Thursday night, I went to a Masonic meeting at Naval Yard Lodge #4 in Washington, DC. After the meeting, I missed the last train to Virginia because I was in fellowship with the Brothers. Thanks to a last minute assist from Susan McKinney, I was able to get a taxi back to Virginia. What ensued the minute I got in the taxi, I would say is the best and most politically exciting experience of my life. I had a real conversation on politics, with a real person, who isn’t a ‘Beltway Insider’ or a ‘Political Consultant/Lobbyist/Politician’, it was an average citizen, trying to feed their average family, and worrying about the future of them and other average Americans.
We will call my taxi driver Moe, noting an association to me and Trump being Larry and Curly (you decide which is which). For the next 30 minutes, I had the most open conversation with a Trump supporter I had to date. The man began the ride after I got in and gave the location with, “Hey, you listen to this sir? This guy Trump, I can’t see how he doesn’t win, he’s just so impressive right now.”
Me: Well, ya, Trump is on fire right now. You know, despite what people say about him, I think a lot of Americans like what they hear because he’s blunt, doesn’t give a s***, and says what he thinks and feels in a way that is understandable.
Moe: EXACTLY. I like everything he says because as a 74-year old man with grandchildren, I am worried about the economy for my grandkids and the state of this country for them after I am gone.
Me: For me that is exactly how I feel, on election day, regardless of the Republican, I cannot bring myself to vote for a Democrat because I don’t trust how they will create jobs by punishing businesses, both small and corporate, and raising taxes on those businesses.
Moe: You know what’s most frightening for me, back in the 70s during the Carter years, you know during the Nixon years, things went the way they should because Nixon didn’t tolerate anything, but you know Carter just gave the enemy our economy and didn’t hold back in hurting us, meaning it or not.
Me: Didn’t they just get rid of those in December? My goodness, we spent 40 years punishing our oil production and our industries because we didn’t want to outright compete and destroy foreign oil in the market. And now, those oil companies that neede the export ban gone are hurting because it’s a little too late.
Moe: You know, I like the President and I voted for him. I have been a proud Democrat most of my life. But ever since Reagan challenged Carter on that stupid decision, and turned our economy around so much, I have found myself, while still a registered Democrat and voting locally Democrat, loving your Republicans. They know what to do on the economy and the military.
Me: Yeah, people can complain, and maybe rightfully so about the handling of Iraq and Afghanistand, but Syria, Yemen and Libya-
Moe: LIBYA IS AN AWFUL MESS.
Me: I know right, it’s a failed state. They technically have two governments, both that use ISIS and other violent groups and gangs to kill each other.
Moe: Trump would take care of that you know it? He wouldn’t tolerate a single ground to be taken by such radicals.
After a thorough exchange, we landed on the other candidates, and me probing on why he wasn’t voting Democrat. Because why wouldn’t a registered Democrat be loyal right now, could it be party angst about the establishment in control? Sounds familiar with my Trump supporter friends on the right.
Me: Well what about Bernie, he’s pretty honest, he has got good intentions in mind.
Moe: But how will he convince Congress to do anything? If he signs it as Executive Orders, it will mean nothing once he leaves office.
Me: Well, what about Hillary, I mean she’s got valid Foreign Policy experience and represents the Obama administration.
Moe: You know, I like Obama but what has his administration gotten us? We lost Iraq and Afghanistan, he lost control of Libya.
Me: Well, you know I like Dr. Carson myself, he has got good ideas and Reagan loyalists helping him. It’s just too bad he has a stupid PR guy who tells him he looks ‘nerdy’ with glasses on live television.
Moe: Isn’t it too late though? They should have fired that guy, and maybe if they did…
Me: He probably wouldn’t be in last place in the polls, yeah I know. I think I could be a better PR guy. I bet you and I would make a better staff for him than whatever he has going on right now.
Moe: You’re right about that.
Me: What about Rubio, I mean he’s tough on foreign policy, he’s young though.
Moe: Which means he’s inexperienced, he can say all the right things, but he hasn’t gotten out of his diapers yet. By the way, I notice you’re a Travelling Man, my dad was one too. My family didn’t think he was one, but we had at his funeral, Masonic men come in and do him a service. We’re a Muslim family, been one myself for 20 years.
*Moe is an African-American, 74-year old, Muslim. Let that sink in for all of you. He isn’t white, he isn’t hateful, he’s just a worried grandfather, seeking a President to protect his grandkids, the nation he loves, and the future of his country.*
Me: You know Moe, there is always a place for you inside the Masonic family. Just like in America where we do our best to be inclusive and treat each other with respect, the lodge I went to tonight had a Qu’ran on the altar. This was a good talk Moe, I hope you stay safe and thanks for driving me after I missed the last train.
Moe: Peace be with you brother, and take care. Trump is gonna win this election, you’ll see, I know my guy.
Me: The fact is that if Trump wins the nomination Moe, you and I both know that he’ll at his worst be better for this country than probably anything Bernie could do, because Trump can unify people, and he’ll be more reliable than Hillary because at least we can trust what he says…even if we disagree with it.
Moe: And you know, sometimes, I agree with him that the problem is that these immigrants coming here have a form of religion that isn’t compatible with America. It isn’t Islam’s fault, it’s that region and their culture.
I shared this with you all because I felt that this conversation encapsulates what a lot of the electorate is showing right now. Sure, the South Carolina primary, Iowa Caucus, and New Hampshire primary are mostly white Republican voters. But as we get farther along the way, to states with open primaries and minority converts listening to the candidates, the edge that Trump has in the minority communities cannot be ignored. I think places like Huff’n’Puff and Salon will chalk it up to racism, but fear of the unknown and fear of the collapsing economy is more in the mind of American voters tonight than anything else.
For instance, CNN reported from Exit Polls, that the Economy was the number 1 issue for Democrat voters in Nevada tonight. And on the flip side, look at the issue evaluation for Republicans in South Carolina tonight. I have warned my friends who supported establishment candidates for awhile that the population was angry, and seeking a 3rd way. I warned that my friends in the Conservative base had gotten to use to having the base support and that their operations weren’t in reality. Am I finally right tonight, are you all, those in the establishment and those in the Conservative base, ready to listen?
Because here’s the current predicament: Cruz and Rubio combined could be Trump, but neither man has enough humility to let the other win. Meaning we are headed to a brokered convention. If you don’t want Trump to walk into that Convention and just bully his way through because he has the delegate sway, you need to divide the country and conquer the delegates from Trump. Stop the cannibalism of the Conservative and Republican party. Reagan’s 11 Commandment would do us all a lot of good right now, because Trump won’t hold to it, and if maybe we invested our collective spines into challenging him rather than one another, maybe you would win the population back.
But until Rubio and Cruz supporters set aside their hostilities and learn that they need to work together to prevent the usurpation of the Reagan moment, you are going to watch this party increasingly rally behind Trump. You can see it in the South Carolina exit polls. People could wave away the results in Iowa and New Hampshire because they are not-Conservative, they are in Purple/Blue territory and prone to liberalism. But now that a truly RED state has succumbed to Trumpmania, can we start waging this information war? Because right now, this resistance to Trumpmania is awful, and men and women like Moe are going to choose Trump when this void of effective leadership exists. We might get folks like Moe to support a Cruz or Rubio if they had the spine and gave the effort necessary.
You all know, I don’t Stump for Trump. I have my biases, but I have been consistent on the fact that Trump awareness has been crippling. May South Carolina tonight be the last necessary nail in the coffin for our Collective Conservative Souls. Because if it isn’t, come November, we are going to have That One Angry White Guy as our candidate for the General Election. Is this the world you really want? Then work together as a party, or declare your betrayal of it. What are you all, Rand Paul and Ron Paul supporters?
Maybe this is too terse for you folks, but let’s be honest. You and I; no, we all are; NO, this country is fighting for it’s soul of ideology. You either win or lose when it comes to ideology, and I’ll be damned if hatred as an ideology wins. Trump supporters understand power, they understand authority, and they want that in their leader. This country needs a man or woman who is willing to put on their adult pants and handle the problems. If Cruz and Rubio don’t showcase that, THEY WILL NOT WIN.