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A Father. A Son. 1968. And what it has to do with the 2016 election in which many were stunned into silence.

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My father was raised on a farm in the depression. He was the youngest of six children. He watched his parents grow old at an early age; peddling their eggs, butter and cream on the town square to buy feed for the cows and chickens.

He saw banks foreclose on neighboring farms, neighbors who lost everything but the clothes on their back, homeless who wandered the dirt roads of rural America; homeless who would happily shovel cow manure for a hot meal.

President Roosevelt was my father’s hero. With Roosevelt came electricity for the farm, relief from the banks, a telephone, and after the war, tractors with rubber tires. Because of Roosevelt, the farm survived, my father became the farmer he wanted to be, and the lifelong democrat he was.

In November 1968, Richard Nixon won a very close election. And my father stopped talking. As I worked alongside him doing chores, my every question was met by an eerie stone silence, and a distant blank stare. At age 14, I watched my father go two weeks without uttering a single word as he came to terms with the verdict of the American people.

The day after last week’s election I rose early from my bed in Harlem, New York and headed to Times Square for a television interview. The subways were packed.

Normally you see school children playing music and dancing around. But not this day.

Normally you see people in animated conversation. Not this day.

Normally you see people frantically punching their cell phones, texting, answering emails, starting their workday. But not this day.

On this day, I saw a subway train, packed with people stunned into silence.

As that train rumbled along the tracks of Manhattan, the only sound heard were train wheels clacking over cold steel. The day before, Manhattan had given 87% of its vote to Hillary Clinton. Like my father in 1968, it will take time for some to come to terms with how others voted.

To the disappointed, I shall offer this. This grand experiment called America has managed to work longer than any democracy in the history of mankind. It has produced the greatest and most prosperous country the world has ever known. It has lifted more people out of poverty, and freed more from the yoke of bondage than any nation on earth. Other than life, the greatest gift we Americans have known is having been born an American. Respecting the system that produced this bounty…occasionally requires coming to terms with a verdict that disappoints.

This past year has been rich with examples of political brilliance and damnable stupidity. And rich with enduring lessons that I will be sharing over the coming weeks, about how to win an election, and survive the minefields of political combat. We’ll talk about how Bernie Sanders raised $200 million in small donations, the unfolding realignment of our political parties, and how one simple slogan grabbed the imagination of 60 million Americans.

For now, allow me to say thank you for listening, and watching, and sharing your thoughts and questions. Let us not forget that most of the world envies us for the freedom we have to speak our mind, worship our God, come and go as we please, and live the life we do.

Have questions? Hit the comment button. Or email me at Jay@JayTownsend.com. My phone number is 845-458-1210.


running for office

Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:

Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

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