In 2016, my wife, son and I went to check out the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, at a rally here in Colorado Springs (COS). In 2021, he ignored everyone’s recommendations and moved the new Space Force from its home in “The Springs” to Huntsville, Alabama. In the meantime, he was the President of the United States, affecting, for better or worse, my town, the US, and the world.
That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode.
At the 2016 rally, Trump had the crowd of almost 2,000 fully engaged. I did not participate in the “Lock her up!” cheers, but led one of the “USA!” cheers. It bothered me that Trump threw the COS Fire Chief under the bus several times by saying, “He is refusing to allow more people in than the posted occupancy limit allows. I don’t think he likes me.” There was an overflow Trump crowd of the same size very nearby, listening on public address loudspeakers. I was briefly interviewed, near the 150 or so protesters, on the way out by a local TV reporter, complete with his cameraman recording the conversation. BTW, the reporter made his anti-Trump bias more than clear with his questions.
In that election, millions of Republicans threw in their lot behind a man who for almost all of his life had been a Democratic voter and donor, and millions of Democrats wanted as their nominee a senator who staunchly refused to join their party. On both sides, conventional politicians were being told they had lost the thread.
I had my first in person taste of “fake news” after the rally. We watched the local news that evening to see the coverage of the event, perhaps including my interview. No mention of the interview, but the coverage clearly implied that the number of protesters was roughly equal to the number of rally attendees. What? It was 20:1 at best.
Immediately after the election, the stock market boomed, discrediting Paul Krugman and his Nobel Prize in Economics, who had predicted a catastrophic crash if Trump won. After a long, tepid recovery from the crash in ‘08, both the market and the economy soared to unprecedented heights under Trump. Both Wall Street and Main Street benefitted.
He also did the right thing by appointing a strong school choice advocate as the Secretary of Education, then let her face the continuous and vicious attacks from the teachers unions and their anti-choice allies alone. Had he truly believed in school choice, he could have articulated and repeated a full throated defense of both the policy and his Secretary.
President Trump presided over the rebuilding of the military, while uniquely not starting a single new conflict anywhere. He rid the Middle East of most of the power of ISIS and the like, then turned his talents to establishing peace in the region. Major steps were made toward establishing a permanent peace in the area, a peace that previous administrations had declared to be well nigh impossible. Trump did that by ignoring the failed “land for peace” negotiations of the past. But once again he could not articulate his position in a way that Americans could understand and support it.
And he was dead right about stressing a secure border. A secure border is a fundamental and necessary part of any nation. And it is the basic building block for a humane and lasting immigration policy. But his comments about “rapists and murderers” gave the open border crowd all the ammunition they needed
I like the Supreme Court Justices that Trump nominated and got confirmed. I support having judges at all levels who do not legislate from the bench; their job is to interpret and apply the law, not make it. And regardless of your agreement or disagreement here, it is impossible to in any way defend the scurrilous attack on the character of then-nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Once again, Trump failed at communicating the correctness of his choices by making the nominations more about him and whether or not he was liked than judicial philosophy.
Along comes COVID. Trump’s administration participated in a miraculous discovery and mass manufacture of stunningly effective vaccines in less than ten months, then dropped the ball when it came to getting them into people’s arms. Saying that the various states were fully responsible for their own rules concerning who gets it first, and how to get it to them, was not appropriate delegation–it was abdication. And how easy would it have been in April or May for Mr. Trump to have appeared on TV wearing a mask saying, “I wear a mask when in public contact, and I suggest that you do so as well. This and social distancing will not immediately end the pandemic, but it will slow it down. And it will make those around us more comfortable.” Instead, he mocked Biden for the size of his mask and frequency of use.
And now the election. Trump could have won the election if he had worn a mask, and handled the first debate the way he did the second. No amount of false polling, MSM bias or vote miscounting would have changed the result. Oh, the irony.
We began this episode with the Trump rally where he threw the COS Fire Chief under the bus. We’ll wrap up showing that he just threw the whole city under the bus. The large and newly recognized Space Force is located here in Colorado Springs. The military, including the Air Force, and every politician who spoke out on the subject supported having the Force stay in the Springs. The Air Force Academy is here, other military installations are here along with many defense contractors, two other Air Force bases and NORAD. And it would cost billions to move, while creating unnecessary delays in important defense projects. Days before he was to leave office, Trump shocked everyone by rejecting the consensus, ordering that the Space Force move to Alabama. That decision goes against all logic, save perhaps Trump’s. Unlike Colorado, Alabama voted for Trump in the election. And all six of Alabama’s Representatives in Congress, and one of their Senators, voted not to certify Biden’s election, so Trump punished Colorado and rewarded Alabama. This is exactly the kind of spiteful behavior we saw in Trump in his speeches and other actions prior to the Capitol Hill riots.
I want to thank President Trump for the many good things he did, and hope never to see him on a public stage again. May he live a long and happy life surrounded by family and supportive friends.
With apologies to Diogenes, I search for an honest person who supports the principles that I as an Unaffiliated voter in the main share with Republicans, or at least as their platform articulates. Ben Sasse? Nikki Haley? Dan Crenshaw? Who?
Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know.
As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty.
As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts.
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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
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