Rural Iowa Trump Strong
BY ROBERT LEONARD
Special to The Star
OCTOBER 27, 2017 2:05 PM
Iâ€™m a political junkie. Every day I read The Washington Post and The New York Times, among other media giants, with great interest and appreciation. I understand and value the great writing, thoughtful analysis, logic and reasoning. And the fact checking. Especially the fact checking.
Given that I live in Iowa, The Des Moines Register, The Chicago Tribune and The Kansas City Star are among my favorites as well. I also try to catch a variety of broadcast news organizations over the course of the evening. Being ADD, Twitter presents an endless buffet of delightful and distracting news commentary and stories.
Iâ€™m learning that President Donald Trump continues to offend, make missteps, court World War III and faces isolation in the face of the worst presidential polling in history. That he faces possible impeachment, or removal from office when his cabinet invokes Section 25 of the Constitution. I learn that the Republican Party is in disarray and may never recover. In this chaos commentators are speculating just how many Democrats will gain seats in the House and Senate and if it will be enough to take over one or both bodies of Congress in 2018. Possible Democratic candidates for president are being vetted for 2020.
This is delusional.
Here in conservative rural America, Trump is ascendant.
I was loafing in a booth at the coffee shop Saturday morning, and my friend Mark said something like, â€œHey Bob, if you want to understand why rural conservatives like Trump, watch the speech he gave at the Values Voters Summit.â€
I replied, â€œJust tell me why,â€ not wanting to tell Mark I can hardly stand to watch or listen to Trump, I despise him so. I thought, how perfectly ironic and hypocritical of the religious right to have a man without honor or dignity preach about â€œvalues.â€
â€œNo, you have to watch it first. Then weâ€™ll talk,â€ he said.
I tried to remember what I had read about the speech. The only thing I could recall was that Trump had made either a mistake, or misspoke and had referred to the Governor of Puerto as the president. The media had been all over the gaffe. What a clown, a buffoon Trump is! More evidence of his ignorance, his lack of preparation, basic courtesy, and more proof of how unfit he is for office. While certainly more was reported on his speech, that is what I remembered.
While I couldnâ€™t bring myself to actually watch Trump give his speech, I readÂ the transcript as provided by the White House.
Looking only at the written word, and putting Trumpâ€™s arrogant off-script comments aside, it was a beautiful speech. Powerful. Inspirational. Brilliant even.
Thatâ€™s not what I took from the reporting â€” which may well be the fault of my selective reading and viewing â€” but if President Barack Obama had given a similar speech I know much of the media would have lauded it, leaving me with a completely different perspective of the speech, and likely of the man.
Doing my best to understand how my conservative friends might read Trumpâ€™s speech, I read it again. Only this time, I contrasted Trumpâ€™s messaging with how rural conservatives often view Democratic messaging. Here goes.
Trump began by saying we are a nation of believers and that â€œtogether we are strengthened and sustained by the power of prayer.â€ Democrats want prayer out of the public sphere.
Trump called the Las Vegas shooting a â€œhorrific mass murderâ€ and an â€œact of pure evil.â€ Democrats blame the guns and want to take yours away.
Trump honored the heroes of Las Vegas, including the police officers and other first responders. Democrats elevate thugs and view our protectors in blue with disdain.
Trump quotes scripture. Democrats ridicule those who do.
Trump stresses unity. Democrats divide American society into victims and oppressors.
Trump says, â€œWe love our country.â€ Obama went on an international apology tour.
Trump says, â€œWe cherish the sacred dignity of every human life.â€ Democrats murder babies.
Trump says, â€œWe believe in strong families.â€ Democratic policies pull them apart.
Trump says, â€œWe are proud of our history.â€ Democrats tear down monuments.
Trump says, â€œWe respect our great American flag.â€ Democrats take a knee.
I could go on. Thereâ€™s much, much more in Trumpâ€™s speech thatâ€™s fodder for conservative thought.
So, big media, keep up the great writing, thoughtful analysis, logic and reasoning. And fact checking. But, remember here in Trumplandia, you wonâ€™t change any minds. The cultural fissure is too deep, and relates to fundamentally different worldviews with respect to freedom and the nature of man.
Given so, Trumpâ€™s sinking poll numbers are irrelevant. My conservative friends will vote for a fence post before they vote for a Democrat.
Keep preaching to the choir, coastal media elites. Continue to predict the downfall of Trump in 2020 if not before, and great victories for Democrats in congressional races in 2018, and weâ€™ll see if it works. Thatâ€™s my hope. I fear, however, such stories will only lead to complacency among the Democratic electorate.
My conservative friends remain â€œTrump-strong.â€ And remember, we in the hinterland have the Electoral College by the throat.
Iâ€™ll be seeing my friend Mark again soon. Iâ€™m not looking forward to it.
Robert Leonard is an anthropologist and hosts a public affairs program for KNIA/KRLS radio in Knoxville/Pella, Iowa.
Re: Rural Iowa Trump Strong
if the November 2016 election was held again today, Trump would put up a much larger win. Democrats and Rino Repubilicans are delusional about his popularity.
If a peon like myself has fielded several opinion polls asking my views, and to which I tell them I don't respond to telephone polls or any other kind of poll, how accurate are any of the polls? The one that counts is the ballots.
Re: Rural Iowa Trump Strong
I've been travelling around the MW the past few weeks taking care of some business.
Apparently, Fox cable news is on the TV in every motel breakfast room across the region. Sort of interesting sitting there getting an extra cup of coffee in and listening a bit over the paper. When my head would jerk up to look at some particularly pernicious bit of misinformation (been away from Forum so had to get my misinformation fix somewhere) it was clearly an offense to most of the other diners. Two guys in camo, caps and beards decided to give me the stare down treatment.
An interesting assortment of folks. Generally obese at a rate a bit above the astronomical national average. A lot of tats and weird hair and clothes on those under 40. A lot of camo, clothing and caps with patriotic messages.
Don't know, other than I was left with a sense that as this thing grinds its way down into something else I don't think many of them will ever admit to being wrong. They were just angry and wanted somebody to give them some attention.
The scary thing is where the folks who got them angry will want to take them next.