Fort Wayne, Indiana: "The yard in front of Tandra Johnson's Jefferson Boulevard law office makes her choice for president obvious. Now she's fighting back against people who don't value free speech as much as she does. (Photo by Kevin Leininger of The News-Sentinel)"..."After her Donald Trump yard signs were stolen four different times, Tandra Johnson used words, logic, and security photos and another sign to expose the vandals' hypocrisy. (Photo by Kevin Leininger of The News-Sentinel)"
"Until a couple of weeks ago I had never even touched a campaign sign," Johnson explained. "As I've watched the campaign I've been concerned about the path our country is on. I'm 62, but I have a 10-year-old grandson I love. I've been naive, thinking that all Americans love their country. But we have a faction that doesn't, and that's become more and more obvious with this (Obama) administration, which apologizes for America.
"Then here comes Trump. He's strong, wants to bring the country back, and speaks his mind." Just like Johnson, as it turns out, who went to the local Trump campaign office after it opened a couple of weeks ago and left with several signs, which were planted in her yard then quickly disappeared. As the pattern repeated itself, Johnson recorded the thievery then exposed the scoundrels on yet another sign that reads: "When I chose the 1st Amendment, you chose to vandalize my property. Want to talk about it?"
No one has taken Johnson up on her offer, but then the question was mostly rhetorical, anyway. People who want to silence opposing viewpoints or impugn the motives of those with whom they disagree are seldom willing to engage in open debate. It's much safer to spew venom anonymously over the internet, steal somebody else's property in the dead of night or create unrest from within the safe cocoon of the mob, as Trump opponents did when they forced cancellation of a rally in Chicago last month. "Those signs were there one night at 10:30, but they were gone by 2:30 a.m.," Johnson said. "After I called the police for the third time, they told me to take the signs down at night, and that's what I do. But I shouldn't have to do that. It's my expression of free speech. It's my property. We need to respect each other's opinion, but I don't see it with the other side."
No political movement has a monopoly on skullduggery -- or virtue, either. And Johnson can't say for sure why her signs were stolen. But there's no denying that, for the moment, the impulse to silence opponents is strongest on the left -- the very people who most loudly proclaim their commitment to diversity. But when students at Emory University discovered pro-Trump messages written in chalk around the Atlanta campus last month, they didn't respond by supporting their favorite candidates: They marched to the administration building while shouting, "We are in pain! It is our duty to fight for freedom . . . we have nothing to lose but our chains." "Terrorists are teaching their children to kill. What are we teaching our kids? They can't cope. We have to have 'safe spaces' at universities. How pathetic is that?" Johnson asked. After waiting in line for six hours with grandson Brock to see Trump in Tennessee recently, Johnson said she's more convinced than ever that "The Donald" will not only win in Indiana on Tuesday and the GOP nomination but will win in November. it's Trump's willingness to be politically incorrect that has endeared him to millions of voters -- and estranged him from millions of others. Kind of like former Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight, who joined Trump at a rally in Indianapolis on Wednesday. Johnson chuckles, however, at those who try to stereotype Trump supporters as anti-woman or poorly educated. She is neither, and is convinced this election is crucial.
"We're at a tipping point. If we don't turn the country around, we won't recognize it."
You don't have to embrace Johnson's enthusiasm for Trump, who has too often behaved more like an oafish bully than a real man. Not even she likes everything Trump says. But she has as much right to support Trump as you have to support Hillary, Bernie, Ted, John or anybody else, and should not have to spy on her own front yard to safeguard signs the Constitution protects and have been bought with the blood of far too many Americans. We're better than that. Aren't we?"
"This column is the commentary of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. Email Kevin Leininger at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 461-8355."
Added: Trump has been expressing serious concern for this country for decades. Since at least 1987 he's said he's "tired of seeing the country ripped off," :54 with Oprah Winfrey, 1987.
In Nov. 1991 Trump was invited to speak before a US House of Representatives panel about the economic crisis. He said there was zero new residential construction being planned in New York City, that the construction industry was at a complete standstill, meaning a loss of many kinds of jobs that are generated by new housing. He explained that a 1986 tax law was the main cause of the problem, that the law removed incentives for private investment, that it needed to be changed. He said he believed the US was in a depression though no one wants to say it, that the stock market appeared to be doing well only because people had nowhere else to put their money, that companies themselves were having very rough times:
11/21/1991, "Donald Trump on Economic Recovery (1991)"
"The House Task Force on Urgent Fiscal Issues met on November 21, 1991 to discuss the credit shortage in the U.S. and whether it is stifling America’s economic recovery. Witnesses included financier Donald Trump and the former chairman of the FDIC, William Seidman, who testified on the current recession and proposals to spur economic growth and investment..."
Comment: I remember being stunned in 1986 when news of the law came out. It was shocking. I'd had no idea such a thing was in the works. Many construction projects were simply abandoned. That was only the beginning. By 1991 it certainly seemed like a depression, the word used by Mr. Trump. I was an experienced, commissioned advertising salesperson in New York City at that time and recall it felt like the country was dying. Everyone knew it was bad, but there was no feeling that anything could be done about it. There was no internet to speak of at the time, so there was no way for the average person who worked full time to get to the bottom of it and fight it. For the record, I didn't vote for Reagan or George Bush #1. I did vote for Bush #2 twice. Sorry to say none of them cared about this country. Reagan did in a way, could sound like he did (I've heard the audio tapes), but as soon as he named Bush his VP it was over. Reagan's administration was loaded with globalist Establishment types. Obviously, all the ripping off of this country is done by it's political class. Trump was being polite by not pinning it on them.
Also posted above, clips of Trump interviews 1980-2015: