If I could have asked Eric Trump, son of President Donald Trump, one question when he was in Milton on Monday, that would have been my question.
Thursday afternoon two young men who watch Twitter like hawks sent me messages saying Eric Trump would be coming to Milton.
I’m sure I told one of them to shut up.
Sure enough, Molly Beck, who covers politics and state government for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, had tweeted out the news.
Before I read more details. My first guess was that Eric Trump would be appearing at Diamond Assets.
The asset management firm moved to Milton in 2018 and that fall Diamond Assets hosted Republican U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir. I wasn’t there then, but I remember the photo taken on Halloween of Vukmir with Diamond McKenna, was expecting a baby at the time and was wearing a shirt that had a smiling jack-o-lantern face covering her belly.
We don’t know exactly how someone whose on a national presidential campaign trail ends up stopping in Milton.
And, it’s not the first time a president or a national political figure was in Milton. Paul Ryan, former Speaker of the House, stopped in Milton multiple times and took questions from Milton High School AP Gov students.
Wisconsin is considered a swing state, which means it could help either party win the presidential election.
Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Oct. 12 wrote: “In no other top battleground do rural and blue-collar white voters play as big a role and Donald Trump won them four years ago by margins not seen here in decades.”
The Operation Make America Great Again! event with Eric Trump brought attention to Diamond Assets and Milton.
At least one person thought Diamond Assets sold jewelry. Now, they might know that Diamond Assets buys Apple technology from schools, government agencies and others.
It’s sometimes hard to know what to expect from Milton.
Nearing 1:30 p.m., it was down pouring outside the building on Putman Parkway, which a relatively new street in that even longtime Milton residents might not know exists beyond the roundabouts.
As people entered the building they went through a metal detector and were offered a mask if they were not wearing one. An enthusiastic volunteer encouraged people to wear masks if for no other reason than “the media.” Not everyone did. Nonetheless, there were more people wearing masks, although some below their noses or chins, here than we’ve seen in other media reports. Chairs were spaced apart from one another. People generally tried to keep a distance from one another aside from a few group photos. Can anyone really keep a healthy distance at this point?
In other words, no one on Monday brought the coronavirus to Milton. It was already here.
Of course, not everyone at the event was from Milton, but chances are more than good that the virus is also wherever they came from.
Republicans from the University of Wisconsin, who had made 900,000 calls, turned out in good number.
Before Eric Trump took the stage a little after 3 p.m., former CrossPointe Pastor Ryan Koenig of Milton said a prayer and Diamond Assets employee and former City of Milton Police Chief Jerry Schuetz led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Republican Bryan Steil, who is running for Congress in Wisconsin’s 1st District, introduced Eric Trump, said, “We are three weeks away from the election and everything is riding on us in Wisconsin.”
Eric Trump was on stage for about 30 minutes. He had just been in Menomonee Falls, where online photos show a more crowded event with fewer masks, though photos can be a bit deceiving. “A packed in crowd,” he said.
He spoke about the importance of funding law enforcement and military, taking care of veterans, being energy-independent, reducing regulations, closing the border, school choice, faith, families and more.
“We’re going to win this fight because we are on the right side of every single one of these issues,” Eric Trump said.
Does Milton agree?
Time will tell.
Looking at numbers from the 2016 election: the City of Milton voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton over Trump with Hillary getting 1,465 votes and Trump getting 1,233 votes. But in nearby towns, Trump was the favorite: Fulton 926-908, Harmony (wards 2-5) 528-479, Janesville (town not city) 1,041-1,037, Johnstown 251-192, Lima 324-252, Milton (town not city) 843-722.
All of those numbers are relatively close and show your vote does matter especially if you say you’re not voting – and you’re not the only one.
Milton can make a difference.