John Block: Rural America Speaks Up

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block

Now that the election is over, Democrats are trying to figure out what went wrong. Not only will they lose the White House in January, they did not get control of the Senate and gained very little in the House. Donald Trump will choose the next member of the Supreme Court. Republicans now have more state governors than in nearly 100 years.

The Democratic Party, which has been leaning more liberal, more to the left in recent years, is now trying to figure out where to go from here.

For a number of years, they have ignored rural America. With the help of the biased mainstream media, they put down and degraded the hard-working citizens because a lot of them did not have a college education. They weren’t smart enough. Just a "basket of deplorables."

Rural and small town America didn’t take that lying down. They got up and voted. Even back in August, a Farm Futures poll had Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton by 73% to 10%. The Hillary Team didn’t care. Don’t pay any attention to those rednecks. We will get the big city vote.

Now, we see Donald Trump organizing his leadership team. I am very happy that Vice President-Elect Pence will lead the Transition Team as they line up possible choices for Cabinet positions. Pence is from Indiana. He also served in the Congress for 12 years and knows how government works. He knows agriculture too, and we like that.

Trump has made clear a number of his priorities. He will work with Democrats where they have common objectives. Democrats will try to block him if they don’t agree. That’s fine, but we don’t need Congressional gridlock. Republicans have the power to get some things done – such as tax reform and infrastructure. We need to work on our roads and bridges and, especially, locks and dams on our rivers. Our ports need to be upgraded to accommodate the new, bigger ships. Infrastructure improvement is vital for agriculture to move our products, and it will create jobs.

Trump will trash a lot of Obama’s overreach regulations. He won’t need legislation to do that. I am so proud of American agriculture and the role we played in this election.

I compliment President Obama and Hillary Clinton for their gracious response to Donald Trump in his victory. I can’t say as much for those leading violent protests, looting stores and smashing windows.

We have more certainty now, the stock market is going up, and, with Trump – the dealmaker in charge – maybe we can get something done.

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, visit johnblockreports.com.

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