Kaitlyn Schoeffel is a winner in my eyes. Representing New Jersey at the 97th Miss America Pageant and making it all the way to the top three.

She may have finished as the second runner up, but her performance, poise, charm and the way she presented herself throughout the competition was worthy of the crown. My colleague Paul Porowski was in Atlantic City covering the event and got some outstanding pics of Kaitlyn which you can see in the gallery above. Many of us were bursting with hometown pride for this charming, beautiful and intelligent young woman and wanted to see her win. But not because of her looks or the way she dances. It's all about her courage and common sense.

I actually spent the latter part of my Sunday evening toggling back and forth between the Giants/Cowboys game and the pageant. And I can count on one hand the number of minutes I've spent in total watching the the past ten pageant events.

This year however the event took a strange turn when the world of contentious and biased political opinions diverted attention away from the talented and poised women competing for the win. Judges thought it necessary to ask questions about current political events.  On the surface that's fine. You'd like to think that the eventual winner would be up to speed on world events as she travels the nation promoting an iconic American institution.  What's not fine is the way the questions were presented. Clearly all about the judges wanting to get their opinions broadcast and then hoping to stir up the social media pot with the contestants answers.

One question was about Donald Trump and Russian Collusion. And it was asked with the presumption that there would be a criminal trial forthcoming! Are you kidding me?!? The young woman's answer was excellent, saying that at this point the President is innocent essentially saying that evidence of wrongdoing hasn't been presented. Thankfully this poised, intelligent young woman from Missouri sided with common sense.

Then there was the question about the Paris Climate Accord, essentially setting up a conversation taken out of context tying the idea of climate change to a burdensome,me and not very pro-American international agreement. Although there was nothing controversial in the eventual Miss America's answer, the young woman from North Dakota was reportedly "slamming" the President over climate change. Maybe I was watching an alternate universe showing of the pageant.

The real kicker was the answer from Miss Texas over the Charlottesville protests that got out of control and resulted in the death of a young woman. The biased judge asked a question leading to a conversation about "white supremacists" instead of the facts that two sides showed up with one clearly focused on disrupting a rally. I'm talking about AntiFa and BLM so we're clear.

 It's also obvious to everyone with half a brain and no agenda, that when the President mentioned "fine people on both sides" he was referring to the people who are supporting the side of keeping the statue of Robert E. Lee. But that doesn't fit the narrative that every white Republican politician is somehow inherently racist.

What's more disgusting than the blanket dismissal of any opinion that doesn't fit the slanted media narrative as bigotry and hate is the fact that they used a iconic American contest to push their political propaganda.

And only one contestant had the courage and the sense to call them out and answer a question honestly.  And it may have just cost her the crown. Miss New Jersey stood strong and smart in the face of a question about confederate statues and their removal. The question opened with a statement about a majority if Americans favoring keeping historical statues right where they are. Kaitlyn responded by saying that the conversation shouldn't be about removing them. She went on to propose a compromise of sorts, suggesting that maybe they could be moved to museums.

Then social media exploded. Attacking her, calling her names and even mocking her pronunciation. Sickening social media trolls fueled by an irresponsible elite media class don't like her answer because they disagree. Just another example of the utter intolerance from the politically correct Left.

Thank you Kaitlyn Schoeffel for having the strength, courage and mental toughness to see through the nonsense. Forget pageants, start #DigginIn and run for office. New Jersey and America need more thoughtful, tough young women like you.

Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea.

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