We don’t get much attention down in Cape May, N.J., this time of year, and that’s the way we like it. It’s a period to reflect and enjoy the benefits of small-town living. In Cape May, we usually vote red in this dark blue state. We know who we are, and that’s the way it is. Citizens here have been voting Republicans since the Civil War. A while back, the Board of Freeholders voted to make Cape May County a Second Amendment-free sanctuary.
Some grammarians might infer that this phrase means citizens in the area will be free of the right to own guns like, you know, educated types summering in Martha’s Vineyard. But down at the tip of New Jersey, our minds are wired differently. The freeholders just want to ensure each and every one of us can keep an arsenal in our homes. Yes, sir, other places like Philadelphia might ensure a sanctuary for people — but here in Cape May, we have one for guns.
This might help outsiders, Shoobies, and media types understand U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who was elected as a Democrat in 2019, but recently switched his party affiliation to Republican.
In Cape May, Van Drew is as much of a local fixture as seagulls, as omnipresent as winds in February, and more reliable than the sunrise. During his long reign as a state senator from 2008 through 2018, if you needed help obtaining a lost automobile title, he was there to help. If you were having problems getting a passport, he got it done. Potholes were fixed because of him, and children got financial help going to Stockton. He was the most important political presence in Cape May County. Not a ribbon-cutting, Kiwanis banquet, or street fair took place without a visit from Jeff Van Drew.
It didn’t matter to Cape May residents that he was a Democrat and we voted Republican. He got things done for us. Everyone knew Jeff stood for his district.
So when he voted against the impeachment of President Donald Trump, it came as no surprise to us. Finally quitting the Democratic Party and joining the one he sided with all along? That wasn’t earth-shattering news either.
In Cape May, we wondered if we’d see some reward for supporting Van Drew throughout his change. Would he get a release of federal funds to improve and rebuild our deteriorated inter-waterway bridge systems? Perhaps train service from the cape to Philadelphia and New York? Maybe some new government contracts for the Coast Guard base?
Turns out all the wondering couldn’t have predicted Jeff’s reward: the presence of Donald J. Trump himself at the Wildwood Convention Center for a rally.
Even though some down here don’t see this as a plus, to many, it doesn’t get any better than this.
Never mind that 45 won’t come down from the skies until Jan. 28, when usually all that falls from them is snow. The request for tickets to this once-in-a-lifetime event has so far hit 100,000 people. Never mind that we don’t have that many people on the boardwalk on a July evening, and never mind that the convention center only holds 7,400 people. Never mind that sections of Route 47 going into Wildwood will be closed for construction. Never mind that the newly elected mayor of Wildwood, Pete Byron, a Democrat, says the city doesn’t have the money to host such an event and wants Trump to foot the bill.
Trump is coming. Hold on to your guns and Bibles, Cape Maniacs.
Your votes will be rewarded. Now you can chant USA! USA! USA! as you scare the seagulls away and witness Republican Jeff Van Drew, standing beside his party leader. Just where Cape May voters always knew he wanted to be.