Off the Cuff: Trump’s Supposedly “Dark and Divisive” Speech

Liberal media outlets heard something in President Trump’s Mount Rushmore speech that a lot of regular folks simply didn’t.

That’s the topic of my Off the Cuff audio commentary this week. You can listen to it by clicking on the play (arrow) button below.

 

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Donald Trump and the Silent Majority — Part 2

In a recent column I asked this question: Is there a new silent majority in America like the one that surfaced 50 years ago and helped Richard Nixon win the White House, twice.

And if there is, are these “ordinary” Americans repulsed by what they’re watching on TV – the riots, the looting, the general disrespect for authority – just as Nixon’s silent majority was repulsed by the chaos of that day.

I acknowledged that I didn’t know the answer. I thought it was possible that America had moved so far to the left that the progressives had already taken over the culture, much as they had taken over some of our elite universities.

Maybe the silent majority was an idea whose time had come – and gone.

And I ended my column with this:  “No one knows how revolutions will end – not even the revolutionaries.  But if there is a new silent majority, like the old one that didn’t like what they were watching on TV, November 3, 2020 may not turn out the way the revolutionaries are hoping.”

Despite the suggestion that the revolutionaries might actually help Mr. Trump win re-election, I wasn’t trying to say that frustrated Americans, like the unhinged anchorman in Network were saying, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more.”

Again, that may be the case, but I readily admit, I just don’t know.

But there may be an even more potent force that will influence the presidential election than the chaotic images on TV.

And that force would be … Donald J. Trump.

The silent majority – if it exists – will have to make a decision on Election Day:  Will those silent Americans show their disgust with the mob by voting for Donald Trump … or will they conclude that as bad as the mob is, Donald Trump is worse.  That he’s a bigger threat to America than the looters.

I wouldn’t bet a nickel on the answer to that question.  But I do know that the polls – at the moment — aren’t looking good for the president. He’s losing to Joe Biden nationally and more importantly he’s trailing Biden in crucial battleground states too.

The mob that tears down monuments, defaces historic churches, sets up no-police-allowed “autonomous zones” are causing chaos in America, that’s for sure.  But Donald Trump has caused more than a little chaos of his own during his presidency.  A lot of Americans are just plain exhausted.  Every day there’s something new that divides our country, some new controversy, some new dopey tweet, some new reason to question his honesty and his competence.

At his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, President Trump said, “the silent majority is stronger than ever before” suggesting those “ordinary” Americans will rise up and carry him across the finish line.

He may be right.  But if Donald Trump loses, it won’t be Joe Biden who beat him.  It will be Donald Trump who beat Donald Trump. If he loses his combative character will finally have caught up with him.

The silent majority may yet save this president. That is, if there really is a silent majority anymore.




Bernie’s Q&A: Michael Flynn, Polling, Racism, Masks, and more! (7/3) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

Welcome to this week’s Premium Q&A session for Premium Interactive members. I appreciate you all signing up and joining me. Thank you.

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Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):


Bernie, as always, thanks for the responses! In a follow up to your comments about the intolerance and authoritarianism of the left, I was wondering if you think the climate they are setting is skewing the current Presidential polling. Specifically, if a stranger called your home today and claimed to be from a polling agency, would you willingly tell that person your political beliefs? After all, who knows who the person really is or what they will really do with that information. Maybe I am being paranoid, but I am positive that if I wrote you in 2019 and said I think the radical left will want to tear down all of our monuments and rewrite all of our history, I would have sounded paranoid then. — Joe M.

You make a very good point, Joe … and it’s not based on paranoia. I do think that some Trump supporters lie to pollsters. Who needs the potential trouble? But I don’t think there are enough people like that to overcome a 14 point deficit in the latest poll (NYT) — if he’s really trailing by 14 points. So yes, I think there are more Trump supporters out there who the polls don’t pick up … but I don’t think there are enough of them, again, if he’s trailing by double digits.

Mr G., Why are our elected officials bending & breaking to the <1% who are demanding societal changes without having to justify their position and articulate exactly what they are asking for? — ScottyG

The 1% making demands for radical change, unfortunately, are backed up by older, more established, more well-off liberal sympathizers — who vote! When those demands encroach on the comfort of those liberals, when the demonstrators protest in suburban neighborhoods, when they take over upper class neighborhoods and not just parts of downtown to further their demands, then the protesters will lose support — and politicians will think twice for “bending and breaking” to their demands.

I’ve often wondered who writes the copy that finds its way into the hands of news anchors. I watch ABC World News Tonight on a regular basis. Watch CNN and MSNBC too. (What can I say – I like torture:) Last night I watched ABC correspondent Jonathan Karl describe the armed St. Louis homeowners as whites pointing guns at blacks. No backstory, just “white vs. black”. This is probably not news to you, but I suspect the “news” media is ‘framing’ news content into a more ‘delicious’ product that draws and retains the attention of its most marketable audience group. The decision making as to what content and backstory finds its way to airtime is an example of pure marketing science – it’s all about the $$. Based on your vast experience, what does the MSM org. chart look like in MSM newsrooms – who sets the standard, who writes the copy? To me, those are the real MSM ‘demons’. It’s worth mentioning that while ABC’s Jonathan Karl was exploiting the white vs. black narrative for the ABC audience, I could tell from the look on his face that he felt otherwise. Have you ever had a reporter tell you that he or she had to report something they believed was BS, but went ahead anyway because it would cost them their job? Wonder how that makes them feel. Caio – Uncle Pete

Hey Pete … If the report is coming from an actual reporter in the field, either he/she wrote the copy or at least co-wrote it with a producer. If the words are coming out of the anchor’s mouth, then a team of writers wrote much of the copy … the anchor also writing some of it.

You have every right to think that the slant given to the story has to do with both political and cultural bias … and the bottom line. Cable opinion shows are aimed at the target audience. So you get non-stop left wing blather on CNN and MSNBC in prime time … and right wing opinion on Fox. As I’ve said many times before: Cable is a business model, not a journalism model. What’s new is that more and more it’s not only cable … as you, Uncle Pete, have noticed.

Finally, no journalist has ever confided to me that he or she had to report something they didn’t believe was factually correct.

As we continue to see white progressives confess and condemn their privilege, is it not time for them to put their money where their mouths and hearts are. As young college students and recent graduates excoriate and seek to demean cops, wouldn’t their tribal screams be that much more sincere and effective if they told good old mom and dad to stop subsidizing their lifestyles and renounced their future inheritances? Or does wokeness mean being hypocritical is permissible provided you can camouflage your privilege? — Michael F.

You’re funny, Michael. The day young, white, privileged twits tell mommy and daddy to cut them out of the will is the same day hell will freeze over. They talk a good game, but don’t count on any of them to put their money where their mouth is.

Any chance that some high-ranking democrat politicians including a certain presidential nominee (and FBI agents like Strzok) might end up in prison for setting up Michael Flynn under knowingly false pretenses? If so, then do you think that would hurt the Dems among the swing voters? I can’t imagine swing voters who may despise Trump personally ever voting for a party that seriously tried to throw out a legitimately elected president through deception and illegal entrapment simply because the Dems did not like the outcome of the election. Do you think A.G. Barr is really going to pursue prison time for what could be a coup by the Dems? At the risk of sounding like I’m repeating a ridiculous conspiracy theory, this one actually seems to carry some weight. Your thoughts are appreciated. Alex Jones Conspiratorial Regards from The Emperor

First, no one’s going to jail before the presidential election. Second, the Durham report will be very interesting … and may lead to criminal charges. Regarding swing voters: One would hope they’d abandon a party that was involved in major league wrongdoing, but I’m not betting on that — not given how much even swing voters detest our president. Stay tuned.

Bernie, do you know why the term fight fire with fire exists? If you don’t do it, you come out looking like conservatives of old that just accepted what ever lie and crap that the democrats bestowed upon them and were afraid to respond for fear of hurting someones feelings. Trump is not afraid to respond. thank God. — Louis R.

I’m not opposed to him fighting back. And I’m no fan of Democrat lies and crap, as you put it. But I’m also opposed to Mr. Trump’s lies and crap. How about you, Louis?

Since the Left is all about changing the names of institutions it claims support, or have supported, white supremacy and/or racism, when will it be time to change the name of the Democratic Party? After all, it was the Democratic Party that supported slavery, supported the South during the Civil War, resisted Reconstruction, invented/supported Jim Crow laws and resisted the 1960s Civil Rights movement. I think if the Left is being honest, it will look at the history of its own party and decide that it is time to get rid of the terms Democrat and Democratic Party since its history is steeped in racism. — Joe

Interesting idea, Joe, but don’t hold your breath. Now, at the risk of starting needless trouble let me point out that they weren’t liberal Democrats who, for example, fought civil rights in the 60s. It was conservative Democrats. So Democrats could argue that conservatives were the ones who were against equality for black Americans. Once you get into a fight like this, nobody comes out looking good.

[Regarding this week’s Off the Cuff]: Since it is almost impossible to have any civil and open conversation with the BLM movement and supporters about race, maybe the only option is to outshout them. And maybe the only way to do that is via the ballot box. If those elected leaders who acquiesce and virtue signal to every unrealistic whim of the current movement are removed, the movement may well lose steam. Maybe then, once law and order are restored and the agitators are kept at bay, maybe then the focus will move from looting, lawlessness, yelling, violence, asinine attack on statues, and instead towards substantive discussions on how to improve race relations in the country. I wish so … but am not that confident in it happening soon. Sigh … — Jim S.

I’m with you, Jim, regarding the ballot box being the antidote to chaos. But … I’m not at all sure the anti-chaos segment of our population would win. I’m not sure there’s a silent majority. If there is one I’m not sure Donald Trump is the person to lead the movement. Voters will have to decide if they want Democrats who are mostly silent about the anarchy … or Donald Trump who has caused more than a little chaos himself since he became president. This is one of those times I wouldn’t bet a nickel one way or the other.

The amount of vitriol being allowed to spew forth unabated for policemen and women is regrettable and unbelievable. Reminds me of members of the military coming home from Vietnam 50 years ago. Do you think this will spawn a similar “thank you for your service” movement in the future? — Steve R.

Good question, Steve. In the midst of the anti-military blowback during Vietnam, I didn’t see the “Thank you for your service” reaction coming. So who knows if what we’re seeing now will spawn something similar. But 50 years ago there was a silent majority. They didn’t hate the military. As I’ve said before, I have no idea if there’s a silent majority out there today. If there is, we may very well get a “Thank you for your service” follow up. If there isn’t, then maybe the progressives have won the culture war. And if that’s the case, don’t expect any thank yous for police officers.

Study after study has made it increasingly clear that one of the easiest and most effective weapons against the spread of COVID-19 is simply wearing a mask when you’re around other people. Yet, wearing masks has turned into some kind of culture battle, with probably half of the country thinking there’s no point to them, or that wearing them somehow compromises their freedoms. Do you think things would have been different (with the coronavirus spreading slower) if Trump (and Pence for that matter) had stood up for, and worn, masks months ago, instead of the president and people in the conservative media poo-pooing the idea? — Ben G.

You’re right, Ben … wearing masks has become part of the culture battle. Everything, it seems, is political and part of the culture battle. But if the president had worn a mask months ago … yes, I think more Trump supporters would have joined in. And that might have indeed slowed the spread of the virus. The idea that wearing or not wearing a mask is political, is also pathetic.

 


Thanks, everyone! You can send me questions for next week using the form below! You can also read previous Q&A sessions by clicking here.




Socially Distant Without the Stir-Craziness

Sunset at the Great Sand Dunes Oasis (photo by John Daly)

Last week, my son and I saw our first movie at a theater in months, and boy was it a breath of fresh air. Of course, it wasn’t a typical theater… being that nearly all of those are still closed, and it wasn’t a new movie… being that production companies aren’t currently releasing anything outside of digital and streaming services. In fact, the aforementioned fresh air was of the literal sense, flowing through our open car windows at a drive-in theater about 45 minutes from our house.

Yes, there are still some operating drive-ins in this country, and they’ve even seen a surge in popularity in the socially-distant era of COVID-19. After all, they’re outside (where the virus has a harder time spreading) and it’s easy to stagger parking spots to give each car about 10 feet of separation.

At the Holiday Twin in Fort Collins, CO, we watched one of our all-time favorites, Jaws (which incidentally turned 45 years old this year).

The ambiance was really pretty special, and it went well beyond the nostalgia and timeless aura of the film (which ironically displays some remarkable parallels with today’s crisis, and how people are treating it). Just seeing folks enjoying and reacting to a shared summer experience from the back of pickups and hatchbacks was a treat. I’d even describe it as rejuvenating, which I suppose makes sense considering how socially limited we’ve become.

The restrictive nature of the coronavirus is something we’ve been grappling with as a nation since March, and as it lingers on and intensifies in some states, even those lucky enough to have kept their jobs and preserved their livelihoods have felt isolated and grown a bit stir-crazy from the monotony.

People need a break from the repetition, and a good remedy is to get outside and enjoy a change of scenery. It’s summertime after all, and with the season comes opportunities that didn’t exist in the early days and weeks of the health crisis.

A drive-in movie is a great distraction (which I highly recommend), and in downtown areas across the country, restaurants are being allowed to extend their dining areas to sidewalks and even roped off streets in front of their buildings. These are good (and relatively safe) escapes, but a longer more sustainable kind comes compliments of nature itself.

Weeks ago, when my family recognized that flying out of state and staying in a hotel probably wouldn’t be a viable vacation option this year, we took a step back and finally pulled the trigger on buying a pop-up camper. The one we found (on Craigslist) wasn’t anything fancy. It was over 20 years old, and had some expected wear and tear, but it was nothing we couldn’t live with. Over a few weekends, we spruced it up, and made our maiden voyage in early June with a simple, socially-distant overnight in Colorado’s high country.

Things went well (that’s another way of saying nothing broke and no one got hurt), so we got back on the road this week (packing some extra masks), and headed for the rugged, dryer, southern part of the state for a few nights. We set up camp near the Royal Gorge, a deep canyon of the Arkansas River that supports the highest bridge in the United States. Since it’s a suspension bridge, it rocks a bit from the wind as you walk across it (which I wont lie, was a little unnerving).

 

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We then headed farther south to a little-known place called Bishop’s Castle. This amazing, one-man, lifelong project (started in the 1960s) is surrounded by the mountains of the San Isabel National Forest. It’s an unorthodox, artistic, housing-code-violating, true testament to power of individualism and personal dedication. And frankly, standing in the wind on top of its highest, uneven tower (which can’t be more than 8 feet in diameter) was more breathtaking than peering over the railing at the Royal Gorge Bridge.

Making our way east, we spent a night at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve, which I’d heard a lot about as a kid, but had never been to. Immersing ourselves in such a surreal, middle-of-nowhere landscape (nearly 30 square miles of tall dunes) was an experience we’ll never forget. The sunset alone (pictured up top) may have been worth the trip.

And since the area down south is also known for its extraordinary number of unidentified flying objects, we of course felt obligated to check out the “world famous” UFO Watchtower (which I’m still trying to make sense of).

 

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There’s more I could share, but the point I’m trying to make is that it was a cheap getaway, it made for a much-needed scenic change, it was good exercise, and I can count on one hand the number of times we came within 6 feet of another person.

In other words, you can stay safe without letting COVID-19 call all the shots.

It’s been a few years since I’ve read Cormac McCarthy’s The Crossing, so my memory could be slightly off, but I believe he makes the point in the novel that the ability to travel is its own form of personal property — something that others can’t take away from you, not in a country like the United States. Of course, there are limits to this, especially in the modern era, but generally speaking McCarthy has a point.

Travel isn’t a luxury only afforded to rich people. A tent, some food and water, a little extra time on your hands, and the means to get from one place to another is really all it takes. There’s ownership in that.

Right now, in this troublesome era we’re slogging through, getting outdoors and going somewhere new (as long as you can do it safely) is perhaps one of the more liberating experiences you’ll find.

It sure was for my family.

Order John A. Daly’s novel “Safeguard” today!

 




Off the Cuff: Why We Can’t Have a Serious Conversation About Race

First a quick reminder: Due to a scheduling issue, this week’s Q&A will be moved from Friday (7/3) to either Saturday (7/4) or Sunday (7/5). Thanks for understanding.

For years, people with good intentions have said we need to have a conversation about race. I used to say it myself… but no more.

That’s the topic of my Off the Cuff audio commentary this week. You can listen to it by clicking on the play (arrow) button below.

 

Editor’s Note: If you enjoy these audio commentaries (along with the weekly columns and Q&A sessions), please use the Facebook and Twitter buttons to share this page with your friends and family. Thank you! 

Side note: If you’re a Premium Interactive member (the $4 tier), and have a question for this Friday’s Q&A, make sure to get it to me before Wednesday night at midnight. You can use this form on my website.