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Milwaukee is a proud city, but we are not without our warts – and our biggest wart, the one that we should all be ashamed of, hobnobbed with a presidential candidate Thursday.
I’m talking about Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, the darling of the ultra-right wingers on Fox News and the guy who continues, on an almost daily basis, to be an embarrassment to those people who voted for him.
Clarke was the guest host Thursday for Mark Belling on WISN radio. Listening to this guy prattle on without an original thought in his head made me wonder how he can sleep at night.
Let’s face it: Fox loves a right wing black guy, and if you can put a cowboy hat on his head, a badge on his chest and a gun on his hip, you have the perfect storm. Put him on his horse, it gets even better. No matter what the topic, Fox puts Clarke on the mic for law enforcement or black people or the armed forces or just about anything. Clarke will say anything at anytime to anybody.
He is the ultimate windup doll. Turn him on and sit back and watch him sing the tune of the racial bias of his white friends. He is building a career by being an unreasonably harsh critic of black people and the black experience.
Thursday's broadcast was a fascinating example of Clarke in action.
As you may or may not know, Clarke spoke at the Republican National Convention last week. He has met Donald Trump. And Thursday, Trump called in to the show.
You can hear the entire segment here, and it’s really worth spending several minutes to listen to it.
Clarke is a master ranter. Give him a chance to take a shot at the black community, and he can’t resist the temptation. Off he goes, a wild horse without a bridle.
Thursday, he took off on a First Amendment rant.
"I know the Second Amendment is threatened," he said. "But they’re also after the First Amendment. It’s under attack for what we can say in the public square."
When you stop and ask yourself what in the world he’s talking about, your answer has to be, "Who the hell knows."
Clarke loves to portray himself as a tough guy, willing and anxious to say things that he thinks makes him seem like a force to be reckoned with.
After talking with Trump on the air, Clarke promised that he "will hold his feet to the fire. You know me, I’ll do it."
Early in his career, Clarke ran as a Democrat and continues to do so. It is beyond my ability to figure out he keeps getting elected. He’s been sheriff for 14 years and has withstood every challenge facing him.
I don’t know this for a fact, but I’d bet Clarke has serious hopes that Trump wins and then looks in his direction for a job as new Homeland Security head.
The whole thing gives me the shivers.
With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.
He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.
This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as OnMilwaukee.com keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.
Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.