The Port Townsend Leader asked me a series of questions about the recent election. Since most of my answers did not make it into the paper here are my responses. The Leader's questions are underlined. Steve Crosby
I’ve heard that the election was hard on Chimacum High School students and that the high school was split over this: What do you tell young people about Trump’s victory? What does it mean for them?
"You don't always get what you want" Rolling Stones
I have empathy with their feelings. I was very unhappy last spring when Trump sewed up the nomination. I had donated and volunteered for Senator Cruz. I had heard disturbing sound bites that play on a continuous loop on CNN. I did not understand what some voters liked about him. When Trump secured the nomination I was certain he would lose. I was wrong. I began to change my mind when I attended the Trump rally in Everett and listened to what he had to say instead of listening to what people said about him. I consider myself smart and well informed, it was hard to admit to myself that I had been wrong - I expect it will be hard for others but they will get there.
I would tell these students that whatever you think about Trump today, they may find there is an important lesson to be learned here about presidential campaigning. In 1964 when I was a senior in high school, my classmates were certain that if the Republican won we would be drafted and have to fight in Viet Nam. LBJ was the peace candidate; we were thrilled when he won. He went on to send 65,000 members of my generation to die in Viet Nam. Democrat campaigns do their best to scare voters. I'd ask students to Google the famous "Daisy Girl" ad from 1964. If this election scared you it is because the HRC campaign with it's billion dollar war chest and Madison Avenue with it's power of persuasion worked overtime to scare you.
I would also tell them that there are two Donald Trumps. The real one and the Frankenstein monster created by partisan rhetoric. A stupefying delusion exists in the media echo chamber that Trump is a racist and a white supremacist. There are two sources for this delusion: ignorance and malice.
In order to understand our new President, one has to break out of the sound bites and hear his message. Those who are unhappy today should allow themselves to view Trump in the context of his 40 years in the public eye. They will come to realize that he is a brash outer borough New Yorker and he is liberal on social issues. He is also a builder. When Trump says he will rebuild our infrastructure and inner cities, be assured, he has the skill set to do exactly that.
"You just might find, you get what you need" Rolling Stones
A footnote for Chimacum Students
Political dynasties are not good. In 1990 we stationed troops in Saudi Arabia. The first Bush president said this was evidence of a "new world order". Our troops stayed in the Middle East and the new world order continued for 8 years of Bill Clinton's presidency and then escalated after 9/11 under G.W. Bush. The Bush family has a long term relationship with the Saudis. The Clintons have accepted millions from the Saudis. Under Obama our adventurism has expanded to Yemen, Syria and Libya. It is my considered opinion that the Clinton/Bush foreign policy has used our military to execute the Saudi's agenda. The Bush family supported Hillary.
Trump says he wants to knock out ISIS and then begin a process of extracting us from the Middle East. He wants detente with Russia. I don't know if he can succeed, but I say to the students of Chimacum High: 'Give Peace a Chance" Beatles
What do you expect Trump to do in the first 100 days?
I expect he will appoint a Supreme Court Justice who will be faithful to what the Constitution actually says instead of what progressives wish it said.
I think he will move to secure the border and to remove undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes in this country. I expect he will order ICE to root out members of violent drug cartels and the MS13 gangs. Border security is not just for the Southern Border, it includes Visa overstays.
He will suspend immigration from terror prone areas.
He will take immediate steps to streamline the creation of jobs in private industry. He will declare China a currency manipulator and act to enforce the trade agreements we already have in place.
He will work with Congress to repeal and replace or repair Obamacare while protecting people with preexisting conditions.
He will introduce a tax plan to make our business taxes competitive with taxes in other industrial countries. He will actively discourage companies from out-sourcing jobs overseas.
He will develop an infrastructure plan that focuses on renewal of our poorest urban areas.
He will introduce a plan to help families with child care and to ease the burden of student debt.
To view his agenda one simply needs to read the points on his Gettysburg "Contract with the Voters". To enact his agenda he will need Congress. I expect some conservatives will be disappointed with Trump. Keep in mind Trump is the guy who wrote the "Art of the Deal" and who has a long term relationship with the Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer.
For years the public has wanted an outsider who was not in debt to political donors. No one should doubt that there is corruption in our government. Trump is the only President in my lifetime who is free from the bondage of campaign donations, let's let him run with the ball and "drain the swamp."
What we can expect beyond the first 100 days is that Congress will reassert its role in the checks and balances of our government. President Obama ruled with his pen and his phone; that abuse of power is over. Trump will have to work with Congress and that's a beautiful thing for democracy.
What would you like to tell the Dems about the win?
In 1948 Harry Truman made whistle stops all over the country and compared Dewey to Hitler. That Democrat campaign message worked and has continued, in some form, in every election since then. Jefferson County Republicans were gleeful when Hillary told us we were xenophobic, homophobic, Islamaphobic, racist, sexist, deplorable, irredeemable and un-American. Obama went so far as to associate us with the Klan. Democrats have finally over played the Hitler card - it's past time to stop.
The slander that Trump is somehow anti-gay is especially absurd and it should serve to help people see that the rest of the slander is suspect. Hillary raised over a billion dollars largely from Wall Street, Hollywood and the Silicon Valley 1%-ers. She used that money to run attack ads non-stop in the swing states. It did not work. I get that there will always be negative campaigns, but let's leave room for a discussion of issues.
Yes, Trump gave as good as he got. He attacked Hillary and called her a crook. I think when we get past the emotion of the election, people will come to understand that Hillary is corrupt. The Clintons raised millions by trading cash for influence. She was FBI certified as careless with national security. Hillary took millions from Goldman Sachs and Wall Street and then worked toward trade deals that enriched Wall Street and harmed working people.
Sending paid thugs to beat up attendees at Trump rallies and then blaming the violence on Trump was craven. Supporting the violence of BLM and ignoring the assassination of police officers astonishes me. Putting your Party's finger on the scale to defeat Bernie Sanders was pitiful. Cheating with the debate questions was especially foolish.
I wanted to have a local Trump rally with representatives from the state Trump campaign. But, having experienced Democrat Party bird-dogging first hand in Everett I concluded that a public event would be disrupted and we could not afford to hire security. Edel Sokol and I attended the Trump rally in Everett, we were bird-dogged - don't tell me it never happened. Video evidence suggests that the paid thugs were financed by the DNC though Mr. Foval and Mr. Creamer.
What I would say to the Jefferson County Democrats?
· Renounce violence like we are seeing in Portland.
· Renounce bird-dogging.
· Acknowledge that there were legitimate reasons other than sexism to oppose Hillary.
· Don't pretend that a legal election can be reversed because of protesters.
· Assume your role as the loyal opposition to our new president.
I am hereby inviting the Jefferson County Democratic Central Committee to meet with its Republican counter parts and drink a campaign toast to the president on inauguration day. I am buying.
There were no Republicans elected to office in JC this year - obviously - so what do you have to do to rebuild your party locally?
Let's be real, Democrats are a colossus of political power in our county. Candidates without a D after their name don't win. This was not always the case and it won't be the case forever. Paradigms shifted over time and they will shift again.
Between 6000 and 7000 county residents vote Republican. We are gratified that our membership has grown this year and attendance at our events is up. We work to identify GOP voters. One problem we encountered in our Get out the Vote effort this year is that a number of Democrats mischievously voted for Trump in the primary. If any of your readers voted in the GOP primary then they are identified as a Republican. No hard feelings about this, we get it. I'd ask the Democrats who voted in the GOP primary to email GOP@BROADSTRIPE.NET and ask to have your name removed from our rolls.