It’s good that the presidential election is nearly 11 months away because I am just lost when it comes to the current political discussions.
I’m especially confused why lately so much of the argument and debate among candidates and on TV talk shows involves fabric choices.
It blew up especially last week after Donald Trump proposed banning from the U.S. all muslin.
I’ve tried to take part in the political discussions locally, but every time I say something like, “Does Donald Trump not realize what that would do to the domestic cotton industry?” all I get is blank stares.
But it’s true. The South was built on agricultural fortunes, and among the largest was cotton. King Cotton, they called it. Generations of Americans have had livelihoods either growing cotton or working in factories that weaved it into fabric or turned the fabric into garments.
Even here in North Carolina, cotton used to be the most lucrative crop after tobacco. Maybe it still is. As I said, I have not kept up on the latest in cotton-related news and developments. Surely if I had I would know why muslin arouses such anger today.
Just the other day my wife and I were out around town and heard a heated conversation between two men who were just ripping into the topic of muslin. As is my habit, I butted in and asked what the big deal was, hoping one of them could explain it to me. They kept saying things about “what happened in San Bernadino.”
Finally, I said, “Yes, but how do you know what the attackers were wearing was made of cotton?”
There were those blank stares again, and for the umpteenth time I was told, “You’re such a complete idiot,” and I’ll be honest, even after nearly 17 years of marriage it still stings when she says that.
Clearly, I needed to do my own research, so like all Americans desperate for reliable information and proper context I turned to the Internet.
I confirmed that muslin is indeed a lightweight cotton fabric in a plain weave. I felt better, at least, that I had a baseline of knowledge.
But no matter where I turned, I could find no information explaining why people are so angry about it.
I also am unsure why banning muslin would help. Wouldn’t people who are prone to violence at least be in a slightly better mood, and therefore less likely to act out, wearing cotton than if they were forced to wear polyester? Or, God forbid, wool? A scratchy collar makes me short-tempered.
And if you’re going to ban muslin, can you stop at just the new fabric and imports? Is the government going to go around to every house and apartment to search all your drawers and closets to find the muslin that’s already here in our country? Isn’t our government big and intrusive enough already without creating a fabric police?
I’m just going to have to keep trying to research this on my own. I’ve given up having any kind of discussion about it even at home. I can’t take the verbal abuse.