Series Two, Episode Four: Miah Finds Hope

As we bring to a close season 2, Miah outlines her trip through the mental health field and how it helped her find hope. She also gives a passionate discussion on learning to truly love herself.

Donald Trump Is Wrong About Rigged Elections

Tonight, I felt panic and fear about our country’s future around Donald Trump’s comments on the “rigged election results.” I’ve not felt them since 9-11. His lie of a rigged election undermines the foundations of our Republic in an effort to win an election and to avoid self-criticism. To spare his own ego, he is unleashing an idea as destructive to our nation as the ideologies that sent planes into the Twin Towers.

Over 14 years, I’ve worked for parties, candidates, and the media professionally. Saying that I am jaded and cynical is an understatement. I thought no bit of political rhetoric could shock and outrage me. Donald Trump did it. It happened in the third and final debate for the 2016 Presidential election.

Moderator Chris Wallace asked, “Will you accept the results of the election?”

The nominee of the Republican Party for President replied, “I will look at it at the time. I will keep you in suspense.”

My heart sank and a chill ran up my spine. Hillary Clinton captured my emotions perfectly in one of her few genuine moments: “That’s horrifying.” Later, “He’s talking down our democracy, and I, for one, am appalled.”

By frivolously claiming that our ballot boxes aren’t secure, he is further disengaging citizens from participating in the voting process. We need Americans to take politics seriously now more than ever. Donald Trump’s lie that ballots cast might not end up as valid is damn near criminal. If the Electoral System were a person, they’d sue him for slander.

First, let’s tackle the biased media. He’s right. The media are against him. The political establishment is against him. He doesn’t get a fair shot. But that is because he’s a tremendous asshole.

Trump assumes that the slate was supposed to be cleared on Labor Day. The decades of lewd comments and bad business practices weren’t to be mentioned. When they were mentioned, he fought back to appear tough.

He is petty. So is the press. Journalists may want to appear sober-minded and fair, but they are as vain and narcissistic as any other group of media figures. Calling them liars as a campaign tent pole and assuming there would be no consequence for that is not only naïve but juvenile. The press loves a sex scandal. If you don’t want to be involved in a sex scandal, don’t harass women! He is completely unable to accept that there are consequences for his actions. Negative social cues must mean a conspiracy is afoot to tear him down. This paranoia and lack of self-awareness are a sign of narcissist behavior.

The more sinister charge is that vote totals will be changed to choose Clinton. Does voter fraud take place? Absolutely. It is the exception and not the rule. It is in small amounts, and it is absurd to imply that there could be enough fraud to sway a Presidential election. Reader, if you believe this to be the case, you’re wrong. You’re a conspiracy theorist.

How do I know? In 2003, I spent days watching the recount process as Scott Keller won a city council seat in Indianapolis by 3 votes. The next year I saw Jon Elrod go through the same process and won a recount by 14 votes. I spent Election Night 2008 at the convention center watching a few hundred citizens count ballots. In every election from 2008 to 2012, I spent every Election Day in polling places investigating concerns risen by local libertarian volunteers and nonpartisan watchers. I never saw anything beyond confusion over election law by volunteers. When confusion arises, clerks and state election officials are quick to make sure the laws are properly followed. I worked with dozens of Republican and Democrat county clerks, Election Division officials and Secretaries of State. I was appointed to the state HAVA (Help America Vote Act) Commission in 2010 and helped shape how votes are cast in Indiana.

On Election Day, thousands of Hoosiers (and Americans) will volunteer to serve as watchers, judges, and poll workers. Most take a vacation day to spend twelve very long, very boring hours to help a person sign their name and fill out a ballot. They do it because they love the American process of democracy.

When Donald Trump and the rest of his cartel of conspirators push the idea that elections are rigged, he really means that little old woman that smiles as she hands you the ballot is the one screwing you, reader. Does that make any sense? Does it jive with your voting experience?

If you are one of the people that believe elections are rigged, county clerks are always starved for volunteers to work the polls on election day. Each polling place needs proportional numbers of Rs and Ds and Ls (if we can convince them) to serve in several capacities. Each political party, at least in Indiana, can get watcher cards from the county clerk. Partisan citizens, preferably lawyers, can go in and help a voter if there is an issue or look for fraud. It is part of the checks and balances of the American system.

I ask that you share this article. It is important that Americans understand that the vote they cast will be counted. Votes that are fraudulently cast are usually sorted out. Our friends and neighbors need to understand that there are checks and balances in the system by competent elected officials that treat voting with the seriousness we expect of them. Most of all, we need to balance conspiracy theories with the truth.

The truth is that your vote counts and saying otherwise is a terrorist act against the underpinnings of the Republic.

Spangle: Donald Trump Is Wrong About Rigged Elections

Tonight, I felt panic and fear about our country’s future around Donald Trump’s comments on the “rigged election results.” I’ve not felt them since 9-11. His lie of a rigged election undermines the foundations of our Republic in an effort to win an election and to avoid self-criticism. To spare his own ego, he is unleashing an idea as destructive to our nation as the ideologies that sent planes into the Twin Towers.

Over 14 years, I’ve worked for parties, candidates, and the media professionally. Saying that I am jaded and cynical is an understatement. I thought no bit of political rhetoric could shock and outrage me. Donald Trump did it. It happened in the third and final debate for the 2016 Presidential election.

Moderator Chris Wallace asked, “Will you accept the results of the election?”

The nominee of the Republican Party for President replied, “I will look at it at the time. I will keep you in suspense.”

My heart sank and a chill ran up my spine. Hillary Clinton captured my emotions perfectly in one of her few genuine moments: “That’s horrifying.” Later, “He’s talking down our democracy, and I, for one, am appalled.”

By frivolously claiming that our ballot boxes aren’t secure, he is further disengaging citizens from participating in the voting process. We need Americans to take politics seriously now more than ever. Donald Trump’s lie that ballots cast might not end up as valid is damn near criminal. If the Electoral System were a person, they’d sue him for slander.

First, let’s tackle the biased media. He’s right. The media are against him. The political establishment is against him. He doesn’t get a fair shot. But that is because he’s a tremendous asshole.

Trump assumes that the slate was supposed to be cleared on Labor Day. The decades of lewd comments and bad business practices weren’t to be mentioned. When they were mentioned, he fought back to appear tough.

He is petty. So is the press. Journalists may want to appear sober-minded and fair, but they are as vain and narcissistic as any other group of media figures. Calling them liars as a campaign tent pole and assuming there would be no consequence for that is not only naïve but juvenile. The press loves a sex scandal. If you don’t want to be involved in a sex scandal, don’t harass women! He is completely unable to accept that there are consequences for his actions. Negative social cues must mean a conspiracy is afoot to tear him down. This paranoia and lack of self-awareness are a sign of narcissistic behavior.

The more sinister charge is that vote totals will be changed to choose Clinton. Does voter fraud take place? Absolutely. It is the exception and not the rule. It is in small amounts, and it is absurd to imply that there could be enough fraud to sway a Presidential election. Reader, if you believe this to be the case, you’re wrong. You’re a conspiracy theorist.

How do I know? In 2003, I spent days watching the recount process as Scott Keller won a city council seat in Indianapolis by 3 votes. The next year I saw Jon Elrod go through the same process and won a recount by 14 votes. I spent Election Night 2008 at the convention center watching a few hundred citizens count ballots. In every election from 2008 to 2012, I spent every Election Day in polling places investigating concerns risen by local libertarian volunteers and nonpartisan watchers. I never saw anything beyond confusion over election law by volunteers. When confusion arises, clerks and state election officials are quick to make sure the laws are properly followed. I worked with dozens of Republican and Democrat county clerks, Election Division officials and Secretaries of State. I was appointed to the state HAVA (Help America Vote Act) Commission in 2010 and helped shape how votes are cast in Indiana.

On Election Day, thousands of Hoosiers (and Americans) will volunteer to serve as watchers, judges, and poll workers. Most take a vacation day to spend twelve very long, very boring hours to help a person sign their name and fill out a ballot. They do it because they love the American process of democracy.

When Donald Trump and the rest of his cartel of conspirators push the idea that elections are rigged, he really means that little old woman that smiles as she hands you the ballot is the one screwing you, reader. Does that make any sense? Does it jive with your voting experience?

If you are one of the people that believe elections are rigged, county clerks are always starved for volunteers to work the polls on election day. Each polling place needs proportional numbers of Rs and Ds and Ls (if we can convince them) to serve in several capacities. Each political party, at least in Indiana, can get watcher cards from the county clerk. Partisan citizens, preferably lawyers, can go in and help a voter if there is an issue or look for fraud. It is part of the checks and balances of the American system.

I ask that you share this article. It is important that Americans understand that the vote they cast will be counted. Votes that are fraudulently cast are usually sorted out. Our friends and neighbors need to understand that there are checks and balances in the system by competent elected officials that treat voting with the seriousness we expect of them. Most of all, we need to balance conspiracy theories with the truth.

The truth is that your vote counts and saying otherwise is a terrorist act against the underpinnings of the Republic.

Debate Prep Takes Years

The debate season is crucial for all candidates. It is the greatest test of a candidate’s discipline and preparation. It is hard to explain the pressure a person undergoes as they walk on a debate stage. It does not matter if it is under the lights of a network for a POTUS debate or a local forum for state senate. The nerves any human being undergoes is extraordinary. Imagine the taking a pass/fail test where the slightest mistake can cause all the hard work of any career can end in a flash.

We read about candidates undergoing debate prep. That is important, but its effect is only to bring to the surface the information ingested over the many years leading up to a run. A serious candidate for any office should have spent hundreds or thousands of hours studying policy before the decision is made to run. A lack of depth is made obvious in debate season.

This is where Hillary has the advantage in tonight’s debate. She can stop the tide of slipping numbers by showing that she is the experienced choice while Trump lacks depth. Trump can counter it by surprising the public with policy. Hillary’s campaign is largely built around a Never Trump message. He’s a racist, misogynist, liar, etc…, and she is the steady, experienced hand. Trump can smash her campaign to pieces by jumping over the low bar the American public has set for him in terms of policy knowledge and temperament.

Join Us For Our Debate Watching Party!

Monday night is a very cool event! Greg, the WAL crew, and I will host a debate party. From 7:15, we will have a live preview of the Presidential debates. We will stream this live on Facebook if you’re not in Indianapolis. Here is the event. Join in on Twitter with the hashtag #WALDebate. All political persuasions are welcome! If you’re a Republican or Democrat, please come enjoy the evening with us.

We will then screen the debates on the big screen with live commentary from Chris and Greg as it happens, Mystery Science Theatre 3000 style. You cannot see this. You have to show up! Morty’s has great food and lots of alcohol! Our opener will be Maranda Barnett! Buy your tickets now because we expect a large crowd. Admission is only $5!

Debate Prep Takes Years

The debate season is crucial for all candidates. It is the greatest test of a candidate’s discipline and preparation. It is hard to explain the pressure a person undergoes as they walk on a debate stage. It does not matter if it is under the lights of a network for a POTUS debate or a local forum for state senate. The nerves any human being undergoes is extraordinary. Imagine the taking a pass/fail test where the slightest mistake can cause all the hard work of any career can end in a flash.

We read about candidates undergoing debate prep. That is important, but its effect is only to bring to the surface the information ingested over the many years leading up to a run. A serious candidate for any office should have spent hundreds or thousands of hours studying policy before the decision is made to run. A lack of depth is made obvious in debate season.

This is where Hillary has the advantage in tonight’s debate. She can stop the tide of slipping numbers by showing that she is the experienced choice while Trump lacks depth. Trump can counter it by surprising the public with policy. Hillary’s campaign is largely built around a Never Trump message. He’s a racist, misogynist, liar, etc…, and she is the steady, experienced hand. Trump can smash her campaign to pieces by jumping over the low bar the American public has set for him in terms of policy knowledge and temperament.

ReasonTV: The Case for Pardoning Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden is possibly “the most influential whistle-blower of our generation,” says Trevor Timm, the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. Earlier this week, Timm joined with representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch to formally ask President Obama to pardon the former NSA contractor who brought to light bombshell revelations about mass surveillance in the U.S. The campaign to request a presidential pardon was timed with the release of the new Oliver Stone biopic, Snowden.

“It’s certainly an outside chance that he is going to get pardoned, but I think it’s something Obama can and will consider,” Timm said during an interview with Reason’s Nick Gillespie. He continued: “As he’s winding down his presidency, [Obama] is probably looking at his legacy. And one of the most disappointing aspects of his presidency has been his treatment of whistle-blowers and the fact that they have prosecuted more leakers in history than any other administration. He himself has said that this debate that Snowden sparked has made the country stronger.”

Timm sat down with Gillespie to discuss the case for pardoning Snowden, the impact the Oliver Stone film will have on the cause, and whether a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton administration would be more likely to consider Snowden’s case.

Ideological Bigotry

It isn’t often that I can say I agree with Bill Clinton. He made a good point while appearing on the Daily Show.

“America has come so far,” he said. “We’re less racist, sexist, homophobic and anti specific religions than we used to be. We have one remaining bigotry: We don’t want to be around anyone who disagrees with us.”

Ideologically intolerance seems to grow more and more as move further into the internet age. We have built information silos. Hell, I’ve personally made one with We Are LIBERTARIANS.

I think this problem is also due to rampant codependency. We want everyone to like us. If we are around people that share our opinions then how can we end up in disagreements? The problem with this hidden behavior is that our wall ends up ten feet higher.

So let’s take Bill Clinton’s advice and be friends with people that are wrong.

Bill Weld Isn’t Going Anywhere

News “leaked” over the weekend from legendary reporter Carl Bernstein that LP Vice Presidential candidate Bill Weld would be dropping out to support Hillary Clinton. Weld said it was wishful thinking. Clinton sees the Libertarian campaign hurting her so she had an old friend start a disinformation campaign knowing that Libertarians would be good sheep and attack their candidate. What’s sad are the many libertarian sheep that bleated in terror.

Nicholas J. Sarwark, the National Chairman of the LNC, said it best, “I don’t know which explanation is sadder: that a once respected journalist is reduced to making up stories to sell his book or that a Presidential candidate has to use her biographer to attack Gary Johnson because she’s afraid to do it herself.”

One other note. I thought the 60 Minutes interview with Johnson and Weld went well. It is linked below. The most striking part was the segment following theirs. The gist was”Only the President has access to the end of humankind through nuclear weapons, and he doesn’t have to consult Congress.” Thanks for bringing home the importance of voting Libertarian this year, CBS.

Bill Weld Isn’t Going Anywhere

News “leaked” over the weekend from legendary reporter Carl Bernstein that LP Vice Presidential candidate Bill Weld would be dropping out to support Hillary Clinton. Weld said it was wishful thinking. Clinton sees the Libertarian campaign hurting her so she had an old friend start a disinformation campaign knowing that Libertarians would be good sheep and attack their candidate. What’s sad are the many libertarian sheep that bleated in terror.

Nicholas J. Sarwark, the National Chairman of the LNC, said it best, “I don’t know which explanation is sadder: that a once respected journalist is reduced to making up stories to sell his book or that a Presidential candidate has to use her biographer to attack Gary Johnson because she’s afraid to do it herself.”

One other note. I thought the 60 Minutes interview with Johnson and Weld went well. It is linked below. The most striking part was the segment following theirs. The gist was”Only the President has access to the end of humankind through nuclear weapons, and he doesn’t have to consult Congress.” Thanks for bringing home the importance of voting Libertarian this year, CBS.

Gary Johnson to Appear on 60 Minutes

Gary Johnson will be on 60 Minutes tonight. I can’t believe how great this cycle has been. It’s a vindication for all the years of people telling libertarians to give up on growing a third party and change it from the inside. Not once have I been asked in 2016, “Who are you guys running?”

He’s on the ballot in all 50 states and is a serious enough candidate to be on every major news program. We hear there is no chance that he will win. He has every opportunity if people vote according to their conscious. Math doesn’t prevent him from winning, only fear.

Gary Johnson to Appear on 60 Minutes

Gary Johnson will be on 60 Minutes tonight. I can’t believe how great this cycle has been. It’s a vindication for all the years of people telling libertarians to give up on growing a third party and change it from the inside. Not once have I been asked in 2016, “Who are you guys running?”

He’s on the ballot in all 50 states and is a serious enough candidate to be on every major news program. We hear there is no chance that he will win. He has every opportunity if people vote according to their conscious. Math doesn’t prevent him from winning, only fear.

Announcing the Dispatch, Our Email Newsletter

An email newsletter has long been something I’ve wanted to add to We Are Libertarians. Time has prevented us from starting one, and it will be our foe in the future. We will email one a day as time allows, but there may be some days where we just don’t have the chance to put it together. Sign up here.

Our goal is to arm you with information. Greg Lenz, our contributors and I spend hours a week reading and studying for each episode. The Dispatch is the byproduct of that work. If you see articles, videos or podcasts, please send by email to editor@wearelibertarians.com.

My Top 10 Libertarian Podcasts

I am often asked what are my favorite libertarian podcasts. Everyone has different tastes, so here are the ones I personally enjoy the most. We have a full list of libertarian websites and political sites here. Maybe I missed some on the list? Let me know. Spangle@wearelibertarians.com

  1. We Are Libertarians  – We Are Libertarians brings all of the irreverence modern politics deserves. Chris Spangle and other co-hosts blend humor and intelligence to explain to you what the hell is happening in our world today and how we can fix it by thinking differently by blending comedy and the libertarian philosophy to explain current events.
  2. Lions of Liberty – These guys have a similar feel to WAL. Enjoy a beer and catch up with friends. They have a ton of great interviews as well.
  3. Johnny Rocket Launch Pad – This is so well produced and entertaining. You are going to LOVE this podcast the first time you hear it.
  4. LAVA Flow with Rodger Paxton. Probably the only “radical” podcast on my list, I appreciate Rodger’s point of view. I always learn something new, and the show is well researched.
  5. The Joe Rogan Experience – Not always libertarian, but most of his interviews are mind expanding.
  6. The Fifth Column – Matt Welch of Reason, Kmele Foster and Michael Moynihan shared a fact-based and reasoned view of the week’s news. You will learn something every week.
  7. The Tom Woods Show – This has to be in any libertarian’s top 5, right? One of my favorite libertarians present wide range of interviews on history, economics, and society.
  8. Leading Liberty with Jenn Gray – A practical approach to communicating liberty.
  9. Cato Daily Podcast – Issues of the day from the top thinkers at the Cato Institute. They also have an audio feed of their events.
  10. Dan Carlin’s Common Sense – Carlin’s Common Sense and Hardcore History podcasts are works of art. There is always a point of view proposed that won’t be heard anywhere else. It is not dogmatic libertarianism, but it is thought provoking.

Honorable mention:

Libertarian Podcast Networks:

Libertarian Podcasts

Other Political Podcasts to Check out:

  • The Axe Files with David Axelrod
  • Candidate Confessional
  • CNN Debates
  • Democracy Now!
  • The Dick Morris Podcast
  • The Ezra Klein Show
  • Face the Nation Radio
  • Fareed Zakaria GPS
  • FiveThirtyEight Elections
  • Fox News Sunday
  • Freakonomics Radio
  • Fresh Air
  • Frontline Audiocast
  • Fw:Thinking
  • It’s All Journalism
  • List of top Conservative Podcasts
  • Longform
  • Louder with Crowder
  • Masters in Politics
  • Matt Lewis and the News
  • Off Message
  • Political Wire Conversations
  • Politico’s Nerdcast
  • The Pollsters
  • Presidential
  • The RSA
  • State of the Union with Jake Tapper
  • TED Radio Hour
  • The Tim Ferris Show
  • This Week in Tech

Series Two, Episode Three: Reaction to Episode 2, Why the LGBTQ community must be armed

Chris Spangle and Miah Akston review the reaction to last episode, discuss Orlando and why the LGBTQ community must be armed, and have some laughs when Spangle draws out a mock tattoo for Miah’s new sleeve.

Series Two, Episode Two: Bathrooms, Miah’s Emotional Life, Suicide

Chris Spangle and Miah Akston sit down to share an intense and emotional discussion about a trip Miah is taking, what goes on in her mind, and suicide. We also cover trans bathrooms.

Should You Vote Today (Primary Day)?

And now for the post no one asked for: how Primary Day election law works. Primary Day is a selection and not an election. So should one vote tomorrow?

When a voter walks into the polls on Primary Day they are asked to to select a Republican, Democrat, or nonpartisan ballot. A nonpartisan ballot lets a person vote on referendum, school board, or other measures. A party ballot contains those PLUS inter-party races for public office.

Indiana has a closed primary. Republicans and Democrats are private organizations like all political entities. These private organizations select their candidates and not the public. Essentially, Primary Day is a selection and not an election. These private organizations ask taxpayers to fund their closed party business. The option of a primary is achieved by reaching 10% in the Secretary of State race. Automatic ballot access for all of the party’s candidates can be achieved with 2% in that same race.

In 2014, Libertarian Karl Tatgenhorst received 3.4% of the vote. This entitles the Libertarian Party of Indiana to four years of automatic ballot access, but not primary elections. Their candidates are selected at a closed convention for their membership. It is funded by convention attendees. A Hoosier voter will not find a Libertarian option on Primary Day. No other political party in Indiana has achieved ballot access or primary access.

Libertarians define their candidate selectors through convention delegates. Republicans and Democrats do it through election code. So when selecting a ballot tomorrow, a voter should pull a party ballot if:

A voter may vote at a primary election:
(1) if the voter, at the last general election, voted for a majority of the regular nominees of the political party holding the primary election; or
(2) if the voter did not vote at the last general election, but intends to vote at the next general election for a majority of the regular nominees of the political party holding the primary election;
as long as the voter was registered as a voter at the last general election or has registered since then.
http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/incode/3/10/1/3-10-1-6#sthash.WirvBzvl.dpuf

One could make the argument that knowingly pulling another party’s ballot falsely, as in Operation Chaos, could be considered a criminal act. Can it be a crime if no one is ever arrested or prosecuted for it?

There can be ramifications. Many “Operation Chaos” voters tried to run for leadership or precinct committeeman spots in 2012 and were ineligible because the law and parties considered them Democrats besides having a long record of voting as a Republican. Why?

Hoosiers don’t have party registration in Indiana. They register to vote, but not for a party. In the eyes of a political party and their candidates, one is a registered Republican or Democrat if they pull their ballot. Who they vote for is private, but what ballot is pulled on Primary Day is not. If a person votes in a party primary they should expect to receive party mailers! This information can be used against a candidate for inter-party or public office as a sign of lackluster party loyalty.

The Republicans and Democrats have crafted a huge data advantage using taxpayer funds to help keep their control of the political process. Combined with gerrymandering and straight-ticket voting, Indiana remains a two-party state with this ability to identify supporters.

Political data companies and campaigns take this data and resell it. Campaigns, special interest groups, and parties look at hard, soft, or independent voters when canvassing. If a person pulls a Republican ballot in every primary faithfully, they are considered a “hard R.” If a person pulls an R ballot occasionally, then they are a soft R. A person can switch parties.

As a former Libertarian Party of Indiana official, I haven’t selected a party ballot since 2008. I pulled an R ballot that year to vote for Ron Paul. I had voted in all three primaries and was considered a “hard R.” Since then, I’ve skipped Primary Day. I went once in the last 8 years to vote against a ballot measure and pulled a nonpartisan ballot.

 

Should a person vote in their primary? It depends on their principles, partisan beliefs, and  passion for or against a candidate. Or don’t vote. There is nothing wrong with skipping a primary.

A Different Libertarian Experience at A Trump Rally

(Be sure to check out Greg Lenz’s impressions here.)

As anyone listening to the podcast knows, I’ve been very critical of Donald J. Trump. I find him boisterous to the point of banality. He’s a master marketer with no real product to sell.

But I’m a fair-minded person. In 2007 and 2008, I saw many of the POTUS candidates when Indiana mattered as it does once again. My impressions about candidates, their supporters, and the state of the race were often shaped or changed by seeing their rallies. When you visit a rally as a member of the media, you see a different side of the campaigns.

First and foremost, you’re in direct contact with staffers of the campaign. I was once told that if you walk into a restaurant and see a disorganized or dirty server, then there is a problem. It is the same with a media staff. Trump’s team was moderately organized. Assigning passes seemed liberal if we got a set. It was an easy process, as was check in. There were staffers around, I think. Normally they are a little more visible in case of questions, especially when it is a campaign’s first stop in a place.

The Crowd

A Trump fan waves off the media in disgust.

A Trump fan waves off the media in disgust.

The demographics of the room surprised me. My previous notion of a Trump supporter was a low-education, poor, Baby Boomer with dirty clothes and a southern accent. While a few folks fit that description, it was mostly Generation X and Millennial, 60% white-collar, 70% male to 30% female, and 98% white.

They were far less nazilike and blood-thirsty than advertised. The crowd was a very happy, gentle, and calm crowd. They had the demeanor of a comedy club crowd than a Nazi rally. But this is Indiana. None of this should surprise a native Hoosier. For what it is worth, the reporters in the pit said this crowd was far more docile than other locations. While kicking a protester out, Trump remarked that it was a very polite crowd. “You say get out, and they get out.”

The crowd did have it out for the media. It wasn’t hostile. It was more humorous jabbing from the crowd and candidate.

The Candidate

Honestly, I was bored. I was expecting a far more exciting experience from the political P.T. Barnum. The speech was long, stream of consciousness, lacking in anything I’ve not heard before. Michael Savage once described his own style of radio as the quirky Uncle.  You are very excited to see him, but after ten minutes, you’re ready for him to go. Trump was that way. He basically said a lot of things, and I don’t remember them.

IMG_4455

Black Lives Matter protesters speak to the media.

The Protesters

A small contingent of “Black Lives Matter” protestors were here. A few were removed. The reason I don’t remember what Trump said is because the crowd and the media were paying attention to those distractions. Trump talks over a small hum of distracting activity as his security and local police remove protesters.

This is the warning played before every speech:

The security is trigger happy. I watched the two polite girls the entire rally to see how the crowd interacted with them. They were well received. Until Trump security noticed their shirt. Their crime was wearing a T-Shirt. The group around them stood up to Trump security and said they weren’t doing anything. The protesters and their defenders were all removed for not obeying. The guy with the Tom Brady sign was far more disruptive.

To sum it up, I am glad I went. It wasn’t serious. It was not a Klan rally or Nuremberg 1934. It was pageantry. While I may have the same view of the candidate as before, I was glad to have my view changed of the average Trump supporter.

It still will not stop me from pretending to be Larry:

Arthur Brooks – A conservative’s plea: Let’s work together

Description of this TedTalk: “As president of the American Enterprise Institute, Arthur Brooks is changing the way conservatives think about poverty and opportunity. Conservatives and liberals both believe that they alone are motivated by love while their opponents are motivated by hate. How can we solve problems with so much polarization? In this talk, social scientist Arthur Brooks shares ideas for what we can each do as individuals to break the gridlock. “We might just be able to take the ghastly holy war of ideology that we’re suffering under and turn it into a competition of ideas,” he says.”