Despite leaving a rainforest for 102 weather here yesterday, I'm glad to be back in Texas.
I found that the Pacific Northwest while beautiful, seemed to be on vacation like I was (with the exception of the lumber and dairy industries) .
Worse (for me) was the pronounced feeling that by arriving there, I had left my country. Like the unique ecosystem that surrounds Lake Quinault, Washington and Oregon lives in separate reality; there is no doubt that living there is great scenery and climate-wise, but politically--for me--it's not unlike being in a foreign country.
Pacific Northwest dominate culture is only just parallel to what I consider America's culture--conservative, Christian and patriotic.
A recent Seattle poll shows Obama with 52-36 margin over McCain in Washington and a 49-39 lead in Oregon... I suspect the margin would be only slightly bigger in Canada or France.
Washington's U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray rank near the top of the most liberal in the Senate. Each of them received 100% ranking from the NAACP and NARASL -- the people who want to kill babies in the womb.
But the League of Conservation Voters only rates them at 87%. Think about it, that means the enviro-whackos are farther left than virtually any leftist virus in the nation, even the ACLU.
The little coastal towns are Victorian, interesting, and for the most part, not overtly "touristy".
Increasingly, I felt out of place and somewhat uncomfortable, knowing that I'd have to run an ad to find a fellow conservative. Fortunately, two of my major stops were in the air and space museum in McMinnville Oregon and the nautical museum in Astoria Washington. But naturally, most of the visitors to those venues were from a presumably more conservative somewhere else.
I think I was able to narrow my reaction to this essential... for "them" my conservatism is dismissed as politics. I disagree... this is my country, my feelings are for my nation, not for a party. Why do these fellow citizens hate my country? Why do they hate it even more during this war which threatens our virtual existence?
Why do they shout down John McCain yet cheer Ahmadinejad who has threatened to destroy us and our stalwart ally, Israel?
Why do they praise the mass-murderer Castro and scorn Ronald Reagan?
That's because love of country in a large portion of this nation was strangled to death in the 1960s.
And as my faithful readers know, I place the blame directly on us--The Worst Generation---those born between 1945-1960. It is not surprising the leftists from those years never grew up sufficiently to infuse in their young, a simple, heart-felt love of America.
Sadly, I have lost... am deprived of... beautiful areas, great cities, even states of my beloved country. It's as if The Second Civil War has ended in a draw, but the Americans have lost.
Best part of the trip? Dani and Oliver's wedding, and seeing for the first time, the legendary Spruce Goose.
It was wonderful to see two intelligent and sober young people begin married life surrounded by family and friends.
And it was really great to photograph, touch and marvel at some of the greatest aircraft in military history.
Yeah, I bought a t-shirt.