America’s Bloodless Coup
Will America ever become the “Greatest Nation” on Earth Again?
By; Ken Crow
Impossible Becomes Reality
Like most conservatives on election night, I was nervous. Almost mindlessly, I was flipping the television back and forth between Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC’s broadcast of the election results.
By 10:00 PM central time, I was not just nervous anymore, I had descended into a full-blown panic mode. Nearly every pundit, anchor, and analyst on all three of the networks I was viewing had begun discussing that Presidential hopeful, and Republican nominee Donald J. Trump was rapidly running out of pathways to victory. Hillary Clinton had her lead, and these guys did not or could not figure out a way that Trump was going to win this race.
At 10:05, my dear friend and political guru Ralph Wunder phones me from New York City. From the noise in the background and the volume that Ralph was speaking at, I knew almost immediately that he was at an election watch party. I could also tell that he had partaken in more than one adult beverage. Ralph was almost gleeful in his introduction.
“Hey Ken, Donald is going to win” was his opening salvo to me.
We were at the point where Trump had won the states he was supposed to win, Hillary had won her states which she was expected to win, but the “big ones” were still out. The state of Florida had yet to be called because they were still counting the Panhandle and the race was too close for the networks to put their reputation on the line. The states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio were still too close to call, and in all of these states, Hillary had leads in the polling going into election day. Yet Ralph was confident this race was over?
I should have learned long ago never to doubt “Ralph the Wunder.” He is and has been a very successful campaign manager on many Congressional and Senate races in his career. His degree in Political Science and his years served in the White House has given him the credentials to where “one had better listen, lest one be embarrassed when contradicting him.”
We chatted for about five more minutes; then he announces that he as to run, but would call back tomorrow. His parting comment was, “Congrats; Trump is our new President, you did well in helping him. Hey, Ken; trust me on this one brother, this race is over, and Trump is going to win, gotta run, bye, bye” and he hung up.
I wanted to scream into the phone, “wait, wait, how do you know?” But he was gone.
Personally speaking, I am not a chump when it comes to politics. I have been involved in many elections myself and have been a commentator for televised election results shows myself. I have commented and have been interviewed on hundreds of radio shows and newspapers from being a Tea Party leader and political wonk and blogger. Like the pundits on television, I too am trying to figure out “how Trump wins this race.” So again, what does Ralph know that I do not know?
Then the hammer dropped almost as fast as the expressions on the commentator’s faces did. Florida drops for Trump with its enormous count of 29 electoral college votes. Was the big blue wall next? Could Trump actually win the upper Mid-West and Pennsylvania?
It seemed like hours passed, but in reality, it was only a few minutes, the announcement that all Trump devotees had been waiting for, “Ohio goes to Trump.” Yes, there were now officially cracks in the wall. It is common knowledge that “no Republican” has won the White House without Ohio as that had not been done since before Franklin Roosevelt. It was the turn of the last century since a Republican had taken 1600 Pennsylvania without Ohio and tonight Trump had. Was this going to happen, was Donald Trump going to pull off the impossible?
I ask again, “How did Ralph know that Trump would win and defeat the giant blue wall?” But he did, and he called it hours before the results were announced.
When one peers at the electoral college map today, it almost appears as if the Democrat party has been destroyed. In truth, it pretty much has been dismantled. Other than Minnesota in the middle, the Democrats have been relegated to the Northeast Seaboard and the left side of the country. The GOP owns everything else.
Lest anyone think or denies the Democrats have been decimated, one only needs to look at how many elected seats nationwide, have been taken from the Dem’s since 2010? The Tea Party organized and flipped the House of Representatives, they have taken back the Senate, State Senate, State House seats and Governor’s mansions. All in total have there been over 1,200 elected seats that the Republicans and Tea Party have seized since Barack Obama’s first Mid-Term election cycle.
Trump did take Pennsylvania, Michigan (which is unheard of), Wisconsin and he even won Iowa. The final tally came in with Donald J. Trump of New York City winning more than 300 votes with 270 needed for victory. Hillary Clinton did, in fact, win the popular vote by some 3,000,000 votes. Losing the presidency while winning the popular vote has only happened a couple of times in history, but it has happened, and it did happen again.
When the victory was safely in the bag at 2:00 AM central time, I finally flipped the television off and made my way to the bedroom with a huge grin on my face.
On my way to the bedroom, I received a text from an executive I know at NewsMax. The message was short but to the point; “Ken, I wanted to thank you for getting Donald Trump elected President.” This was to be the second of three thank you messages I received with Ralph being the first. Why are these guys thanking me for being responsible for Trump’s victory?
I responded to the text with; “Oh Kevin, I didn’t play a role but thank you anyway, and I am elated as you are.” His response stunned me. “Ken had you not done what you did in Iowa and not endorsed Mr. Trump early on; he would not have had the momentum he needed to win New Hampshire and South Carolina. It would have been over early on. You are responsible for getting his campaign boat to float, so yes, you are responsible.” I went to bed with tears in my eyes. Someone had recognized the year and half of hard work, and I was walking on air. The next day, Ralph confirmed the same analysis. I cannot convey my heartfelt gratitude which I am left with. I am even more grateful to Mr. Trump for putting himself out there as he did. He could have just as easily purchased an island, built a golf course and retired. I am not so sure that is not what I would have done.
It was almost as if someone had yelled “Fire” at the Hoyt Sherman Theater on the big hill just west of downtown Des Moines, Iowa. I was sitting in my seat in the second-row center when people began clamoring to walk outside. My mother had settled in beside me, and we were ready for a full-day of political entertainment. I looked over at my mom, said “I’ll be back shortly” and all but ran to the entrance of the theater. Just as I stepped outside, I saw what appeared to be a host of Secret Service agents everywhere. Having spent as long as I have in politics, I knew there was no reason for the Secret Service to be here today. It was at that moment that three black SUV’s pulled up in front. Doors flew open, men in black and navy blue suits jumped out, and there he was.
These were not Secret Service, after all; these were Donald J. Trump’s private security detail. There had to be a dozen of them, all impeccably attired dark suites; wearing sunglasses, and all were highly trained in crowd control. Hundreds of well-wishers and celebrity followers lined the walkway as The Donald walked up the sidewalk toward the entrance to the theater.
The first thing I noticed was how polite he seemed to be. He looked totally in control of his surroundings as he shook hands while walking up to the entrance. He would stop and kiss an elderly lady on her forehead, then shake a hand or two, and he must have signed 50 autographs on his journey up the hill.
At this point, it dawned on me, “this guy is campaigning.” And campaigning he was. He had in a matter of only a day or so, learned the fine art of retail politics in Iowa.
It was late January of 2015 when this event happened in Des Moines. The rally was or maybe I should say it was more like a cattle call for all the wannabe candidates and presidential hopefull’s to come to Iowa, press the flesh with 1,500 of the top conservative operatives and supporters in the “First in the Nation” state and attempt to win their favor.
Congressman Steve King, his son Jeff and the Super-PAC organization known as Citizens United were hosting the event called “The Freedom Summit.”
The roster of speakers was a “Who’s Who” of Republican leadership. These were not just your ordinary Republicans; these were the cream of the conservative crop. And they all had their eye on the prize, which was the nomination by the Republican Party to run for President of the United States.
Most all of these speakers (err; candidates) had formed Exploratory Committee’s to begin raising money and evaluating whether their “guy or gal” had enough support actually to make an impact in the election process. Many have the desire to run, but most simply don’t have either enough name recognition, money or support base to warrant a viable campaign. A good example of this is former Governor of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty, and then there is former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
While both of the above are wonderful gentlemen, great dads, and husbands and served with distinction, neither could seem to gather enough traction to mount a serious challenge in the primary process. In fairness, I will say that back in 2012, Santorum did put on a good show and won some states, but in reality, he was a never serious threat to the eventual nominee Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
Mr. Trump finally did make it inside where he was promptly ushered to the green room to wait his turn to speak to the raucous conservatives in attendance. I did finally make it back to my seat where my mother was all a tither wondering “what” had happened. When I told her “who was here,” I honestly believe she squealed! She began hopping in her seat like a school girl at a 1967 Beatles concert. Then she asked me the $64 question, “do you think he is going to run?”
While I was standing on the porch viewing “what seemed like Royalty” walking up the sidewalk, a fellow tapped me on the shoulder and inquired if I was “Ken Crow” from the Tea Party and Crows Nest Politics. (I am well known for wearing a black cowboy hat, and I guess this is what tipped him off)
He introduced himself as Sam and as one of Mr. Trump’s Attorneys from New York City. We exchanged business cards, and he requested that I pay close attention to Mr. Trump’s message and then give him my opinion afterward. As Trump cleared the doorway, I looked at Sam and asked the same question that mother was about to ask me when I returned to my seat, “Is Trump running?” Sam grinned and said, “Oh Ken he is in, trust me, he is running!” I now had a scoop at least I had a scoop until he told me to keep it confidential. Darn it; I wished I had walked away before he had said that. This was a $1 million dollar scoop, and I couldn’t do a thing with it. What the knowledge did afford me was to be able to look at Trump’s speech differently than I otherwise would have.
First up on speaking buffet today was, of course, Congressman Steve King and the leader of Citizens United. Both wound the crowd up with plenty of red meat. They bashed the Democrats, pounded on the weak and feckless from the Republican Party and all but nuked Obamacare as nothing short of a re-engineered version of the Black Plague. Then we were off to the races, OFFICIALLY!
We heard from Ambassador John Bolton who gave us the many failures of the Obama administration when it came to dealing with ISIS and other failures on the foreign policy front. He was greeted warmly but nothing earth shattering.
The same was true for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. His speech was greeted with enthusiasm, but when he left the stage, it was almost if something was missing. I knew then; he was not going to make it very far. The same was true for Governor Mike Huckabee. Lot’s of quip’s, humor, great speaker, but you knew his time had come and passed back in 2008. Lovely guy, but the enthusiasm gap was just too wide.
Everyone around us was patiently waiting for who they thought the star of the show was going to be. Keep in mind; these are the “rightest of the right” in political terms for Iowa. These are the Tea Party devotees, the hard-core Second Amendment supporters. These are the folks that will protest an abortion clinic in -20 temperatures while the snow is blowing. These are the passionate patriots who also cost us the election back in 2012 because of their refusal to support a weak Republican in Mitt Romney. These folks want tough; they want John Wayne reincarnated as a politician!
As we made our way down the roster, we heard from Carly Fiorina (former Hewlett-Packard CEO), Governor Jim Gilmore, Senator Joni Ernst (R-Ia), Rick Santorum, Governor Rick Perry (R-Tx), Senator Mike Lee (R-Ut) and some local Iowa folks like Senator Chuck Grassley. The crowd remained warm, but still, nobody was able to truly fire this crowd up where they blew the roof off of the over 100-year-old theater.
Then came the object of everyone’s enthusiasm. As Senator Ted Cruz’s name was announced, the MC was barely able to complete his introduction before the crowd was standing and roaring their approval. I did not stand, I remained seated pondering just “what,” this crowd thought he was going to say that warranted this level of excitement?
Instinctively I knew this race was going to end up being between Senator Cruz and Donald Trump. These were the two I had been waiting for. I wanted to compare the two speeches, the two responses from the crowd and the two candidates themselves.
If one is a devoted Constitutionalist and Christian, Cruz did not disappoint. It was almost as if he was speaking with a Bible in one hand while holding the microphone in the other. Seriously, Senator Cruz invested over 20 minutes of his time delivering a revival speech. We heard parts of his Christian testimony; then we heard about the government attacking Hobby Lobby over contraception for women, and we heard about the tiff between Barack Obama and Chic-Fil-A.
Cruz gave us a blow by blow of how he had conspired with the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Houston to hold a conference and prayer session (where Ted spent over an hour on his knees praying) to ask God for divine intervention in these matters regarding Chic-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby.
For the most part, nearly the entire Cruz presentation revolved around a Christian theme and America needed to get back to the Bible.
Being a Christian myself, on some levels, I did like Ted Cruz’s message, primarily because I believe our nation is in trouble on some levels when it comes to God, the good book and our nation’s morality. On other levels, his message was very troubling because it reminded me of something you might here from the late Jim Jones or a televangelist.
Ted’s message also troubled me because, I knew that if this was the message he was going to carry around America, there was no way he was going to win. People don’t mind you expressing your faith for a moment or two, but in the end, they want to know how and what you plan on doing to restore our nation. The message also needs to be clear on;“ how and what” you plan on doing to rebuild our country.
To prove my point, Steve King came out, delivered a couple of remarks then proudly introduced Donald Trump. Trump immediately launched into a quick recitation on his resume and the great company he had built; then he landed in the middle of Obamacare and what a failure it has been. The crowd went wild!
Between his quirky little quips, exaggerated facial expressions and his no-holds-barred attacks of Barack Obama’s failures as president, he had the crowd solidly in his corner from the outset. Trump outlined his plans for rebuilding the military (this was to thunderous applause), then he blew the roof off the building when he reminded everyone that he was in the construction business, builds big beautiful buildings, and how nice of a wall he could construct if he became President.
After an afternoon of listening to speaker after speaker, it was evident; nobody could replicate the unbridled enthusiasm of Trump’s speech for the raw emotion he had elicited from the crowd. Donald Trump had tapped into 50-years of frustration. He not only attacked the Obama administration, but he attacked the weak Republicans who had allowed Obama to achieve most of his dreams of liberalism, progressivism and in some cases openly socialistic policies. Donald Trump had found the ticket to the White House; now the question was “How To Get Him Elected?”
With several speakers to go (in which none were going to be candidates), I decided to ease my way up to the spin room, snoop around and see what I could learn.
On my way around the room, I noticed that most of the press had gathered around Trump and was pretty much ignoring the other candidates. This is where I also learned something critical about campaigning. Do not hit the campaign trail without your personal hair-grooming lady and makeup person. Yes, Ambassador John Bolton has a woman that carries a makeup case and hair brush and is never over one step behind the Ambassador. As he did one interview for PBS, she restyled his hair, powdered his nose for his interview with Fox, then duplicated the process as he went over to CBS. I was amazed and actually a bit embarrassed that a man would do this.
After watching Governor Huckabee do an interview, then Rick Perry, I was invited to sit in a meeting with Governor Scott Walker. His team wanted my support, and they wanted me to meet privately with the Governor and a few more supporters. I agreed and sat for part of the meeting. After only 10 minutes or so, and having listened to the well-rehearsed dialogue, I knew Trump was my guy.
On my way back to the porch of the theater, Seth McGlaughlin from the Washington Times stopped me. His question hit me between the eyes as Seth often does with; Hey Ken, so who are you supporting and endorsing this time around? How do you think the Tea Party will receive Donald Trump? Is Donald conservative enough for the Tea Party?
My response stunned the veteran reporter. I said; I am not only going to endorse Donald Trump, but I am also going to campaign for him, put my reputation on the line for him for I feel he is the ONLY CANDIDATE who can defeat Hillary Clinton. Also; I told him that Donald Trump was the only candidate who could actually turn this nation around and save us from self-destruction.
Seth was not only stunned; Seth was speechless for a few moments. This was very un-Seth like from my history with him. After about a 15-minute interview with Seth furiously scribbling all my quotes on a pad, we parted, and I awaited tomorrow’s article to see how close he would come to what I had said.
The article did come out with a relatively close rendition of what I had told him were my reasonings for supporting the New York City business tycoon for President. I had also told him that I felt very strongly Mr. Trump would run and I am prepared to endorse him all the way.
Two days later, I did put out my endorsement, the article was carried in many publications and received tens of thousands of Facebook “LIKES” on my website.
Again; now the problem was, how do we get him elected and make him palatable to the Tea Party who viewed him as a moderate Republican at best and a conservative Democrat at worst?