figure out ways to circumvent 65.
Mississippi is redder than an Early Girl tomato on July 4. People in the state cherish traditions. We attend our parents’ churches. We hold doors open for each other. We love etiquette. Not shaking hands during the pandemic requires us to kick two centuries worth of social conditioning. In fact, anything new gets met, at least initially, with a resounding “No!”
Especially if the wrong people say “yes.”
I am curious, though: can people look to the past and still hope to reach their potential in the future? Do the people of Mississippi truly revere traditions–or do they simply fear change?