President Trump’s visit to Springfield, Missouri, at first seemed peculiar at best. Why would I make such a deduction? I live in Springfield, Missouri, and, quite frankly, the idea defied historical logic.
Generally, when a sitting first-term president visits an area, certain criteria have been satisfied that warrant the visit. Outside of the fact that sixty percent of Springfield’s population voted for Trump, it is hard to understand how Springfield met even minimal conditions. The local newspaper, The Springfield News Leader, claims congressman Billy Long invited the president to Springfield. Others say the president watched an installment of Ozark on Netflix and said, “That’s my people.”
Sure, Senator Roy Blunt is a staunch supporter of the president; he even organized Trump’s inaugural events. In fact, at a moment when talent invitations were for the most part met with refusals to perform, Senator Blunt managed to secure the Missouri State University choir to entertain during the ceremony. One might even surmise that this visit was a big thank-you from the president.
Still, as far as I can see, that wraps up the positives that might have brought the president to Springfield. The negatives are too frightening to be outweighed by the risks. The adverse matters are far too heavy.
Surprisingly, as of late, Trump and the GOP have had no trouble raising money. Still, generally, when a first-term sitting president visits an area, he panders to large donors. The Trump campaign cannot boast of a donation in Springfield, Missouri, larger than $2,500 for his specific campaign. At a time when Hillary is charging more than $2,400 per seat to push book sales, Trump’s financial support in this mid-sized suburban city is small potatoes. There are surely more lucrative choices he could have made, even in Missouri.
The widespread belief suggests that his visit was originally intended to be a public event, much like his recent visit to Phoenix, Arizona. Instead yesterday, merely forty-eight hours before his arrival, the community received word that he would deliver his speech at the Loren Cook Company and that the event would be closed to the public. In fact, possibly even overt supporters of his campaign and presidency did not receive invitations. Those present were elected officials, plant employees, and media.
The whole situation had me asking: What the heck? How bad is it? Does Trump even believe he will make it onto the next presidential-election ballot? Coming to Springfield must have been an atrocious decision from a security aspect.
Sure, Springfield voters gave Trump an overwhelming sixty percent of their votes. No one is less surprised than me. The Ozarks is Trump Territory. However, out of the 159,000 residents, there is a large amount of the population that doesn’t vote. Among those individuals, I assure you, he has virtually no support. An outsider might ask, “Why not?”
In general, I will concede that this is an area that should be named “The Capital of Denial.” There are those, particularly media, that will paint a picturesque Ozarkian landscape, surrounded by rolling hills and gorgeous lakes, with a church on every corner — and that’s all true. Nonetheless, a couple of decades ago, Springfield, Missouri, was considered the perfect place to live and raise a family. Several publications and lists bestowed the honor. Ugh! It was a gift that became a “kiss of death.”
These days, if Washington, DC, is a swamp, the Queen City of the Ozarks is a cesspool of crime. We need help! The professions of choice include methamphetamine manufacturing and drug trafficking. Hand in hand is domestic abuse, human slavery, and child endangerment. Statistically, crime far outstrips the national average.
24/7 Wall Street named Springfield, Missouri, the eleventh-most-dangerous city in the country.
According to Homefacts.com and many others, Springfield is alarmingly above the national average in most specific areas of crime.
Violent Crime: +176.16%
Local arrests: +203.36%
Forcible rape: on par with the national average
Aggravated Assault: +279%
Property Crime: +203%
Vehicle Theft: +240%
There are 1,044 registered sex offenders, just short of 1% of the population.
Springfield, Missouri, may be the birthplace of Route 66, but it is also the birth place of the chemical recipe for methamphetamine. Commonly called meth, the drug is often dubbed “417” in a reference to the area code of origin. Yes, Springfield, Missouri, is the globe’s meth capital.
Meth production began little more than two decades ago in Springfield, Missouri. Meth labs are everywhere in the Ozarks, and not only do they produce a dangerous, deadly addictive substance, they are prone to explosions and fires along with residual contamination to residential properties and land. Many innocent people have become sick and even died because of meth.
Adding insult to injury, heroin is quickly becoming as much of an epidemic as meth. So now we have two epidemics: meth for those who want to speed life up and heroin for those who wish to slow it down. It’s a mess. According to detective Steve Miller, “Police handled 200 overdoses and 15 deaths in 2015.” This year, that will be looked upon as minor. And, none of this accounts for most of the cases that police are not called upon to handle. It also does not include prescription opioid abuse.
Where poverty exists, drugs are big business. According to City-Data.com and others, Springfield, Missouri, is poverty stricken. In 2015, the median household income in Springfield, Missouri, was $36,107. More than one in four residents live in poverty, at 32.7% of the population. 10.9% live on less than half of the poverty-threshold income. 17.2% of the males are disabled and 20.3% of females.
The most poverty-stricken age groups are 5-year-olds and 18-24-year-olds. 26.6% of children in Springfield live below the poverty level. Surprisingly, married couples comprise 36.4% of those families living in poverty. 50.6% of households headed by a single female live impoverished.
The city lacks well-paying blue-collar jobs, which has the larger part of the population relying on public assistance. Unfortunately, food banks are vital to the survival of a vast part of the community. These long-term conditions have become a breeding ground for a disastrous form of vulnerability that is currently an epidemic among the weak and poor. Drugs, human slavery, trafficking, abuse, and pedophilia. It’s stifling. Living here, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a supporter of Trump’s job agenda.
All things considered, President Trump’s visit to Springfield, Missouri, must have been in response to his platform and not to further his political treasure chest. ’Cause the cash ain’t here!
With the serious lack of local law enforcement, I can only surmise that Springfield and towns like it must be near and dear to Trump’s actual motives. After all, it is those in the center of the country who have remained strong believers in his message, despite his often-horrific faux pas. In all his bluster, is President Donald J. Trump the one who will rescue the sinking midwestern communities in the middle and along old Route 66?
Tax cuts translate into promises with benefits for communities like Springfield, Missouri. Lower taxes mean more disposable income for working families. Likewise, tax cuts invite business and manufacturing expansion. More jobs mean less free time, a reduction in joblessness, a sense of pride, productivity, and, most importantly of all, a genuine sense of usefulness. All of which endanger crime, illegal drugs, and everything that those imply.Listen to the Podcast Here