As of today, there are 100 days till the Presidential election. If you are reading this blog as a treatise of support of either Hillz or the Donald, sorry to disappoint. What I am writing about is the term both nominees (no longer presumptive but the real thing) used to begin their bus extravaganza across Pennsylvania and Ohio. Both called this politicking a "trip across the Rust Belt."
What exactly does that mean? Does rust refer to the people--older voters who vote in all elections both primary and general? Or does it refer to the fact both states were at the helm of the Industrial Revolution, steel buildings that are now old and rusting. Does steel rust?
The answer is Yes, steel does rust. But either way, person or product, I take the rust belt as a form of insult. I am not rusty. These old bones may crack a little, but in my business of marketing, I am always at the forefront of technology and social media, I need to be. Sitting still and rusting is not an option for a small business.
I also visit the cities on business and/or pleasure across our fine state. The many buildings of expansion and renovation I see in the major cities of Pennsylvania do not appear rusty to me. Pittsburgh, Philadelphia (home to the recent convention), even the state capital of Harrisburg, smack in the center of the Commonwealth, is thriving. Buildings are strong and tall. Buildings are being constructed--such as Comcast in Philadelphia with its large crane adding floor after floor. Even Ben Franklin on the top of Old City Hall, stands proud on a building that looks great after 100+ years, and he is dwarfed among the skyscrapers around him, but can still be seen at a glimpse as Amtrak arrives at 30th Street Station--itself in the throes of renovation.
Pennsylvania is a swing state. I prefer to see it as a microcosm of what is happening in the United States. Fly over us. Start in big city of Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and you will see cities, urban life, countryside, mountains, farmlands, rivers, streams, maybe a quarry or 2. You do not see Democrat or Republican. You see a beautiful country. A country that has survived many political drama.
You want drama? Think the Rutherford B Hayes election (he was after Grant-#19) In 1876, Hayes--who hailed from Ohio another swing state-- was elected president in one of the most contentious of elections. He lost the popular vote to Democrat Samuel Tilden, but won on a disputed electoral vote brokered in back room negotiations. He was awarded 20 electoral votes.
This was just one of many problematic elections. The United States has survived! That is what is so great about our country. We survive.
I would ask our nominees to call the trips Stainless steel. From Scientific American: "Stainless Steel contains iron, chromium, manganese, silicon, carbon and, in many cases, significant amounts of nickel and molybdenum. These elements react with oxygen from water and air to form a very thin, stable film. The presence of the stable film prevents additional corrosion by acting as a barrier that limits oxygen and water access to the underlying metal surface.
So lets call ourselves, "THE STAINLESS STEEL BELT." Not the Rust Belt. To Coin our best known University, WE ARE. . .AMERICA!