Weapons, inflation, war in Ukraine: what do residents of small US cities think about current problems

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Denis Cheredov traveled to Pennsylvania and spoke with ordinary residents of this state. What problems do they care about and what do they think about today's country. Discussed inflation, gas prices, President Biden and crime in the US on his Bureau youtube channel.

Arms, inflation, war in Ukraine: what do residents of small US cities think about current problems

Photo: Shutterstock

You can get to Pennsylvania by car from New York in an hour and a half. Pennsylvania is home to 13 million people. Pennsylvania is neither a Democratic nor a Republican state – it is neutral.

How does “real America” live? Pennsylvanians are not New Yorkers or Los Angeles residents. How they feel about inflation, how much they earn, how they feel about the war in Ukraine and President Biden – all this was asked of the people of Pennsylvania, the state of freedom and independence.

“Will be in Pennsylvania – be careful. Here, in the bushes, in the grass, policemen are hiding, who monitor the speed of cars. I broke the rules here once, they are different from New York, literally by 5 km you exceeded – and a police car is already following you”, – says Denis.

“Passing through the city of Kupersberg, we saw an old cemetery, located near the church. People began to bury people here in the middle of the 19th century. The graves are still taken care of here. Everything here looks American, real”, – says Denis.

He decided to drive deep into Pennsylvania, not even into the capital. And I chose the city of Quakertown, where I talked with local residents, entrepreneurs, retirees, hard workers and found out what they don’t like in their lives, and whether they have common problems.

“It’s a very small city,” & #8211; says Will Johnson, a police veteran who retired after the accident. He does not have his own house, he rents a house. For a three-bedroom apartment, he pays $1,200 a month.

“Half my career I've been a detective and the other half a patrol inspector, – Will says. – With the criminal situation in the United States, everything is very bad. It upsets me a lot. Politicians do not support the police, but they want them to do what they want. I didn't like Biden at first, it's time for him to leave. I didn't like Trump either, but then I liked him. I liked Cruz, but he didn't pass. I am for Trump, he will get my vote if he runs. Although I like DeSantis more.”

Will does not advise people to go to work in the police until the situation changes for the better. He says that the fight for police funding is “just nonsense”, that today you can run into people who are impossible to negotiate with.
“The emergency services have their place, but even the police are afraid to go somewhere, and people now use and do what they want”, – he says.

Denis says that there are only two restaurants in this town, it's a very typical small American town.

On the outskirts of the city, I managed to talk to Scott Bosforth, a scavenger, and his girlfriend Chelsea Long, who works in the park. The couple met recently, fell in love, and now they have five children in their family – all from first marriages.

“Unfortunately, the cost of living has gone up. For example, I spent $300 on groceries and that only lasted me a couple of weeks, – Scott says. – To be honest, I don't really follow politics. I am a swing voter. That's why I vote for the candidate I like, I don't choose a party. If I believe what the candidate says, then he gets my vote.”

“I am a Republican, – says Chelsea. – I think that everything that has happened to the presidency now and everything else is a big corruption. Especially with gas prices. I can barely afford to commute to work. My work is 15 minutes away. I work for a tree growing company. I have to go back and forth several times a day. Half of my salary goes to gas and the rest to support my three boys.”

“Under Trump, too, there were high gas prices – they were approaching $4 a gallon, maybe a little more. But never $5 or $6 for diesel”, – says Scott.

“We have a mutual friend who owns his own company. And the price of diesel fuel for him now is simply prohibitive. This is his whole life, this is what he earns for his family. This situation hits everyone's pocket”, – says Chelsea.

Despite all these problems, Chelsea and Scott bought a house. They paid $150,000 for half a house. Of course, there are a couple more loans, but this is how all Americans live.

Chelsea says that she does not like to watch the news now, because everything is negative and “everything is very sad.”

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“You only hear about shooting, about something bad. We need a better leader. We need strict gun control regulations, there must be checks. I am a Republican. I support gun ownership, but getting a weapon requires a serious check, – says Chelsea. – I am in favor of having more weapons for school employees. This will help protect the children. And now I'm just afraid for my children.”

The family has legal weapons.

“Unfortunately, our country unites only when something bad happens. When there were terrorist attacks on September 11, everyone united, everyone was for each other, the whole country. And now everyone is quarreling, sometimes racism, sometimes religion. And when tragedy strikes, all of a sudden they come together”, – Scott says.

At the expense of Ukraine, Chelsea thinks that Biden's policy is devoting a lot of resources to helping in the war.

“It's not that I don't have a heart, it's not that I don't care – Ukrainians desperately need help, I'm all for it, but we have problems here. Very serious problems, – she says. – Problems are neglected every day. It seems that social networks and many news publications do not always tell the truth, even in small towns. They are silent about rapes, about shootings, about problems in colleges. This is not reported. We have so many problems in America. I want to emphasize that I am not against helping Ukraine, but we have something to take care of here. It's my personal opinion. My heart is all the same with those who suffer from the war.”

In America, in different states, you can see the flags and symbols of Ukraine. People support her fight. Here, in the outback, you can also see it.

Denis decided to check gas prices in Pennsylvania: one gallon cost $4.73. A full tank cost him $82.71.
“This is not New York. There I fill up a full tank for $100”, – he says.

Denis was very surprised to see a huge cinema with a parking lot and a ticket price of only $11.

A resident of Quakertown, the owner of a shoe store, Ralph Moyer, does not complain about life. His family business is 70 years old.
The business survived the pandemic, so it will survive now.

Ralph says his shoes are from Europe, China, Wisconsin, Minnesota. He has shoes made in the USA. He says the price has gone up slightly due to shipping and material costs.

“While this pair used to cost $189.99, it now costs $200. Made in Texas”, – says Ralph, showing off the shoes.
“We even saw a small increase in revenue in our business. People go to simple entrepreneurs to help small businesses. They are angry at corporations, at what is happening, and we are pleased that people come to us”, – he says.

“We help each other here. We are fine. I don't want to get into politics, – says Ralph. – Although they shoot often. I don't like it, but I don't know how to change it. I don’t know where our country is now, and where everything is heading. I don't have a gun, I don't need a gun – I'm fine.”

“I wanted to show you that Pennsylvania and its small towns, – this is not New York. The problems may be the same, but the mentality of the people here is different. But all the same, they are Americans”, – said Denis.

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