WALDPORT, OR—A team of anthropologists announced Friday it had discovered an isolated tribe of blissful Americans who have never been exposed to the current presidential campaign or its candidates, noting that the newly identified population lives contentedly in a remote village completely untouched by the 2016 race.
According to researchers from Lewis & Clark College, the peaceful, secluded community along the outskirts of Oregon’s Drift Creek Wilderness remains uncontacted by political canvassers, pollsters, and the election media, allowing its generally cheerful and affable inhabitants to go about their daily lives without ever encountering a political poll, election news story, campaign ad, soundbite, or stump speech.
“Upon first entering the village, we immediately noticed how relaxed and upbeat the inhabitants appeared, but it wasn’t until speaking with them directly that we understood how insulated they were from the country’s political climate,” said professor Elizabeth Letts, adding that the tribe’s levels of stress, depression, and anxiety were far lower than those recorded over the past 18 months among the broader American populace. “They actually seem to lead gratifying, well-balanced lives. The adults enjoy eight hours of sleep each night, and in place of discussing politics or the latest revelations about the candidates, they were seen regularly smiling or laughing—not cynically, or as a defense mechanism, even, but out of genuine joy.”
“In my 30 years studying human cultures, I’ve never come across a people so happy,” she continued.
According to Letts, when tribe members were asked their thoughts on major-party candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, they looked puzzled for a moment and then shrugged their shoulders before grinning warmly and continuing on with their day. Similarly, villagers reportedly appeared confused but at ease when asked about the national mood, saying that as far as they could tell, people were feeling pretty good about everything.
The anthropologists confirmed this sense of tranquility permeated all aspects of life in the tribe, observing that when extended families gathered for mealtimes, the tenor of their conversation remained pleasant and amicable, with no subjects deemed off-limits. Moreover, scientists noted that the village lacked any signage, clothing, or other paraphernalia bearing divisive words or imagery, and residents appeared to trust one another and appreciate time spent interacting.
“When I brought out my iPad to show them footage of the recent presidential debates, they immediately became agitated, and several of the children started to cry,” said graduate student Lester Reinhold, who explained that the perplexed villagers kept asking him why the people on the screen interrupted each other so often when they didn’t even have anything of value to say. “I explained that one of the two people onstage would be their next leader, and they all gasped and recoiled in horror, with many saying they didn’t see how that could possibly be true.”
“I then tried showing them an attack ad about Donald Trump’s comments and actions toward women, but many of them became terrified and began screaming—that’s when one of the village elders swatted the tablet out of my hand,” he added. “After seeing how upset it made them, I determined that it was in their best interest to keep all audio and video clips from the election cycle away from them for the rest of our onsite study.”
Scientists noted that when they surveyed members of the tribe about their expectations for the future, specifically after November 8, the responses they received were universally optimistic. Every villager, regardless of age, gender, or social status within the community, reportedly mentioned how they anticipated things would continue to go as well as they had been going.
When asked to name the most pressing issue facing them, a few members of the group reportedly admitted, however, that it had been raining a lot lately, and that a little sunshine might be nice.
“This is a perfectly preserved community, probably the last of its kind anywhere,” said Letts, who expressed concern that outside forces such as the ever-lengthening campaign season and an increase of on-the-ground political operatives in the area threatened to encroach on the tribe’s simpler and more satisfying way of life. “Even though they’re disconnected from much of the modern-day world and the daily news cycle, these individuals seemed to possess something we don’t: a true sense of delight and positivity toward everyday existence, like each new day is a gift to be cherished.”
“Our society could learn a lot from these people,” she added.
At press time, sources confirmed a campaign bus could be seen winding its way down a wooded road toward the village.