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Two years into Trump’s presidency, has your life changed?

  •  “Eight years of Obama and what has he done? He gave us this caravan€’’ Joseph Murawski of Loudon. RAY DUCKLER—Monitor staff

  •  “I’m not very happy with the new administration. He’s made some radical decisions.” Bud Thompson of Warner. RAY DUCKLER—Monitor staff

  •  “Obviously, the current administration’s views on climate change are troublesome.” RAY DUCKLER—Monitor staff

  • “I can’t say that it has radically changed my life..It’s too early, so I’m in a wait-and-see-mode." Nancy Thompson of Warner RAY DUCKLER—Monitor staff

  • His attack on the free press makes me sick.”...George Leduc of Pittsfield. Ray Duckler—Monitor staff

  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answers a question from a member of the audience as she stands and takes his photo during a town hall event in Sandown on Thursday evening, Oct. 6, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ



Monitor columnist
Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Over the past two years, what sort of effect has the new president had on your life since shocking Hillary Clinton and the Democrats?

Are you better off? Worse off? Happier? Angrier? Safer? Richer?

Well, in a not-so-shocking development during a three-town swing Tuesday morning, that depended on your viewfinder, your interpretations, your politics, more than any particular issue.

Nothing concrete surfaced. Not like you’d find in border and Midwest states, where conversations about immigration and tariffs sit at dinner tables like a bowl of salad or basket of bread.

Here, it’s more of a feel, an emotional state, a psyche, an attitude. To some, the rain on Election Day was extra icy as voters made their way to the polls in Warner, Loudon and Pittsfield.

After all, look who’s in the White House.

To others, the rain really wasn’t too bad. In fact, it was sort of refreshing.

After all, look who’s in the White House.

“I’m not very happy with the new administration,” said Bud Thompson of Warner. “He’s made some radical decisions. The whole environmental issue, he doesn’t give a darn about that. I’m feeling a little negative.”

I met Thompson at Schoodacs Coffee and Tea House, my first stop, next door to the Warner Town Hall, where midterm votes were cast.

The setting at Schoodacs was decidedly New England. There were wooden tables, a decorative, unlit fireplace with white logs and little pumpkins on the mantel above.

And there was Thompson, 96, and his wife, 86-year-old Nancy. They wore matching turtle bolo ties, and their love for each other seemed as passionate as it was when they married 46 years ago.

They used to own the Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum. They expressed how grateful they were for finding each other and worried about the state of the country.

Nancy tempered her feelings a bit when asked if the Trump administration has had an impact, telling me: “I can’t say that it has radically changed my life. It’s too early, so I’m in a wait-and-see mode.”

Soon, though, she conceded, “I’m feeling a little on edge.”

Next door at the town hall, Harry Seidel said he designs energy-efficient houses, meaning it didn’t take a rocket scientist – or a builder of energy-efficient houses – to figure out what Seidel would say when asked about the state of the country since 2016.

“Climate change is a real crisis,” Seidel said. “I’m trying to save the planet one home at a time. We need to build houses that are fossil-fuel free.”

Then Seidel took things a step further, saying: “It’s the character of the country, and the spirit and the nature have been greatly diminished. To me, integrity matters. The truth matters.”

To Seidel, the world’s view of the United States has grown hostile with Trump steering the ship.

“I would like to travel to Europe, and I would be concerned about being an American and traveling abroad,” Seidel said. “I might even expect hostility.”

Then I hit the Loudon Town Hall and, with Bethany Porter and her boyfriend, Joseph Murawski, leading the charge, the U.S. suddenly stood tall.

“My life has not literally changed a lot, but we live simply,” Porter said. “But there have been changes, in jobs, that’s better, and attitudes are better.”

Murawski couldn’t wait to jump in, saying, “Eight years of Obama and what has he done? He gave us this caravan that has come up here. Eight years of being so lenient has made these people feel entitled.”

Porter claims some who have protested against Trump and his policies were paid $1,500 per week by billionaire Democratic donor George Soros. “They were just a bunch of crazies,” Porter said.

And Soros’s alliance with Mastercard, created to elevate the economic status of migrants and refugees, is downright treasonous, Murawski said.

“He’s a traitor,” Murawski said. “He should be put in front of a military tribunal.” Then Murawski added what should happen to Soros next, but we’ll skip his dramatic ending.

In Loudon, George Leduc said Trump has helped pique his interest in politics by making him mad. He doesn’t like the president’s decisions of rolling back environmental regulations. He also says Trump lies too much.

“In excess of 5,000 lies the president has told,” Leduc declared. “If his lips are moving, he’s lying.”

Lies? Trump? Listen to Loudon voter Frank O’Neil: “The country has a better attitude. I feel more positive about where things are going. I feel like I’m winning, we’re winning.”

By sunup, we’ll have a better idea.