Everywhere I go I find a pal
Peter Weinschenk, Editor, The Record-Review
What’s the deal with all of the flags?
These days, politicians can’t find enough flags to stand in front of to indicate their love of country.
It’s sort of a contest. If a Democrat stands in front of two flags, a Republican will stand in front of three. Next time, the Democrat will stand in front of four.
On Thursday, down at Mosinee, President Donald Trump gave a two-hour speech in front of 11 U.S. flags.
The President gave his remarks with all of these flags but also standing in front of a gleaming, huge, baby blue and white Air Force One.
Was this necessary? Really? Did the Trump campaign suspect we had forgotten who was president (“bring in the airplane”) and what country he was president of (“make it 10, no 11 American flags”)?
Thursday’s presidential visit was the third time I’ve seen Trump in person.
It’s always quite a show. Music at the rally plays an important part.
This time, the playlist of songs played before the rally was a bit different from years past. Gone was “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” from the Rolling Stones and “Rockin’ In the Free World” by Neil Young.
But there were some old favorites, including Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” and “We are the Champions” by Queen. There was the same Italian opera and Broadway show tunes from the past. Plenty of Elton John and Michael Jackson.
A quirky addition was “Y.M.C.A.” by the Village People. What’s odd about the song (that was played repeatedly) is that its title resonates with Trump’s signature trade deal with Mexico and Canada, the U.S.M.C.A. It’s odd for a country to name an international trade deal after a disco song, but maybe that’s how Trump rolls.
One addition to the playlist I didn’t much care for was “Favorite Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, a 1969 Vietnam War protest song. The song decries children of privilege evading the Draft.
I didn’t like hearing the song not because I don’t like the song. It is part of my teenage soundtrack. I didn’t like that Trump was playing it. Donald Trump, as has been well documented, was one of those fortunate sons. His dad, Fred, imposed on one of his renters, a podiatrist, to draft a letter to the future president’s draft board saying the 22-year old college athletic was unable to serve due to bone spurs in his heels. Trump was never drafted.
Hearing that song ticked me off.
It would not be a Trump rally without the President going after the media.
And so the President did. He decried the “fake news” and pointed to the assembled scribes, photographers and video camera people stuffed onto risers buried in an airplane hangar.
The audience, given their cue, turned, and shook their fists at all of us in a burst of hatred. I can remember one lady’s face in that angry crowd. It was full of rage, just blind rage.
I can’t say I understand that anger. It did, however, get my attention.
Contact Peter Weinschenk at pweinschenk@ tpprinting.com