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Thursday, November 09, 2017

Trump is all we have left

In 2016, Politico sent Annie Karni into deepest, whitest America -- Johnstown, Pennsylvania -- to talk to members of the native Scot-Irish tribe. The result was, "Hillary Clinton's star-spangled bus tour."
Three oversize American flags hung above the main factory floor here at Johnstown Wire Technologies, the fourth stop of the Hillary Clinton-Tim Kaine bus tour across western Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The stars-and-stripes imagery underscored the post-primary tone of the Democratic ticket, which is now seeking to reclaim the mantle of patriotism that for decades has been the calling card of the Republican Party.
The piece ended:
“The American dream is as big as we make it,” Clinton told the crowd in Pittsburgh. “With your help, we’re going to make it even bigger.”

Yep, just wave the flag a few times, and they will come around.

But the people rejected Hillary's sudden embrace of the American flag. For the first time in 28 years, Pennsylvania went with the Republican candidate.

Politico returned to Johnstown this year. Correspondent Michael Kruse's piece was darker: "Johnstown Never Believed Trump Would Help. They Still Love Him Anyway."

The people in Appalachia and the Rust Belt are the forgotten Americans. They are mainly white and Christian, which makes members of the last group in America you are free to mock, just like their cousins in the South.

From the New Yorker on December 24, 2016:
It’s a dismal-looking picture: “The Forgotten Man,” painted, in 2010, by the Utah-based artist Jon McNaughton and bought, last month, by the Fox host Sean Hannity. But, then, dismalness is its subject. With the White House in a crepuscular background, its flag at half-staff, all forty-four U.S. Presidents are gathered behind and to the sides of a hunky, hangdog young white guy, who sits on a park bench. He is, in the artist’s words, “distraught and hopeless as he contemplates his future.” The proximate cause of his blues is a smug Barack Obama, who appears in the scene with arms folded as he steps on the first page of the Constitution. The ground is littered with dollar bills — a reference to excessive government spending. (The painting was occasioned, McNaughton told BuzzFeed, by the Affordable Care Act.) Most of the former chief executives look on blandly, but some heroes among them — mainly Washington, Lincoln, and Reagan — react with evident concern for the young guy and with dismay toward Obama, while a few villains, notably F.D.R. and Bill Clinton, applaud. James Madison leans forward, seemingly bent on rescuing the Constitution from ignominy.
Crepuscular is a zoological term that refers to bats and other animals who are active during the twilight's last gleaming.

Change the young man from a ginger to a Hispanic or a black man, and the New Yorker's tone would change dramatically.

The Kruse piece in Politico -- a Cletus Safari as a writer at Deadspin called it -- mocked those who still support Trump.
A year later, the local unemployment rate has ticked down, and activity in a few coal mines has ticked up. Beyond that, though, not much has changed — at least not for the better. Johnstown and the surrounding region are struggling in the same ways and for the same reasons. The drug problem is just as bad. “There’s nothing good in the area,” Pam Schilling said the other day in her living room. “I don’t have anything good to say about anything in this area. It’s sad.” Even so, her backing for Trump is utterly undiminished: “I’m a supporter of him, 100 percent.”
I cannot seem to find the Politico piece that went to Chicago's South Side a year after Obama's election to find if people still supported him despite getting jack for their votes.

I cannot find one even nine years later.

But we stick with President Trump because Donald Trump is all we have left. After him, there is nobody willing to stand for the Forgotten American.

In "Trump the Press," I pointed out that we wanted Roy Rogers.
We like to think of our heroes as cowboys, Roy Rogers riding tall in the saddle on Trigger, the smartest horse in the world. The cowboy fights the bad guys, saves the ranch, and wins the girl. He has a code that includes humility, sacrifice, and self-reliance.
That was not how it worked. We got Rick Blaine from "Casablanca."
Nearly seventy-five years later, a real-life garish casino owner rode into the presidential sweepstakes on an elevator down from his opulent and ostentatious penthouse.
He was a flawed vessel. Boastful, tacky, and vain, Trump led the lifestyle of the rich and famous, long after that television show expired.
But he was the only one who stood with the American middle class -- black, white, brown, yellow, red, or transrainbow.

More than a year after I wrote that, I ask myself: What if everything they say about Donald Trump is true? What if he is a buffoon? What if he is crazy? What if he is ignorant?

I think these thoughts and consider these questions because readers don't have time for this nonsense.

And honestly, my answer is so what?

I don't care.

No one else stands with Lincoln and Reagan and Washington making the case for us.

Bernie? Don't make me laugh. His plan for us is to hook us into more government programs that help the elites. Student loan programs serve the colleges, not the students. Just look at who gets the loans and who raises prices every year.

We put the elites in charge because we trusted that with all their education and experience they would know what they were doing.


They blew it. They forgot us. Unions went first. Most unions have more widows and retirees than working members. That's why they go on strike to protect retiree health benefits rather than wages.

Kruse went to Johnstown on behalf of Politico not to enlighten the elites about the restless villagers, but to reassure those in Washington that the rubes are deplorable.

From the piece:
“Shame on them,” Joey Del Signore said over his alfredo. “These clowns are out there, making millions of dollars a year, and they’re using some stupid excuse that they want equality — so I’ll kneel against the flag and the national anthem?”
“You’re not a fan of equality?” I asked.
“For people who deserve it and earn it,” he said. “All my ancestors, Italian, 100 percent Italian, the Irish, Germans, Polish, whatever — they all came over here, settled in places like this, they worked hard and they earned the respect. They earned the success that they got. Some people don’t want to do that. They just want it handed to them.”
“Like NFL players?” I said.
Then a minute later, Kruse got what he came for. Someone used the N-word. I am sure his editor said great job. One guy uses the N-word, then that proves every Trump voter does, right?

Just like Devin Patrick Kelley represents every atheist.

Just like Stephen Paddock represents every person who hates country music.

Just like Omar Mateen represents every Muslim.

The major difference is the people of Johnstown didn't massacre anyone.

Of course the elites side with the players. The players are millionaires. The elites go where the money is. That is where the power is, 365 days a year.

But every leap year, there is a day when the power shifts back to the people -- just for one day. The next one occurs on November 3, 2020.

I have a feeling the elites won't like the outcome then, either.


Please enjoy my books on how the press bungled the 2016 election.

Caution: Readers occasionally may laugh out loud at the media as they read this account of Trump's election.

It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.

Caution: Readers occasionally may laugh out loud at the media as they read this account of Trump's nomination.

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  1. Trump looks at home in a hard hat.

    Obama always looked as if he felt he should be wearing Carsar's laurel wreath.

    Some folks prefer their kings uncrowned.

  2. Two weeks before the election I asked an aquaintance whose son works at Goldman Sachs and who has deep contacts there why they were favoring HC. His answer was simple. "She is a known quantity and they want to make money".
    It is Trump's uncontrollable nature that they disliked then and probably still do.
    Politico, which seems lately to be written on pages made of compressed stool, thinks the same as GS. But I like DT.
    He is our guy, or mine anyway. There was no one else who could have won against the media and an oligarchy of wealth unknown in human history then, and there still isn't. Politico just wishes it weren't so.

  3. "I think these thoughts and consider these questions because readers don't have time for this nonsense.

    And honestly, my answer is so what?

    I don't care."

    Honestly good progress on the therapy couch here.

    Herein is a real difference between Trumpsters and his detractors. "I care for you, buddy", Trump claims. Sure, Trump feels your pain, as Billy Jeff liked to say. Like every other politician who has wanted something from poor "forgotten man" white guy.

    I think deep down Forgotten Man is hip to the Trump scam but he wants to believe so hard. If only he were black or brown or cool, then they would care. I do what's right and nobody helps me. Why does the Prodigal son get the fattened calf? Boo hoo.

  4. Fine essay, Mr. Surber (as usual). Thank you.

    Today, it is us versus them.

    “Them” consists of the Ruling Class (Federal elected officials, Big Banks, Big Media, the 1 percent generally), their paid retainers (government employees, academia, et al) and their idiot followers (Antifa and the rest of the stupider side of the IQ bell curve).

    “Us” is the real America; patriotic, religious, hard-working people who love God, our families and our country.

    Trump is on America’s side. That’s why they hate him. And that’s why we support him even though he is flawed.

    And before Trump, the real America had not had a president or presidential candidate from either party who was on its side since Reagan.

    Steve in Greensboro

  5. Don, I've been reading your work (including your books) for a long time - preceding this blog and going back to the daily mail blog - but this is post is one of your most outstanding -one for the bookmarks. Well done.

    We hoped for Roy Rogers and got Rick Blaine. Well, yes.

    But there is a reason we got Rick, he's not shocked there's gambling going on here, and poor Roy would have been. Roy Rogers is our AG, almost paralyzed by the extent of the corruption.

    I've got an old saddle in the barn. It's scratched and scuffed, and I've replaced the leathers a couple of times. It has been many miles with me on the trail and looks it. I've bought three saddles to replace it. Yet when I've got several miles to go, that's the one I grab precisely because it's proven to be the one best suited for the task.

    If you always go for the best looking one, you'll have to settle for an uncomfortable ride.
    ~C Kat