I guess I’m surprised that they sell political t-shirts at Reagan National Airport — but they do. There, side by side, you will find Hillary and Trump shirts and other paraphernalia. So, if you haven’t already gotten your political fix just by being in D.C., you can buy a t-shirt on your way home to publicly proclaim your loyalty.
The cashier reports that the Hillary t-shirts are outselling the Trump t-shirts by a considerable margin.
A few days ago the Washington Post carried an interesting confession by a suburban Mom in Maine. She admitted and she and two of her friends became so enraged by the presence of a bunch of Donald Trump signs on their street that they went out one night and tore them down. Unfortunately for them, their act of vandalism was seen by the police, and the next day she received a summons to appear in court, because the owner of the property that displayed the yard signs — who just happened to be the chairman of a Maine PAC supporting Trump — was pressing charges.
Why did the woman suddenly engage in an act of vandalism? Because she hates Trump, and is angry about his crass comments about women, which remind her of her own experience with a crude boss who propositioned her for sex, and she thought that the number of yard signs supporting Trump were destroying the “equilibrium” of her neighborhood. She writes that she and her friends “felt assaulted by the number of signs. The idea of “cleansing” our streets seemed like the fastest way to restore balance and alleviate our election stress.” Now she regrets her conduct and recognizes that she momentarily snapped — and will have to face her day in court.
As the Post article notes, this election is raising temperatures nationwide, and the hard feelings are being acted out through Facebook rants, yard sign thefts, acts of vandalism — all the way up to tossing a bomb into a Trump campaign headquarters. It’s sad to think that this wretched campaign might bust up friendships or family relationships, and it’s even sadder when suburban Moms decide — even if only momentarily — that they have the right to trample on a neighbor’s exercise of their rights to free speech. Whatever you might think of Trump, you have to at least acknowledge that his supporters have the right to at least express their opinions, just as you have the right to vehemently disagree with those opinions — and if you don’t acknowledge that reality, then we’re really in the process of losing something fundamental and immensely valuable about America.
But here’s the saddest thing: the Maine Mom hasn’t even met the man whose yard signs she stole. She didn’t try to talk to him to tell him how she and her friends felt, and he didn’t try to talk to her before deciding to press charges. You’d like to think that neighbors could at least talk to each other and try to bridge the gap, before resorting to stealing yard signs on one side and going to court on the other. Maybe if they’d sat down face to face they might have realized that they were dealing with a human being, acquired an understanding of how the other person felt, and perhaps changed their mind on how to proceed.
But these days, it seems, no one talks anymore, and the first response is to escalate — which is how the courts in Maine are going to be hearing a case involving a suburban Mom who stupidly stole some yard signs because she thinks Donald Trump is a jerk.
One key theme is Donald Trump’s presidential campaign could be summarized — using one of Trump’s favorite adjectives — as “disastrous trade deals.”
Basically, Trump argues that, for decades, American leaders have been taken to the cleaners by foreign counterparts and have negotiated trade pacts that have cost countless American jobs, as cheap goods manufactured overseas have flooded the United States while companies have moved their operations to countries where products can be built more cheaply. It’s a theme that Trump sounds whenever he comes to the industrial Midwest and can stand in front of an abandoned factory.
Today the Washington Post has an article that adds a bit of nuance to the globalization debate. It’s about a Chinese billionaire named Cho Tak Wong who has bought a former GM factory in Moraine, Ohio to manufacture automotive glass. Moraine is one of those “rust belt” communities that have been devastated by the departure of good-paying, steady blue collar jobs that used to be a staple of the Ohio economy, and local officials are hoping the factory will help to reverse that trend. The Post reports that the purchase is part of a shift in globalization fortunes, as wealthy Chinese businessmen look to parlay their profits in China into purchases of American businesses.
Nothing is ever as simple as a presidential candidate presents it, and trade certainly falls into that category. And blaming “trade deals” doesn’t recognize the impact that other decisions — like laws imposing increasing wage and benefit obligations on employers, or the ongoing pressure from the American consumer for products at cheaper costs — have had on the exodus of American jobs to places where labor and benefit costs are substantially cheaper. You can argue the merits of “globalization,” but the reality is that we are in a global economy whether we like it or not. It will be interesting to see whether what’s happening in Moraine, and elsewhere, will ultimately shift the debate.
After the Tribe won, it was time to mix with the mass of people outside the ballpark, high five any happy random stranger wearing the team’s gear, and take photos to help cement your memories of a wonderful night of baseball.
There’s a lot of hoopla at any championship game, and the World Series opener is no exception. The crowd got to the game early, with the Chicago Cubs being well represented, and by the time a giant American flag had been rolled out and the National Anthem sung, the fans of both teams were ready to play ball. The last few minutes before the first pitch seemed to last forever, but then the hoopla ended and a pretty good ballgame broke out.
There were some protesters on the Ontario Street side of the ballpark, advocating for changing the Tribe’s name and Chief Wahoo. I agree with them about Chief Wahoo, and I get the point about the name — but it’s hard to imagine a Cleveland baseball team being called anything but the Indians. And, I think “the Tribe” is a pretty cool and inclusive nickname.
The protesters look like they have an uphill battle, as the photo below suggests. Chief Wahoo was seen pretty much everywhere.