Terre Haute fans lined up to see Trump, their future savior.Terre Haute, Indiana. May 2016
Terre Haute is recovering from a moment in the limelight. Not only big shot national networks, but even the BBC came to town. We get this attention periodically in connection with elections and executions. This time was, perhaps, a bit of both since some folks think the Donald has managed to kill off the Grand Old Party.
Hoosiers were hospitable to Trump’s rhetoric about making America great again. First and foremost this means getting a rich property-owning old white guy into the White House again. Vigo County Republicans went for Trump by an even wider margin than the state as a whole; he got a whopping 65% of the vote.
Ted Cruz was the first to visit Terre Haute, speaking at the historic Woodrow Wilson Middle School. Cruz graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton, so the choice of venue was a natural. On the other hand, the school does have those Commie tinged murals by Gilbert Wilson who was as unapologetic about his politics as about his sexual orientation. Not at all a good fit with Cruz’s philosophy.
About a week later, Trump packed them in at the historic Indiana Theater – definitely an appropriate spot for a popular entertainer. Still, you have to wonder why his people didn’t get him into the larger Hulman Center a couple of blocks away, especially since Bobbie Knight had recently given him a ringing endorsement saying, “That son’ a bitch coulda played for me.”
Though this has zero correlation to Trump’s being qualified for the presidency, the first part of the sentence rings true. Knight’s speech in Indianapolis also included a rambling joke about a kid who refused to get his hair cut. Considering the way Trump hangs on to his often-ridiculed coiffure, we wondered if the kid was going to score a victory for independent thought, but no, he was defying the alpha male in the household, and that’s a bad thing.
Both Knight and Trump were happy to play the alpha male card. If Trump were a woman, he wouldn’t be able to get 5% of the vote – not with that haircut. And if “the General” were a minority or a woman, he would have had a 0% chance of coaching the Hoosiers. Plus, he surely would have faced more criticism for the punch line to his joke with its reference to the asses of Jesus and the apostles. He did not mean the beasts of burden.
According to exit polls Tuesday, lots of evangelicals chose Trump. Apparently the caveat about serving two masters can be ignored in the interest of getting on board with the Republican front-runner. We always thought conservative values included simple courtesy as a subcategory of the Golden Rule.
From the messages sported on some shirts at the Trump Terre Haute appearance, it looks like that whole “do unto others concept” is suspended until further notice. Local media couldn’t show the harshest messages; they featured a picture of four people in “Chinese Americans for Trump” T-shirts. See, immigrants do love him.
Speaking of China, the crowd cheered when Trump used his standard line about how when he’s elected, iPhones will be made in America. Wow! Do these people realize what an awful job making iPhones is? Tedious, repetitive, extremely low paying. Folks, this would not be a good alternative to working in a call center.
But then maybe in Terre Haute Apple can take over where Sony left off. After all, Trump loves tax abatements. They were a big help when it came to accumulating his fortune – that and being born into a wealthy family. According to the Los Angeles Times, Trump was the first developer to receive a public subsidy for commercial projects under programs meant to improve slum neighborhoods. The Trumpster knows how to work a TIF district to his advantage. Must have felt right at home in the Haute.
A 40-year tax abatement Trump got is finally expiring this year. Guess that’s why he’s looking for a new way to get on the government payroll.