January 21, 2017
I watched most of the inauguration yesterday. Trump’s acceptance speech is certainly one to remember, if only for the difference in tone as compared with prior acceptance speeches. No, “With malice towards none . . . .” No, “Ask what you can do for your country.” Rather, “America First” with a fist bump, shame on the elite in Washington, and the promise that the “forgotten people” will be forgotten no more.
I don’t know if Trump will keep his promise to the folks in fly-over land or not. His initial actions and his choices for Cabinet seem to belie that.
It will be interesting to see how the protests go today. Yesterdays’ were marked by violence. Protests are fine and good, but rioting in the streets is not.
Over the course of the campaign, many came to see Trump supporters as racist reprobates who eagerly await the arrival of their KKK membership card and hood. No doubt many may be. But, I suspect that a good percentage of them are pretty much just like the rest of us: White, brown, black, red, yellow, male, female, educated, not particularly educated, a few LBGT, etc. They are not, I think, the “deplorables” vacuously cited by Hillary. May I describe one?
Last weekend, we went to the Chicago area to celebrate Christmas and Molly’s birthday with Geoff et al. On Sunday, we drove home. On the way, we stopped at a Culver’s in Mauston, WI. Mauston is about 75 miles north of Madison on the interstate, is the seat of Juneau County, and has a population of about 4500. It is fly over. On Sunday’s after church, it seems that Culvers is the place to be for lunch. It was packed. We sat near several tables populated by friends and obvious family members.
One group got up to leave after finishing the burgers and fried fish. The leader of the particular table was a farmer, dressed in his Sunday best; off the rack suit and tie, plain black shoes, nothing stylistic. His grandson who appeared to be about 13 or 14 also wore a coat and tie, and had his hair slicked down and parted on the side. They obviously had been to church. In all, they were good, solid, working citizens – common folk.
On the way out, the farmer got into a conversation with a friend at another table, and in the course of the conversation recounted how a recent windstorm had damaged his barn; part of the roof and one end wall had been taken down. He told his neighbor that he reported the damage to his insurance agent and was told that his policy would cover the loss only if the damage exceeded 60% of the value of the barn. The agent advised him that the company had changed the terms of the contract sometime in the last couple of years. He had been paying some $1500 per year for several years and told the agent that he could have been putting money towards the repair instead of wasting in on an insurance policy that would not cover his loss.
A couple of things struck me. First, he had a bad agent. Why in the world would the agent not have highlighted the contract change? A good agent would have cemented the relationship with his client by working with him to obtain appropriate coverage. Second, what kind of insurance company sells policies that only cover catastrophic losses? Would anyone buy car insurance that would only pay if the car were totaled?
And third, this: Here was a guy, a family man, a church goer, a hard worker, a citizen who values his neighbors and his community, who lives in mid-America in a small town, etc., who has been screwed by those in whom he has placed his trust. Guess who I think he voted for, and why?
Trump has made promises to him and to folks like him. Time will tell if the Donald holds true to that promise.