Revisiting Tom Herbon
SANILAC COUNTY – Tom Herbon owns an 1880s farmhouse in Sanilac County in Michigan’s thumb. The 57-year-old lives in Troy, but this is where he and his family spend most of their summer weekends. A 1962 Allis-Chalmers tractor is parked in a corn crib. From the side of the crib hung a large American flag. Nearby, he and two of his daughters are picking mulberries for a pie.
There’s no Wi-Fi here – no electricity beyond past a few remodeled rooms on the first floor – and practically no cell reception. That suits Herbon just fine.
The retired IBM engineer keeps things simple. He eats corn but not cauliflower; potatoes, but not broccoli. He’s never had sushi in his life and has no desire to start eating raw fish now. He gets sick to his stomach thinking about spending $25,000 to replace his 2000 minivan, but said he wouldn’t think twice about dropping $50,000 for a new backhoe to play around with at his summer farm house.
“I like what I like,” Herbon said.
Herbon was an avid Donald Trump supporter during the 2016 presidential campaign. The 4-by-8 foot Trump sign he made for the election now hangs in his barn in Sanilac County. Since the election, he said he’s cut himself off from almost all mainstream media. He listens to conservative talk radio and is on Twitter, where he follows just one person – Donald Trump. “I like to hear things from the horse’s mouth,” Herbon said.
He is eager for Obamacare to be eliminated so he can lower his family’s health insurance bills by purchasing insurance with less coverage.
“You have people saying, ‘Oh, I would have died without Obamacare,’” Herbon said. “Ok, well, you would have died without Obamacare, but I’m still paying triple what I would have before. Now, it’s all crap. And I can’t get low-priced crap. I can only get high-priced crap.”
Herbon is “ecstatic” with how things are going in the country, and is flummoxed by the notion that others are unhappy.
If the election were held today, would he vote the way he did in November? “No,” Herbon said, smiling. “I’d find a way to hack the system and cast two votes.”
Click the links below to revisit the lives of our Michigan Divided participants
We’ve been there for you with daily Michigan COVID-19 news; reporting on the emergence of the virus, daily numbers with our tracker and dashboard, exploding unemployment, and we finally were able to report on mass vaccine distribution. We report because the news impacts all of us. Will you please support our nonprofit newsroom?