Friday, July 27, 2018

Trump fires up the charm with downstate steel workers: 'I could be one of you'

Three mill train operators at US Steel (from left to right) Steve Thoel, Justin Chism—
president of Local 50—and Duane Justice, are grateful for Trump's visit. 

     GRANITE CITY — Donald Trump is a charming man, and people like him.
     Up in Chicago we forget that. Between the attacks on immigrants, on Democrats, on the press, and the FBI, and the Justice department ... well, the list goes on and on, doesn't it? We see the damage, to our institutions, to our social fabric, our nation's reputation, to groups and individuals, and assume he's a reviled figure, ripe to be driven from office.
    Not true. Not down here, at U.S. Steel's sprawling works, Trump embraces and is in turn embraced.  
      "The moment of a lifetime," said millwright Earl Evans, one of about 400 workers who came in on their own time to hear the president speak. "Finally someone doing something for America."
     I drove Downstate Wednesday to listen to Illinois farmers talk about how retaliation against Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum are hurting them. More about that on Monday. But while I was at it, it seemed worthwhile to take in Trump's speech.
     I'm glad I did.
     Waiting several hours for Trump's arrival, I spoke with steel workers, in their hard hats and bright orange high-res gear. They were deeply grateful to have their jobs back and the president visit.
     "It's great that he's coming here," said Steve Thoel, a mill train operator. "I think Donald Trump has got our best interests at heart."
     It's impossible not hear the tales of hardship, of layoff and a fading mill, and not to share their happiness. Anyone who ever mourned the death of American manufacturing has to. These shuttered factories never come back, but this one has. The cost of these jobs is being borne elsewhere, on mortgaged farms and burdened consumers. But here the news is good.
     Trump isn't the speechmaker Barack Obama is, no memorable phrases or poetic lines. But he knows how to relate to an audience, to feed their sense of being menaced by outsiders, of being betrayed by a government too stupid to live in the real world, like they do. Fifty-three minutes of praise, exaggeration and braggadocio, sprinkled with half-truths, non-truths and the occasional fact tucked in for variety's sake.   
  
     To continue reading, click here.

21 comments:

  1. "I could be one of you"
    Really!
    Not with those alleged bone spurs you couldn't!

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    1. The deeper truth is that the way he deals with life does have a lot in common with them. He deals with life by boxing in the issues to a manageable size. He does not attempt Godlike wisdom from Olympus. He decides what needs to be done and tries to do it. He is a a vulgar blowhard and a greedy narcissist, and he is not a friend of moral pluralism. He is a man of the earth, but he does not have feet of clay. Just like they are.

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  2. There are just too many suckers in this country. In this world.

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  3. He could be one of us.

    I'm reminded of when my dad, who worked in a hellish metals factory in Alton, just outside of Granite City, gave me a couple of hundred million dollars. I quickly became a self made millionaire, all on my own.

    Just like the president.

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  4. If Agent Orange could be an Illinois steelworker, then I could certainly pitch for the Cubs. Ignore the fact that he's never dirtied his hands and that I couldn't throw ball from the mound to the plate. If he can make steel, I can pitch...it'll all be done with the smoke and the mirrors.

    Two years ago, I was in the center ring of the GOP Circus, in the streets outside the convention hall. Feels more like ten years. NOBODY thought His Orangeness had a prayer. Hillary would hand him his ass on a plate in November, and he would slither into history as just another loud-mouthed loser and wannabe, face red with shame, his day in the sun at an end.

    Didn't happen, and now there's even talk of not 2 1/2 more years of this nightmare, but 6 1/2. Not exactly gonna say "No way in hell!" once again, but I will say this: It's early yet. Too many things can happen. Things nobody dreamed of or saw coming. Abnormality is the new normal. Who in 2014 foresaw Trump as the eventual nominee? Absolutely nobody.

    So who, in 2018, can foresee the Democrats' eventual choice? Bernie? Too old and he's Jewish. Handsome Joe Biden? He's always been my guy, but I doubt his chances. A real long-shot. Still, Donald vs. Joe in 2020 would be a lot of fun and one helluva contest...like two blustering geezer uncles squaring off at a family picnic. Could Joe win? Crazier things have happened. In these times, all bets are off.

    Unfortunately, it's no longer a laughing matter. America's future is truly at stake, now more than ever. Can we really go on like this until 2025? I don't want to think so. And I don't want to be wrong again.

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    1. Look for Paul Ryan to throw his hat in the ring. He could conceivably snatch the nomination away from Trump, and if Trump is not in the race, for any one of myriad reasons, he would cake-walk his way to Pennsylvania Ave.

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    2. Have to say one thing about the GOP -- they think ahead. Years and years of throwing shit at Hillary Clinton paid off in 2016. A lot of people had a vague notion that she was not a likable or ethical person and thus unworthy of their vote somehow. Elizabeth Warren is the next Hillary Clinton. The GOP has made it seem that Warren's family tradition of claiming Indian ancestry (which may or may not be bogus) is a sin far more serious than grabbing pussies at will. Joe Biden vs Trump would be like Pritzker v. Rauner, a distinction without a difference. We're doomed.

      john

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    3. Never hoped for a recession before .an now. A bad one in about a year and a half

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    4. We can probably count on the progressives to support a vote splitter, then refuse to vote at all when their candidate doesnt win as the presidential candidate. History repeating itself.

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    5. I dislike Trump as much as the next guy, but hoping for a recession because I don't like someone is a little too much. My family's well-being is more important than my dislike of Trump.

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    6. I don't dislike the president. I don't know him . It's his policies and presentation that concern me to the point that I want to have someone else running the country. Recessions are inevitable I'm not trying to conjure one .Just hoping for a positive outcome due to the next one if it comes at the right time.

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  5. This column jolted me. Despite all of Trump’s flaws, he has a way of connecting to those vulnerable enough to put their faith in him. Scary but undeniably true: right now there is no challenger in sight to knock him down.

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  6. Trump comes across like a televangelist; the response from his devoted followers certainly follows that of others. The difference is he's replaced God with himself and his self-worship seems to be center to every message, every lie. They'll believe him, follow him no matter what, even if the economy collapses, a foreign attack occurs, or Putin takes over our networks and intelligence operations. But, their numbers aren't as large as he believes, or would have us believe. Yes, we need as charismatic an opponent to challenge him. Yet, I believe he's his own worst enemy in the end.

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  7. Hope you are wrong, Neil. Trump has won over his base, mostly with bumper sticker material appealing to their basest interests. Roseanne today denied her racism and Trumps as well. Maybe he isn't but his base surely consists of the most racist people in the country. Saw a t-shirt yesterday about sheepdogs and wolves and sheep. The person wearing it was probably a Trump supporter, proud to be a Sheepdog, not realizing that despite what her apparel suggested, she was just another sheep, following a liar. If there isn't a STOP THE WITCH HUNT bumper sticker I would be shocked. His fans cheer when he utters the words but I see different movie in my head. The villagers are in the square screaming at the accused , "burn her, burn the witch"! At the Trump rallies the crowd is roaring at the press and Mueller like those ignorant villagers. That they can't see themselves as the witch hunt is what scares us the most. The sheep don't know they are sheep and neither do the Trumpers. I am ready for some heartwarming stories about salt of the earth midwestern farmers now. Please?

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  8. I hate the oversize or multiple flag displays by politicians. At first glance I thought todays photo was of the flag I saw yesterday at the James Lovell VA center. It was bright and looked new despite its' age, set in a frame about Diploma size. Lovell, a true American hero carried it on Apollo 13. Trump would probably deny the hero designation as that mission failed.

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    1. The Apollo astronauts sat on top of the Saturn 5 rocket, which if anything went wrong, would've been the largest non-nuclear explosion ever seen!
      That's guts, which Drumpf never had & never will!

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  9. How can workers stand there and listen to Donald brag about the re-opening a mfg. plant in the U.S. while simultaneously having most of his merchandize manufacured elsewhere? The steel in his Chicago building came from China. That MAGA hat you're so proudly wearing was made in China. Ivanka's stuff is made overseas, probably by workers making 35c an hour. How can you not see the hypocricy in that? How can you think he has your best interests in mind. If he wants to bring jobs back here, have your crap manufactured here and take a little less profit.

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  10. I remembered when John Kass among many others sneered at Obama as "the Messiah." Now that the cult of personality is on their side, the silence is deafening.

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  11. I hope McDonalds and Coca Cola will do what the truth and the Democratic party apparently cannot.

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    1. Hey! I like both of them! And I'm only a year younger! They're among the view vices I have left. But not five times a day, every day.

      My wife says that's being too easy on him. She wants to see him in handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit, wasting away in a cell until (as happened to Al Capone) he finally loses what few marbles he has left.

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  12. God bless President Trump 💐💐🌞🌞

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