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Mars, a small town from another planet where Donald Trump is the most popular of all

2021-03-31T10:31:37.894Z

Mars (Pennsylvania), the only place in the US that shares the name with the planet, is a town of 1,700 inhabitants nestled in a Democratic region that is still attracted to the former Republican president.



Beatriz Navarro

03/31/2021 6:01 AM

  • Clarín.com

  • World

Updated 03/31/2021 7:22 AM

It will take years for the mystery to be solved, but Kevin Lynch and his neighbors didn't need NASA to send the Perseverance robot to the red planet to answer the big question of

whether or not there is life on Mars.

"Oh clear that if.

Life is nice on Mars, simple.

It's a quiet place with zero crime problems

where everyone knows each other and you can walk everywhere, ”says Lynch, a 66-year-old nuclear engineer.

“It's the best place in the world to live,” says retired Sue Norris emphatically.

"Donald Trump

is very popular on Mars,

" but President Joe Biden is not so

popular

, says Brad Price, a café owner.

They speak with knowledge of the facts.

They all live on Mars (Pennsylvania), the only place in the United States that shares the name with the planet Mars,

a town of 1,700 inhabitants has embraced its relationship with the red planet

.

A flying saucer from the Pittsburgh steelworks welcomes visitors.

"Peace on earth" is read in four languages, including Russian, on a post next to the nave, which the locals use as a wedding altar.

Their enthusiasm for the red planet has drawn NASA and

every 687 days they celebrate the Martian New Year

with a festival that attracts thousands of visitors.

Their enthusiasm for the red planet has dragged NASA down and every 687 days they celebrate the Martian New Year.

Photo: Xinhua

For the sake of agility, and to better reflect the tone of conversations with locals, we will use Mars to refer to Mars from now on.

“Viewed from afar, Mars is barely visible

.

It does not appear on the maps of the world or the United States

.

It is only a small point in the maps of Pennsylvania, but it stands out more in those of Butler County ”, the mayor of the time, Lester Kennedy, described it in 1973.

“Except for its unusual name, Mars is one of the typical small towns scattered throughout America;

typical and also different, individual ”.

So the same, so special, so close, so far.

Although located only 28 kilometers from Pittsburgh, the great working-class city of western Pennsylvania, a great Democratic stronghold,

in political terms Mars seems literally another planet

, as red, the color of the American conservatives, as the star.

Republicans to the core, in 2016 Mars, like Butler County, voted for Trump en masse (70%).

In 2020 too, but less: Biden scratched him five points.

In Pittsburgh the Democrat swept,

a result that added to that obtained in Philadelphia allowed him to finally score a comfortable victory in Pennsylvania.

This was certified by the state Parliament, the electoral college, the courts and the United States Congress.

But the grand robbery theory spread by Trump and his allies is still very much alive among Republican voters, Martians included.

"No, I don't believe the results,"

says Jim, the owner of the local travel agency.

“With the vote by mail it is too easy to commit fraud.

If you want to vote, you should have to go in person and show your identity card ”, he assures, convinced that the Democrats used those ballots to change the result.

That the Justice Department of the Trump administration guaranteed the cleanliness of the elections and denied that there was fraud does not change anything.

Conspiracy theories

His neighbor Brad Price, a Republican, owner of the Mars Brew House café and a member of the city council, is also not believed that Biden won legitimately.

“Trump had a rally here in Butler and 57,000 people came.

I did not see or feel that there was overwhelming support for Biden, hardly people attended his actions, "observes Price.

“I'm not sure what happened, but when they stopped counting in Pennsylvania, Trump took 700,000 votes from Biden, and then the next morning he was ahead.

It's all very suspicious.

I do not accept those votes that arrived after 11 at night ”.

A follower of conspiracy theories of Q-Anon

, Price rejects explanations about the times of the vote or the rules on the counting of the vote by mail.

The more than 60 dismissed legal complaints mean nothing to him.

“They were not allowed to present evidence.

The Supreme Court did not even give them a hearing.

Why?

They did not want to interfere.

Washington is a very corrupt place.

I feel that, by not investigating the cases, the system has failed us half of the voters in the country, ”he argues, despite the fact that it was the lack of a basis for the complaints that led the magistrates - several appointed by Trump - to dismiss them.

As Price pointed out, the former president is still very popular on Mars.

"I would vote for him again tomorrow," says Robert Goupil, the owner of a restaurant on the town's main street that opened just before the pandemic began.

“I didn't like his tweets or that he was so loud, but I did like what he did for the country.

Biden has arrived, he has turned everything around and we are already beginning to have problems, "he says, citing the crisis on the border with Mexico, a predominant theme in talks with conservative voters in the area, where more than 90% are white.

"Biden?

What is happening is terrifying

.

I think he's lost his mind.

I fear for the country, I think it is not right.

I hope this does not end badly and affects their decisions ”, says Kevin Lynch, the nuclear engineer, on the porch of his house, sitting in the sun next to a figure of a little green Martian.

"It is assumed that they are so concerned about the covid and are letting thousands of people enter the border without testing them," criticizes this Republican, skeptical about his management of the pandemic or the approval of the rescue plan.

“I am not saying that Trump was the best, but when he was in the White House the country was doing quite well and

since Biden has arrived everything is going downhill

.

He's doing us a lot of damage, ”says Jim, the owner of the travel agency.

Since he arrived, we have had more unemployment, gasoline costs twice as much, and there are more people crossing the border.

No, things are not going to go well with him.

Biden is going to kill small towns like this.

He is not in favor of business ”, he maintains in his office, empty of clients for a year.

“Our job is to

take the people of Mars to any place on earth

and with the pandemic we have lost two years of business.

Now people are beginning to want to travel but they can't go anywhere outside the United States, there are no cruise ships and they don't want to drive because gasoline is too expensive, ”he complains.

Three times he has asked for government aid and three times they have been denied, he says.

He will reapply now that Biden has approved a new departure but has little faith.

Fortunately, Jim's other business, designed not for those who want to see the world but to settle on Mars, a real estate agency, has suffered less.

The Martians

"Martians want to go out and do things again,"

says its mayor, Gregg Hartung.

“Many people wonder if we really should wear masks, but we follow the state's recommendations.

Although there are not enough people vaccinated, now it is no longer mandatory ”, he adds by way of explanation given the high number of people who pass through the town and its shops without face masks.

In the hairdresser and tattoo parlor on the main street ("the coolest place on Mars") they say they have more clients since they leave their masks to their liking or not.

After our appointment, the mayor is going to get the second dose of the vaccine, he says when we say goodbye to Brad Price, the owner of the cafe.

He will clarify later, he respects it but does not intend to put it on.

“I don't think they have done enough tests

.

The authorization did not follow traditional protocols.

I am in good health and I am not going to let myself be carried away by fear ”, he affirms, confirming the resistance of a high percentage of Republican men to using the immunogen.

Price claims to serve "the best coffee in the universe" and until recently, he explains, it was the only business in the Mars area with five stars in internet reviews.

But since someone commented that it had a Q-Anon sticker on the cash register, its rating dropped several tenths.

In the end, to avoid problems, he chose to remove it

but not because he considers that his theories have been discredited

by the failure of his prophecies, which he attributes to personal interpretations of his cryptic messages.

“There are a lot of things that probably should have happened that didn't happen,” admits Brice, a member of the city council.

"But I don't think Q-Anon is anything negative, it has opened a lot of people's eyes to things," he says, citing the Jeffrey Epstein or Hunter Biden sex abuse scandals, actually revealed by mainstream media.

Many of Q-Anon supporters participated in the assault on the Capitol, events that Price does not condemn and equates with the anti-racism demonstrations of the past year.

“I know that what I am going to say will already sound controversial but I saw it (the assault on Congress) more as a demonstration than as riots.

It was just a couple of broken windows, I didn't see any guns or fires

... People are very obsessed with it but it was nothing compared to the Black Lives Matter protests.

After all, that house belongs to the people ”.

Some Martians still have Trump's election posters in the garden, Lynch points out, pointing to the houses of his neighbors.

"Nobody will come out of here to storm the Capitol or anything like that, but there are a lot of angry people," he says.

However, he has chosen to accept the result and turn the page

so as not to create more bad atmosphere, although he also believes that there were "shenanigans" and that the judges turned a blind eye.

Catherine Lalonde, chair of the Butler County Democratic Party, blames politicians and the media that so many people believe, against all evidence, that the elections were rigged.

“Our congressmen continue with the fact that it is necessary to investigate whether there was fraud or not because they say that the voters are concerned.

But it is a circular argument

, if voters are concerned it is because they are telling them that there may have been fraud.

They are the ones who have made them believe that there has been a problem ”.

Although they know that it will be impossible to change their minds to many Republicans, local Democrats are not reluctant to discuss some issues with them.

Its members will take courses to learn "communication skills" to speak with people who believe the grand robbery theory and other Q-Anon hoaxes effectively, explains 69-year-old local activist Linda Bishop.

"It is very sad what is happening

in this country with the politicians and the media. There are people totally manipulated by Fox News and others more extreme like OANN. There are also left-wing media that manipulate but I think that most of the people who follow them do. a more critical reading ".

While the Romans baptized the planet as Mars, the god of war, because of its red color, it is believed that the town of Pennsylvania owes its name to Samuel Marshall, the person in charge of the first post office of the place, opened in 1873. Another The theory is that the place-name has to do with his wife's fondness for astronomy.

Be that as it may, communication is not his strong suit today.

Everyone alike laments how difficult it is to speak without getting everything tainted by politics.

"Listen to one of the most difficult things we have to do,"

says the mayor of the city.

Hartung is a Democrat but in town, Republicans included, they only have praise for him.

He is the person who called NASA a few years ago to say that he was the leader of Mars ("yes, sure ...", they replied) and got the federal agency involved in his celebration of the Martian New Year.

Unlike other small towns, where national tensions have strained local politics, on Mars that has not yet happened.

Hartung had already warned us, "this city may be a bit extraterrestrial."

The vanguard

Look also

Donald Trump launched an Internet page where he seeks to rewrite the history of his presidency

The U.S.-Mexico Border: A Revolving Door for Immigration

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2021-03-31

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