The latest issue of Sonoma magazine recently appeared in my mailbox. Near ads for multimillion dollar homes, expensive wines, expensive vacations and designer clothing, there are photos of the people who pick grapes. In her "Letter from the Editor," Catherine Barnett writes, "Coming home from a late-night dinner, it is not unusual to see bright lights illuminating a path of endless darkness." She neglects to say that there are people under those lights picking grapes. She goes on to write, "The shapes are hard to discern. The faces, hidden by caps and hoodies, are obscured by more than shadows."
These "shapes" are people who have been in vineyards since 3am and work until noon or later doing back-breaking work and don't receive a living wage. They are not nameless entities. Some of the photos are men in their 50s and 60s, and one man is 73. These are the people who make it possible for so many in the wine industry to possess great wealth. They deserve kindness and respect, not to be spoken of as if they are invisible.
I've been glued to this political season from day one. I haven't missed one news cycle in the last 20 months. I've watched all the debates. Mine has been an indiscriminate immersion of viewing, listening and reading "on both sides of the aisle."
I have heard it said that Trump supporters are predominantly "uneducated" or "not college-educated" and other things related to lacking in the area of education. Polls reveal this is true. So what? I have found those lacking formal education often excel at common sense, and my own teaching experiences affirm this observation.
But here is the part I do not understand about Trump supporters. Why aren't you exercising common sense? I ask myself whether I could ever follow or befriend an individual who is so cruel as to mock the disabled? Would I befriend a person who assigns unkind nicknames to others—"Little Rubio," "Lyin' Ted," "Crooked Hillary"? Do I want to hang with a guy who calls a woman "fat pig," disparages people with truly cruel insults, charges an entire race of being rapists?
Dear Trump supporters: I urge you to sit quietly and reflect upon this choice you are making. Is this truly a choice that makes sense to you? If any manner of critical thinking assures you that this is the right choice for you, then I offer my best wishes for whatever future it is you long for.
The Nugget column of Aug. 24 incorrectly identified Jonathan Elfand as a member of the Sonoma Collective. His Sonoma County–based cannabis collective is called KuurCannaFarms and is not associated with the Sonoma Collective. We regret the error.
Write to us at email@example.com.