Meet “Trumpkin”; the blood of Donald Trump, injected into a populist pumpkin…
At least that’s how I explained my Halloween creation to friends and family. Particularly my two nephews both under the age of ten, staring at the bizarre display in my window. As the election approached it was all I could do to distract myself from the certain result so many predicted. Perhaps it was the seasonal “Fear Fest” on AMC, or maybe the return of my favorite zombie series “The Walking Dead“. Regardless, I was preparing for the end of times, after eight years of “Hope and Change“.
It seemed even my beloved Fox News was proclaiming doom and gloom, as my 25 year career in medical device marketing seemed to be about as stable as Obamacare. Quite frankly I was losing faith in the country, our so called elected leaders, as well as the electorate. It was becoming clear that too many who call America home, viewed government as the answer rather than the cause of what was ailing the nation. Quoting my man Rush Limbaugh, “its tough to beat Santa Claus”, as nearly 43 million in the U.S. depend on food stamps or some other form of state/federal assistance. Entrepreneurism has been replaced with progressive “dependency” so it seemed.
So for eight years I prayed for relief from what has become an obvious attempt to “fundamentally transform America“. Suffocating regulations and “Executive Orders” issued by the Obama administration, the implosion of the “Affordable Care Act“, and the rise of Islamic terrorism had made the country less safe and free than perhaps anytime in history. Yet shockingly, those on the left and endorsed by the main (lame) stream media, seemed oblivious to the obvious. Hell they even continued to blame Bush for everything from the anemic economy to the rise of Isis, regardless of policies or lack thereof deep into the second term of Obama…
Flash forward to the evening of November 8, 2016 as I prayed several times that night, on my knees with tears streaming down my flushed face. Flushed from fear, and cold beer. My sister-in-law Lisa was obviously seeking divine intervention as well, as she provided a pink sticky note with a “sign with a 4 leaf clover if Trump was to win tonight”…
I had previously contemplated and implemented ideas to cope with the predicted Hillary coronation, “Operation Preparation” as I expressed to a good friend. Yet my mood was jolted by a Facebook “friend” who actually ran for congress in the state of Maine several years ago. I’d played sports with his older brother in high school and considered him somewhat of an authority of politics. He’d been bashing Trump, from his comments and behavior to the overall campaign since his nomination. I was tempted to stop “following” him, but the competitor in me said I would have my day, as would President Elect Trump.
I set the pink note with the wilting clover clinging to the paper near my Halloween Trumpkin in the bay window, surrounded by two small tea light candles. It was hard to sit and just watch the results come in, so I of course checked my social media channels. There he was on Facebook, my former politician Facebook friend Dean, screaming to all his followers, “Its over, done, the exit polls are bad for Trump, and they are never wrong”. I read and felt my heart skip a beat, as he debated with those that commented on his declaration. Operation preparation was now the only thing on my mind, as if my favorite team was down too far to make a comeback. I began to sink into depression, submission, and a realization that our country, my country, had actually been “fundamentally transformed” and those like me were now in the minority…
As I recall that night, that night that I believe is the beginning of “making America great again”, I regret two significant things;
First that I’d lost faith, that all powerful often invisible force that can truly change people and populations. It was way too early in the game, but as Lisa knocked on my door after seeing her clover and note in my window, I was discouraged. She tried to be positive, but I was giving up, or at least preparing to deal with the reality. I regret being negative and as the night unfolded it proved to be the greatest comeback in political history!
Florida was still in the balance, those that actually work for a living had not even voted yet, as the prognosticators continued to pontificate. North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, all states critical for the inside straight Trump needed to unseat the presumed next President Hillary, were still “too close to call”. I’ve been a competitive sports fan my entire life, playing and or watching with a passion. Never, ever have I ever been so absorbed in an event, yet this time not by a particular team or big game. But by a national competition for the leadership of our country that could have ramifications for years to come!
Like playing a game when you’re in the “zone”, things slow down and you often forget what you did or what your opponent tried to do. I recall Brett Hume predicting Florida, predicting the odds increasing for a Trump win by the Wall Street Journal or New York Times, it was a blur. As I ran back and forth next door to my Brothers house as the votes came in, it was and still is a dream to me. When Florida was called, I screamed out loud and paced the room. I practiced my golf swing in front of the TV as the night went on, trying not to get too excited, but not lose faith in my team as I did earlier in the evening. I had to believe that there were still enough of us who believe in America, and making it great again!
Finally, my second regret is that I simply ran out of gas. When Britt Hume quoted the slim chances for a Hillary win, and that she had to “run the table”, I went numb. Trump had won the states he needed with a few in the balance. The last thing I remember when I decided to retreat to my bedroom was a pseudo concession speech by John Podesta, but he claimed that they would make a statement tomorrow. I was stunned, satisfied yet unfilled. This was around 2am or so, and the next thing I knew it was 4:30 or so and I woke to Fox News proclaiming President Elect, Donald J. Trump! God bless America and God bless POTUS 45!
I’d missed the final shot, the last second score, the victory speech as the champion takes the podium. But in the end it really didn’t matter as my team finally won, after 8 long years of complaining, even if I missed the final play. History had been made, it was time to “Make America Great Again”!
It took a while for it all to sink in, and in fact a few days prior to the election my long time golf pal JBFree, (as his NYS license plate proclaims him to be), planned a late season tee time. We agreed that if in fact a miracle Trump win occurs, we will find a way to play to celebrate at the same course. Two days after what many call the most unprecedented Presidential election in the history of this country, we played golf again to celebrate the win for America. Neither of us expected the results, most of the media claimed it was “over, done” like my Facebook friend Dean professed. I wore my Trump hat that day and expected to be ridiculed in the club house and grill after the round. To my surprise, not a single American complained, even in the once great state of New York, where Democrats have ruled for decades. It was clear, my October trick had become a November treat, for me and all those that love what America had been, and could be again. #MAGA