On Etiquette and Other Thoughts

On the agenda for this morning: a disappointing start to President Trump’s reelection campaign, why is no one talking about South America, and two etiquette questions.

President Trump officially began the general election stretch of the campaign season with a rally in Tulsa. The Bank of Oklahoma Center has a capacity of approximately 19,000. According to the Tulsa Fire Department, there were approximately 6,200 in attendance, a huge disappointment.

I have no intention of piling on The President. There have been bad campaign events in the past and there will be more in the future. Do you remember Michael Dukakis driving the tank? How about Bob Dole’s 72 hour whirlwind tour at the close of the ’96 campaign? This event didn’t flop because it was President Trump’s event. Yes, Democrats are gleeful over what did not happen in Tulsa Saturday night, but before Joe Biden starts his Hillary march towards the Presidency, here are a few reasons for the Tulsa debacle.

Coronavirus: We’ve been told not to gather in large crowds, specifically indoor spaces. The President’s support comes from older white Americans who are most at risk of serious health problems if infected with the Coronavirus. They stayed home, not because of the fake news, but because there has been an uptick in several regions since the country began to reopen. It’s a stretch for President Trump to blame the “fake news” when most of his supporters pay no attention to the “fake news”.

Location: Oklahoma has been a Republican leaning state since 1952. President Trump won 65% of the popular vote in 2016, beating Hilary Clinton by 37%. Tulsa county, however, was one of four Oklahoma counties where President Trump failed to receive 60% of the popular vote. Could there have been a better location? That’s up for debate. The President is not very popular in suburban and urban communities, where large arenas are located. Perhaps the event would have been disappointing regardless of location.

Weariness: America is tired. The silent majority is tired. We haven’t had a day off from politics in 4 years, and if you count the 2016 election cycle, it’s been more than five years. In the normal course of American politics, the election cycle lasts for one year or less for most Americans. The election cycle is endless for political nerds. November comes, we cast our votes, elect a President, and then resume our lives for three plus years until the next cycle rolls around. The President is in the news, but we can choose to ignore the politics. That’s not been the case since 2016. Through a combination of media obsession, a confrontational President, and social media, national political drama has been in our face since before President Trump was inaugurated. We’re tired. We’re snoozing friends on Facebook because we’re tired of reading about politics. We’re just tired of the drama,and going to a large rally to hear more of the same is not what most Americans would consider as a Saturday night well spent.

Poll Numbers: The President’s poll numbers are sagging. This is not because he’s President Trump. Incumbent candidates who are facing a crisis are typically unpopular. President George H.W. Bush saw his popularity plummet right before his reelection bid. President Jimmy Carter’s popularity tanked during his reelection bid. Both of these Presidents were the polar opposite of President Trump in style and demeanor, but both were facing a crisis during their reelection bids, and both met the same fate at the ballot box in November.

This was an ignominious beginning to the President’s general election campaign, and the cause was a combination of factors. I’ve been saying for the past three years, if the economy is strong, President Trump will win in November. If the economy is weak, he’ll be a one term President. Forget the bluster and the media hype. We vote with our wallets. This 2020 election cycle may prove to be an outlier. If the Tulsa event proves to be a harbinger of the rest of the election season, then on January 20, 2021, President Biden will be delivering the speech at noon, not President Trump.

Why is no one talking about South America?

South America has been hammered by Covid19. Brazil is 2nd behind The united States in number of confirmed cases with 1,086,990. China can’t be trusted and are left out of most lists. Peru and Chile are 6th and 8th respectively with Colombia, Mexico, and Argentina all earning places in the top 25. The first article a google search pulls up is from a week ago, followed by articles from two and three weeks ago. These countries are in our backyard. Their governments are not exactly role models for stability. What happens if one or more governments are removed from office? How will that effect immigration, peace, and other factors? Will we bemoan our troubles in our own country and fail to notice the powder keg of instability brewing to our South?

What is the proper etiquette for the Mcdonald’s Drive-thru?

Our Mcdonald’s has a two lane drive-thru. When finished ordering, what is the proper etiquette for proceeding to the first window? If the car in front of you is from your lane and the car in the other lane has not finished ordering, is it proper to wait for the other car to finish ordering and then let them progress to the window in front of you? What if you’ve decided to follow the car in your lane and the car in the other lane finished ordering just as you’ve begun the turn into the merged lane? These and other questions occur when average wait time is 10 minutes. That’s not a complaint. It’s reality, and if I didn’t want to wait for 10 minutes in the drive-thru line, I shouldn’t go in the first place.

What’s the proper etiquette for Father’s Day?

A few years ago, my wife asked me what I wanted for Father’s Day. I responded, “I want to be left alone.” We had an 8 year old, a 5 year old, a 4 year old, and a 3 year old at the time. An afternoon of peace and quiet seemed blissful at the time. It was awful. My children wondered why I didn’t want to be with them on Fathers Day. They are, after all, the reason I get to celebrate Fathers Day as a father. My wife was none to happy either, since she played a small role in my becoming a father. (That’s sarcasm because I know she’s going to read this). She allowed me to learn this lesson the hard way. Fathers Day may be a day to celebrate Fathers, and it may be a day where fathers get to do what they want to do, but it is not a day to spend away from those who have shaped us as fathers. It’s a day to enjoy the only part of our lives 99.999% of us will be remembered for with those who will do the remembering.

Have a blessed day today, and if we’re doing well today, it’s better than we deserve.

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