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Commentary: Trump knows how to fire up crowd

Jim Shaw

FARGO — I have attended speeches delivered by every president from Gerald Ford to Barack Obama, so I felt called to attend President Trump's rally in Fargo on Wednesday, June 27. I sat in the stands with the spectators to get a better feel for the event. Thus, I say...

— Donald Trump is really good at what he does. He knows how to fire up a crowd, and get them to cheer anything he says. Some of it is basically truthful, such as his gloating over the economy, and some of it is a lie, such as his claim that construction has already started on the proposed border wall with Mexico. It was downright frightening when at Trump's urging the crowd chanted, "Lock her up!" about "Crooked" Hillary Clinton, and repeatedly booed the news media. Not exactly North Dakota nice.

Trump, of course, came to Fargo to stump for one of his lap dogs, North Dakota congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Cramer. Cramer is the man who can't differentiate between chain-link fences outside places where people go to play, and when they're used to imprison people and rip them apart from their families. At the rally, Cramer pledged to support Trump "100 percent of the time."

Our Founding Fathers envisioned members of Congress to be checks and balances on the president, not rubber stamps. Cramer may have to decide if he wants to support Trump or North Dakota farmers and businesses when it comes to tariffs.

Trump seemed to enjoy bashing Cramer's opponent, incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp for voting against tax cuts and keeping Obamacare, among other things. Trump doesn't care that the tax cuts, which primarily went to the very rich, have blown up the federal deficit, or that millions of people would have lost their health insurance. Meantime, Heitkamp might have to rethink her strategy of boasting that she votes with Trump more than half the time. Trump does not seem appreciative.

Then there was the matter of our southern border, which has become a fiasco. We can't have open borders and we can't take in many of those who want to immigrate here. However, Trump shamefully distorted the issue as all about criminals coming here. The reality is most of those at the border want to move here to escape being murdered or a life of extreme poverty. Just like why many of our ancestors came here.

I was hoping Trump would have said reuniting separated families is a top priority for him, but that didn't come up. He was a great showman in Fargo, but not a compassionate one.

— I was extremely impressed by the Parkland, Fla., students I spoke with in Moorhead on Tuesday. After surviving a horrific school massacre, they have become strong advocates for background checks and voter registration. Coming out of that tragedy, their poise and determination are inspiring.

— I can't wait to enlist in the Space Force.

Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV new director. He can be heard Fridays, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., on WDAY AM radio. Email jimshawtv@gmail.com

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