Don’t denigrate them.
As you know, I’m not for Trump for many reasons, including that making big government great again is only a mild improvement over the current situation, and potentially worse. Smaller government and more individual liberty is my benchmark, and I think that’s achievable in an election cycle with fundamentally flawed Democrat candidates.
But I also hope I have not denigrated Trump voters. There is a real and politically ignored hurting in America that lands a meaningful percentage of Republican voters (so far, 30-40%) comprising many cross-over Democrats into a so far unmovable voting block.
I’ve pointed to the immigration issue and the sense of loss of country. But it may be deeper than than, going to a level I / we can’t truly understand.
It’s summarized in an excellent article in US News, by attorney Michael A. Cooper, Jr. in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, A Message from Trump’s America:
I live in Trump’s America, where working-class whites are dying from despair….
So if there are winners and losers in America, I know the losers. They lost jobs to China and Vietnam. And they’re dying younger, caught in an endless cycle of jail, drug charges and applying for disability to pay the child support bill.
They lost their influence, their dignity and their shot at the American Dream, and now they’re angry. They’re angry at Washington and Wall Street, at big corporations and big government. And they’re voting now for Donald Trump.
My Republican friends are for Trump. My state representative is for Trump. People who haven’t voted in years are for Trump. He’ll win the primary here on March 15 and he will carry this county in the general.
His supporters realize he’s a joke. They do not care. They know he’s authoritarian, nationalist, almost un-American, and they love him anyway, because he disrupts a broken political process and beats establishment candidates who’ve long ignored their interests.
When you’re earning $32,000 a year and haven’t had a decent vacation in over a decade, it doesn’t matter who Trump appoints to the U.N., or if he poisons America’s standing in the world, you just want to win again, whoever the victim, whatever the price.
The article focuses on poor whites, because that is where the author lives. But I think it applies beyond poor whites, to people of many races and ethnicities who have been left behind and who are invisible to the pundit and political class. And not only the poor, but the formerly upper middle class who are downwardly mobile.
Not all Trump voters fit into these categories, but enough do that it matters.
Democrats for decades have been able to offer the welfare state as the solution. Trump offers an alternative, even if that alternative may be more hype than reality. Much of the manufacturing that has left is never coming back, no matter what.
The column also goes on to predict doom for Trump in a general election because of Trump.
But that’s not the main point. The main point is that I / we don’t live in that world. And it’s about time we started paying attention and offering an alternative to Democrats, and to Trump.
If it’s not already too late.