Sunday, March 13, 2016

Zandar's Hometown Blues

To my everlasting shame, The Donald will be holding a rally in the city where I grew up tomorrow, and I'd like to think the people there would run him out of Hickory on a rail.  No such luck.

Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign event at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory on Monday.

Trump’s campaign on Friday requested to use the university’s P.E. Monroe Auditorium at 10 a.m. Monday, the university said in a statement on its website.

The campaign added the appearance to its website on Saturday afternoon and said doors will open at 7 a.m to Monday’s event.Tickets are available online at

“Given appropriate assurances of security, LR will honor this request,” the university said.

“LR in no way endorses this or any other candidate,” Lenoir-Rhyne President Wayne Powell said in the statement. “However, as part of our commitment to the American political process, we welcome the event and hope it will inspire people to engage in dialog about the values that are so important to our nation. We also hope it will help inspire everyone to vote.”

Sure.  Look, if I'm Trump, I couldn't think of a better North Carolina rally location than Hickory. We make furniture and fiber optic cable, because the big GE electrical transformer plant moved to Mexico 15 years ago and the textile mills went to China before that.  The Germans moved in with tool and die gears and abrasives a while back, so the city has manufacturing, but unemployment here went from under two percent during the boom years in the late 90's to 15% ten years later.  It's gotten down to 6% now but things haven't been the same since.  People remember those times and then it got tough.

And they blame Obama.

Even though it's North Carolina, the place is 85% white.  These are exactly the voters Trump wants to reach, so I can't blame him for coming here.  The big tech industries went right on past here to Charlotte or Research Triangle Park.  We made number 5 in the most miserable cities in America last year.  Hell, I saw the writing on the wall and left ten years ago. The economy here is awful. Only one in six people in the area has a college degree.

These are Trump's people.  It just depresses me to be so starkly reminded of it.  They will love him here.

And I hate it.  Zandardad says he'll be there protesting.

Stay safe, pop.

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