Things have been quite calm here on the North Coast. Unlike last year at this time, we are experiencing an early taste of Spring. Snowdrops and iris reticulas are starting to emerge in the garden. The snow is gone and Lake Erie looks like it does in early April. Work on a new pier at Euclid Beach has begun and, despite money gaps, the renovation of the La Salle Theater continues. Today, at a special ward club meeting I went to, I leaned that after West Park, my neighborhood is the safest in the city of Cleveland Property values also seem to continue to be slowly recovering and the person who bought the house across the street from me seems to be moving in. The reality of everyday life is serene compared to the firestorm I see everyday on the evening news regarding our government.
It’s really had to keep up with the revelations regarding President Trump and his merry band that seem to hit the public hourly. I’ve stayed up until midnight a few times to learn what’s going on with our President and his merry band; and I don’t just mean the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn last Monday. The cable tv talking heads are right; it’s only been a few weeks since the inauguration and it feels like it’s already been a year.
E.J. Dionne wrote in one of his recent pieces for his column (Admit it: Trump is unfit to serve) “What is this democratic nation to do when the man serving as president of the United States plainly has no business being president of the United States? Okay, so Donald Trump is unfit to serve but what does it reflect on the millions who voted for him? What about Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell?
Those who left the Democratic party to vote for Trump didn’t vote for the Republicans’ calls to repeal Obamacare or Paul Ryan’s plans to privatize everything. They want to see jobs coming back to Ashtabula Ohio or Grand Rapids Michigan and are willing to wait a bit to see if the man can deliver.
I don’t have to know what his base thinks about his performance, I just had to listen to it across the table at Muldoon’s last night. For one, my own father is still keen on Trump. Yesterday he made two comments which show how a family can be so divided politically. The roundups now hitting the country of illegal immigrants merely verifies what he already thought. “They arrested an illegal alien who has been collecting social security” he told me. Later, I found the source of this news, from a Breitbart article printed in May 2016. I merely drank my water. I also decided not to tell hem what I heard of a transgender woman being turned in to ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) by her boyfriend after she got a protective order against him. As I ate my hamburger, he went on to talk about how things will turn around in coal country; which is rather surprising coming from a retired welder. “They keep worrying about the water but what’s good with water if they don’t have jobs?” was another comment which for once I was too tired to counter.
He’s not alone. As a clip I saw Friday on MSNBC of interviews of residents of Kenosha Wisconsin shows, those Obama voters who went for Trump will give him the benefit of the doubt. They are attracted to the man and his message. As I’ve written before, what will they feel if all those well-paying jobs don’t come back to the Rustbelt or, worse, Trump is gone before 2020 and the vice-president, who is in my opinion a Mid-Western version of George W. Bush, takes charge? Deep down, that is exactly what Republicans like Paul Ryan want to get their agenda moving; but did Trump voters like my Father and those above vote for business as usual 2006?
When I heard Saturday that rally in Florida them play the Rolling Stones tune “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, I kept thinking again the Eurythmics “Would I lie to you?” would be much more appropriate. Happy President’s Day tomorrow folks.
Photograph by James Valentino.