I’ve been to Coolidge Arizona, between Phoenix and Tucson on the old Butterfield Stage route. It’s south of the Gila River, mostly dry now. Once canals irrigated the crops of the Anasazi community, builders of Casa Grande, still-standing rock and mud building, an accurate solar calendar. Old West Coolidge was the site of Arizona’s first power plant and envisioned itself equal to the Old Pueblo and the new State Capital rising to the north.
But things happened. The Arizona Highway running N-S to unite the former Union with the former Confederacy bypassed it to the east where Florence was growing to support the Arizona State Prison. Interstate 10 bypassed it to the west, taking the route of the old Jefferson Davis highway that was intended to give the Confederacy their Pacific port in San Diego. World War II happened, and the location of Japanese internment camps (actually farms built and operated by Japanese slave labor) were north of the Gila. After those were given away (talk about corrupt politics) and the Japanese were able to return to their homes, those big farms looked to Gilbert or Mesa or Tempe and turned their backs on Coolidge… entirely due to the trains. Dry happened, too, and Coolidge is drying up, shrinking, and old. What’s still farmed is Pima Cotton owned by foreign investors and worked by Mexican labor and irrigated by Colorado River water injected into the aquifer to their west or used by mines to flush poisons into the aquifer to their south; bypassed.
Coolidge’s remnant cowboy-boot-wearing population is typical of rural decay; white, middle-class, aging and correctly senses their decline. As a reaction, they’ve turned to fundamentalist Christianity and Fox-News mongered hate. They’re very afraid of Islam, of illegal immigrants, and damned liberals. They cling to God and Guns. In this red-white-and-blue Republican haven, they claim to love the Constitution, especially the 2nd Amendment.
The Coolidge Arizona City Council just passed an ordinance requiring that meetings begin with prayer and it must be Christian prayer only. We will have no duaas to Allah in Coolidge, Arizona.
Our Lord! Forgive us our sins as well as those of our brethren who proceeded us in faith and let not our hearts entertain any unworthy thoughts or feelings against those who have believed. You are indeed full of kindness and Most Merciful. Ameen.