Through mostly overcast skies, with some occasional piercing glimmers of sun, the giant American flag waved proudly from the temporary crane holding it up. Thousands were amassing for yet one more show being put on by the Master of Ceremonies, President Donald J. Trump himself.
As you walked (some walking over a mile) to get through the security checkpoints, you passed by table after table set up with “Trump Everything” from drink holders to jackets to flags. Anything you can think of and has room to print MAGA on it, or the more colorful “Trump 2020-No More Bullshit” could be purchased.
Stopping at one table to look at the souvenirs, I met a black gentleman named Johnnie from New Jersey. I did not even have to prompt him for his story; for some unbeknownst reason, he just began telling me. He went into detail about how he realizes that he is not oppressed and loves the opportunity he is realizing with his entrepreneurial venture of traveling the nation to sell his wares. He also made it a point to let me know that he was utterly stunned to find that Trump supporters are not at all racist and that the mass media is doing more harm to his people by pushing this narrative. His quote was, “ I really wish they would just shut the f*** up.“
When Air Force One touched down shortly after 6:00 PM Des Moines, Iowa time, well over 10,000 and probably more in the realm of 15-20,000 were already huddled together for the President’s arrival. As the giant Boeing 747 was taxying to the rally, hundreds were still filing through the security checkpoint, trying to get a good view of the spectacle many had traveled so far to view.
This was not just a local Des Moines crowd. You had Trump loyalist from Sioux City (hundreds of miles away), Omaha, Cedar Rapids (approximately a 3-hour drive), and even the Quad Cities (all the way across the state).
In case you missed it, here is yesterday’s MAGA protests from Des Moines, Iowa.
There is little disputing that President Trump gives powerful speeches laced with attacks on his opponents. This seems to resonate well with most Americans as the American people are beyond sick and tired of politics as usual. It is the doublespeak and failure to answer questions in a normal response that most citizens utterly despise. If nothing else, Trump has boiled away the political rhetoric and delivers spot-on points that most everyone understands and loves.
However, President Trump still has one possible major issue that will cause him problems the night of November 3rd. That being women. Particularly the suburban women who think of him as being too brash, arrogant, and non-feeling.
If the President simply does one thing, he can bring many of these women back into the fold and lock down his victory with resounding success on voting day. This is not a character flaw, it is something that the President just doesn’t have in his DNA, and he needs to express it a bit better. That being “EMPATHY.”
It is not that he doesn’t have empathy; it is that he doesn’t know how to express whereby the general public understands that he has empathy or the understanding of the problems facing the general population.
Through all his faults (and he had many), one of the things that Bill Clinton was able to do better than almost any other President was to convey that he understood the American people’s issues. Whether it be a disaster or simply having enough money to buy milk for their kids, Clinton was able to act as though he genuinely cared about the people’s plight.
Here is Clinton in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing.
Though America has begun rebounding (albeit slowly) from the CoronaVirus, millions are still wallowing in pain from this plague on our very way of life.
While President Trump does a good job of expressing a positive spin that things are getting better, we are rebounding, etc., he does need to express the pain of losing loved ones, paying rent, making the car payment, and the fact that millions have lost their jobs and many are permanent.
The fact is, much of America is hurting from this virus. While you have hundreds of thousands of small businesses that have been affected (the reasons and blue states do not matter), you have millions that want that local tavern or restaurant to open back up. In other words, EVERYONE in this nation has been affected to one degree or another. The President needs to be very solemn and let the American people know that he understands, and he too is angry about this. Yes, we know he is angry, but he needs to express it from an understanding perspective.
If President Trump can do this, he wins in a landslide on November the 3rd.
Then we can all watch the snowflakes become unhinged again as we eat our popcorn.
By Ken Crow