Browsed by
Author: Matt

The world is ending and so is the NBA

The world is ending and so is the NBA

The first month of the NBA is basically in the books and everything is going just as everyone predicted. The Lakers are ahead of Portland for the 8th spot in the West. The Spurs are undefeated on the road but miserable at home. Dallas is in last place and the Bulls have not imploded yet. We all saw this coming…said no one ever.

 

The biggest dance craze is one where everyone stands still. A conservative is proposing a 2 trillion dollar bill. The UConn women basketball team looks beatable. My writing has progressively gotten worse with each piece. In the new Harry Potter spinoff flick Colin Farrell turns into Johnny Depp (spoiler) when normally Depp turns into Farrell (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.) We’re living in an apocalypse and why should this NBA season be any different? Let me give you some stats that surely prove the world is ending.

 

Myles Turner is shooting a better percentage from 3 than Jeff Teague

 

Let’s be clear. Turner is shooting 28% from deep while Teague is only shooting 25%. Still, this is not a good sign from a team that desperately needs spacing. For the sake of a colleague named Michael who shall remain nameless, I will not spend too much time busting on the Pacers. But come one Larry Legend, find a way to get some better shooting. Bring George Hill back.

 

Giannis Antewhatever is leading his team is every important statistical category

 

Okay, not every single category. The guy is literally 0.1 assists away from leading in that category too. But, we are truly looking at something special here. The Greek Freak is still a baby in terms of his development and already a force. Try stopping him around the rim and see how that goes for you. As soon as the Bucks get rid of Greg Monroe and decide to play John Henson more, they will one of the scarier teams in the East for years to come.

 

Marco Belinelli is shooting 45% from behind the arc

 

What a difference a team makes. The Italian Stallion shot 30% last year with the Kings. Many blasted MJ for sending a first rounder to Sacramento for Belinelli but let’s give props to some of MJ’s moves. MKG looks solid, Kemba is the most improved player in the league and the Hornets will be a buyer at the deadline. I’m rooting for this team and for Mr. Belinelli to keep up this career high pace.

 

Stanley Johnson is half the man he was last year

 

Remember that time during last year’s playoffs when Johnson put up a good fight against Lebron and co.? Well, Stan Van Gundy doesn’t. The former lottery pick has seen his moneys cut in half as well as his overall stats and I have no idea why. His position competition (KCP and Harris) aren’t exactly superstars. When Reggie Bullock is stealing minutes from you, something is up. I recent string of DNPs without injury says something may be up between Johnson and SVG.

 

 

Avery Bradley is leading the Cs in rebounding

 

Let that sink in for a second. Sure, the Celtics do not have prolific rebounders. Still, a 6’2 guard should not be grabbing 8 boards a game. Especially with Horford back in the lineup. What is more astonishing is that shooting guards normally don’t see this jump in rebounding ever, let alone in their 7th year in the league. AB has vaulted himself into a top ten shooting guard in the league.

 

George Hill is killin’ it

 

53% from the field. 47% from 3. A great A/T ratio of 3.2. Yes, Hill missed a few games already this year but, he is back and his pace has not slowed down. Hill’s numbers are indicative of a player who has maximized his role on his team and therefore the league. The Jazz have a ton of guys who need the ball in their hands. Hill can move off the ball, hit shots and make the right pass when asked to. If this pace continues, Hill will finally get the shine he deserves.

FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD Facebooktwitter
Matt’s Week 13 fantasy

Matt’s Week 13 fantasy

This is it. Do or die time. Week 13 determines who gets into the playoffs and who doesn’t. It determines who is going to get the scrill. It determines who might just come in last place (“DFL” among my friends and I, figure it out) and have to rollerblade downtown in short shorts. Before I let you know the ultimate high risk-high reward guys, here’s who I’m rocking with this week.

 

QB: Luck be a Lady tonight                            FLEX: Crief

RB: DJ spin that shit                                       FLEX: The better Thomas reciever

RB: James “Tony” Stark                                 TE: Ertz

WR: 88                                                            D: Honestly do not care

WR: Demore Demaryius

 

 

Some teams will be in a position in which they have to score a zillion points if they want to grab a playoff spot. In my league, we have four teams competing for three spots. The last spot will most likely come down to the season long points total. This is the risk-it-all weekend for fantasy. Let me give you some boom or bust guys who can put you over the top if they hit.

 

QB: Matt Barkley. Against a decent Tennessee defense last week, Barkley through for over 300 yards and 3 tds in his first career start. He goes up against a porous San Francisco defense at home. It will snow in Chicago tomorrow which means defenses should struggle and points will be scored. If the USC man hits, he can give you over 20 points.

 

QB To Stay Away From: Carson Wentz. The guy has not put up over 20 points in a game this year. He won’t do it tomorrow either.

 

RB: Give me some Wendell Smallwood. Ryan Mathews is out again. Spoles is simply not a workhorse back. Philly does not want Wentz to have to throw the ball too often, as he is still a rookie quarterback. Cincinnati can be run on. Look for Smallwood to get into the end zone and end up with over 70 yards too.

 

RB To Stay Away From: Lamar Miller. If you have the guy, you probably have to start him. But, everything about this game screams fantasy disappointment for him. Green Bay played inspired defense last week at Philly and return home to continue the momentum. A reeling Houston offense meets a home team who is playing good defense for the first time all season. Ew.

 

WR: That’s it, I’m all in. Marquees Wilson. Start him. Chicago is injury plagued and forced to start both Barkley and Wilson. Those two spent plenty of time together on second string and that chemistry will continue on field this week. We saw it last week as Wilson posted 8 for 125 and a touchdown on 11 targets.

 

WR To Stay Away From:  Brandon LaFell. The guy has worse hands than a broken clock. I am just not a fan of his talent. Cinci is struggling and have given up on their season. Philly will be playing for their playoff lives. Start anyone else.

 

TE: I know Arizona plays well against tight ends but start Vernon Davis. You can probably get him off waivers too. With Jordan Reed out, Davis should see around 8-10 targets and a couple in the redzone. A touchdown is a likely possibility for the vet.

 

TE To Stay Away From: Greg Olsen. Truly, consider starting someone else. Since his awesome start, Olsen has fallen off a cliff. Seattle will be amped up and ready to go for a prime time game after their embarrassing loss to Tampa Bay.

FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD Facebooktwitter
romney, etc

romney, etc

One time when I was a junior in high school I asked my World History teacher if we could watch 300 instead of taking a quiz. His response: “You’d have a better chance of seeing Jesus Christ get into a light saber fight with a dinosaur.”

For all those wondering if Mitt Romney will be our next Secretary of State, see that same quote.

Recently, Trump surrogates-turned-advisors have been all over the media besmirching Romney. Kellyanne Conway has taken to Twitter to express just how upset Trump supporters would be if PEOTUS chose Romney for the position. Newt Gingrich has done more of the same except he expressed his dissent on FOX and other outlets. This open dissent has gained steam in all major media outlets and been a trending story over the past 72 hours. This is exactly what Donald Trump wanted.

For 18 consecutive months, we saw Trump surrogates act as a parrot for the mogul. They have defended everything from gaffes making fun of the disabled to audio tapes which bragged about sexual assault. Through thick and thin they have done everything PEOTUS has asked of them. Why would they suddenly break ranks and openly trash someone their boss is considering for Secretary of State? They are doing it because Donald John Trump told them to; loyal to a fault.

For Mr. Trump, this is all about vengeance. This past March, Romney gave a now famous speech in Utah that completely bashed Trump. The former presidential candidate was a leader of the #NeverTrump movement. Every other day on Twitter we watch Donald Trump bully and taunt his naysayers. Why would Mitt Romney receive special treatment and therefore exemption from Trump’s 14 year-old teenager mentality? Some may argue that Trump is attempting to make amends with the Republican Party he spend months dogging. Well, if that were true he would not have selected appointees who are scarily similar to the crew of Jack Sparrow’s Black Pearl. For two years we watched Trump mock the GOP. He has no intentions to appoint Romney as Secretary of State in order to appease the GOP establishment. He never did.

 

If you are loyal to Trump, you receive a spot in the White House. It does not matter if you are an anti-Semitic or a proponent of placing Muslims on a national registry. Support Trump and reap the benefits. This is why we must prepare for Rudy Giuliani to be our Secretary of State. The writing has been on the wall ever since Trump hired a White Nationalist to be his senior adviser.

 

But it is not good enough for Trump to simply appoint Rudy and let Romney quietly descend into the political abyss he came from. He must drag Romney through the mud first. This is why we watched Conway, Gingrich, Hannity and others spend a week reminding us of just how awful Romney is. Trump wants Romney to pay for his words. No, the plug cannot simply be pulled on Romney. Instead, Trump must let the man suffer first. Ironically, the entire country may suffer as well.

FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD Facebooktwitter
fu olberman

fu olberman

Somebody tell Keith Olbermann to pop a Benadryl and give his mouth a rest. Actually, put some mittens on that guy and keep his fingers away from the Twitter machine. I have room for only one KO in my life and it’s the Knockout babe who is constantly trying to wife me up. Okay, maybe that last sentence was a lie. But still, the only KO I want in my life is Kevin Ollie, and even he is on thin ice right now.

As a spirit animal for many radical left-wingers, Olbermann has used this campaign to catapult himself back into the public spotlight. At least, he is trying to. Is he a sportscaster talking politics? Or is he a political pundit who dabbles in sports? Find a lane Mr. Olbermann.

Actually, I will find it for you.

You simply do not have a good, clear political mind. You are a prisoner of a time period which millennials live in; a cultural generation swinging away from an older populace who desperately desires relevance. Yes, millennials do live in a microwave culture. We want what we want and we wanted it yesterday. But, we still want good content. We do not want to sacrifice solid political reporting for the poorly-produced, albeit instantaneously punditry you supply. The young audience you are trying to captivate, Mr. Olbermann, recognizes when someone warms up old Ramen Noodles and tries to pass it off as Neo-Thai infused with Peruvian spice.

Let’s look at the video Olbermann has been pushing on Twitter. As the host of a web show no one really takes seriously (GQ’s The Closer with Keith Olbermann) Olbermann has found an outlet to spew his extreme, incendiary and anti-Trump rhetoric to whoever watches. One of his weekly reports detailed an obscure section of our Constitution; Article 25 Section 4. To quickly summarize, the presidential cabinet and the VP can remove the POTUS if they deem him or her unfit to serve. The purpose of the clause is to provide an escape route for the country in the event a president suddenly undergoes circumstances that makes him or her mentally or physically unstable. Think Reagan and when he transferred the presidency to his VP for about 8 hours while he underwent surgery.

You guessed it, Olbermann is calling on the cabinet and Pence to act on this clause and remove DJT from the White House. Do I think Trump is mentally unfit to head our country and therefore the Free World? Yes. Do I think we should provoke this clause and set a dangerous precedent in the name of edgy political commentary? Hell no.
By tossing around this clip on Twitter Olbermann is demonstrating that he is just as unstable as the man he is railing against. It does not matter if Olbermann, or I, think that Trump is a mental train wreck. The two of us are not the ones who decide if a president is unfit to serve. The American public decides that issue. And just about half of all voters think the guy can do a good job in office. The ultimate irony is that Olbermann wants to remove a man he believes to be a detriment to democracy by refusing to acknowledge the voice of millions of voters. My question to Mr. Olbermann: Who died and made you the ultimate moral compass for our country?

The time for griping is over. Trump will be president by February. I disagree with him on just about every policy and I plan to have those discussions in order to express my dissent. What I will not do is wine like a child who just got his kickball stolen by the mean 5th grader. Grow up, Keith, and spend the next four years doing pushups so you can whoop that mean 5th grader’s ass four years from now. Spending the next two months crying about it won’t get you anywhere.
Oh, and while you’re at it, stop urging your hundreds and thousands of followers to destabilize our precious system of government. We can weather the next four years. Let’s not jeopardize our democracy in the meantime.

FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD Facebooktwitter
Matt’s Fantasty Football, Week 11

Matt’s Fantasty Football, Week 11

Let’s cut right to the chase. The Champ is back and in the playoff hunt. I put up a ton of points last week and am one spot out from the postseason. My line up essentially is going to remain the same every week from here on out. So, I am going to dedicate this edition to all those who have an eye towards the playoffs. Who can we pick up to assure us some postseason success and a chance at winning some cash money in your leagues?

 

 

The Ultimate Flyers

 

Last year, I won my league by picking up David Johnson, Tim Hightower and Thomas Rawls. It was the perfect storm of luckiness. It’s time to throw some names at you and hope they make a difference. Get ready for some dart throws.

 

Paul Perkins: Rashad Jennings is a good running back. Rashad Jennings is never healthy. Perks will be the man one way or another and I plan on having him on my bench when the time comes. His playoff schedule is decent, as he has two home games against Dallas and Detroit.

 

Christine Michael: The Packers will be fighting for the playoffs until their very last game, which is good for anyone who owns one of their players. Recently cut by Seattle, Michael was just claimed by Green Bay. He has always had the talent but could not put it all together for various reasons. The atrocious line in Seattle made Michael’s early season success seem like a fluke. Expect him to be the Packers starting back by week 13.

 

Ted Ginn: The Ohio State product has securely settled into Cam Newton’s third favorite target behind Benjamin and Olsen. With newfound confidence, expect Caroline to make one final playoff push and throw that ball around the field. Ginn has potential to burn anyone. At this point, he is more than a stash, play him as a flex.

 

The Guys to Trade For:

 

Eric Ebron: The tight end position summarizes all of 2016 so far. But, having a stud in your line up can make the difference. Last year, Eifert won me a handful of games. Ebron is coming into form with two big games in a row. His playoff schedule sees a couple of away games but he’s worth it. If you have an extra back or qb on your bench who is coveted, then offer him up for Ebron.

 

Todd Gurley: We have officially reached peak frustration point for Gurley owners. The guy has three touchdowns on the year and has to now work with a rookie quarterback. But, it would be unwise to think Gurley gets only 3 tds all year. Buy low on Gurley, even if you have to overpay. Two out of his three home playoff matchups are against San Francisco and Atlanta.

 

Brandon Marshall: Another guy who is gettable right now. The Jets have a gross qb situation but, whoever is under center will look for bail outs by just heaving it up to the huge receiver. His upcoming games: Indy, San Fran, Miami and New England. Those aren’t defenses I am really scared of.

 

Tyrod Taylor: Wow, what a schedule. He ends the season with home games to Pitt, Cleveland and Miami then an away game in week 17 against the porous Jets defense. T-Mobile has four rushing tds on the year and his passing game is heating up (see Seattle, Monday Night Football.) Plus, Sammy Watkins may return soon. Someone in your league has Tyrod on their bench. Give them an offer they can’t refuse.

 

Bengals D: Week 14 they are at Cleveland. Nice. Week 15 they travel to the Burg. That seems scary but remember, these teams always play each other tight. Week 16, they travel to Houston to play that excuse for a quarterback. Stash this defense and then look like a stud when the time comes.

FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD Facebooktwitter
how did this happen, pt. 2

how did this happen, pt. 2

Last week, I wrote the first of a two part piece delineating just how this election result came into fruition. Now that we know everything this election was not, it is time for us to know what it was.

___

 

While campaigning for the State Representative candidate, I had the good fortune to attend a Republican Town Committee election party. As I walked into the restaurant in which it was held, I saw some familiar faces. To be blunt, some faces I wanted to see and others I did not. I came across two women who I had worked closely with during this election. As it was becoming clearer and clearer that Trump was going to claim the presidency, these women decided it appropriate to reveal their thoughts on candidate Clinton. One of them recalled the vice presidential rumors. The following words came out of her mouth: “Could you imagine if she had picked Elizabeth Warren? Two women in the White House? Our country would go to hell!”

 

Anti-woman. Trump’s campaign ran with an anti-woman approach and it resonated amongst millions. What is even more insulting, is that the approach did not disseminate sexism through the subtleties political strategists have come to master. This was in-your-face sexism. This was Trump boasting about fat shaming women. This was Trump discrediting claims of sexual assault while simultaneously parading Bill Clinton’s accusers during press conferences; using sexually abused women as a tool to advance his agenda. This was Trump asserting that women who had undergone an abortion should be legally punished.

 

To be clear, not all Trump supporters are sexists. There is a difference between being sexist and simply not supporting women’s rights. Americans do not wake up each morning thinking, “How can I advance women’s rights today?” I am aware of that. But, a line has to be drawn somewhere and here it is: You cannot vote for a man who proudly bragged about grabbing women by their genitals and support women’s rights at the same time. Millions of voters understood that. Sadly, millions revealed on which side of the line they stand on.

 

If you are still wondering what side of the line you stand on, ask yourself one question. Would you allow your sister, niece, girlfriend or wife to be alone in a room with Donald Trump for even one  minute? And for the women out there: Would you feel safe alone in a room with our now president-elect?

 

The campaign crew I belonged to often met on a weekly, if not daily basis. One weeknight, we met in our downtown office; a place easily accessible to pedestrian traffic. There were two locals we had become familiar with. One of them was a white male in his mid thirties. He was an admitted junkie who stopped by about twice a week to ask us for money or food. We happily obliged. Occasionally, we grew annoyed with the man but only because he interrupted important meetings. Overall, he was a welcomed visitor.

 

The other local we met was a Hispanic teenager. I had gone to high school with this kid. He was once a star wide receiver but had evidently experienced some hard times. The teenager, clearly under the influence of some substance, once stopped in multiple times to ask if he could use our phone to make a call. He had been stranded by his friends and needed a ride.

 

After the first time he stopped into the headquarters, the campaign staff shared glances of disapproval. A worker went outside to accompany the kid as he borrowed his phone. As the staff member walked back inside, an elderly, white coworker asked, “Did he give you your phone back? Did he steal it?” She was as serious as this article

 

The kid asked to borrow the phone a couple more times. Each time the staff member returned to the room similar questions were asked. I recall one man telling the staff member to “check for your wallet.” Finally, the kid walked in one last time. He expressed how thankful he was for our help. Then he continued to say that he had been down on his luck and was looking for some positive outlets in his life. In the blink of an eye, multiple campaign workers got up and asked if he wanted to volunteer. You could almost see the foam coming out of their mouths as they envisioned the good press our candidate would get from enlisting a young Latino as a staff member. A few minutes ago they were assuming he would steal our valuables. They never made that assumption when the white gentlemen walked into the campaign office…

 

The most important question of this campaign is the following: Did Donald Trump refuel racist thought in our country or, did he simply reveal it?

 

Like most answers in life, this answer is neither black nor white instead, it is a thousand shades of grey. I feel comfortable enough to stop politically dancing around this issue. It is time we call the Trump campaign what it really was, an Anti-Hispanic movement. The man literally began his campaign by calling the vast majority of illegal immigrant’s thugs, criminals and drug dealers. In an interview with Jake Tapper, Trump brazenly assured Tapper that the American-born Judge Curiel could not do his job because he was “Mexican.” If you are looking for a textbook definition of racism, just reread that last sentence.

 

When illegal immigrants do not pay taxes, they are lawbreaking parasites endlessly draining American wealth while importing a culture of rape and drug abuse. When Donald Trump does not pay his taxes he is “smart.” The racism unveils more nuances as we delve further into Trumpian rhetoric. The Latino teenager who walked into my campaign headquarters was a delinquent who abused drugs. The white gentleman who walked into headquarters was down on his luck and in need of assistance; a gentle government push to allow him to reap the benefits of free enterprise.

 

According to our president-elect, and millions of his faithful advocates, Hispanics are the problem. In fact, they are such a problem that we need a physical barrier stretching hundreds of miles just to keep them out. I have witnessed that mindset firsthand.

 

“There are too many Muslims in the White House for my liking.” One of the sweetest old ladies you will ever meet randomly dropped that bombshell on me as were stuffing envelopes one Wednesday night. The statement was unprovoked. She had that thought running around in her mind and found it so important that she must tell it to me. It would not be the first time I had been left speechless during this campaign season.

 

The second time I was dumbfounded was when my sister came in to meet the candidate I was working for. My sister, an unabashed and staunch Democrat, was having a respectful and encouraging conversation with the Republican candidate. She was giving him a chance to win her over. She asked what he would do to help with the Syrian refugee crisis. The candidate’s response, “First of all, we’re not letting in enough Christians.”

 

Let’s unpack this. Syrians are being murdered everyday by Islamic extremists. We are constantly flooded with haunting images, such as the child who found nearly dead in a deluge of rubble. The candidate’s first thought: Let in more Christians. After my sister politely carried on with the conversation, she asked him to do more research on the topic. The candidate honestly remarked that he did not know too much about the crisis.

 

That is absurd. ISIS and their jihadist attempt to convert the world into devout Muslims is a mainstay on all news channels. Although ISIS is currently nearing the brink of defeat (something many papers refuse to report) stations from Fox to CNN routinely report on the related war crimes and tragedies. There is no excuse for anyone who does not know about the Syrian refugee crisis, especially one who is running for political office.

 

It is safe to assume that most conservatives have heard of the crisis. Even if they have stumbled upon it peripherally, they know that something bad is going on overseas. The millions who tuned in to the second debate heard Trump inaccurately declare that Mosul is already a lost cause and has been reduced to rubble. Make no mistake, millions of voters pledged their support for Donald Trump because of his stance on Islam.

 

The evidence of Islamophobia runs rampant throughout our culture and it in direct conflict with White America. Humor me by working through this thought process. Both white men and Islamic, Middle Eastern men have committed mass murders in America. When a white teenager engages in school shooting, we react by engaging in a dialogue about mental health and gun safety. When a Muslim shoots a night club, we react by encouraging vigilantism. Remember, the term “See something, say something” refers only to Muslims. America has yet to form a watch party which looks out for teenagers with mental health problems. Race and religion determine the way we treat law breakers and threats in America.

 

When a white person murders people or peoples, we condemn. Then, we remove the outlet used to do the killing. This means sending the person to jail or, establishing stricter gun laws. When a non-white, foreigner kills, we remove the person and condemn the culture. If that is not a definition of xenophobia, I am not sure what is. Millions showed up and voted for Trump because they feared a skin color different than their own.

 

I will end this article-turned-essay by making some last comments on the slogan “Make American Great Again.” A nostalgic reference, what time periods did this refer to? Many envisioned Trump putting our country into a time machine and bringing it back to the 1950s and 1960s. This was a wonderful time for America. Coming off a patriotic high from World War II, America experienced an economic high it desperately needed. You could be a butcher at a local deli and make enough to live a comfortable middle class life. Manufacturing jobs were abundant and life was good…

 

…except for anyone of color. Absent from this vision are non-whites. Economic success is limited and finite. There is only a certain amount of wealth to go around. Take my word for it; I have been studying this for years. Whites excel by keeping non-whites down. The 1950s and 1960s were a time when minorities and women did not have equal rights. In an America where browning is happening more and more, millions of whites (specifically white males) are feeling insecure about their place in the world. Ethno and patriarchic dominance is being challenged like never before. Many middle class whites just saw a black man become president. They were not about to let a woman become president too. For many, a vote for Trump was a vote for a status quo which no longer exists; a last ditch effort to cling on to a country destined to finally level the playing field for all ethnicities and genders.

 

 

FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD Facebooktwitter
How It Happened

How It Happened

This lengthy is Part One of a two part feature. We now know everything this campaign was not. Next piece, I focus on what it was. I will identify the major mechanisms at play which allowed for such a movement to take hold.  Featured will be the most interesting question of the entire campaign.

___

Part One: Everything This Is Not

Sometimes the only way I can make sense of things is to analyze them the way I am trained to.

My last article, a humorous retelling of an Obama story, relayed that I am an MA candidate for History with aspirations of enrolling in law school or a doctoral program. At the risk of sounding pretentious, or downright immodest, I have been taught to observe trends, events and movements through a particular lens.

 

Imagine each discipline wearing a different pair of glasses. The lens I’m currently gazing through happens to purposely be tinted by American History. I tint the glasses even more to specifically observe societal, cultural and political history in America.

 

I do not want to provide a breakdown of why half of the electorate voted for Donald Trump. Yet, I feel a duty to do so. Our path to reconciliation and therefore unity begins with one courageous step: understanding. Although it may seem so, my purpose is not to berate the millions who casted their ballot for the conservative candidate. Rather, this piece is the first step on a long path towards progression. It just so happens we must take our first step in the name of comprehension. If it makes me ostensibly look like a jerk, so be it, but remember; the monster in the closet is only scary until we swing open those closet doors and see that nothing is there. Allow me to use my skills as an amateur historian — and my experience as a field director for a Republican State Representative candidate — to delineate why many Americans voted for the most enigmatic, polarizing human being this young century has seen. In order to do so, I must tell you everything this campaign is not.

 

Yesterday evening, I stood outside of my local middle school. It was a popular polling center and I was greeting potential voters on behalf of my State Rep candidate. One man, graying into his late fifties, recognized I was campaigning on behalf of a conservative candidate. He assumed I was also a Republican (I am not) and approached me to discuss his devil reincarnated, Hillary Clinton.

 

The man told me a story about his son, a navy officer. The son’s commanding officer had been charged and sentenced for sending classified documents, akin to Mrs. Clinton’s email dilemma. The man candidly explained that he was voting for Trump because “Hillary should be behind bars too.”

 

What’s the moral of the story? This voter wanted fairness. Lady Justice must put her blindfold back on and treat everyone the same. Anti-Elitism was the heart of his message.

 

Donald Trump sold many American voters on an idea: politicians and big businessmen should not be given special treatment under the watchful eyes of the Law. He constantly paraded Clinton’s scandals (or lack thereof) as proof that a select group of wealthy individuals get to take advantage of the working man while running around Washington D.C consequence-free. “Drain the swamp,” became a memorable refrain during the last two weeks of this election. Elitism had finally grown too dangerous and must be taken care of, or else.

 

This narrative is not only dangerous enough in itself once believed, but, it is also false. The question I pose: Why now? As an aspiring historian, I could not help but to think of the several examples of egregious elitist manipulation just in the most recent elections.

 

Ronald Reagan, a celebrated actor and national figure, had violated the Boland Amendment during the famous Iran-Contra scandal. Yet, he got away clean. In span of eight years we saw two separate Bushes prove that American royalty exists by attaining office, despite the younger being objectively unqualified. Name and money bought George W. Bush a presidency and yet, many did not gripe about elitism despite it blatantly spitting in our faces.

 

We didn’t gripe when Bush pardoned Oliver North despite him being in jail for his involvement in the aforementioned Iran-Contra scandal. A third Bush had a shot at winning the GOP nomination and we still did not gripe about elitism! My friends and readers, this was not about elitism at all. We have seen both Republicans and Liberals abuse their wealth and power for decades. This was an attack on Liberalism, masked as an attack on elitism.

 

The data backs it up. Let’s look at the trends. Firstly, Liberalism has become the new dirty word. To be Liberal is to be politically correct; another dirty term. To be Liberal is to be upper middle class with a degree from a prestigious New England or Californian university. To be Liberal is to get by in life just fine without experiencing a second of the working class struggle. To be Liberal is to retain job security in a country readying to for unprecedented minority advancement. To be Liberal is to have forgotten about the only marginalized demographic not mentioned during this campaign: white middle class 50 something-year-olds.

 

This election had a remarkable shift in demographics. Democrats used to be a party for the working man; uniting union workers under a common fight for higher wages and better benefits. That demographic now belongs to Trumpian Conservatism. Trump did not label himself the “Blue Collar Billionaire” in order to attract union workers. Conversely, union workers were attracted to him, affording Trump the ability to give himself the most oxymoronic, nonsensical moniker of all time. From the gold-plated Trump signs, to the fourteen million dollars in loans, Donald Trump has proven himself to be the very definition of elitism. He self funded his campaign.

 

In the not-so-distant past, we have seen three Bushes vie for the presidency, and two be successful; the very definition of political elitism. And it is just now that millions of voters are displaying a raging protest against the Establishment? I do not buy that. Logically, you cannot disavow Clinton for elitism while supporting Donald Trump. Make no mistake: this was an attack on Liberalism disguised as something else.

 

One of the women I volunteered with decided to open up to me a few weeks ago. She is in her mid-thirties, a mother and a wife. Her occupation: piano teacher. One night, she decided to confide in me how much she owed in student loans (around $80,000.) She actually calculated how much she owed every day in interest alone. An avid Trump supporter, she justified her support because Trump would “level the playing field.” He was going to bring back fairness and equal opportunity to the regular Joe or Josephine. Again, we have another false narrative supplied by Trump supporters.

 

Hillary Clinton is the equal opportunity candidate. At least, it would appear that way. She proposed subsidizing student loans. To do this she would tax the wealthy the adequate amount, as her four percent surcharge on multimillionaires suggested. In incendiary tones she advocated for closing unjustifiable tax loopholes and for the reregulation of Wall Street giants.

 

Mr. Trump promoted just the opposite. With rhetoric as fiery as Clinton’s, he stumped for lowering the tax rate on the wealthiest Americans. Less than a decade removed from one of the greatest economic collapses of all time, Trump remarked he would deregulate Wall Street and Big Business. The Estate Tax (Death Tax), our final backstop for clever, wealthy tax evaders, will be removed with Trump in office.

 

Speaking of tax evasion…While the aforementioned woman is struggling to pay off student debt, her beloved candidate avoided paying taxes for years. Hillary Clinton, at the very least, is a beacon for gender equality. Behind numerous sexual harassment allegations and the infamous audio tape, Trump has cemented himself as the antithesis of gender equality. No, this was not an attack branching off of the previously discussed elitism. The plain fact is that one of the wealthiest, most notorious U.S business tycoons ran on the premise of transparency, honesty and fairness while simultaneously hiding his tax returns, habitually lying and operating within the “1 percent.”

 

Us Americans may be misinformed or uninformed, but we are not blind. This was not an assault on fairness and equality; it was an assault on Liberalism. For good or for bad, many Trump voters have been persuaded to believe Liberals are the cause of their recent struggles. The issues of fairness, equality and elitism were twisted, albeit adroitly, by Trump and his team to pin Democrats as the ultimate scapegoat.

 

 

FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD Facebooktwitter