Gary Conkling Life Notes

Mostly whimsical reflections on life

Revelations from the Campaign Trail

Revelations from the campaign trailPresidential campaigns are meant to be revealing, we just didn’t know how revealing.

For example, we have learned some of the peccadilloes, habits and beliefs of candidates. Hillary Clinton eats a jalapeño pepper everyday, Ted Cruz is cruising without health insurance and Ben Carson thinks Joseph built the pyramids as grain silos.

Close up of jalapeno peppers sitting on wooden table

We’ve found out Bernie Sanders doesn’t mind being called a socialist, Chris Christie doesn’t really like Sonia Sotomayor or Planned Parenthood after all and Carson doesn’t like people pointing out factual errors in his autobiography.

In news we didn’t need to know, we were told Carson’s birth was aided by a hairpin, Marco Rubio was arrested as a teenager for drinking beer in a public park after it closed and Cruz, despite proclaiming he is a “Christian first,” doesn’t tithe 10 percent.

Ted CruzWe’ve also discovered Cruz is a strict constitutionalist, except when it comes to the definition of a natural-born U.S. citizen, but he doesn’t think that exception really matters.

Perhaps the biggest revelation of the presidential season has come from the Trumpster. He has revealed that the Silent Majority, conjured by Richard Nixon in 1969, isn’t a fiction. It exists today, hiding in plain sight. We missed it because members of the Silent Majority are disguised as angry mobs attending Trump rallies.

silentmajorityBig-stakes campaigns bring out a lot of dirt and occasionally some truth. We’ve heard a lot about Hillary’s private emails, the $1 million oversight on Cruz’ FEC filing and Rubio’s student debt and credit card woes.

It is manifestly true that all of the GOP presidential candidates unreservedly support the Second Amendment and apparently will do everything possible to avoid talking about the lingering armed occupation of the Malheur Federal Wildlife Refuge.

Another revealed truth, once again by Mr. Reality TV, is that political correctness is undermining American values. The Donald proves daily you will be rewarded if you say out loud what you’ve been saying in private for years, regardless who it insults or offends. Making America Great Again depends evidently on a coarse bluntness that may have made our frontier forefathers blanch, but now attracts nonstop media attention like ants to a picnic.

Still to be revealed is why Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Martin O’Malley remain in the race with polling numbers that require advanced math to calculate.

Michael BloombergA looming revelation is that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, another billionaire, may enter the presidential sweepstakes as an independent. Bloomberg, who supports gun control, stop-and-frisk and a soda ban, is exploring a run because he thinks Donald Trump is too conservative and Bernie Sanders is too liberal. Bloomberg believes he would be the “moderate” in the race.

Which brings us to the unspoken truth of New York values. Cruz says Trump exemplifies New York values, wink, wink. You know – quasi-liberal, fast-living, rich. It’s the kind of place where you go along to get along. Wait a minute, that’s how we describe values in Washington, DC where Cruz works.

Illumination is not exactly a high priority for campaigns or campaigners. Their goal is to get elected. Past mistakes, questionable judgments or unbelievable gaffes are just barriers to hurdle en route to election day.

If someone seeks true illumination, there is always Sarah Palin, who in her Iowa endorsement speech for Trump compared political correctness to a “suicide vest,” mocked President Obama as a “weak-kneed capitulator-in-chief” and accused the Republican establishment of “slurping off the gravy train.”

Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) addresses a legislative luncheon held as part of the "Road to Majority" conference in Washington June 18, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria - RTX1H57C

Speaking on behalf of the “right-winging, bitter-clinging, proud clingers of our guns,” Palin extolled:

“Looking around at all of you,  you hard-working Iowa families, you farm families, and teachers, and teamsters, and cops and cooks. You rockin’ rollers and holy rollers. All of you, who work so hard. You full-time moms. You with the hands that rock the cradle. You all make the world go round. And now our cause is one.”

Palin got it right when she said. “Heads are spinning now.” Really spinning.

 

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