To understand Donald Trump, who officially becomes the Republican presidential nominee this week, you had to know my Grandpa. You have to understand the mind-set, the way of thinking of another time and era.
Trying to decode Trump, you have to discard 21st Century perceptions and changes in talk, moral codes, thinking and what is considered politically and not politically correct.
My Grandfather, the late Reverend Luther C. Powell, could be quite the politician and deal maker, but at the same time he could be brash and irreverent with how he spoke his mind.
Many, especially women, took offense in his final years of the way he addressed people.
Even his oldest daughter and some of his grandchildren will admit there were times he came across rather uncouth.
But his heart was a million miles from the perception people had of him.
Grandpa would refer to women with such terms as slow poke and fat mama.
Often his daughter, my Mom, prior to Grandpa’s death in his 80s, would have people come up to her or call her asking that her father not be allowed to come to this function or that. Some would make broad complaints to her about what Grandpa said.
But these people did not know him.
Grandpa put women on a pedestal. He adored women. It was his way of giving out compliments or terms of endearment or joking.
He was from another age, another time.
Few knew about how, no matter how gruff he sounded at times, he could be the most diplomatic of people.
Put him in front of a church board or hashing out issues on his denomination’s state committees or national committees and Grandpa became a politician and deal maker extraordinaire.
Grandpa prided himself on being a horse and dog trader. Not only did he make deals on animals, but was up for a good swap on almost anything.
There were times, however, he would get the short end. Unlike Trump, Grandpa would joke and admit about how someone got the best of him.
Often when I hear Trump speak whatever pops into his head, it brings back memories of Grandpa. Grandpa was the same way.
But Grandpa, in his own way, would concede and apologize when his first reaction or what he spouted needed to be corrected.
Unlike Trump, Grandpa would back down.
While I am not sold on Trump, because of knowing Grandpa, Trump does not get under my skin the way he tends to do to most people.
I accept that Trump’s thinking is not based on how thinking and acceptance has evolved as we are well into the second decade of the 21st Century.
Trump is still stuck with a 20th Century brain.
People have always tended to judge the past through the eyes of present day thinking, present day morals, rather than judging taken into consideration the time in which those things happened, those words and thoughts were the norm.
Decoding Trump means to open one’s mind and look beyond the rhetoric. One has to take The Donald in his entirety, not just the reality show persona he has developed over the years.
From the Cornfield, if you knew my Grandpa Powell or had your own like-thinking, like-speaking Grandpa, you can decode Trump Speak. In many cases, you most likely are backing and will vote for Trump.
At the same time, if you knew my Grandpa or had those in your own life like Grandpa, you may be embarrassed and turned off by Trump.
Question is to whom do you turn?