POLITICAL WRAP: Trump Campaign “Culture War” Strategy; A New Silent Majority?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – President Trump, at Mount Rushmore on Friday night, set the stage for a campaign increasingly focused on “culture war” issues.

“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children,” the President said.

So, is the appeal of a “culture war” campaign too narrow?

Or is there a Nixon-esque “Silent Majority,” as the President is saying, ready to show up in November?

Click above for more with our political contributor, Mary C. Curtis.

Mary C. Curtis: Russia Bounty Allegations

CHARLOTTE, NC — What did the president know?

That’s the question lawmakers want answered– after reports that U.S. intelligence found out Russians offered a bounty if Taliban terrorists killed U.S. and British troops in Afghanistan.

The white house says the president was never briefed on the plot.

Here’s WCCB political contributor Mary C. Curtis.

POLITICAL WRAP: Coronavirus Mask Mandate; Presidential Poll Numbers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The debate over a mask mandate, just one part of how the coronavirus pandemic is becoming increasingly political.

Our political contributor Mary C. Curtis has more on the recent spike in cases we’re seeing in the South, and the strategies for the presidential campaigns, as we move closer to November.

The very American Postal Service now a partisan pawn, with democracy at stake

When I was a little girl, the youngest of five children in a family with parents who made ends meet while never letting us see them sweat, the U.S. Postal Service was as welcome as Santa during the holidays. While dad was tending bar and waiting tables at parties after he signed off from his 9-to-5, mom picked up shifts at the post office, handling the packages and cards that swamped the system in December.

God bless the Postal Service, an essential piece of America’s history before it was America and included in the U.S. Constitution, which gave Congress the power “to establish post offices and post roads.” Founding father Benjamin Franklin was the first postmaster general under the Continental Congress, and a young Abraham Lincoln was appointed postmaster of New Salem, Illinois, in 1833.

Though African American postal workers experienced discrimination, they sought work and served despite routine and harsh obstacles. Well into the civil rights era, that federal job could be sustenance for African Americans locked out of corporate America. Among the postal force could be found many civil rights activists, such as John L. LeFlore, a letter carrier in Mobile, Alabama, from 1922 to 1965, and an NAACP organizer who fought for the desegregation of Mobile’s public schools and businesses and for voting and housing rights.

The post office has been a pathway to the middle class for many hardworking families of every race, and has delivered in urban centers and rural outposts without fear or favor, in snow and rain and heat and gloom of night and … you know the rest, to bring mail, medicine and more. Connections forged with letter carriers could be more personal than businesslike.

What’s not to like?

A lot, to listen to some of our country’s leaders, who seem determined to sabotage something that has been integral to the country’s development. This is at a time when the Postal Service could be crucial to the right to vote, which might explain one reason for the controversy — the No. 1 reason, perhaps.

Mary C. Curtis: Trump Holds Rally in Arizona Amid Surge in Coronavirus Cases

CHARLOTTE, NC — Fresh off a disappointing campaign rally over the weekend, President Trump spoke to a packed crowd of students at a rally in Arizona Tuesday night.

But the president’s visit didn’t come without criticism… as COVID-19 cases in Arizona are surging.

Here’s more from our WCCB political contributor Mary C. Curtis.

Will cries of justice resonate with Trump voters of faith?

For so long, the Supreme Court was the deal-maker and -breaker for white evangelicals and, to a lesser extent, white Catholics and their unshakable partnership with the Republican Party. The GOP knew it in ways the Democratic Party never did, to its peril come election time. In 2016, with a narrow victory, President Donald Trump won the right to transform the federal judiciary and, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s help, has delivered.

But with the court’s decision this week protecting the rights of gay and transgender workers, written by Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, Trump’s prime-time appointee, some of those voters were a little shook. This would not be the only reason to wonder if Trump is losing his grip, if only a bit, on his most faithful (no pun intended) voting base.

While there is no reason to think that those guided by socially conservative beliefs will turn en masse to the Democrats and Joe Biden — better the thrice-married devil you know — a few in that group may be considering issues of life and rights in more nuanced ways. You can see it in the sometimes clumsy but also heartfelt reflections on the growing protests proclaiming “Black Lives Matter” and demanding police reform.

How open are faith leaders to the cries for justice from their flock and from “the least of these”? And if actions to eliminate inequality matter, will the Trump administration be evaluated and found wanting? Not that it would trigger a seismic shift away from a candidate and a man who is transactional in all the ways that matter. But might it initiate a conversation centered on the words of that good book Trump brandished but never bothered to open in his infamous photo op in front of St. John’s Church?

A mercurial Trump foils Charlotte’s best-laid RNC plans, probably

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time, especially for a city that wants to be world class. Charlotte would join that list of cities to have hosted both Democratic and Republican national conventions. Its hotels and restaurants and streets would be bustling. Its arena would be filled with crowds, greeting the acceptance speech of repeat GOP standard-bearer Donald Trump, guaranteed grabber of headlines (and other things, as the Access Hollywood video attests).

And the world would be watching.

Well, the world is watching, all right, as what was a somewhat grudging but eventually accommodating relationship has deteriorated into sniping and bickering, with a nasty split on the horizon.

As usual, the catalyst for the acrimony was Trump himself.

Chaos is all Trump has, as he hopes ‘law and order’ appeal will work in GOP’s favor

The Queen of Soul sang it clearly. The “Respect” Aretha Franklin was craving — yes, demanding — in that classic is still in short supply for black Americans. More protesters have been arrested than police officers involved in the death of George Floyd, the black Minneapolis man who died after now-former officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on the handcuffed man’s neck for nearly nine minutes while three fellow officers stood by or assisted.

Would there have been protests across the country and the world if Chauvin and his fellow officers had been charged immediately? There is no way to know for sure. But it is clear that the anguished reaction has been about much more than the death of one man, and has been generations in the making.

Mary C. Curtis: Pres. Trump Moving RNC From Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC — President Donald Trump says the Republican National Convention will be looking for another host for its convention in late August.

Governor Roy Cooper isn’t planning to ease social distancing guidelines for a full-scale convention.

Here’s our political contributor Mary C. Curtis with the latest on the controversy.

Mary C. Curtis: Pres. Trump Demands Answer From Cooper on RNC

CHARLOTTE, NC — President Trump says governor Roy Cooper has about a week to decide on whether the Republican National Convention can be at full capacity in August.

Gov. Cooper says he supports having the convention in North Carolina but he has to put the health and safety of citizens first.

Here’s our political contributor Mary C. Curtis.