An Analysis by Reporting San Diego
August 4, 2016 (San Diego) We have heard many hard core Democratic Party partisans call Donald J Trump voters ignorant, racists, and other names. They are also described as violent, and knuckle draggers. Quite frankly, all campaigns attract people who look at the great leader, who will save us all. Some are not the best elements. But if you think that all Trump voters are there because they want their country back, and this is the last chance to preserve the (white) culture, and only that, then you are doing a disservice to yourself. Mind you, Trump has attracted those voters, so let’s get that out of the way.
Why Trump? Why are people willing to give him a hearing, even after he says things that in a normal year would have ended his bid a while ago? This analysis applies in particular to places and states that have lost millions of good paying jobs to free trade agreements. But it does include our own backyard.
A lot of the attraction is economic. Yes, people still have jobs, but the economic order has been upended. They might not know the technical term, that is the hollowing of the economy, but they are living it. Once they could get a good paying job, that allowed them to have a single income, and live the American Dream of a house, two kids and a stay at home spouse. They blame Washington for it, and NAFTA. Trump is voicing their feelings. He is also saying the things they tell each other at the kitchen table as they see bills pile up, and money not go as far as it once did. Many have had no real wage hike in two decades.
Yes, Trump is as anti-union as they come, and he is in favor of getting rid of the national minimum wage. Those folks would fare worst in a Trump presidency, and that is not us saying it, Moody Analytics is saying that. We are talking of a job loss of 3.5 million and a deep recession. But he is still speaking of how broken Washington is. He is also verbalizing how much people despise the beltway.
People are hearing Trump speak against these trade agreements which they agree with. Free trade has been terrible for the working class. He is voicing exactly what they feel and what they have experienced. People who dismiss them as ignorant, knuckle draggers who are racists are missing why people are angry. This is not just the fear of losing the past, mythic as it may be. But it is very much about the future and their children is at stake as well.
There are other reasons. They are as follows:
- * General distrust of professional politicians. If anything, Trump is not a professional politician.
- General distrust of Secretary Hillary Clinton. These two are the most disliked politicians ever running for the White House b
- The DNC Leak will have some effect with voters who are angry at a rigged system.
Where Will the Election be Decided?
There are anywhere from ten to fourteen states where the election will be decided. Incidentally, California is not one of them. These are states where in many respects the industrial heart of the country used to be. This is the rust belt. We are talking of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Of course there are other states such as Florida and Nevada. That Industrial heartland has some very real concerns and complaints.
Many of these voters once got a good paying union job. They could afford to to send their children to college. They could afford to retire. Now they are trapped in service jobs that barely pay enough to buy food and pay the rent. Retirement is not even in the cards for many any longer. This is at the heart of the resentment. They know their world and hopes are gone. So they are blaming many things and people.
Trump is speaking to their concerns. He is listening. He is promising to destroy a system that has destroyed them. While he is making outlandish comments, he is speaking the populist speech that resonates with people who are at times scared of the future. This is also why some Bernie supporters are taking a second look at Trump. While this is a minority, they are sick and tired of a system that ignores the needs of the people and puts profits over the people.
The Larger Picture…
In the United States we tend to see things as singular events that are limited to the country. These changes in the economy have not just occurred in this country, but also in Europe. Though there are other factors there as well, such as the shock of sudden immigration. The policies that lead to the privatization of the public sector and income inequality, and are partly responsible for the BREXIT vote in Great Britain, which means she will lead the European Union.
This is leading to the rise of a whole crop of nationalist, right wing, politicians. The promises are similar whether it is Michelle LePen of the French National Front or the United Kingdom Independence party that led the BREXIT project. Trump, or what we are seeing in the United States is not unique.
That said, calling people names is not going to help. It is going to further divide people. The anger at Washington is legitimate. So discounting it is not going to change things. You continue to call people names at your peril, for it ignores the root causes for Trump.