EDITORIAL: Leave Trailer Parks Out Of This!

The headline of this article uses the words “trailer park”. This is a characterization that, unfortunately, not only still exists in the American lexicon—but is still used often, and often unwittingly, to disparage those who live in manufactured home communities. Many know the difference, but can’t help themselves.

In this instance we will ignore the disparagement, which is somewhat corrected in the editorial penned by Branson Hansen, Managing Editor of the Chewelah Independent (WA) — although, you won’t see the words “manufactured homes” mentioned until the fourteenth paragraph in his editorial response.

Trump’s Base Described As “Trailer-Dwelling High School Dropouts”

Hansen’s editorial was in response to a letter the newspaper received from a reader describing Donald Trump’s supporters as “trailer-dwelling high school dropouts” without a clue as to what their fearless leader is actually doing. Hansen figured he might get a few responses from other readers.

Hansen writes:

“And sure enough, he did! To his credit, the reader has publicly apologized  for using that statement. Honestly, the reader isn’t the only one who has used this insult in a current political climate that feels more like a Comedy Central Roast than a political discourse.

Now I could get on a high horse and get smug about the reader, but again I don’t think he meant any harm. Lord knows Trump has said some not-so-nice things about the people who oppose him politically.

But… Let me say this… Leave trailers and trailer parks out of this!

Growing up in Stevens County, I learned to appreciate trailer parks. We have a few of them.

First off, as a kid, it was always great going over to a friends house who was in trailer park, because the neighbor kid friends were next door. This is in stark contrast to my parent’s house which was a quarter mile from the next house.

Trailer parks also had a network of roads, usually paved, meaning biking and any sort of wheeled locomotion was a go. Any stretch of pavement is a godsend for kids with imagination.

Also when it comes to mowing lawns, would I rather mow my grandparents’ lawn which covers a space roughly the size of Rhode Island, or like two strips of grass in front of a single-wide?”

“Trailer Park” Insults Lionized By Media

“What people seem to forget when hurling trailer park insults is that the setting has been lionized by the media.

Abraham Lincoln was born in a one-room cabin in the woods of Kentucky, which was probably the single-wide trailer of the 1800’s. He would go on to become president, and a good one at that.

Have you seen some of these retirement trailer parks? They’re nicer than some neighborhoods with gates. Get some retired people in double-wides and they turn those things into castles and mansions.

When you consider how prevalent manufactured homes are, isn’t making fun of trailer parks kind of like making fun of the entire country? Let’s not kid ourselves.”

The House You Live In Is Not A Tell-All Sign Of Who You Voted For

“We’d like to think ourselves as a bunch of rock stars in waiting, living in impressive abodes, but in reality, we are all looking for the best deal, and with real estate the way it is… bring on the double-wides!

I’m not a scientist, but I don’t think the type of house you own is a tell-all sign of who you voted for.

But who knows in this day and age in politics, maybe next week President Trump will tweet something disparaging about trailer parks. I don’t know. CNN, Fox, MSNBC, CBS, ABC all need to change their news program intro music to a circus theme anyways.”

Hansen’s comments are not off-base. Politicians disparaging manufactured housing as “trailers” or those who live in them as “trailer trash” is not unusual—in fact, it is still quite common.

Lest we forget the following words belonging to James Carville, the Clinton operative who—with Hillary’s approval—set the tone on how Clinton would treat women who dared accuse former president Clinton of sexual harassment: “If you drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.”


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