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Election and Hate Crimes

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block.

There has been a lot going on in the last week.  I will focus on some of those topics.

One of the saddest happenings would be the deadly attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh by a lone anti-Semitic gunman.  Eleven were killed just because they were Jewish.  It is nothing new.  Jewish people have been persecuted going back to ancient Rome.  But it shouldn’t happen here in the U.S. today.

On top of the above, we had the angry idiot that mailed out bombs to Democrat leaders that he hated.  However, just because he loves President Trump, you can’t blame the President for such a disgraceful act.  With the mid-term election coming up next week, Democrats want to blame everything bad on Trump.  Even though the President has Jewish members in his immediate family, and in support of Israel, he moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. None of his predecessors had the guts to do that.

Something to be happy about – President Trump was a speaker at the annual Future Farmers of America Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.  No U.S. President has spoken at their convention since President H. W. Bush.  I was honored to speak to them last year.

Two years ago, we elected Donald Trump as our President.  He is different.  He has been responsible for some major actions that have made some of us happy and others angry.  I’m talking about deregulation, opening up oil drilling, oil pipelines, tax cuts, demanded our allies pay their fair share for defense, met with Kim Jong Un of North Korea – on and on.

Consumer confidence just hit an 18-year high.  The question now is whether the Trump economy and Trump Presidential actions can help carry Republicans across the election finish line.  The President’s party almost always loses a large number of seats in the mid-terms.  Just look back to Obama (2010 and 2014), Reagan (1952), Clinton (1994), and Bush (2006) – all big losses.

Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to take control of the House.  In the Senate, with Republicans holding a slim 51 to 49 lead, Democrats would only need to add 2 seats to take control.  Here is what I predict:  Republicans will actually gain seats in the Senate.  They will lose seats in the House, but will hold on to a very slim majority.

I’ll be at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters this week and then to the farm.

John Block was Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1981-1985, where he played a key role in the development of the 1985 Farm Bill.  If you would like to review his radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to

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