DETROIT - Asandi Conner cares about her daughter, Briana, a student at the University of Michigan. She cares about her job, leading the Detroit Revitalization Fellows at Wayne State University. She cares about her neighborhood, Grixdale Park, in northeast Detroit. She cares about her dog, Nala, who has come along for a stroll on a fair June afternoon.
And she cares about her country, she said, but not enough to have voted for president in November, or to take much interest in what’s happening in the White House since then. Six months into a presidency that has divided much of Michigan into warring camps, she remains agnostic, only vaguely worried what might happen as a result, confining herself to bafflement at news coming out her car radio.
“They said he wants to bring back the gold standard?” she said. “That’s ridiculous. It’s not feasible.”
At the same time, she trusts that “voices of reason will rein him in,” should the impulsive Trump get another idea she considers ridiculous. She won’t spend time worrying about it.
“I have chosen to be out of it,” she said. “For my mental well-being.”
She understands that federal policies can and do influence her world, but “to facilitate the change I want to see, we will have to be led by ourselves.”
Or, put another way: Think globally, act locally, and “locally, I do keep up. But politically, I just don’t have the emotional or mental capacity to deal with Trump and his tweeting.”
Grixdale Park is a mix of middle-class residents, many of whom, like Conner, have deep roots there.
“My family’s been in this community between 6 and 8 Mile for 60 years,” she said. “Most people in the city are not downtown, not in Midtown. But they deserve to have the same quality of life.”
Conner stands by her decision not to cast a presidential vote.
“Despite everything, I have no regrets,” she said.