Person Versus Persona

Will the real Donald Trump, please, stand up?

A very popular show back in the days of my youth was “To Tell the Truth” The idea of the game show was for the celebrity panelists to figure out through a series of questions who the real person was and to eliminate the two impostors posing as that person. Quite often the panel was stumped to the delight of the audience.

During the 2016 presidential election cycle we are seeing this show once more played out. The American voters are the panelists. The contestant is one person who has blown away all semblance of politics as normal. I am speaking, of course, about Donald Trump, the current front runner in the Republican nominating process.

Recently former rival, Dr. Ben Carson, following his endorsement of Trump for the nomination, said that there were two Donald Trumps.

The one Trump is the public persona being broadcast day and night on the news networks and on the campaign trail along with the deluge of tweets on Twitter.

The other Trump is the capable businessman who will effectively govern the nation if elected president.

For a day or two there was some discussion about Carson’s statement, then it went into the dustpan of memory. This statement, however, speaks volumes and is highly important in this election.

Which Trump will show up to work in the Oval Office if he gathers the votes of the people and the Electoral College?

Will it be the brash, in-your-face, reality TV star or the more considerate, thoughtful businessman?

With the rise in popularity of reality television and the ever-expanding use of social media, The Donald became an American star.

The Donald, a character developed to play the role of a man Americans love to hate and hate to love, came to bloom with appearances with the World Wrestling Federation and later WWE.

The Donald relished poking fun of himself on Saturday Night Live. The Donald became a household name as The Boss on The Apprentice.

Prior to this and during all this time, Mr. Trump was building a successful business empire. Mr. Trump was licensing his name and his brand on golf courses, on buildings, in the hospitality industry. Mr. Trump was playing the game as laid out in laws governing expansion of his business.

Now, The Donald is brandishing his unique character to say the most outlandish and dig to the quick in such a way that people are cheering in the streets.

The Donald is clearly striking the right tone in this reality TV and social media world.

But come November, will the people be able to determine whether The Donald or Mr. Trump will take the seat of power when he takes residence in the White House?

Recently a similar legal case played out in front of our eyes. It was a case built on the idea that there is a difference between the public persona and the private person.

That case was decided by a jury who found there was a line between persona and person.

It was not Hulk Hogan, the persona, who won a judgment against the news website, Gawker, but rather the person, Terry Bollea, whose privacy had been invaded by the posting of a scurrilous sex tape.

Between now and November, American voters need to decide who is the real Donald J. Trump.

The American voters need to determine if there is a line between Trump’s persona and his person.

From the Cornfield, will the real Donald Trump, please, stand up?

If elected, who will report for duty?

The Donald or Mr. Trump?

An American Revolution

A political revolution is taking place in America.

Sorry, Bernie, you are not the catalyst of this upheaval.

Fact is the revolution is not even taking place in the party in which you are running to become president.

Fact is the party in which you are competing, the Democratic Party, has been moving your direction for decades, beginning with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in your political direction.

There is not nor is there a need for an insurrection with Democrats. If and when a revolution comes it will be to return the party to the center-left where it has been for most of its existence.

There is an American revolution going on, but it is in the Grand Ole Party. It is Republicans who are seeing their party transformed before their eyes.

The party moved to far to the right and now there is a correction. There hav been other attempts to revolt and transform the party with mostly failures, but also success.

The Dixiecrats with the lead of Strom Thurmond tried in the 1960s in reaction to the Civil Rights Era. The Dixiecrats were assimilated.

The Moral Majority, which became the Evangelical force, tried and succeeded in the 1980s. Until this election cycle, they have held the reins of power.

But now, American voters are saying, “enough” to the extremes of social conservatism when there are more pressing issues – the economy, terrorism, immigration.

The Tea Party tried, but were assimilated.

The Liberty Movement tried, but were assimilated.

Last summer along came a business tycoon, a reality TV star, worth billions. Until it was too late, the so-called “Establishment” thought his campaign to be the nominee for president from the GOP a joke.

Even the opposition and the current resident in the White House saw this brash, media-hogging celebrity as an entertainer bent on a publicity stunt. President Barack Obama, just last week, said America was not ready for an entertainer in the Oval Office.

Fact is, America has already set a precedent for a celebrity, an entertainer in the White House – Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump is upending conventional wisdom.

Donald Trump is capturing the hearts of the voters.

Donald Trump is changing before our collective eyes from a do-anything-for headlines reality star into an actual (gulp!) politician.

The Grand Ole Party is turning from being the party of “No” into a party of “Why Not?”

Fact is we are getting next to zero in the way of substantial policy blueprints.

Fact is we are not finding any substance to Trump’s ideas.

Fact is, Americans do not care.

While some state lawmakers and governors may be digging in, their constituents are moving away and turning another direction. These governors, representatives, senators may find themselves in political trouble come November unless they are willing to change and adapt to the new reality.

The conventions to select the nominees for both Democrats and Republicans are still a long way off. The election is more like an eternity away.

After only four states voting, no one can say if the revolution will succeed or fail. After only four states, no one can say what may happen.

Bernie Sanders may become the candidate of the party of Thomas Jefferson by default if Hillary Clinton is indicted.

The Establishment may congeal around Marco Rubio or John Kasich, impeding Trump’s march to Lake Erie.

From the Cornfield, what is certain at this point is that there is a political revolution in the US of A. Sides are forming and the fight is on.

The vaunted autopsy by the central committee of the GOP may have identified some of the problems with the party, but the committee did nothing to change the party.

Voters are now doing that and are cheering their general, Trump, with ticker-tape parades in community after community, state after state.

Will Trump and his troops be halted, sending The Donald into exile in Manhattan?

Will Trump’s forces lay waste to the terrain, installing him as leader of a new Grand Ole Party and claim the White House?

This is not the Whiskey Rebellion, easily put down by George Washington.

This is not your grandma’s and grandpa’s politics.

This is an American Revolution.

Is anyone in Washington DC listening?

Men, We Lost

That which we had so greatly feared has come upon us.

We knew if one day the fairer sex, the gentler souls ever united in the majority, we were doomed.

For centuries, men managed to keep women down and consider nothing more than chattel and help. Finally, women gained the right to be a person.

In the last century, we amended our most sacred document, the Constitution, to allow women power at the ballot box. But we, men, knew we could keep their power diluted by making sure that “politics” was a man thing. They would need our guidance in casting their vote.

Out of the tumultuous 1960s of free love and the zany disco age of the 1970s came women’s lib.

The beginning of the end. Today that most esteemed legal principle which has separated our great nation from all the rest has fallen.

A person is presumed innocent until found guilty by a jury of his or her peers.

There is a new law of the land.

A mere accusation of sexual impropriety is in itself a judgment of guilt.

It also disqualifies the accused from employment – whether in private or public spheres. Matters not if fact or fiction, right or wrong, committed during and under different moral standards, ethics or law, if the accuser seems credible – case closed.

Men, shut your mouths. Sit in the corner, Lick your wounds. The war is over before the battle began.

At this stage, the best men can do is to take comfort in this song and realize it is not a joke, but it is the real reality.

From the Cornfield, tear up the black book. Don’t text. Don’t call. If someone is interested, the person will let you know. Otherwise you risk an accusation of an unwelcomed advance.

A ‘Day of Infamy’

Today marks the 76th anniversary of the attack by the Japanese Imperial Navy on the US of A’s naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared the Monday after the attack:

Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

The attack on Pearl Harbor was the oomph that helped push the US into World War II on the side of the Allies. But it was not the only factor, there were many more as well.

Not only did the Japanese launch an attack at Pearl Harbor that peaceful Sunday morning, but that same day attacked Guam, Wake Island, The Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Midway.

Eventually General Douglas MacArthur would utter the immortal words, “I shall return,” as he fled The Philippines as the Japanese occupied.

Thousands of American sailors and soldiers lost their lives that sleepy morning. Battleships still lie in rest in the harbor, the watery grave for American lives lost.

In recent years, commemoration of Pearl Harbor Day has seemed to fade. Perhaps in part it can be attributed to the fact that more and more of whom Tom Brokaw called, “The Greatest Generation, die off. The memory of that tragic day begins to fade as well.

An article detailing 5 myths about Pearl Harbor at TwinCities.com from a few years ago noted:

The attack on Pearl Harbor awoke America from its isolationist slumber and bolstered its charge into the Pacific war, but it did not spur entry into the European war. That happened when Nazi Germany and fascist Italy declared war on the United States on Dec. 11, compelling Roosevelt to respond in kind – thus committing the United States to a world war.

http://twincities.com/opinion/ci_19476298

From the Cornfield, I am hoping those who read this will stop and remember those sailors and soldiers whose lives were lost.

To “The Greatest Generation“, we salute your service, your action and how you kept the world “safe for democracy.”

Homer Powell lost in World War II

They came home: Luther, Herman, Wesley Powell

Cornfield Polls: What to Do with President Trump?

For This I Am Grateful

From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield

Life – filled with its ups and downs, the level plains which lie between;

The rain without which there would be no flowers;

The valleys where strength and supplies are found to climb to the mountain tops;

Health – though fraught with issues and concerns with which I must daily battle;

Healthcare – which has resulted in finding the root cause of many of my more serious physical ailments along with a cure for the fatal infection that threatened to kill me;

Eye Care – which provides the expertise to restore my vision rather than allowing me to go blind;

Family – who bring joys and tears, but with whom I could not live without;

Sons – those offspring who carry on and outshine the man who was their sire;

Granddaughters – who are beautiful, bubbly, putting a smile on my face even in the darkest moments with a look;

Daughters-in-Law – who put up with the “Old Man” and don’t fuss too much when their husbands stay in touch;

Mom – who may not always agree with the choices, decisions I make, but is always there to support me as her son;

Dad – who often is on opposite sides from where I stand, but is still there when least expected;

The Other Halves – who have brought love and joy to my parents and been there too many times to count for me;

Siblings – who bring the tussle and tumble at times and the closeness and connectivity that none else can know;

Ex-Wives – without whom I would never have known the joy and love of my two sons;

My Ex-Partner – who put up with me through good, bad, sickness and health for over a decade;

Chooey – who provides companionship, alerts me and loves his “Daddy” unconditionally;

Real Life Acquaintances – who have shown up at my door when unexpected, but at the right moment;

Online Friends – some who have been angels in some of my direst moments over the past few years when I felt I could not carry on;

Our Nation – though battered and torn at times, though enmeshed in family feuds at times, yet still the most free and greatest light of liberty in the world today;

God – for sustaining me thus far and deciding it was not time for me to cross the divide and go home yet.

From the Cornfield, I send out my wish to one and all for a day of reflection, a time with family and friends, a day of peace, love and joy this Thanksgiving Day before the madness of shopping fever takes over, forgetting the reason for the season.

May you find no matter your situation, station in life, health or wealth, there is always something for which to be grateful.

Retro in Vogue

Retro is back in vogue. But, not necessarily in the way you may think that phraseology implies.

The retro here is for retroactive, such as when say a pay raise is retroactive back to a certain date behind us, but were not compensated at the time at the higher rate of enumeration.

Or when lawmakers have found the courts frown on attempts to make a certain crime or punishment retroactive due to the uproar from the public or their own disgust over a situation.

Lawbreakers have the protection of being tried, convicted and sentenced not on some new law or new enlightenment on a given crime based on the law and sentencing applicable at the time of the crime. To do otherwise would be unfair and violation of one’s civil rights under our Constitution.

Yet, we are seeing a rush to judgment today based on new emotions, new thinking, new intolerance or new toleration for those of fame, money or power when it comes to what is and is not acceptable behavior in dating, in relationships, in attempts to woo or otherwise engage with another in some type of sexual contact.

We thought we had hit the mother lode when Bill Cosby was arrested and sent to his fate before a jury of his peers.

How little did we know that a couple of years later, the whole country is suddenly incensed in a manner similar to the villagers rising up with torches and pitch forks to make the world “safe” from Dr. Frankenstein’s monster.

I can readily understand the desire to get a scrupulous pound of flesh for those within the decade who have been weighed and found wanting in the realm of unwelcomed sexual contact. But when we attempt to apply today’s standards to actions decades (plural) old to destroy a person on what at the time (though wrong at the time) was not activity roundly decried, is not right.

Should these, mostly men acting badly and without thought, transgressors be judged on the distant past and all the good negated and their change in thought and action ignored because now it is suicide to act in such a boorish and insensitive way?

Should the guilty be allowed to continue the good, repent for their past sins and move on?

For those who are still guilty, still transgressing, that is a different venue and the current moral standards and laws apply, no doubt about it.

Remember when Jesus and His disciples were confronted by the mob with a woman who had been caught in the throes of adultery? Jesus squat down and wrote in the sand with His finger.

When He spoke, it was soft, yet firm, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

After the crowd sheepishly melted away, Jesus was left with the woman. He asked, “Where are your accusers?”

The woman noted they were gone.

Jesus then said the immortal words, “Neither do I condemn thee…

That’s where most of us stop. But stopping there leaves out the most important part of what Jesus had to say.

The final five words were the key to forgiveness, “Go and sin no more.”

From the Cornfield, what these men did was not right, but we must temper our outrage with wisdom.

For those who have moved on, who have gone their way since their sins and crimes to “sin no more“, should be allowed to apologize, make amends and continue to be a benefit to society.

For those who continue to wallow in the mud and slop of their self-delusion and debauchery, let there be a reckoning.

Salute! ~ To Those Who Served

From the Desert with feet planted firmly in the Cornfield

Tomorrow, we stop and give thanks for all those who have served the nation in uniform, protecting the freedoms we hold so dear. Some gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in order to ensure that we have the life we so proudly proclaim.

Their sacrifice is honored with each election where not by coup, but by ordinary Americans casting a ballot and choosing those who will lead and represent them. The power and authority of those officials are transferred from one elected official to the next, from the precinct level to the highest office in the land, the Presidency, without the need for troops in the streets because of those who answered the call to duty, honor and service.

The ability to vote, the ability to choose, the ability to speak our minds, the ability to worship or not worship, the ability to write these words without fear, the ability to work, to succeed, to fail, to rise above our circumstances, all of this we owe to those men and women who fought for peace, justice and freedom.

None of our liberties came without cost and thus we owe a debt to each of our veterans and to those who still serve.

Beginning at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 with the treaty signed ending the “Great War” between the Triple Entente and the Allies, the veterans are now honored each year as Veteran’s Day, though initially Armistice Day.

On a more personal note:

Normandy Award to Luther C. Powell

In those dark days following the sneak attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, four brothers from Nashville, Brown County, Indiana lined up at the recruiting office and joined the US Navy. These four brothers went off to save the world for democracy both in the European Theater and in the Pacific.

Homer Powell lost in World War II

Three made it back home at the close of World War II. The one who didn’t return was my Uncle Homer. My grandfather and his other two brothers, Herman and Wesley, came home, but changed, never to be the same.

First Sergeant Jack L. Hollifield

My step-father, a fresh-faced kid from Sullivan County, Indiana didn’t wait to be drafted. He went to the recruiting office and signed up to be a soldier for Uncle Sam. He survived, though wounded once, three tours in Viet Nam. He remained in the US Army to retire after 20 years as an E-8 First Sergeant.

USN veteran Allen Powell

My grandfather’s only son, my uncle, later followed in his father’s footsteps and sailed off on the ocean blue with the Navy. He served around the world, then came home.

Allen's Honorable Discharge

All of these veterans within my own family are now gone, but not forgotten.

AFC Mark after USAF Basic Training

Their service made it possible for me to join the US Air Force in 1976. My time was spent at Grissom AFB, right here in the Cornfield.

It also allowed my step-brother, John Hollifield, a few years later to join the US Army. Unfortunately, we lost him in a drunk driving incident after he did his duty and was home.

US Army vet John Hollifield, victim of a DUI driver

The sacrifice of my grandfather, great-uncles and step-father also allowed all of us to still be living in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

This is why I am always appreciative of those who choose to serve in our military. This is why I always have an empathy and a connection to the families left behind to keep the home fires burning to shine the light to lead our service members home.

Each November 11th, we celebrate, not just the veterans of that long ago war that was to be the war to end all wars, but the holiday has evolved to celebrate and to show appreciation for all who have served our great nation and those who continue to serve.

From the Cornfield, veterans, I salute you and thank you!

Crunching Numbers

There is consternation in the chattering class and with the national journalists club members over the low approval number of President Donald Trump. No President in this very early stage of his term has ever had such a low approval percentage.

But does this number mean anything of substance?

The President, as a candidate, had abysmal numbers in the polls. No one, not even the Prez, actually thought he would pull off the upset. No one thought, based on his low approval number, that Queen Hillary Clinton could be prevented from assuming the throne in the Oval Office.

But – the polls did not tell the tale.

And methinks, even now, the polls do not tell the tale on whether the Prez will last or succeed this initial term in office.

The numbers should be of no surprise if we look back at the 2016 election. By nearly 3 million votes, Clinton won the popular vote.

In the Heartland, where Electoral College votes count, Clinton was sank before she could get in the boat.

Here is what happened:

About 139 million Americans, or 60.2% of the voting-eligible population, cast a ballot in November’s elections, according to data compiled by the US Elections Project. That compares with 58.6% of eligible voters who turned out in 2012, but it’s below the 62.2% who turned out to help elect President Barack Obama for the first time in 2008.

The popular vote totals:

Clinton 71 million
Trump 68 million

This was out of 139 million total ballots cast.

Trump scored big in the Heartland amassing 307 Electors. That was pushing close to 40 Electors more than the 270 needed to earn the seat in the Oval Office.

On Meet the Press today, retired distinguished NBC Anchor Tom Brokaw pointed out in a recent trip to the Heartland, he talked to Trump voters. Brokaw noted that some 99% said they would vote for Trump all over again.

In other words, ignore the polls.

It is not about likability.

It is not a beauty pageant.

It is about getting things done.

It’s about hearing someone who “talks like me.”

From the Cornfield, Trump will never get anywhere close to 50%. Let’s put that pipe dream where it belongs – stuffed away in the back of the closet.

The next Presidential Election will be here soon enough. Then we will know what America wants for another four years.

For the overwhelming majority who did not want The Donald in the presidency – sorry, elections are not about getting what you want. For now just deal and wait. The next election will come soon enough.

But remember – the Heartland matters too. It is not just about the Northeast and the West Coast.

Windfall?

Hard to believe, but Republicans in the US House of Representative rolled out a reform in the tax code along with a tax cut today.

And what boon it is for American taxpayers!

I mean how it set me heart to flutter listening to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan saying that American families would be keeping $1,129 each year in their paycheck!

Whatever can an average family not do with extra money?

We are talking here of nearly a whopping $22 per week!

I tell ya, the sky’s the limit now!

From the Cornfield, no wonder the lawmakers who drafted the bill and reform are strutting and beaming, crowing to the world about such a substantial tax cut!

What, if you are an average family of four, going to do with your big windfall?

Full Disclosure: I am not eligible for the big money. 🤣😭🤔

Politics and Me

Decided this afternoon to take the latest quiz from Pew Research to find out where I land on the political spectrum.

Here is the outcome: Core Conservative

Now take it for yourself and see where you place:

The outcome surprised me. But I was close to the middle of the general public, which more or less make me moderate. There was no moderate listing on the scale.

From the Cornfield, since you can take the quiz right here without leaving the site, comment afterwards your results.

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