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Two words for angry Trump voters: You’re wrong



This “anger” issue said to be driving the election fascinates me. People are said to be so angry that they’ll vote for the one person who seems angrier than they are: Trump.

I grant that Americans are angry. But over what? For sure, a lot of middle class voters lost their jobs and thus their fragile clutch at a decent lifestyle over the past eight or ten years. Why? The main reason usually given is “bad trade agreements” that have sent U.S. jobs overseas. Trump is making a big deal about this, with promises to get us out of these agreements and bring the jobs back to the rust belt.

Let’s get one thing straight. Obama is right when he points out that the world economy is now inter-connected. Stuff is made wherever labor is cheapest, and no U.S. President can alter that fact. Trump can promise anything he wants, but he’d have to lower wages on the manufacture of cars, clothing, appliances and everything else to historic levels in order to convince employers to bring the jobs back, and he’s not going to do that.

That, of course, doesn’t stop him from appealing to U.S. workers who feel stiffed by their government. “I’ll save you!” he tells them, and these disgruntled white men cheer and applaud. Somewhere, in the back of their minds, they must know he’s lying to them. They must recognize that he’s a con man, willing to tell them anything. If you sat down with them and reasoned with them, I guess they’d admit that, no, they don’t expect autos, or washing machines, or sneakers or shirts or air conditioners to be made in America anymore, given the realities of the international marketplace. But this is the problem: no one is sitting with them, reasoning. They exist in the echo chamber of the angry, white, resentful Fox News listener, their anxieties continually provoked into carefully-orchestrated hatred of Hillary Clinton.

What really has cost the middle class its jobs? Well, those jobs have been disappearing for thirty years, under Republican and Democratic Presidents and Congresses, so it’s fair to say it really is an inevitability. America has one chance for economic leadership in the future, and that’s an educated class that can create jobs in high tech and service industries that are superior to anything any other country can do. Silicon Valley is the supreme example of what we do best. So, ask yourself why Silicon Valley is overwhelmingly in favor of Hillary Clinton. It’s because they understand which side will make America great, and it’s not a reactionary, anti-science, bigoted and xenophobic Republican Party.

But what really crushed the middle class was the Great Recession that began in 2007-2008 and whose effects are still being felt. It cost this country millions of jobs. People were being fired or laid off by the hundreds of thousands each month at its height. Trillions of dollars were lost, in home values and in retirement savings. And what caused the Great Recession?

Republican insistence on getting rid of any form of oversight of banks. This “party of Lincoln” became, in the twentieth century, the party of plutocrats. They bought and paid for a Congress (and a President and a Supreme Court when they could get one) that would eliminate any restrictions on anything they wanted to do to get even richer, at the expense of the 99% of us who are getting by. This deregulation of banking allowed the banks to be criminally profligate in lending money to anyone to buy a house, and led also to making it impossible for such federal agencies as the Securities and Exchange Commission to truly oversee the banks they are charged by law to ensure are healthy. Republicans got exactly what they wanted: a regulation-free zone in banking, and Americans got exactly what they deserved for electing Republicans: bankruptcies, upside-down mortgages, a drastic devaluation in their 401(K)s, and an economy that almost fell off the cliff, and thank goodness Obama did a splendid job in shepherding the country back from the Bush catastrophe he inherited–including a disastrous and unneeded war in Iraq.

It is so obvious that this call for “less government regulation” has been scripted by corporate shills at the behest of the greedy billionaires who now are lining up behind Donald Trump. Even something as fair as the estate tax is on Trump’s hit list. His children—those miserable sons who posed grinning with the exotic wild animals they slaughtered—evidently do not wish to share a penny of their inheritance with anybody else. “My father made his money,” they say “and he should be able to dispose of it as he wishes.”

Well, no. As Hillary once reminded us, it takes a village. Trump may (or may not) have made a lot of money: we won’t know until he released his tax returns, which will probably be never. But whether or not he’s as rich as he claims, fairness and common sense dictate that he, and all other rich people like him, have their taxes raised considerably, to benefit the nation that allowed them to amass fortunes. Fairness and common sense also dictate that we need a lot more—not less—regulation in this country. Unfettered capitalism, the laissez-faire of John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford and the Koch Brothers, is a disaster. Now, if we can only get those blue collar workers to understand that simple fact. Unfortunately, anger is an emotion that puts the blinders on reality. Those poor white guys would rather vote their hatred and fear for a guy who didn’t lift a finger for them in the first 70 years of their lives, but ripped them off (Trump University, get-rich-quick real estate scams) and didn’t even pay his bills to the small-businesses he exploited to redecorate Mar-a-Lago. Do they seriously expect Trump to fight for them now, if he’s elected? P.T. Barnum understood it. There’s a sucker born every minute. So why do I tell white male Trump voters (and, I might add, straight ones) they’re wrong? Because when you do something that’s stupidly against your own, and you’re family’s, self-interest, despite knowing better, then there’s something wrong with the way you’re thinking.

  1. Very good Steve. But I disagree about one thing: “Somewhere, in the back of their minds, they must know he’s lying to them. They must recognize that he’s a con man, willing to tell them anything.” I have my doubts that his hard core supporters do.

  2. Bob R, we can never know what they really, truly know or think inside their heads. But, if they don’t realize that he’s a liar and ripoff artist, then they are the stupidest bunch of voters I’ve ever seen. If they do know, then they’re literally insane, for voting for somebody who is leading them down the garden path, and who has the potential to destroy America and the world. So take your pick: either these trump voters are stupid, or they’re insane.

  3. Is insanely stupid an option?

    Yeah, it’s sad to think about what goes on in a Trump supporter’s head… OTOH, 6 out of 7 billion people on this planet have sillier core beliefs than Trump as savior.

  4. Carlos De Toledo says:

    Based on of the best south park ever….

    They took our jobs! Way before Trumpf….

  5. SonomaComa says:


    I appreciate what you are doing but your demo isn’t stupid. These posts are starting to feel as if you believe your average reader is either a Trump supporter or on the fence as to who to vote for. Realistically if they are intelligent enough to read your blog they are smart enough to know Trump is a moron, but unfortunately they may also see what is painfully obvious in that Hillary truly has lied about a lot too. If you want to have an impact on this election I suggest you work on a rigorous defense and explanation of Hillary’s shortcomings and mistakes rather than focusing on what should be painfully obvious about Trump being the most worthless candidate possibly ever.

    Personally I have problems with Clinton, including her failure to treat seriously the family of my sister’s friend who was killed in the attack in the Benghazi attack; that being said I would never vote for Trump. Please use your skills, however, to tell mylself and others like me why we should vote for clinton rather than “waste” our vote on a third party.

  6. Dear SonomaCare: take a look at next Monday’s blog.

  7. Dear SonomaCare: I am going to help out here with a bit of perspective. There is no such thing as the perfect candidate or the perfect person. The closest we have come in my lifetime are Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford–and while both would qualify under the “good person” standard, they were not especially good Presidents.

    Elections are binary. You get two choices on the main stage and a bunch of non-starters at the kiddy table, so most of us choose to play in the binary election where things really count.

    You choose the one of the two and move on. If you vote for Nader or Perot or John Anderson or George Wallace or their modern day equivalents, you also choose not to participate in the choosing of the President. That is your right, of course, and protest votes have value to the person casting one of them, but there is no evidence that they have had lasting value.

    Even Bernie is already losing his power because he is not part of the binary choice.

    Steve will make a very specific case for one of the binary choices. I know which one is my preference, but this little treatise is not about my choice or why you should choose one or the other. It is about the decision to choose or to drop out. I cannot counsel that anyone drop out regardless of the choices in this election.

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