Former Indiana basketball coach Bob Knight talks about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop at Old National Events Plaza, Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Evansville, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The Music Man Arrives in Indiana

As a child, I remember watching the movie, The Music Man. My favorite song from the musical is “Gary, Indiana” sung by “Opie” (Ron Howard). It’s the story of a traveling con man who convinces an entire town to buy musical instruments. He promises to give lessons to the children, so they can form a band. But the Music Man has no plans to give any lessons. He intends to skip down after exploiting the good people of River City.

The towns folk finally figure out they are being conned and arrest the Music Man. But he is freed when the townspeople again lose their sanity at the site of their children playing (rather badly) their newly purchased instruments. They release the charlatan into the arms of a woman who fell in love with the con artist. It’s a happy ending fit for Hollywood and Broadway.

The Music Man has arrived in the form of Donald Trump. A liberal New Yorker with no national security experience and no substantive policy proposals has decided to run a reality-tv style campaign for President while masquerading as a conservative Republican.

Many Americans, fed up with eight years of disastrous liberal policies, loved the idea of a guy running for President who talked plainly and freely said things not politically correct. Finally, somebody was calling our leaders stupid (many of them fit the bill) for making bad deals with the Chinese and was willing call for the deportation of those who violated our laws. Trump said we needed to build a wall—and here was a guy who’d actually built something!

But a problem we run into with Trump is that he flies by the seat of his pants and is overconfident in his own abilities. Here’s a guy who was born on the half yard line in the red zone by inheriting over 100 million dollars. Yet he thinks he marched ninety-nine yards down the field and scored the Super Bowl winning touchdown.

He amassed more wealth by buying off politicians, dealing with the mob, bullying an elderly woman in one episode so he’d have more parking space for limos at his casino. He’s basically lived as a Corinthian morally. If Trump were to be elected President (never going to happen due to his unprecedented unfavorable ratings with women and minorities), he would have more ex-wives then every other US President combined. Let that sink in. What does that say about his judgment? His trustworthiness? His integrity?

Trump is not a brilliant businessman. His casinos crashed and burned. (How do you even do that—bankrupt a casino? But I digress.) Trump launched a massive scam with Trump University that conned thousands of students out of thousands of dollars. (The case goes to trial the day the Republican convention begins. Yay!)

I tried to make it through all of Trump’s foreign policy speech. I worked in the national security realm for seven years, so I gave it a go. I punched out about 20 minutes in. It was low energy. And Trump kept repetitively flashing “loser” and “ok” finger signs to the audience. (Watch it, you’ll see what I mean.) It was amateur hour.

Trump’s speech was a word salad of nationalistic buzz words. Let’s take, for instance, Trump’s buzz phrase “America first.” Great, I want an American first foreign policy. But what does that mean? The answer is…not much. It means whatever Trump needs it to mean. It was a third grade level speech delivered by a nearly 70 year old man. Trump is a con artist and simply out of his league.

So why do millions of people go for the con with Trump? Part of the reason is our failing education system in America along with our cultural and spiritual decay. We don’t teach skills like “critical thinking” or the vitality of “In God We Trust” much anymore. Just watch this exchange between a patient Ted Cruz and a Branch Trumpidian from earlier this week. Cruz responded logically to the woman’s question. She is emotionally attached to Trump and refuses to mentally engage with what Cruz was saying. It’s rather remarkable.

There’s now a dynamic duo in Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina telling anyone who cares to listen that Trump is trying to con the American people. Cruz and Carly are truly speaking for “we the people” and taking on the corrupt Washington Cartel that Trump has financed for decades. They have few allies, but there are some warriors rallying around them. Mike Lee gave a particularly passionate defense of Cruz’s character and integrity on the Mark Levin show. Yet Trump’s best super PAC, the drive by media, is attempting to drown Cruz and Carly out by parroting Trump’s lies.

The Apostle Paul (kind of an important guy in an important book many of us used to read and teach our children in America called the Bible) warned us about people who abandon the truth and tell us things we want to hear. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions” (2 Timothy 4:3).

My fellow Americans—we are at the point where many of our countrymen simply just want to hear what they want to hear regardless of its grounding in reality. We’ve accumulated politicians like Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton to suit our passions. We want our ears scratched. Meanwhile, they pad their bank accounts and accrue more power by stealing from us and our children.

Now the question remains is what will the people of Gary, Indiana and elsewhere across the state do on Tuesday? Will they go for the con and vainly hope for the Hollywood happy ending?

Or will they listen to a message from somebody who’s been in the arena and fought valiantly against the Washington Cartel who tells them the truth? A guy, mind you, who actually wrote a book and titled it “A Time for Truth”!

Let’s all pray Hoosiers kick the Music Man to the curb on Tuesday and put their stock in Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina. The fate of the Republic may very well depend on it.

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Lucius Coverdale

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