Donald Trump's Old-Timey Traveling Medicine Show And Bigotry Extravaganza came to Cincinnati last night, and the results were the complete opposite of the Obama rally I attended eight years ago at UC. Back then candidate Obama was offering hope and change, while last night Trump offered...not...that.
Allegations that Donald Trump inappropriately touched women are "lies, corruption and false accusations of the Crooked Hillary (Clinton) campaign and the mainstream media," Trump told thousands in Downtown Cincinnati Thursday, his second stop of the evening in Ohio.
Trump entered the swing state and left behind his angry and dark defense from earlier Thursday. Instead, he promised to focus on "real issues," accusing Clinton and political journalists of neglecting substantive discussions. Notwithstanding his controversial campaign, this Trump would not get dragged down into controversy, he implied.
At U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, he unloaded a 47-minute speech targeted at blue-collar Ohioans affected by the state's loss of industry – but not without pointing a finger at the news media and the Clinton campaign.
"They want to distract us from Wikileaks," Trump said, referencing hacks of emails from Clinton's campaign, including some that apparently speak negatively about Catholicism or raise questions about the campaign's relationship with the Justice Department. "They want to keep us from talking about the real issues,” Trump said, rattling off conservatives' top concerns, including the treatment of veterans, gun rights, Obamacare and the appointment of Supreme Court justices.
“Every day between now and the election, we’re going to be talking about our plans to make America great again," the Republican nominee said. “In 26 days, we are going to defeat the establishment, and we are going to save the United States of America."
Over and over, the crowd of thousands roared, waving a sea of red and blue Trump signs.
"Save America" from what? A low unemployment rate, moderate growth, and increasing social tolerance? I guess that kind of thing isn't cool anymore with the kids up the road at Ohio State.
Earlier Thursday, in Columbus, more than 400 college Republicans who gathered to see Trump – a majority of them young men – collectively shrugged at the allegations from multiple women who told news outlets he touched or kissed them without their consent. And 2005 his comments unearthed Friday, in which he boasted of kissing women without consent and grabbing them?
"That was 10 years ago. It was unsavory, but it was his private conversation," said Jalil Dini, 23, a Michigan native who is studying economics at Ohio State University.
Dini, like some students, hadn't heard about the allegations that broke Wednesday night. The students who were familiar with the stories, such as Columbus' Eid Al-Rabadi, a 19-year-old computer science major at Ohio State, doubted there was evidence to prove them true.
"Innocent until proven guilty," said Al-Rabadi, a native of Jordan and a U.S. citizen.
In any case, Trump and Clinton, his Democratic rival, have both done objectionable things in their pasts, said college Republicans gathered to see him in the capital of swing-state Ohio.
All people have "skeletons in their closets," said Emily Mayes, a 23-year-old from Columbus studying strategic communication at Ohio State. She and her fellow students cited Clinton's email server, the state department's role in the 2012 attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, and allegations that Clinton bullied women who accused her husband of sexual misdeeds.
“With all of these things going on, it’s about the policies and what you’re going to do for America. No one has a clean slate," Mayes said. "This election has been more focused on attacks rather than policies." She'll vote for Trump because of his ideas, she said, echoing sentiments expressed by several students.
Pretty cynical for 23. I'm sure Emily there will be very happy as a future social media director for a GOP politician when it comes to explaining to voters why they should continue to back the Republican party after the Trump garbage fire ("the biggest, most luxurious, classiest garbage fire America has ever seen!") scorches the party in November.
The reality is this however: tens of millions of Americans, our friends, neighbors, and family members, think Donald Trump will make a fantastic president and will vote accordingly. America will have to figure out how to deal with Trump voters after next month's near-guaranteed loss, because the anger, bigotry, hatred and divisiveness isn't going to magically vanish on November 9th.
Emily Mayes will still be out there voting Republican because she wants a return to the "good old days" of 1960 in 2020. And when Trump loses, they are going to be angrier than ever. That's when things are going to start getting much worse, history tells us.
Having said that, Brexit proved that election events with a 10-15% probability of happening still happen.
Vote and make sure your friends do. Run up the score, everywhere.