Many people, myself included, thought that the 2008 election (and 2012 re-election) of Barack Obama was a turning point in US history. But instead of putting the past behind us. the Tea Party and other groups dug in their heels.
Joe Ed Crudup typifies lower-class populism. I make allusions to FOX News and national right-wing radio hosts that feed Joe Ed's fury. However, I do not follow the line, and I avoid anything about the Election of 2016 and beyond, although the short epilogue talks about the Botleys and Sinclairs/Cavendishs.
The main reason I avoided 2016 is that it is to me depressing, and we are still mired in all that it spewed out. Former President Trump still believes that his re-election was stolen, and a sizeable part of the GOP follows along with the myth.
I preferred to look back in time a little bit and to put the thrust of the novel in a confined time frame. It takes place in a right-month period for the most part.
Also, the novel is about a family, not a nation. It's about the characters, and how they react to all sorts of pressures and challenges. As a perceptive reader pointed out to me recently, there are no villains and no heroes. I will explore that in a future post.