In his column this week, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg recounts his visit to a Granite City, Illinois to cover President Trump’s speech at a U.S. Steel plant. And in listening to Trump speak and talking to his supporters in the plant, he came to a startling realization: “Donald Trump is a charming man, and people like him.”
“The moment of a lifetime,” one millwright told Steinberg about the opportunity to hear Trump speak in person. “Finally someone doing something for America.”
Steinberg was caught off-guard, having become accustomed to his Chicago liberal bubble, where everyone he talks to despises the president and considers him a threat to immigrants, minorities, and democracy itself. He admits that he went into Wednesday’s event thinking that America was on the verge of an uprising against President Trump and would certainly vote him out of office in a landslide come the next election. To his credit, it didn’t take Steinberg much time out of his bubble to realize that he had America pegged very, very wrong:
Before going, I felt squeamish at being in the crowd scene at a party for the man who kicked open the Pandora’s box of American fears. Almost afraid. But hearing him, I better understood his appeal. He has a vulnerable charm, at times a humanity. He pandered shamelessly to his audience.
“We need steel,” he said. “We need steel plants. And to see an old, big monster plant like this re-opening — that is an honor. I look at the faces of you people; I could be one of you. I like you guys. I could be one of you.”
That struck me as either sincere or an amazing facsimile. The workers, for their part, couldn’t give him a standing ovation because they never sat down.
I left the hall thinking: Donald Trump is going to be re-elected in 2020. The Democrats don’t have anyone who can touch him. Bank on it. Don’t hate me for being the one to tell you.
To be sure, there were plenty of eye-rolling sentiments in the column, but what else would you expect from a bleeding-heart liberal who suddenly finds himself square in the middle of enemy territory. But we have to respect Steinberg for realizing that Trump’s supporters are not stupid and they are not the hateful racists that the left often characterizes them as. They are hardworking Americans who can’t believe they finally have someone who speaks for THEM in the White House.
And yeah, he’s going to be re-elected. Bigly.