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The American Mind

Eating Crow

William Hillman

(8/2016) In the last few months Iíve really developed a taste for Crow in an orange or raspberry sauce.

When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States last June, I said I wouldnít waste a plug nickel betting heíd still be in the race come August. In August my vast political experience told me he would never get past the first four primaries. In February I said with conviction that there would be no way in hell the Republican elitist establishment would ever let him stand on that stage in Cleveland. But yet, there he was.

Iím not alone in my newfound love of this poultry. It seems every self-proclaimed political expert and Sunday morning "talking head" has also acquired a taste. From BRexit to Trump, They canít get enough of this stuff these days.

I knew there was a new political landscape forming, but all the modeling and polling failed to show its extend.

The old order of conservative versus liberal and capitalism vs. socialism are becoming less relevant. Most Americans want a social safety net and guaranteed access to healthcare but they do not want an intrusive government controling their lives. They donít want full socialism. People want the freedom to chase their dreams and reach for the brass ring that capitalism promises. They also want protection against state capitalism and the destructive greed of Wall Street.

On social issues the research clearly shows that the average American really doesnít care about what their neighbor is doing in their bedroom, and we just wants to be left alone. What you do in your house is of little interest to me.

What people want is a president that is concerned with the problems of this country. For the average American family, income has been stagnant or has dropped over the last 18 years. The heroin epidemic is killing their sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, and friends. Those that do make it to college graduate with very poor job prospects and are saddled with debt they cannot burden. In the inner cities, the leftís "great society" has created an underclass where unemployment is 40% and drug and crime is rampant.

Is Donald Trump really so smart that he was able to read the political environment and develop a message that would get him to where is today, (despite the experts telling him that he was wrong) or was he just lucky? Two months ago I wouldíve told you that he just happened to have the right message at the right time. Since Iíve come to know the people that work closely with him, Iím beginning to believe heís just that smart.

As I write this, the Republican convention has just ended. Here are a few thoughts.

Trumpís first hurdle at the convention was an attempt by the leader of the Colorado delegation to change the rules and un-bind all delegates. It appears that the RNC had awakened to the fact that any last minute shenanigans denying the Republican voters their chosen candidate, would only send to the party deeper into chaos. For the first time, we saw the RNC band together with the Trump campaign and fight off these repeated attacks. Surely this is an indicator of what will come.

The hardest part of watching the convention was actually watching it. Every television channel broadcasting it had a litany of talking heads competing with each other to control your perspective. It really got me frustrated. Thank God for the Internet!! YouTube had a live stream of the convention with no commentators, no commercials, no one trying to convince me that what I heard or what I saw was something other than what it was. I pray to God they do the same thing for the democratic convention.

Tuesday night we watched Melania Trumpís speech to the delegates. I rather enjoyed her. The chattering class, acting like vicious hounds desperately seeking the scent of blood, quickly found some. They discovered her speech was similar to, if not directly copied from the convention speech Michelle Obama used eight years ago. I still donít understand what the uproar was about. Does anybody really care that much about speeches from the spouses of nominees? So she copied it, big deal. Iíve heard that Bob Dylan plagiarized a number of his hits. I still love Dylanís music and donít think anything less of him. When Melania Trump told us she really loves this country, at least you can believe it. Michelle Obama must have choked on those words. In 2008, she told the world she never had any reason to be proud of her country until her husbandís election.

Vice presidential nominee, Mike Pence, had his big moment Wednesday night. I heard it was quite good and at times witty. Unfortunately, I was asleep before he ever got on stage. I could watch it on YouTube, I just canít muster the desire.

I still donít know what to think of Mike Pence. He seems very unremarkable. My friend described him as a "good Boy Scout", so Iíll go with that. I canít place my finger on what he adds to Trumpís candidacy. Maybe it was a move to make the party establishment happy and draw them under the Trump tent. I imagine the conversation was as follows, Trump to the RNC, "Look guys, itís time you join the winning team and keep what little dignity you have left. Iíll name one of your functionaries as my VP. He wonít actually have any power or be able to do anything, but if I ever die you can have the the presidency. Now take your seat in the back of the room and be quiet."

Thursday night was the Trump. Some people complain his speech was a little bit too long. If thatís their biggest complaint, that says a lot. Personally I think he knocked it out of the park. I must refrain from going through his speech section by section because of the space restrains that my pinhead editor puts on this column. A good portion of his speech was spent reaching out to minorities and the other demographics who are not seen as Trump supporters. Trump has always had a very strong relationship with the gay and lesbian community, and the African American community despite what you hear from the media. If we can draw any insight concerning his overall campaign strategy from this speech it is, heís going after voters that the Democratic Party takes for granted.

Trump made it very clear, The Republican party is changing tact. Rich Evangelicals may find themselves a little lonely with less influence. The dominance of conservative social values and unquestioned laze-fair economics has shrunk. Nationalism is the rising ethos of the party.

Hang on, the next 4 months are going to be a lot of fun.

Read other articles by Bill Hillman