Peggy Noonan Talked To Guy Who Works At A Deli And Now Donald Trump Is President
I talked to him! He's Spanish and I talked to him!
Normally she hated August, that dull end-of-summer month when the heat and humidity turned her beloved New York City into a sweltering abattoir of rancid piles of garbage and demolished dreams. When the light at the end of the tunnel was the reflection off the Freedom Tower frying pedestrians on the sidewalk. When the bartenders at her favorite saloons sweated more than the bottles.
But this August had been saved by the energy of one Donald Trump, the leading candidate to be the next nominee for president of her beloved Grand Old Party. There was something in the air this August, some non-specific stench that was more than just the garbage bags piled as high as an elephant’s eye. And with her houseboy Manuel still laid up in a Bronx hospital with a case of Legionnaires', it was up to her, Sister Peggy Noonan of the Order of the Ketamine Blackout, to sally forth into the streets, to perhaps find a Mexican or some other member of the city’s working classes, and ask him just what in the fudge was going on here.
My friend Cesar works the deli counter at my neighborhood grocery store. He is Dominican, an immigrant, early 50s, and listens most mornings to a local Hispanic radio station.
And he never slices my weekly quarter-pound of pastrami without first telling me how much he loves America.
More than half called in to say they were for Mr. Trump. Their praise, Cesar told me a few weeks ago, dumbfounded the hosts. […]
Cesar shook his head: No, you have it wrong. Immigrants, he said, don’t like illegal immigration, and they’re with Mr. Trump on anchor babies. “They are coming in from other countries to give birth to take advantage of the system. We are saying that! When you come to this country, you pledge loyalty to the country that opened the doors to help you.”
Put Cesar in a rough dress and a wig and give him a slurring Irish brogue, and it was remarkable how much he sounded like her great-aunt Mary, who of course was a noble and proper immigrant who loved America and playing by the rules in equal measure and never ever ever complained about anything, ever.
He added, “We don’t bloc vote anymore.” The idea of a “Latin vote” is “disparate,” which he said generally translates as nonsense, but which he means as “bull----.”
He finished, on the subject of Jorge Ramos: “The elite have different notions from the grass-roots working people.”
It was a lot of Cesar to put in a column, but she was just fascinated by how much this Dominican deli counterman sounded exactly like Frank Luntz trying to summarize the opinions of one of his focus groups. Really, the similarity was remarkable.
She couldn’t argue with him, though. Oh sure, she could have asked Cesar about this recent poll showing that Trump has a -51 percent approval rating among Latinos, but why ruin her good pastrami sandwich with countervailing evidence?
She sighed. Well, she could do that in a somewhat passive manner to indicate she thought the whole idea was bull----.
It is noted that a poll this week said Hispanics are very much not for Donald Trump. Gallup had 65% with an unfavorable view of him, and only 14% favorable.
I will throw in here that almost wherever I’ve been this summer, I kept meeting immigrants who are or have grown conservative—more men than women, but women too.
It is also noted that in the fall of 2012, when every poll had President Obama beating Mitt Romney pretty handily, Peggy Noonan heard there were lots of yard signs out in the heartland with “Romney for President” written on them, and decided in her gut that the polls were wrong. She and President Romney later had a good laugh about that when she slurred the story at him during one of his inaugural balls.
The elites have no faith in the people, which, actually, is new.
Lord no, it really isn’t, which is why Lee Atwater was really, really popular with Republicans when he was helping Peggy’s old flame Ronald Reagan get elected. Or we could go back to this apocryphal exchange between Adlai Stevenson and a supporter when he was losing an election to Dwight Eisenhower. Perhaps, she thought, she should read, oh, any book about a political campaign ever written.
Nah, to heck with that. She might smear mustard from her pastrami sandwich all over the pages.