Politics and Small Town Dynamics

Western Loudoun dynamics have changed greatly over the past couple years for various reasons; one of the most prominent being the divide of political parties that became more apparent than ever in 2020.

One singular source of conflict between political parties cannot be identified. Events such as the beginning of the coronavirus, the presidential elections, climate change, the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, tension between Iran and the United States, and on a more local note, school board policies, mandates, and governor elections are all examples of contributors to the tension between neighbors. 

Events like these clearly affect the world at large, but what no one seems to talk about is how this is actively affecting the everyday lives of communities like Purcellville, Round Hill, Lovettsville, and Hamilton.

In 2020, due to COVID, everyone was in lockdown. Screen time went up as social media was the main place to connect with anyone other than immediate family, however, social media was neither a safe nor fun place to be. 

Friendships were put on the line over what was or was not reposted. Not only would posting politics get one ostracized from  friends who had known each other since recreation league soccer in kindergarten, simple selfies or birthday shout-outs would receive comments such as,  “No one cares” and “Read the room.” 

While one would think that since everyone is back together in a post-Covid world  people would have a newfound  kindness towards each other, however, the opposite is true. Neighbors  are acting snarky and judgemental as if still hiding behind a screen.  To this day, residents of small towns are still overly cautious about what they say.

While it may be easy to get swept away in passionate political beliefs, what should be focused on is the commonalities between neighbors rather than what divides one person from another. Don’t focus on the flag on the front porch across the street, focus on the upcoming bake sale, local sports event, and everything that brings neighbors together. The towns in western Loudoun County are fortunate with location, landscape, and privileges that not everyone else has. It is time to begin acting as brothers and sisters again.