- The Washington Times - Monday, October 19, 2020

Washington Times columnist Cheryl K. Chumley is biking the battleground states as part of an ongoing series, visiting 14 states in 14 days to hear what real Americans think of the 2020 election. All of her interviews may be found HERE.

It’s easy to become jaded about America.

It’s easy to sit at home, listen to the news, watch the candidates duke it out, hear as the pundits bicker, moan and groan as the politicians do what politicians do — politick — and then see only the worst of America, think only the darkest of America’s future.

But leave town for a bit.

Go beyond the news. Get beyond the Beltway. Go outside the bubble of bickering — and it’s a different world.

A comforting world. A world where America still stands proud, and where Americans of all walks of life still stand proud for America.

It’s a world where even Democrats can be capitalists and where even Black Lives Matter supporters can see the American dream and grasp the ideals that float the American spirit — where even Democrats and Black Lives Matter supporters can see the same American dream as seen by hard-charging tea party types, Republican governors and Bible-preaching preachers. It’s a world of polite disagreement, not brick-throwing protests.

And for those accustomed to vicious debates masquerading as politics, and First Amendment freedoms cloaked in Molotov cocktails, it’s both refreshing and optimistic to know that not all that’s professed inside the Beltway is true for those who live outside the Beltway.

America the melting pot still exists.

Democrats and Republicans — at least some — still work together, still talk together.

The spirit of America still flies high.

So here’s the question: Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of this country?

And here’s the solution for the pessimists of the bunch: Go west, young man. Head out and about and get away from the city bubbles.

It’s good for the cynical soul to see how the other side lives.

Fact is, outside the Beltway, outside the rancor of the political world, there is still an America that loves America — and that still uses courtesy and respect as a guiding compass for when disagreements arise.

It’s a good time to hit the highway. And more than that — the byways.

After all, nothing says American like road trip.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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