Outnumbered 3 to 1, county Dems can count on minority status

They are among us.

They work alongside everyone else in the Grand Valley. They dine at area restaurants, shop at area stores, and live, laugh and love seemingly like regular people.

No, they’re not the sub-human, underground-living species in H.G. Wells’ book, “The Time Machine.”

They are Democrats.

But like the Eloi in that 1895 tale, many are afraid to come out of the shadows.

In a county where conservative voters dominate Democrats by nearly 3–1, the left-leaning progressives oftentimes are reticent to show their politics for fear of retribution.

“As the polarization of the parties has gotten worse, so has the fear in Mesa County for people on the left to openly state their affiliation because they’re in the minority,” said Martelle Daniels, a former Mesa County Democratic Party chairwoman who remains active in the party. “When I was canvassing for the president, I found people who would be reluctant to talk to me. When they did talk to me, it would almost be like they were telling me a secret that they supported the president.”

Of course, they often whispered to Daniels that they did plan to vote for President Barack Obama, but when asked if they would allow a sign stating their political leanings on their front lawns?

Not a chance.

“They didn’t want to have a yard sign because of how it might affect their neighbors, or their relationships with their neighbors,” Daniels said. “It wasn’t always like that. When (my husband) and I came to town in 1983–84, the number of Democrats and Republicans was much closer. So there was a period where people said how they felt and there didn’t seem to be much of a push back.”

That’s changed in recent years, and seemed to reach a peak when Obama was first elected to office four years ago, she said.

“In 2008, the polarization was worse than I’ve ever seen it and people actually became a little fearful,” she said.

Getting Democrats to show themselves in public also has made it difficult for party leaders to field candidates in countywide races, Daniels said.

Getting them to the polls isn’t where the politics ends for many Democrats. It can impact other aspects of life in the Grand Valley, including work.

When Joyce Wingerter started a new job at a Grand Junction dentistry earlier this year, she learned quickly to keep her mouth shut about her political leanings.

The receptionist realized almost right away that the four other people in the office were not only conservative, but far right conservatives.

Wingerter stopped commenting on certain left-leaning posts she’d see on Facebook or other Internet sites for fear her co-workers might see it, never mind those same co-workers were not careful about displaying their political leanings on those same sites.

“My boss was posting these horrible things on Facebook about what needs to be done and that we need to take the country back and blah, blah, blah,” Wingerter said. “I would just erase them. I never commented on them unless it was a support-the-troops kind of thing.”

Around the office, other workers would make similar comments, giving her the impression “they were getting ready for Armageddon.”

“They were canning every weekend, they’ve got lots and lots of guns, and they would always be talking about their hatred for the president,” she said. “They were talking about President Obama needing to be hanged for treason because of the Benghazi thing. They didn’t mince words.”

But when Obama won re-election in an Electoral College landslide last month, Wingerter thought things would calm down.

They didn’t.

“The day after the election, the (dentist) said all the flags were flying half-staff and upside-down,” she said. “At the end of that work week, they gave me my last paycheck. I said, ‘I’m fired?’ They said, ‘Yeah.’ “

The reason, however, was not because Wingerter was a Democrat and the others weren’t, she was told.

The reason was because Obama was re-elected. Consequently, it won’t be long before the nation’s economy falls over a fiscal cliff so the office needs to save as much money as it can.

“They didn’t really say, ‘Because you’re a Democrat, you’re fired,’ ” she said. “But it seemed like it had a lot to do with it, like they would have kept me if I had been joining in on their bandwagon.”

Wingerter said she’s not complaining about losing her job, though. While she wants a job, she doesn’t want one that badly.

“The stuff that I had to listen to every day makes it worth it to not be working there anymore, because every day I heard horrible, horrible stuff,” she said. “I just had to bite my tongue the whole time.”

Not every Democrat in the county thinks things are all that bad.

While Republicans control nearly every level of government in the county, there are two elected posts actually held by Democrats, albeit less important ones.

Neither job, however, carries much political weight.

“Politics doesn’t come into play at all because regardless of what political affiliation we may have, it can’t influence anything we do in our office because we have a set of rules and regulations we follow,” said Mesa County Surveyor Patrick Green who, like Mesa County Coroner Dean Havlik, is a registered Democrat.

One hundred and thirty-six years ago, when Colorado became a state, the office of surveyor was eminently important, Green said. That person had great power over land-use decisions.

Today, however, most county surveyors aren’t even full-time jobs.

As a result, party affiliation is hardly a consideration when it comes to the electorate, Green said.

“It makes a difference where you’re working and where you live in terms of how extensive (party hatred) is, but overall I think it’s better than it used to be,” Green said.

“We probably experience it more over here because we are a highly Republican area, and you tend to see it more in a small community.”

When someone’s politics aren’t known, Green said, people in the Grand Valley are very nice to each other.



COMMENTS

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This article speaks so poorly of a community attitude. I noticed a sign posted on a business on North Ave. about ‘building a business’ that was making a play on the election propaganda twisting of the President’s context. When groups spew out hate, there are the radicals that propagate that venom with a mindless loyalty. Typical of rush’s ditto heads, they would rather ‘ditto’ than think for themselves. There is another name for the behavior and it is ‘mob mentality’.
But then again, political agendas from so many years starting in the late 50’s, have been built on fear that it is ingrained on 5 generations. Hide under the desk to protect against a nuclear blast was a start and now it is ‘can food and get a gun’ to save yourself from the President. It is complete with a TV show that rates the success of survivors’ efforts of making jackasses of themselves. When you think about it, if you need to protect yourself with a gun, food and water supply, who would it be against – your neighbors, the military, an invading nation? Anything beyond your neighbors would most likely be of short duration measured in hours (even in the face of a swat team).
Rational thought and critical thinking has been replaced by emotional pandering to hedonistic tendency, greed, bigotry and self serving posturing. Soap opera living has become a way of life for right wingnuts -even more so as they play to each other in ‘support groupies’.

I see Democrats standing up and being Democrats all over the Grand Valley. Of course most of them are retired, and no longer care what a boss thinks or doesn’t think. For the record, I’m a Democrat. I’m proud of the work my party is doing to help ordinary people instead of lining the pockets of the already rich.

What passes among Democrats as “rational thought and critical thinking” is more like functional illiteracy in the subjects of Economics 101, Politics 101 and History 101. Too many left “wingnuts” are impervious to any fact/s which might gravitate against their UNsustainable utopian agendas. For example, Obama’s college transcripts from Occidental College indicate that Obama, under the name Barry Soetoro, received financial aid as a foreign student from Indonesia as an undergraduate at the school (http://bit.ly/PpQqlC). To a rational mind, that would seem to be a smoking gun which legally disqualifies OKenyan from even running for, or occupying, the office of President of the United States on grounds that he is not a natural born citizen for the purposes of Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1874), the only on-point U.S. Supreme Court decision.
Of course the natural laws of economics — e.g. 1) whatever you tax you get less of, and 2) whatever you subsidize you get more of — are utterly irrelevant to the self-perceived-as-brilliant minds of the Flat-Earth Society that is the Left. To their self-absorbed nihilistic minds, stealing from A and giving to B in the name of “taxation”, and under the form of “law”, is a sustainable economic practice. And anyone who disagrees on philosophical, moral, religious or common sense grounds is a “racist”, “bigot”, “hater”, “homophobe” or “misogynist”. Is leftist “logic”, “rational thought” and “critical thinking” just amazing?!
It all ends up with many gullible and naive people pretending all sorts of weird things such as the bullet that killed JFK didn’t come from in front of him.
Meanwhile we completely ignore the provably unconstitutional global debt-as-money fraud because America’s duopoly politicians serve (and receive money from) the oligarchs who own and benefit from it. The language used to cover it all up? TINA. (As Margaret Thatcher famously said, “there is no alternative” to the monstrous black hole of debt which is the world’s monetary and tax structure).
“Right wingnuts”? BIOYA. (I’ll let the omniscient Left figure out that acronym for themselves.) In the meantime, I’ll be busy trying to reacquire basic survival skills to prepare for life in the coming Weimar Republic States of America.

“OMG, the sky is falling!”, said mr. little as he read all the emails of those hit on the head by something. Time to live in cave?

Ahem…I know many of you don’t want the facts, but some of you do, so may I submit:
This is from http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/barackobama/a/obama_citizenship_questioned_2.htm (there are also numerous sources on this as well)

Did Obama attend Occidental under the name “Barry Soetoro”?

No. Soetoro was the surname of his stepfather, but there’s no evidence Barack Obama used it when he attended college. Fellow alumni quoted in the press remember him as “Barry Obama.” According to an Occidental spokesperson quoted on FactCheck.org, the college has no records showing Obama used his stepfather’s last name.

Did Obama attend Occidental under a Fulbright Scholarship for Foreign Students?

No. According to various news sources Obama did attend on a scholarship, but it wasn’t a Fulbright scholarship, let alone a Fulbright scholarship for foreign students. The Fulbright Foreign Student Program accepts Master’s Degree and Ph.D. candidates only. Obama, an undergraduate, was neither. He couldn’t have been awarded a Fulbright scholarship for foreign students even if he had been born outside the U.S. (Source: Fulbright Program)

Mr. Wilkenson has another problem then just being brainwashed. Far Rightist, that I do not consider “Republican”, forget OUR, that means ALL of OUR…Our President is as much white as he is black. Times they are a changing and those that choose to think that they do not have to change, get left behind.  I am old enough to remember the VietNam War.  Everyone in the neighborhood just knew we needed to show those “Commies” a thing or two. It was like that till a neighborhood boy (one of the best types) as a Medic was killed while trying to save another soldier.  Then the “Commies” could have NAM and just get the boys out. Each generation lives in times that from ground level appears foggy, especially when that fog is taking OUR Nation into the future from which some people feel detached or abandoned either financially or in some other manner not of their choosing.  As a Republican, I say, if we are not reasonable with one another, if we pretend that this country cannot under any circumstances elect a black, brown, yellow, red or white President and show that person all the respect due that office, then this country is surely in trouble.  Grow up now. We are only promised this moment. Try using it in a positive manner and make yourself less miserable.

I took a look, in all fairness, to the link in john’s citation. I found a web site dedicated to the smear of the President. It used unbelievable gimmicks to fabricate many lies. First it started with a copy of an application for when Obama was a child in Indonesia with his mother and step father. Any application made then was NOT by Obama, but by his then father. However, all the writing going on around the picture was accusations that this was an Occidental transcript showing and supporting the rest of the lies going on. It even inserted a newspaper article, which if called up, wrote a complimentary article. They only showed it up to support that “Barry” was a nickname Obama used when young to further inflame readers that what they were lying about had some semblance of truth, it wasn’t people at Occidental remembering him as Barry S., as the article admonished, but “Barry” Obama. Many other lies that have been disproven by reputable sources continued on from there.
As another writer herein has shown, when you get beyond poison blogs, and go to reputable sources, john’s example falls apart. This was to be an example he added to prove his statement, “Too many left “wingnuts” are impervious to any fact/s which might gravitate against their UNsustainable utopian agendas.”  Which looking at the said example had nothing to do with what he had just stated.  This is the very disassociation of thought I brought out in my original comment.
It looks as if john proved my point by demonstration.

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