September 4th, 2016
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: email@example.com
Like Mr. Trump, Mr. Traficant, who went by the nickname Jimbo, annoyed and defied members of both parties, dished out scathing personal insults, blasted Washington insiders and purported to speak for the average Joe. He proposed sending troops to secure the Mexican border and criticized free trade. He even sported a flamboyant and gravity-defying hairdo, though it proved to be a toupee.
Back in Youngstown, the fondness for Mr. Traficant lingers despite allegations that he was tied to the mob.
“Well, the whole city was like that,” said Kathy Miller, the Trump campaign coordinator for Mahoning County. She said it was difficult to agree with everything Mr. Traficant did, just as it is with Mr. Trump. But she said that Mr. Traficant’s constituent services were unparalleled.
“Jimbo got it taken care of,” she said.
Out in the parking lot, Mr. Strines seconded the praise. “He just told it the way it was, and I think Trump is the same type of guy as Traficant,” he said.
Mr. Strines even asserted that Youngstown had been a better, safer place when the mob was in control. So it would be, he said, in Mr. Trump’s America.
Once upon a time, he said, everybody in Youngstown knew that if someone messed up and failed to follow certain rules, “that’s where the mob would step in.”
“That’s where Trump would step in,” he said. “Once somebody’s got fear, like Iraq will have, like China will have,” he said, the world will grow calmer. “All of those illegal aliens better pack up their toothbrushes and start running.”
Mr. Wasko wasn’t buying it: “So let’s instill fear in everyone in America,” he said sarcastically.
“No,” Mr. Strines said, “only the bad ones, man.”