A supreme irony.

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AP Photo - Nam Y. Huh

AP Photo – Nam Y. Huh

Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 4/1/16

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Forgive me if the theme of this piece seems like a continuation of our piece from March 17. In more ways than one, it is.

But the irony of what is now on display on the Republican side of the presidential race is simply too much ignore.

Much continues to said and written regarding the unexpected and, until only just recently, apparently unstoppable rise of Donald Trump. Pundits cite voter “frustration” and “anger” toward Republican Party elites. There is truth in those citations.

Republican leaders, to the eyes of many, have forgotten who mobilized in order to help win back the House of Representatives in 2010 and the Senate in 2014. That memory lapse led to House speaker John Boehner being hounded from office late last year.

Middle class voters – people who live in what is derisively called “flyover country” – are fed up with wealthy elites. They see Republican bluebloods differing only slightly from Democrat bluebloods. Both groups are populated by the hyper-educated and the well-connected. Both groups are getting seriously rich practicing politics as usual. Both groups seem more than content for things to continue the way they are.

But not so the people who actually keep the country running. They’re not content at all. In fact, they’ve never been more restless. The welders and truck drivers and dry cleaners and plumbers and carpenters and air conditioning contractors and car wash owners and independent retailers and salesmen and middle managers and plant workers and, most of all, small business owners of every stripe – have been taking it in the chops now for most of a decade.

They’ve had it.

While incomes in and around Washington, D.C. keep going up, real wages for most working Americans keep going down.

Parents of kids finishing high school and college are looking into the future and seeing that their children will probably not wind up at the end of their careers as well off as their parents did. The impact on the parents of these kids is visceral. Every generation in American history has ended life better off than the previous generation. For that remarkable string to be broken is hard for many Americans to take.

The great American middle class – a cohort never seen prior to the success of the American experiment – is shrinking. For the first time ever, business deaths outnumber business births. Small businesses are shutting down faster than they’re being started. This, too, is without precedent in America.

The GOP leadership has been remarkably blind to all of this. Republican leaders have assumed that the middle class vote is firmly in the bag and that listening to some carping and bitching from that quarter is just par for the course. No big deal.

Thus they get blindsided by a Donald Trump – a wealthy guy from Manhattan who plays golf and jet sets all over the world and goes to all of the best cocktail and dinner parties. In other words, the last guy on Earth you would think could connect so solidly with the middle class.

As we said at the outset, the irony is just too rich.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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6 Responses

  1. Linda E Montrose says:

    The thing about Trump is he has made and lost more money than the majority of people will ever see in several lifetimes. He knows about what it takes to run a business and if the TRUTH be known, that is all the government really is. The politicians try to make things seem hard, to make themselves look smarter. Truth is, things can be boiled down to things being right down SIMPLE if the politicians would get OUT of OUR way. Trump knows all this, it is his speciality. One that WE need at this moment in time. The government is so bloated that it is about to explode and the fault is right at the feet of BOTH parties!!! We have career politicians who only become what we want them to be at election time, the rest of the time they do as THEY please in order to enrich themselves. This has got to stop! We need Trumps vision for a better America, one I feel will happen if he gets in office. If you think cruz is going to pull us out of this mess, think again! Cruz will insure that hillary gets in!

  2. John Mark Lester says:

    Paul, you have hit that big nail squarely on the head. As a retired educator who taught various political science, history, and economics courses in public schools and a college, you and I are absolutely on the same page. You should consider broadcasting your current piece every day or so- – -however I know that’s not feasible, but you get my point. Now with Trump walking away from his pledge to the RNC, things ought to get very interesting in a hurry. My wife and I listen to KTBB most of the time during the day from early until around supper time, and dearly love your station. Thank you!

  3. You’ve summed it up nicely. We ARE fed up. For years now the Republican Party has been nothing more than the Democrat Party in slow motion. When, for example, Joe Barton was challenged at an Arlington Tea Party meeting about his less than 50% conservative track record when voting in congress, his answer was “You go along to get along.” The Republican Party leadership has betrayed us and we know it. And enough is enough! My preference is Ted Cruz, but I’ll take Trump with all his warts if he is the candidate, and if the Republican leadership plays games and picks a candidate other than Cruz or Trump, the shill candidate won’t see my vote. Both Cruz and Trump are hated by the establishments–Republican Pary, media, etc.–so Cruz and Trump must have something good going for them.

    Thanks for another fine rendering of our modern reality.

  4. Jeff says:

    Paul. I have to echo the the previous commenters and say you have it right here. Since moving out to East Texas a few years ago, I’ve really enjoyed hearing these little segments you do. Trouble is, I haven’t had as much opportunity here lately. It seems there are segments of the conservative community who are so immune to the possibility of accepting a truth they didn’t conceive of themselves they are ready to fall on their swords instead. Specifically I’m speaking here of the “never Trump” crowd, and even more specifically, Mark Levin and Glen Beck. Now, I’m an eclectic guy, and just generally like listening to people talk. So I’m no stranger to hearing people say things I don’t agree with. But for both of these commentators, after all their years of getting on the radio and claiming to fight for their values, to actually commit themselves not supporting their party’s nominee if that person happens to be Donald Trump? And when the Democrat candidate is assuredly going to be either Hillary Clinton or an out-right socialist? Well, not to be anti-climactic, but I haven’t been listening to 97.5 while these men are on the past couple of weeks. Don’t know if I will again, but this feels like a real break-up so far, anyway. At least Rush and Hannity are so far remaining sane.

    Thanks again.

  5. C M Solomon says:

    It is a universal truth that the test of one’s character is what it takes to stop you when fighting for a cause that you believe in. Support of Constitutional, conservative, small/limited, non-tyrannical government as a “successful business man” (or any other profession such a Senator from Texas) while being savaged by the media and the Washington establishment is a TRUE sign of character. The “successful businessmen” that are supporters and willing tools of the Washington establishment are a dime a dozen. I only trust the rare business/political executives that resist Liberalism when it is not popular to do so!

    As an example, take Hobby Lobby executives, the Greens that are not willing to bow to the Liberal agenda to run their business successfully. I am vastly more impressed with their long-term support of Conservative causes than the politically expedient Republican candidates that “talk without a track record of actions” to justify their so-called positions. I refuse to be swayed by a TALKER with NO IDEOLOGICAL basis or history of support for Conservative fundamentals, but in fact, PLAYS BOTH SIDES for his personal “business” advantage. Any Republican candidate that has no Conservative depth and that cannot persuade a citizen of the superiority of Constitutional fundamentals (due to his ignorance) to protect and foster our Liberties against “big government solutions” (that continue to wreck our nation), is not worthy of my vote.

    The “government is a business”, really? No, it is not. The Constitution created a Representative Republic. Its ONLY “business” is protecting individual and corporate LIBERTY from the ravages of routine (historical) tyrannical government – – the ultimate trend of corrupt executives/politicians (fostering favoritism) for all of societal history before 1776.

  6. C M Solomon says:

    If Conservatives during the Republican primary period can’t recognize the obvious difference between an angry candidate who wants to use the “art of the deal” to slam his Republican opponents into oblivion with false hyperbole instead of debating HIS Constitutional philosophy to restore our country and defeat Liberalism (where it has infested all of the government bureaucracy), then we have become the victims of our own self-destruction. Adults should be able to recognize the signs of a con-artist, full of self-promotion and expedient conversion to Conservatism. The vast majority of American voters as a whole give Mr. T the highest negatives of all the candidates given his foul mouth and exaggerated hatred. According to recent polls, he loses by the greatest proportion to Mrs. C as compared to the other candidates. Apparently, the average American is smarter then the fanatical followers of Mr. T. The Republican primary should be used to flush out the genuine from the faker (driven by expediency) so that we have the greatest chance to defeat the Socialist/Marxist Democrat Party in the general election.

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