Pigs Can Fly: The Donald, Community, and Resilience

Donald Trump has put up a mirror to show the world there is work to be done in rebuilding integrity in the democratic process. His win, the Brexit win, and any unexpected political disruptions that follow will hopefully awaken the non-engaged citizen who had the misconception that government would take care of itself.

Trump’s win is confusing but it’s not the end of the world. People are more resilient than that. Take this story in the The Atlantic…

Deborah and James Fallows travelled around the US for three years observing and writing about how small American cities are rejuvenating themselves. They wrote this story because they realized major news outlets don’t talk about smaller cities unless a disaster hits it.

Many of these places had suffered from crippling unemployment, poor health, and poverty. What the Fallows found was each one of these places (and hundreds of other places they couldn’t visit) are reversing that downward spiral. These communities are proving they are resilient to political, economic, and even climate change.

The lesson learned is that it takes the village—a partnership between business, government, and volunteer efforts from residents—to (re)build a vibrant city. In some cases, it takes a partnership between towns too. Partisanship and borders didn’t enter into the conversation. Imagine if we applied this philosophy to the Cowichan Valley.

Here is the long but eye-opening summary of their 54,000 km trip around the US.

If you only have 5 minutes, read 11 Signs a City Will Succeed and consider how it applies to the Cowichan Valley and Vancouver Island. Some of it we’re already doing; some of it we can work towards.

What can you do to help?



  1. Maeve – I think it’s more complicated than having “non-engaged citizens”, but I choose to disengage from that argument, since there is nothing I can do about it. I’m actually replying because the links (eg. “11 signs a city will succeed”) are not functioning for me. Any ideas?

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