Posted by Curt on 19 November, 2016 at 11:00 am. 2 comments already!


The Federalist:

I work in the former industrial heartland of America in operations management for an iconic American brand owned now by a multinational, European-headquartered company. About a year ago, we were informed that our plant and city would host the yearly operations conference and achievement awards for the division to which we belong.

Three hundred executive-level guests from all over the world, Asia, South America, and Europe would descend upon the aging brownfield facility we had turned into a state-of-the-art manufacturing showplace. I am proud of this place, and was thrilled at the news. Just five years ago, I was down in Mexico planning the logistics for the plant that was slated to replace ours by the early 2020s. Through hard work and lean methodologies, however, we rejected that fate—and with a unionized workforce.

The world was now coming to us to figure out our recipe. There was just one problem: The conference was scheduled for November 9 and 10, 2016. I begged and pleaded with my Western European colleagues and superiors, “Can’t we do this a week earlier? A month later or earlier?” I held back on the reason for my hesitation, but finally was forced to admit it, “The U.S. presidential election is scheduled for that week—and you know politics doesn’t always make for a great backdrop.” They told me the date was impossible to move, so I threw myself into the prep work.

How Europeans Helped Me Love Donald Trump

A thousand moves on the chess board have occurred since late third quarter 2015. The Democratic Party put in the fix for Hillary. The Republican Party could not offer up a candidate to best Donald Trump. My favorite, Rand Paul, bowed out way too early. As the Republican Party coalesced around Trump, I found myself at a conference in Southern Germany. I was not pleased with Trump as the choice.

“Of all the people in the United States, he was the best the Right could do?” I thought. “How can I in good conscience vote for this joker?” Around drinks one night that week, my European colleagues began to “jammer.” “What a joke—can you imagine Trump standing at a podium next to Merkel?” “Have the Americans gone mad?” “He’s an entertainer. He will ruin the USA.” “They were finally on the right track with Obama.”

I kept my mouth shut, but on that very terrace looking out on a valley in the Schwarzwald drinking a Hefeweizen, surrounded by posh European men wearing scarves in warm weather with pants tight enough to ensure they could never procreate, my mind embraced Trump. If the elite Europeans despise him so much, and especially executives that run a company that caters to providing status symbols to the elite, he must be what America needs, I thought.

My conscience no longer bothered me, even though that man is the same who has said he’s felt no need to ask God for forgiveness—a statement completely antithetical to the faith I confess.

Then Election Day Came

November arrived. Imagine a car from the 1930s fully restored, but with a modern powertrain and modern safety features. Our facility is the manufacturing equivalent to that, and we shined and spit-polished it for the industrial equivalent of the Concurs d’Elegance. We were fully prepared for the scrutiny of any executive within our company.

The buses took our visitors from the airport and hotel to the plant for pre-event tours on the day of the election. The Asians and South Americans had little to say about our vote. The Europeans could be heard whispering, “Are there any reports? Surely Hillary will win.” Later that night at the hotel bar, at least 100 Europeans were fixed to the TVs—not the hockey game I was watching, but watching the states one after another fall red.

The assembled made statements about Americans’ stupidity, our lack of sense, our ignorance, our inability to progress. I was quietly jubilant. A colleague from North Carolina slapped me on the back and said, “It’s gonna happen!” He also told the German down the bar that he was a redneck and damn proud of it.

The same self-professed redneck also asked me if we should worry about riots. I said no. Being from this area, I knew the local population in no way found Hillary riot-worthy. The coasts are nice for lightweight rioters like that. In this city, you have to get up and work at a factory in the morning. It would take something more than the political loss of a condescending bougie white Baby Boomer to cause any trouble here.

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