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  • Reverend James Squire

Camping Is Trump's Best Friend

How many of you have gone camping? I don’t mean glamping which is a new adventure for the rich and famous. Glamping is when all of your needs and services are provided for you such as all the amenities that you would find in a five-star hotel, but in a tent on a platform off the ground. An oriental rug would be on the floor and a queen size bed to sleep in. Yes, you would be in some form of nature as that provides the natural component but you also would be served champagne and have your every need met by someone else. Glamping is a combination of the words glamorous and camping. But I am talking about traditional camping. I have been camping a hand full of times largely because we have close friends in Colorado who are the embodiment of the real outdoor types. However, they always approach me with fear and trembling when they want to suggest that camping is as a possible activity when we are with them. It doesn’t help that Vicki loves to camp as well. They know that my middle name is “Holiday Inn.” That’s my red line in the sand for “roughing it.”

Why am I like this? I never camped as a kid. You don’t do that in working class culture. But what bothers me the most is that you seem to take all of your time just doing those ordinary things that we do in the home. You are in nature, but you are always fighting the elements particularly when a heavy rain comes up. You haven’t lived until you camp on the open plains of Kansas which I have done with thunder and lightning so close that you can feel it and smell it. You don’t do those “civilized” things like taking time to read a book. You are always thinking about the next task that you have to do to survive! Getting a meal together can be a challenge taking too much time.

Recently, in the midst of the January 6 Committee Report, the elections in certain key states to watch showed that Trump was still in control of the Republican Party, and this was happening in the midst of body blows to his Big Lie and Big Rip Off. How can this be? The message of his corruption is not getting through to our fellow Americans. I believe that it is because too many Americans are camping, not glamping but real camping. I don’t mean camping in a literal sense. I mean that their lives are like camping where in working glass America you are all about surviving and providing for yourself and your family. The rest of us live in the world of glamping. Sure, we are in the wilderness but our needs are taken care of in a wonderful fashion.

I live in two different worlds. One is as an elite, and the other that was shaped by working class America. I am caught between camping and glamping.

I remember well what it was like to be shaped by working class America. After my father’s crippling stroke, I looked for work not as an existential venture to find myself, but to help with surviving and providing. Two of the places I worked were the Krylon Paint Factory loading skids with boxes I could barely life of gallon paint cans, and the Alan Wood Steel Company in the Coke Department. That is where we changed coal to coke that was used in the blast furnace as it burns hotter. In the steel mill I was required to work ten hours a day shifts doing a job that you would be more likely to encounter in a Russian prison camp. I ate (to keep weight on as so much was lost during the workday), worked, and slept (my muscles still feeling as though I was still at the plant, and the smell of sulfur gas, a byproduct of producing coke, was still lodged in my nostrils.) There was no time for anything else including checking out what was going on in the nation and the world.

Many Americans particularly with our current terrible economic issues have little time but to survive and provide. Politics and Trump are not a high priority in their lives. The next meal and money is! Elite America going glamping considers these folks as dumb or being taken by a grifter and liar and not what we think should change their minds.

Time plays a key role. When you study the Babylonian Captivity of the Israelites from 586 B. C to 536 B. C., you also encounter glamping. The people in Babylon could advance their civilization by developing the code of Hammurabi, our first legal code, and built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the great wonders of the world. People built Hanging Gardens because they had “free” time to do so, a symbol of advanced culture. The Flower Show is currently happening in Philadelphia. Garden Clubs are the product of the elite, the glampers, not the underserved, the campers.

I don’t like it, but I can understand why Trump still dominates the Republican Party. He is the ultimate glamper who has abused and grifted the campers who are focused on surviving and thriving. All they want to hear is, “I will help you and meet your needs to provide and survive.” However, keep in mind that the politicians particularly the lawyers who have time to go glamping aren’t worried about surviving and thriving. They are the only ones left to put Trump away on behalf of us all.

Perhaps the reason that I don’t like camping and the challenges associated with it is because I spent too much of my early formative life surviving and providing with my eyes set on doing some glamping. Glampers have time to think, reflect, and experience the top of the hierarchy of a person’s needs including responding to a nation’s political life. We are less worried about thriving and surviving which is the world of the campers and the base of the hierarchy upon which we build a life. Wait a minute! I got to make that reservation at the Holiday Inn!

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