Turkey, Thanksgiving and Trump

Thanksgiving kinda sneaked up on us. We’re still recovering from the election and most of the country stayed warm until a few days ago.

Driving to Grandma’s house will be a bargain with gas around $2 a gallon. And so will the fancy Thanksgiving dinner. The Dept. of Agriculture says the cost of feeding a family of 10 will be only $50. Thanks to scientific advances, improved efficiency and productivity, this meal is an amazing bargain, costing less than it did  30 years ago, adjusted for inflation.

Of course it could cost you three times as much if you insist on serving a fresh free-range turkey, organic mashed potatoes, gluten-free hot rolls and green beans grown without weed control chemicals.

If you decide to serve beef or pork you’ll find that’s a bargain also. Beef is so low “these old cattlemen are eating their own beef.” (1931)

A lot of farmers across the country are suffering from low prices. Dairy farmers have Got Milk alright; too much milk. Eggs are less than a dollar a dozen (unless you want free-range brown eggs for $5). Wheat, corn, soybeans and cotton are all at a low price because farmers around the world have benefited from good weather. Not all of ‘em, but enough to keep prices low. As I said back in 1931, “Wish all the farmers would move to town one year. That’s the only way I know to clear this thing up.”

Donald Trump is organizing his team. Folks on television are wondering how he will get his businesses in a “blind trust.” There’s never been a President who owned businesses in several countries as Trump does.  You have to go back almost a hundred years to find anybody comparable. Henry Ford thought about running for President and was promoted by a lot of folks, including Will Rogers. At the time, half of all the automobiles on the road were Model T Fords. If you can figure out how the biggest car company in the world could be run as a blind trust, maybe Trump’s hotels, golf courses and office buildings would be a piece of cake.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. The more turkey you eat at dinner the less hash you will be bothered with the rest of the month.” DT#92, Nov. 24, 1926

“(Thanksgiving) was started by the Pilgrims, who would give thanks every time they killed an Indian and took more of his land. As years went by and they had all his land, they changed it into a day to give thanks for the bountiful harvest when the boll-weevil and the protective tariff didn’t remove all cause for thanks.” DT #417, Nov. 23, 1927

“Thanksgiving Day. In the days of its founders they were willing to give thanks for mighty little, for mighty little was all they expected. Those old boys in the fall of the year, if they could gather in a few pumpkins, potatoes and some corn for the winter, they was in a thanking mood.” DT #2594, Nov. 28, 1934

Trump upsets Will Rogers and Clinton

My campaign strategy of going after the dissatisfied of both parties failed me. Instead of voting for Will Rogers, they voted for Donald Trump. I was counting on the write-in votes of the big block of voters who couldn’t write. Yeah, that’s a head scratcher.

Like most of America (and the world) I was prepared for Hillary Clinton to be elected Tuesday. I was anticipating a smooth and easy transition from Obama to Clinton on January 20, with minimal change in policy. But late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, the shock wave rolled slowly across the country. When the Pennsylvania vote totals finally came in at 3:00 a.m., the Clinton faithful were sent home, weeping.

They weren’t the only ones weeping. Pollsters, newspapers, TV networks and a whole slew of others absolutely guaranteed that Clinton would win. Most thought Democrats would take the Senate and come close in the House.

On college campuses across the country, especially in the Ivy League, pampered students required counseling and protected spaces to overcome their grief at losing. They have no experience at losing. No student ever gets less that a B and winless soccer teams get trophies. Grieving girls were given diaper pins to attach to their shirt so other terrified girls could identify a shoulder to cry on. This may sound like I’m blaming the students, but most of the fault belongs with overly protective parents and liberal-leaning professors.

Clinton’s supporters blame the loss on country folks who only voted for Trump because they aren’t smart enough to understand what they are giving up. I think most of those folks from rural counties, whether they live on a farm or in town would agree with my comment in 1924: “I’m just an old country boy in a big town trying to get along. I’ve been eating pretty regular, and the reason I have been is because I stayed an old country boy.”

Here’s another one from 1933: “Well, the ‘hillbillies’ beat the ‘dudes.'” (OK, this referred to a polo match, but it sure fits this election.)

While it is easy to credit the rural and other “blue collar” folks for the Trump victory, Mrs. Clinton got 5 million fewer votes than President Obama in 2012. She still won the popular vote, barely, but those five million who abandoned her were in key states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan where hard work, common sense and fossil fuels are admired, not ridiculed.

In her concession speech Secretary Clinton was gracious in defeat, and in his response Trump complimented her for her many years of tireless service to the country. Kinda like football teams that battle to the final whistle, then the players and coaches exchange handshakes and hugs, we all need to accept the result and look forward to the next “game” in 2018 and 2020.

Historic quotes from the Will Rogers campaign, 1928:

“It has been brought very forcibly to my notice that they would not let my name be placed on the ticket, and people could not make a mark after it. Of course I got a few votes from the ones who could write the name in. But my big vote was supposed to come from those who couldn’t write. I have found them to be the best Citizens in America. Give me the friendship and loyalty of the man that can’t read or write.

I am not saying yet what I will do in (the next election), but it looks like we ought to combine the Anti-Bunks with the Democrats.

I am not going to send any more thanks to my supporters, for there is enough people in this Country now trying to live on Thanks. In fact that’s about all the Farmers will have to live on for the next four years.

We went into this campaign to drive the Bunk out of politics, but our experiment, while noble in motive, was a failure. I was the only Candidate that ever promised to resign, and I guess I’m the only Candidate that ever made good on that or any other promise. Well, anyway, here is Goodbye and Good Luck, from the only cheerful Loser in the race.”