donald gibson

This column is for Bernard Gibson, a good man from the state of Indiana. Late last month, NPR went out to Vigo County there to explain why it flipped from voting for Barack Obama in 2012 to Donald Trump in 2016. Gibson was one of those interviewed, and here is what he said: “These are real people here. These are not New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles. You know, these are real people that live every day from hand to hand, just have to work to make a living and everything else.”


There are some things you ought to know, Mr. Gibson. I served in the Army. I worked at blue-collar jobs. I washed dishes and bused tables. I went to college at night and worked during the day for an insurance company (as the legendary “Cohen of Claims”). My father was raised in an orphanage, and my mother was an immigrant from Poland whose first childhood memory was of hunger. Somehow, despite all of that, I am called a member of the “elite.” If so, I damned well earned it.

I do not mean to pick on Gibson, a real person after all, but I am tired of being told by him and others that I am not quite a genuine American because I did not vote for Trump or because I live on one of the coasts. I want to point out to Gibson that there are more of us than there are of him. At least 2.8 million more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than for Trump. That does not mean Clinton won the election — she lost the electoral college, and that’s what counts — but it is nevertheless true that Clinton was the candidate not just of the limousine set, but of most voters.


Why do movies and TV matter now? How will you remember 2016’s best? They told us.

The Nature and Art of Motion, Edited by Gyorgy Kepes, New York: George Braziller, Inc., 1965; Essays by: James S. Ackerman, Donald Appleyard, Gillo Dorfles, Karl Gerstner, Robert Gessner, James J. Gibson, Stanley W. Hayter, Gerald Holton, Katharine Kuh, Hands Richter, George Rickey, Hans Wallach, Gordon B. Washburn