“People avoid talking about it,” said Jan Krause Greene, a writer, peace activist, and grandmother who moved to Bellingham five years ago. “It’s the first time in my life I’ve avoided talking about it. . . . I don’t bring it up unless I’m in a safe space.” The taboo topic, of course, is politics, and more specifically, President Trump, whose 2016 election uncloaked a chasm between voters all over the country, but here especially so. In Bellingham, residents turned out in force at the polls that day, mostly unaware of the rift within their ranks. When the votes were counted, Bellingham emerged as the most closely divided town in Massachusetts, a mere 26 votes out of almost 9,000 deciding the race locally in favor of Donald Trump. For a time, people tried to talk about it. Arguments flared; Facebook friends were un-friended. Soon, unspoken rules were laid down, and an uneasy quiet descended. Last month, as House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry and talk of quid pro quos and subpoenas scorched the airwaves, folks in Bellingham stuck to what was safe, at least in public: the unseasonably warm weather. The imminent closing, after 26 years, of their local farmstand, beloved for… Read full this story
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