... And They Still Don’t Get it
I wrote this in January and February of 2020. My good lord, what was to come. I've been thinking about everything I said and feel like it is quite possibly more relevant now than it was more than 2 years ago. Everything I talked about was a comment on how the elite Left could not understand why all of us dirty middle class, construction workers loved Trump. It was because our lives under him were affordable and pretty stress free, and he talked like a barbaric cretin, like every job site in the country. Enter our current situation and there is not a group of people that are getting destroyed more than the middle class who drive old vehicles, potentially a hundred miles per day to put food on the table that is becoming almost unaffordable. We are told something different every month about why our lives and bank accounts are dwindling with the common thread that it is quite possibly our own fault for not falling in line with the progressive agenda and train of thought - "why haven't you been saving for a Tesla?" I believe Salena Zito made essentially the most spot on comment about Trump leading up to his election, something along the lines of - Trump supporters take him seriously but not literally. The media take Trump literally but not seriously. That is so genius. I believe my take on the lead up to the 2020 election is still relevant. Enjoy... or don't. You are still at this point in America, free to do so.
To understand where I’m going with this, we’ll have to start with where I’m coming from. I was born into a family that is borderline Commie Red on one side and very liberal on the other. However mind-bogglingly close they all come to embracing the Iron Curtain, both sides are also filled with people that are highly intelligent, intellectual and massively educated (I know, none of those automatically correlate to common sense smart but I’ll vouch for my family members. They’re all very smart, just wildly misguided, at least some). I also am part of a construction union in one of the bluest states out there, Minnesota. Another notch on the belt of things that should have pushed me away from conservatism – college educated with a degree in psychology, which could explain why I became an ironworker. I’m also not religious (but now have a daughter in an amazing Catholic school surrounded by teachers and parents that are religious which I have to believe is not coincidence in their wonderfulness as people, far more wonderful than me). In fact, I’m not a fan of religion at all, never have been. So much so that in my rebelliously heavy metal loving youth and infinite wisdom I wrangled myself quite a few evil looking tattoos. But hey, to my credit, I always told myself that if I did a 180 and became a preacher I would look back at some of my ink and say, “exhibit A of regrettable choices made in your 20s.” While I'm beginning to appreciate Christianity more than I did and its positive effects on people's lives and view of the world, I haven’t quite found religion yet, so my tattoos are still awesome. I bring all this up because with so many aspects of my life that should have pushed me toward extreme leftism, I still managed to embrace conservatism and always have (conservative libertarianism, to be truly honest. A Gutfeldonian if you will). I think it turned out that way because even with everything working against my right leaning train of thought, I’ve always considered myself a pretty reasonable, pragmatic and level-headed individual (for important things, not for everything). Few could make a truly legitimate argument for today’s left embracing those. Before I really knew or understood the differences in left and right or the true meanings of liberal and conservative, I knew that so much on the left just didn’t make sense. I remember watching a video in a sophomore high school history class in which a woman said that females should still be able to be fire fighters even if they couldn’t pass the same physical tests that males could. Even in 1998 this seemed wildly nonsensical to a 15 year old me that would have possibly pounded a nail flush with his skull to get one of those very females to show interest. Oh if we only knew where the left would go in the next 22 (now 24) years.
A few months ago at Thanksgiving Dinner, a relative was talking about bumper stickers they had made which read, “Hanks Oprah 2020.” It was obviously a joke, I think, but the commentary was, “at least then we’d have a President that could act presidential.”
If a guy like me, someone who had radicalism from the left grasping at him from behind every column along life’s journey, could still turn out a conservative Trump supporter and hasn’t turned against him over the last 3+ years, it can only mean one thing… the left, the Democrats, the liberals just don't get it. They are so obsessed with themselves and their holier than thou, moral elitist cause of removing him that they still don’t get why us blue-collar middle class Neanderthals (the people Democrats took for granted and turned their backs on more than a decade ago) like him, love him, tolerate him or at the very least get a kick out of him: he’s not Presidential. But neither are we.
In late spring through early fall my alarm goes off at 4AM because we start at 6 since there’s ample light and like Ron Swanson I enjoy a hearty breakfast. If we’re lucky and the work is plentiful, we’ll do a 10 hour day in one of the most back breaking, dangerous and grueling construction trades out there. The winter is no different save for swapping gallons of sweat for mind blowing pain in your hands and feet. Often the crew collectively says, “We’ve already stayed home twice this week because of cold, we need to make money. We’ll tough it out tomorrow,” even though the mercury may read -10 or worse yet the wind-chill may say -25 or more. I had one year where at no point throughout the day could I feel either of my big toes until about late May. And actually, as I write this on Jan 17, I have barely a tingle of sensation in them right now after a brutal few days (and as of 2/18 as I edit this, still numb).
I am the sole provider to wife, daughter, dog and two cats. Our dog is a Rottweiler with a personality who really only listens to me and that means after an 8-10+ hour day of excruciating cold or oppressive heat, I come home and go right back out into the elements. The dog park is crucial for the exercise she needs to suppress the possibility she eats 1 or maybe every single toy my 4 year old daughter has (which wouldn’t be a terrible thing) or just haruffs while hopping up and down on her front paws, staring at us for hours on end. Since we conveniently live by almost every store a homeowner could ever need, there’s a good chance I’ll be making a stop for groceries or one of a thousand and one useful things Lowe’s or Menards has to offer.
Upon getting home, the wife might be getting dinner ready while I go perform maintenance on one of our 3 vehicles that range from 12-17 years old. Or I’ll take the daughter to a park, weather permitting. Or I will make dinner if it’s grilling season because I could eat bacon cheese burgers and brats every night from about April till November (we don’t). More often than not, par for the course is that aside from driving and a break at work I don’t sit down from the time I roll out of bed until dinner. It’s not ho-humming around either, it is exercise for 14 hours a day give or take. Look here. Nowhere in my day do I care if the President of the United States said something crass, inappropriate, mean, or downright ridiculous. I’m going to guess that most of the other middle classers feel similar.
I’ll tell you what we do care about. We care that the economy keeps rolling so the terrible, greedy, rich company owners we work for can keep risking their own money to continue building so that us meager pawns can continue making a decent living that the 1% provides us. We care that the stock market keeps rising because, as I’m guessing a lot of middle class grunts are aware, the only attention paid to the Dow Jones is in reference to what our employer provided retirement is doing (we can’t even contribute to ours. We work and our union package states that a certain dollar amount per hour goes into an annuity – a 401K I’m told by high school friends who made much more of themselves than I). We care that gas prices stay reasonable so that we can drive our decade old Chevys and Fords because they’re cheap, easy to maintain and have a pool of attainable parts on the internet as deep as the Mariana Trench. We care that immigration is tightened up because hiring cheap illegal labor to do what trained tradesmen and women do only means that us tax paying construction workers get hurt. I’ve seen what a job looks like when a company full of illegal immigrant iron workers all claiming to be from Venezuela gets the bid over the one I work for. How do I know they were lying? It just so happens a guy working for us is a long time legal immigrant from El Salvador and was the unofficial translator between the illegal immigrant company and the general contractor. Our company was at this job doing various things that the illegal immigrant company contracted out because they were such a disaster. Our resident El Salvadorian picked up on their accents quite quickly and divulged to our crew that likely only one of the guys was from Venezuela, the rest were from all over Central America. The scariest part of that entire fraudulent jobsite was not the crew of misrepresenting illegal immigrants; it was how shoddy the work they did was. The inspector refused to come back to the job because he said it was unsafe. I saw it first hand: missing bolts in numerous connections, deck bearing angle barely welded to inbeds on the precast walls and some with none at all. The job was so behind and in such dire straits that my company told the general contractor at one point early on we would take down what had already been set and start over and still have it done before the current iron working company would finish. The General didn’t go for it.
MarkJackville - a liberal utopia
Let’s be honest. Over the last 15 years, social media has destroyed so many parts of the decent fabric of our society. The irony is uber moral elitists and supposed do-gooders Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey created something that is actively gnawing away at societal decencies. The bullying of today makes that of 20 years ago look like a Winnie the Pooh cartoon thanks to cowardly anonymity behind a screen. True degenerates and borderline criminals no longer need to hide in physical dark corners and shadows, now they’re considered by some to be brave in admitting their urges and are given a forum to find others. If you use the same criteria for mass shootings across the board and adjust per capita you will not only find that the US isn’t wildly out of control compared to other countries (11/22/2018 data from CPRC) and hasn’t spiked since the day Trump was elected but has largely stayed the same for 20 years with the highest number coming in 2012 (7/7/2019 data from CPRC). How funny that billionaire liberals Zuckerberg and Dorsey do everything in their power to silence people on the right (having to double-click the “like” button for conservative pages, being told you have no connection when your wi-fi and cell signal are full or just “cannot post, retry?”) and use their technological inventions to hurt Trump in every conceivable way. All the while Trump uses social media to circumvent a news media hell-bent on his destruction to reach those of us the powers at be have deemed irredeemable and basically wrong in their opinions, therefore in need of a left leaning lens to view reality.
They still don’t get that so much of the country doesn’t want their lens and doesn’t care if Trump is a bit of a verbal loose cannon. Social media has rendered large swaths of society a verbal loose cannon and deplorable. I’m going to be guilty of something I usually can’t stand. Get with the times… it’s the new norm… it’s so progressive… Social media is a new, dark and very real part of reality. It is its own world/country/society in ways so it would make sense that the first President to really harness that new vehicle is unlike any President before. So he’s not Presidential… neither is nearly anything about social media or the almost 3 billion people using it. More irony? Even being a celebrity billionaire, Trump is more like your iron worker next door than Obama, both Bushs, both Clintons and any politician pontificating everyday on TV. By all means, point out one President, congressman or woman that’s put more money directly into the pockets of construction workers than Trump, union or non? No one… it’s not even close. But they still don’t get it.
We Get It
They still don’t get it, but the more important question might be: why do we get it? I think I need to go back to a conversation during dinner at my Dad’s lake house over Labor Day weekend before the 2016 election. As I said before, my family members are all very smart and my Dad is no different. A very successful Doctor during a 30+ year career with constant appearances on the Top Docs list and then onto a 10+ year career as an administrative VP at a major hospital up here (the apple fell extremely far from the tree and was then run over by a gnarly HD Crossbones). One of his best friends was also at this 2016 Labor Day dinner feast in an extremely white collar area in Northern Minnesota perched atop a hill overlooking the lake. His friend happened to fall along my lines of political views and similar to my Dad a successful career but in engineering, the latter part being with Harley-Davidson where he retired from. My Dad has commented that this particular right leaning friend was the only one he could civilly talk politics with because he was not one to devolve into Trump style rhetoric, like me. This friend was unabashedly calm about his intentions to vote for Trump over Hillary which I believe baffled my Dad since he viewed this friend with such high regard for common sense and intelligence. While acknowledging that Hillary was no saint, his view of Trump was below dirt so the idea that any rational person could take Him over Her was unconscionable. I believe his friend and I were along the same opinions of: we’re not liberals so why would we vote for Hillary? We’ve seen what she has to offer and we don’t like it and don’t think it’s worked for the last 8 years. And finally, as Trump proposed to the black community, what do we have to lose gambling a bit on an outsider that’s done mildly well for himself outside of politics that, most importantly, isn’t a liberal? What we possibly had to lose was enormous in my Dad’s view. He posited that if Trump were to win, he had to figure out what to do with his investments because the economy and market were surely to implode like the legendary video clip of the woman screaming to the sky upon the realization that Hillary lost, but only when the cameras were on her. I remember thinking to myself, “how is anything financial sure to collapse when he’s promised to slash regulations? Seems like that would invite more investing all around with less red tape?” But what do I know, I’m just a deplorable Neanderthal?
The day after he won I was at the dog park texting a good friend from high school about the shocking election. This friend had been a very successful investor on Wall Street for more than a decade at the time and still is. I somewhat jokingly asked, “what have I done,” because the political upset and potential gamble was not lost on me. He responded, “well, I’m standing next to two black guys that are looking at me with substantial contempt right now so at the very least, you may get me killed.” To know this friend’s humor is to know his response was likely not reality, and the tired stereotype of all Trump voters being racist (I am not) and all blacks viewing all whites as racist Trump supporters was not lost on him. I told him what my Dad had said a month earlier about the possible ensuing financial collapse (which obviously didn’t happen because the market took off like Reggie Jackson’s HR that left Dodger Stadium in the 78 World Series) He, a stunningly beautiful man along the lines of Patrick Bateman (without the crimes I hope) and also the quickest witted and cleverest men I’ve ever known but a centerish lefty I’d guess, replied, “your Dad is a very smart man and great doctor… but he’s not an investor. The truth is, no one has any idea what’s going to happen with the markets. It doubled under Obama. But the reality is, most people don’t have enough money to even be worried about the stock market so it’s probably not going to affect them.” Obviously we’ve seen what has happened with it’s overall steady incline. But I understand what he was getting at. It’s not the stock market most cavemen and women really care about, it’s what’s related to the markets, i.e. the company owners we work for being able to continue spending their money with decent returns so we all stay employed. The point of this? The catastrophes… where are they?
We’ve been promised so many catastrophes (some merely from a leftist point of view) over the last three years it’s nearly impossible to keep them all straight: An impending nuclear holocaust with North Korea. Financial ruin for the country. Impending nuclear holocaust with Russia. A North Korea and Russia style dictatorship right here in our own back yard. Gay marriage being over turned (he explicitly said on Barbara Walters that the Supreme Court had ruled on it had no plans to challange). Abortions becoming outlawed. Every illegal immigrant hog tied and dragged back across the boarder (2.5 million deported between 2009-15, from what I can find Trump’s numbers aren’t even close to that rate – however much fewer illegal crossings). Trump is Putin’s Manchurian Candidate (seems odd that they’d be on the verge of destroying each other’s countries if they were in cahoots) AKA The Collusion Delusion. We’ve elected a bigoted, xenophobic, sexist, racist, anti-Semite (what a strange way of hating all those groups by making them far better off under this administration than the last). As recently as the Parade on July 4th in DC we were told that it was his step toward a Militaristic takeover of the country. On July 5th, even CNN had an article near the top of their app on how it was his least partisan speech and event yet. Leaving the Paris Climate Accord was the beginning of the end, again. Al-Baghdadi’s death meant an unstoppable wave of radical Islamic attacks at home and around the world. Leaving the Iran nuclear deal now meant that they were surely inches away from developing a nuclear warhead, as if they were in compliance before scrapping it. Responding with restraint to the downed drone last summer was a show of weakness that would embolden Iran. Killing Soleimani was an act of American terrorism abroad surely to unleash an unstoppable wave of radical Islamic terrorism at home and around the world. And last, but not least and certainly among many I’m forgetting, “.....it’s what Hitler did…..” I actually heard that phrase verbatim in my brother’s kitchen spoken by a relative who like the rest is very smart, very intellectual, extremely nice and compassionate and by all means, a good person….. with a crippling case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. They still don’t get it. Show me the catastrophes. You can’t, because they’re not there.
--Why We Like Him
As I divulged before, I am a union Iron Worker and have been for almost 8 years. There’s a somewhat comedic irony to my becoming an iron worker. I spent the better part of my 20s being a partying wrecking ball, attending the University of Kentucky for a Van Wilder like stint before leaving 10 Spanish credits shy of a degree (largly Van Wilder-ish in years only). Then heading down to Orlando to attend the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute for Harley-Davidson while reaping the benefits of having a best friend’s Dad be generous enough to let his son and I live in his extremely nice house in a gated community while only requiring us to pay the utilities. And again heading back to UK to finish my 3 Spanish classes before coming home to Minnesota as a stopover on my way back down south to New Orleans to work for a Harley dealership where I acquired some less than productive habits which ultimately lead me back to Minnesota where I practiced one of those unlawful rituals before the 2010 Vikings Saints season opener and yes you guessed it, wound up in jail for 11 days.
While in jail, surrounded by real, actual deplorables it occurred to me that I was hopefully not of the caliber I was housed with. In between reading 10, 500 page books in 11 days, I thought to myself, “I need a direction. When I get out of here, I need to find a career and just go for it whether I like it, love it, or hate it.” That career was iron work, purely because another best friend from high school had a roommate for one semester freshman year at the University of St Thomas in St Paul, MN that decided college wasn’t for him. He became a rod patch grunt (iron workers who tie rebar) at 21 years old and never looked back. Upon getting out jail, I called this mutual friend and said, “take me down to the iron workers, I need a career.” There’s a reason why I refer to us all as cavemen and women, Neanderthals, missing links, degenerates, etc and it relates to the irony of the story. It took me going to jail for 11 days to stop being a miscreant and find a career where I’m now surrounded by and work daily with people that haven’t just been to jail but spent time and long periods of it, in prison. I needed jail to turn my life in a respectable direction that now includes rubbing shoulders with former prisoners all day long. And truth be told, they’re some of the nicest, have your back, hardest working, genuine, salt of the earth, real honest people I’ve ever met. I’d rather spend a night drinking Coors Original with fellow iron workers than almost any of the kind I went to college with or grew up around in Edina, MN or lived by in Windermere, FL. The construction world is a unique place full of colorful language that would make just about anyone double take and politically incorrect speak that isn’t for people in pants suits or ties and their HR departments. So when Trump says, “I’d like to punch him in the face, I tell ya,” or “it’s all bullshit,” or “grab em by the pussy,” it’s really no paradigm shift for us. I work with a lot of people who like to punch other people’s faces, sometimes on the job. Referring to something as BS sounds almost heavenly compared to the language I hear all day and while the infamous “pussy” quote is certainly less than appropriate, the likes of some female iron workers would make even Access Hollywood Donald Trump run for the hills. When you hear stories of a female cohort deliberately not wearing underwear and then cutting the crotch out of her jeans while bent over all day tying rebar, among other similarly cringe worthy stories in your trade, you tend to become desensitized to, well, everything.
We are the real people of this country, living not the American dream but American reality. As my brother has told his wife who is from Brazil when they have her family members visit, “your family wants to see real America. You’re living the American dream. We need to bring them over to Daniel’s house. That’s American reality.” And we are also the ones the Democrats took for granted and then turned their backs on in favor of those they’ve deemed victims because they haven’t achieved the American Dream. While those of us sweating or freezing day after day to barely eek out a an American reality get told Trump’s vulgarities are beyond the pale and matter more than anything. Give me a break. I’ve heard it said before that while he was a child, Trump would eat lunch with the construction workers at his Dad’s jobsites. I believe it. That’s where one would hone the ability to talk like a reprobate and connect with similar scoundrels, like iron workers. We like him because he talks like us and acts like us more than any life long, phony DC bureaucrat.
4 years ago this April I managed to pull together a few of my remaining cells in this withering iron worker’s brain and write an article that I would say went viral over the course of a weekend: about 30,000 shares from a Friday to a Sunday. A few times over the course of the entire week’s span that it was being shared I broke the golden rule of viralness… I read the comments… and then responded to a few. Some were just misguided in their opinions, and clearly wrong like today’s liberals, but doubtfully meant any ill-will. One however, was clearly trolling and I choose to engage him. He quite possibly brought a friend along to chime in on his absurdities and I obviously got nowhere with either of them.
There have actually been studies done on internet trolls and have concluded that they more often than not exhibit the Dark Triad of personality traits – narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. I would argue that no President has ever been void of narcissism. How else could you strive for a job in which you’re fully aware that half the country will not like you, a sizable portion will hate you and finally a small percentage will want you dead? Machiavellianism, is similar to narcissism. And psychopathy, for as much as I didn’t like Obama and thought he was a complete narcissist, I wouldn’t think of calling him a psychopath. Then there’s Trump. I don’t need to go through the names he’s been called, the Dark Triad would be a compliment, but I fully acknowledge he does indeed troll his opponents and adversaries. Why does he do it? For fun? I don't know but I am not afraid to say that not only is it un-presidential, it is also often downright hilarious and they totally don’t get it.
Take for example the ceremony in the Oval Office to honor the Navajo Code Talkers from WWII. In the middle of a very serious speech he assumingly went off script and remarked, “you were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who, they say, was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.” Has there ever been anything less appropriate said in the Oval Office during a public event? I’m no historian on Oval Office events but I wouldn’t be surprised if the answer to that question was, no. Also, has ever there been anything funnier said in the Oval Office during a public event? Again, no. The meltdown began.
This may be one of the more glaring examples of how the Trump Derangement Syndromers (specifically on the left) are so clueless and disconnected to us blue-collar righties. Cultual appropriations are one of the many head scratching foundations of today’s liberal ideology - that and the evilness of old, rich, white, straight men (just ask Kesha and her dismal song – and still 3 of the POTUS candidates are old, rich, white, straight men. One a millionaire socialist if that makes sense and another worth 17 times more than Trump). Yet, what causes more outrage than the fact that Elizabeth Warren culturally appropriated Native American heritage for her entire life is that Trump pointed it out, albeit at a slightly unsuitable time. Think about that. One of the current front runners for President of the United States in the Democratic Party erroneously claimed Native American ancestry and subsequently gained advantages throughout her career she otherwise would likely not have had, possibly taking away from actual Native American’s opportunities, and Trump is the one out of line for sarcastically referring to her as Pocahontas thus illuminating the Armageddon asteroid sized hypocrisy of her lie. How on earth could people be more outraged at highlighting a wrong doing than the actual wrong doing? They still don’t get it, that’s how.
Another example of his hilarious trolling is referring to the mainstream media as “fake news.” I tend to agree with Hugh Hewitt that labeling them an “enemy of the people” is probably not the right descriptor, but I, we, can completely understand where he is coming from. I was eating dinner at McDonald Duck’s (as my four year old calls it) when my daughter chose the unfortunate table starring down the barrel of a CNN Trump Derangement Syndrome hysteria segment. For 25 minutes they talked about a possible love child Trump MIGHT have, gained through information by a doorman at Trump Tower. They acknowledged that the claim was quite possibly not true, but then when on to talk about it as if it were true. That is absolutely astounding and not a more egregious example exists of “fake news.” It was portrayed as news and acknowledged that it was possibly fake – that my friends, is fake news. Or focusing on the number of Diet Cokes he drinks in a day. That is not news. “Fake news” doesn’t have to mean it’s a lie. I don’t care if he drinks a case of Diet Coke in a day, that’s not news. Lyndon Johnson held meetings with staff while he was getting rid of his groceries in the Oval Office bathroom; tell me that’s presidential, but also, not news. JFK had orgies in the White House pool… presidential? I think not. News? Arguable, yet I don’t see the outrage brigade storming the town with pitchforks over those presidential atrocities.
Do you know how refreshing it is to hear, not just Wayne Ray Jackson from Enterprise, Mississippi call CNN and MSNBC “fake news,” but the most powerful person in the world on the biggest stage calling out the insanity from mainstream media outlets when so many of us have felt that way for years? Little secret, very refreshing.
So his trolling can be a bit immature and unbecoming of a President. So what? I’m of the opinion that mainstream media have gone so far off the ledge of sanity and true, real, objective reporting that I couldn’t care less what names he calls the major news networks or what reporter he makes fun of. I’m glad to see it because the thoughts going through my head are far worse than what he says to a true narcissistic, self-aggrandizing media jackal like Jim Acosta. You want to see real trolling? Spend a day with the building trades. As I've repeatedly commented toward one of the foreman at our company, "if you can manage to not feed a garden hose from your exhaust pipe into the cab of your vehicle before morning break, you've gotta resilient self-esteem... and furthermore, I can't believe no one has ever fed a garden hose from their exhaust directly into their face before morning break, working with you." He takes it as a compliment. It's a brutal world. Calling someone "Pencil-Neck" or "Pocahontas" is pretty bland and not likely to phase a potential centerish construction worker reaping the benefits of the currently plentiful work.
--Helping the Cavemen and Women
As I pointed out earlier, there's perhaps not a President in history that has personally put more money into construction workers pockets than Trump. Trump tower took 4 years to complete and employed the first woman to oversee a construction site in New York City. What a sexist.
Currently there's the issue of our retirement annuity and that's about the only issue most of us in the blue-collar world can look to for some type of bar to look at in regards to investing. During one of many discussions on my brother's deck the subject turned to the Trump stock market. My Dad has a long time friend who is a huge conservative who apparently made the remark during a fishing trip that, "at least my investments are doing something finally." My Dad responded that if you were to truly look at the growth of the investments, that was not the case and that while there may be more money in his investments they were not actually growing like under Obama. With a Stock Market that has been largely on fire for 3 years, I didn't understand how anyone couldn't be taking advantage of its mostly constant upward trend. Eventually this persuaded me to dig into my own retirement fund, the one that is provided by the Iron Workers Union and receives its money by the companies you work for based on the hours worked. What I found was that the average gain on my investments from 2012 through 2016 was 13.8%. The average from 2017 through 2019 was 42.6%. That's not a small difference. What I also noticed was that the largest percentage gain under Obama's 2nd term came in 2016 at 35%. Let's not forget that the markets shot up the day Trump won and kept rising through the end of the year. The DJIA rose 1,430 points from November 8, 2016 to December 30. The S&P rose 99 points and the Nasdaq rose 190. For the Dow alone, 54% of it's increase throughout 2016 came from Election day through the end of the year. I'm obviously not an investor, but I think it's pretty reasonable to attribute at least some if not a majority of the Market's increase through the last two months of 2016 to Trump and his pro-business plan of cutting regulations and red tape.
To me that would totally contradict declining investments. Now I completely understand that if the majority of your investments were in Obama friendly industries, they'd probably not be doing as well under Trump. However, how anyone couldn't foresee the Trump industries crushing the Obama industries is a pretty glaring and obvious oversight. I also have no idea where my Dad's or his friend's investments lie. All I know is that my own investments are only changeable between low, middle and high risk plans. When you're young, they default you into high risk plans and change accordingly throughout your career until you're a crippled, feeble minded iron worker from injuries and welding fumes, attending allocation meetings demanding that the hoards of young iron workers see no raises on their paychecks in favor of every penny going toward retirement and health because while you were young you hadn't the wherewithal or responsibility to not drink your entire paycheck and need now union communism to bail you out. (That sentence right there is why my real name cannot be used on this article, for fear I'll end up along side Jimmy Hoffa)
The most prevailing characteristic of Trump Derangement Syndrome is the inability to acknowledge or accept that Trump has done anything good. Almost my entire family is paralyzingly affected with this disease. Trump could emerge one morning in front of a beautiful sunrise and walk across water and most of my family would go, "ha.... see... he can't swim." He could show up at my door, pay off my mortgage, unload the very 1989 GTA Trans Am I bought in college and still regularly dream about to this day, then produce a black 1998 Silverado with the Z71 package that had been stored in a Chevy vault for 22 years since it rolled off the production line along with an 06 Yukon XL Denali, an 04 Mercury Marauder, a gift card allowing me the choice of any Harley I want off the sales floor of the nearest dealership, and finally give my daughter the playground of her dreams to which they would say, "did you see him assaulting your daughter by pushing her in the back," while she was on the swing.
Larry Elder has a great way of looking at the Trump Presidency by describing how two people look differently at what makes a good golfer. He tells of how one guy goes into a long, drawn out, complicated description of the golfer's stance, their backswing, how their shoulders move, the rotation of their wrists through the swing, the follow-through and how their feet are situated upon completion of the swing. The second guy says, "I look to see where the ball lies." Larry then says, "I like where the ball lies with Trump." He also fully admits that he's not been on board with everything he's done and has criticized him on many occasions. I don't think Trump has been flawless. Once a week I'll hear about something he's said and think, "oh God... could have done without that." I wish he'd do more to get our national debt going in the opposite direction. I wish his tax cuts helped families like mine, they didn't, however I've never had more consistent work than the last 2 years. I paid more in taxes overall after the tax cuts, but did they allow for my company to go after more jobs that in turn kept us all working for more of the year? Over the last two years, the ball has been lying on the green consistently
You also cannot deny that because of Trump, NATO countries are spending more on defense. A November of 2019 CNBC article is titled, "Europe's defense spending nears $300 billion as experts say Trump's pressure is paying off." Whatever way you want to look at that, be it fighting world wide terrorism more or that the US isn't covering the shortfalls of supposed allies as much, it's a good thing. He took the handcuffs off the military in multiple ways but specifically in terms of the rules of engagement. War is ugly and lots of people die, and that's obviously a very bad thing. But when you are dealing with an enemy who values no one's life, women and children least of all in how they are used as shields, you cannot fight within guidelines you've deemed fair and civilized when Al Qaida and ISIS honor nothing other than their warped religious mission. Trump allowed the military to do what it does best and really its sole purpose, kill lots of bad guys.
As the left loves to drive home, "Obama got Bin Laden." I won't go into my disagreement with that statement and instead use that formula for Trump. If that's the case then Obama created ISIS, Trump all but destroyed ISIS, killed al Baghdadi and Soleimani. Looking through the lens of Obama's accomplishment, you can't argue Trump's.
For someone that is supposed to be every "ist," "ism," and "obic" in the lexicon, the employment rate for everyone aside from white males is pretty outstanding. Again, a number that is quantifiable and able to be verified and an undeniable accomplishment. But apparently nothing to even stand or clap for at a SOTU address.
I look to see where the ball lies. It's such a simple way of looking at the entire situation but how could it not make perfect sense? I don't know how any of the people in my family, who are all decently well off could reasonably argue that anything in their personal lives are worse or being directly affected by the Trump Presidency other than their own anger at him. Some own companies that now pay far less in taxes and seem to be doing quite well. Things weren't terrible under Obama, but it sure seems like everyone in my world is doing better in every aspect of life since November of 16. The ball is near the hole right off the tee box of a par 3. It's on the fringe with the old 1 wood from the first shot on a par 4, but they still don't get it because they refuse to.
Existing in a world of leftism as a righty
The curious thing about being a right-winger in today's world is that we don't need to seek out alternate opinions, they are force fed to us the second we step out the door. Whereas if you are a lefty, you could perhaps go an entire day or week without ever encountering a difference of opinion. As I stated earlier, I could eat bacon cheese burgers and brats every day throughout grilling season in Minnesota. Every so often I'll fire up my charcoal grill and realize I need to get buns, or some chips, or a side and make the 3 block walk to a neighborhood grocery store. Greeting me at the entrance is a sign that says, "Knowlan's bans guns on these premises." In the Left's unending love and cult like devotion to placing importance on words and phrases, that sign is meant convey that no possible shooting could take place there. When I watch the news while eating my sausage, egg and cheese muffin before work every morning I'm told that congress is attempting to pass measures to "reign in" Trump's ability to "wage war" on Iran through drone strikes. I don't ever remember Fox 9 referring to Obama waging war through his 542 drone strikes that killed 3,797 people including 324 civilians according to The Council on Foreign Affairs. A few times a month I receive an email reminding me that my daughter's pre-school class does not celebrate any holidays whatsoever. Something tells me it's not a conservative making those decisions. We also will get a pamphlet every so often telling us about certain family friendly activities around the area and how much they cost. It makes sure to remind those receiving it that if you qualify for assistance, you will then qualify for a whole slew of other things for free and quite quickly, the families that qualify for a smorgasbord of free things add up to something that us that don't qualify couldn't come close to affording. Oh the irony of liberalism.
I was recently watching an episode of Nature Cat with my daughter. The insufferably annoying Kate McKinnon voices a character in it named Squeaks. We're all likely aware of her portrayal of Hillary on SNL which allowed us the ability to violently scratch our heads when she performed the funeralesque "Candle in the Wind" on the episode after Trump won.... as herself paying tribute to another of Hillary's dead Presidential runs??? As Hillary herself paying tribute to herself after losing??? It's a mystery. What isn't a mystery is the glaring subject matter and solution to a problem in the episode of which finds them needing to protect sand dues from Ronald. I'll get to the point. What pray-tell, do you imagine the answer is to keep Ronald from destroying the sand dunes? To build a fence around them. When I saw it for the first time the confused squint on my face almost forced an eyeball right onto the carpet. That is how caught up liberal celebs are in their own self righteousness; to be apart of an informational kids cartoon on PBS that has an episode about the effectiveness and importance of a wall to protect something and then condescendingly lecture us from a New York studio days later on how terrible half the country is for thinking that, "yes, a wall across the southern border seems like it may deter someone from easily crossing it if we don't want them to."
My sister and her husband recently went to a resort in Mexico for a childless getaway. She called me from their room the night they got in to say they made it safe and sound. I asked if by chance the resort the were at was protected by a wall and armed guards seeing how it was in Mexico. She responded that she believed it was. I said it was funny that the only way most people would visit a nice, all inclusive resort in Mexico would be if it were fortified by walls and guns. She chuckled and saw the irony... and then went back to hating Trump, I assume.
From signs on stores banning guns, to pamphlets or information sent home from schools, the nightly news, Hollywood movies, TV shows, local morning news programs, a career that strictly adheres to Affirmative Action, to social media and even the Target parking lots - I'm guessing the Target big shots would love for every customer to walk out with 4 full shopping carts, I just don't think they'd fit it all in their Priuses, which seems to be what those parking lots were made for and nothing but. I know I could fit 4 shopping carts full of Target merchandise into my glorious, 17 year old, 6 liter powered Yukon XL Denali, I just look like Austin Powers pulling in and out of spaces (that's an exaggeration). Everything a conservative does throughout his or her day is fraught with reminders that most things are controlled by the left.
It should not be a shock that when a candidate comes along after 8 years of progressive, PC obnoxiousness and says the things that Trump said, a country pushed back and said, "yeah, we'll roll the dice on this boisterous New Yorker." But instead of some reflection on the unelectability of Hillary and the idea that maybe the they were going too far with things, they've doubled down with the likes of Omar and Tlaib and AOC and pushed Bernie and Liz to the forefront, left moderates like Tim Ryan and Gabbard in the dust and forced supposed moderates like Biden and Klobuchar (who has never voted with Bernie less than 77% of the time in her career in Congress and up to 94% in 2013-14) to get extreme. They don't understand that us blue-collar stiffs don't care if Trump's rhetoric can be ghastly or that he swears or calls people by somewhat childish but hilarious knicknames or speaks in hyperbole (ask an iron worker to tell a story from the good ole days if you want to hear real exaggeration) because where the ball is lying right now is a spot none of us can be complaining about. But they still don't get it and I don't think they will because pure emotion doesn't like rational thoughts. And that's what us on the right see in the modern liberal: an entire ideology, existence based on emotion. I won't lie, that emotion and rage is going to get very scary on Wednesday, November 4. I don't think we've seen anything yet.