Just the facts, ma’m

37 years ago I was in Phoenix learning how to be a member of the Alaska Parole Board, to which I’d just been appointed.  I was part owner of a couple rock and roll bars back in Anchorage called Swiftwater Bill’s and Gussie L’Amour’s, and I drove out to Scottsdale to scout out a band we might want to fly up and work for us.  I probably had a couple too many beers, and got into a little hassle with somebody in the bar.  No big deal, really.  I left before anything could happen.  In the parking lot a Scottsdale cop comes up to me, and he wants a piece of my ass.  He’s got a baton, and he’s itching to use it on me.  We’re alone, in the dark, and I kept my hands by my sides and said nothing I wasn’t asked.  The cop was disappointed he didn’t get an excuse to club me, and nothing came of it.

A lot of blacks have had the same experience, except they’re not a married 33 year old lawyer with three kids, and they handle it differently.  Those are the facts. It’s also true there are rogue cops who, unlike that cop in Scottsdale, don’t need an excuse to  beat people up.  They’re rare, but they do exist.  Blacks have a legitimate beef with a lot of cops.  But not most.  But all cops pay the price, of hatred they’re given in much of the black community.

My newest hero is the black Chief of Police of Dallas.  There’s a stand up guy.  I gather, under his leadership, the Dallas Police Department is a model.  What more can he do?  He’s calling on blacks to join the force if they want to change it.  He’s hiring.  Is there anything more that anyone can do?

Because the phrase “law and order” is perceived by some on the left as a racial dog whistle, using it is a trifle politically incorrect.  Which makes it even more effective.  And it’s a pretty hard phrase to take issue with.  Are you against law, or order, or both?  I saw a new poll with Trump to within two of Clinton.  I think there’s movement here, and in his direction.  The more violence in Cleveland, the better for Trump.  I’m glad I’m not there.  It doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.

Most people who run for President know quite a bit about the issues, and care about them.  Trump doesn’t give a fig for issues.  He’s strictly a marketing guy, and the brand he’s been marketing for over 35 years is Donald Trump.  His campaign was a display of marketing genius, something for the history books.  I am finally ready to admit that far from being stupid, Trump is, in his own way, a genius.  His grandfather, father, sister and daughter were all geniuses, or close to it.

But the Trump genius is of a special kind, and I don’t think he’s a hands on operations guy.  He hires people to do that.  I imagine that’s what he intends to do if he wins.  But he’s operating at an extreme disadvantage.  This is unfamiliar territory for him.  The Presidency is too big to delegate, and it’s a whole lot of work.  I wonder if he really wants to trade in his sumptuous lifestyle for a tough, grueling job.

I could have made a run for Governor.  My two closest political allies, Rick Halford and Robin Taylor both did.  But I didn’t want the job.  Too much damn work.  I wanted to be a U. S. Senator, where all you have to do is spout off, which I was pretty good at.

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