Sunday, November 13, 2016

What Donald Trump Knew

November 13, 2016

President DJT saw one thing that most of us are still missing. There is a huge demographic in America that consists of more-or-less rural, kind of uneducated, predominantly white people, out in the stix somewhere, who correctly feel that no one gives a shit about them. Their jobs have been gone for a while; their social safety net has been shrinking; their education was insufficient (and the education being offered to their children IS insufficient); their towns are shrinking; their police have become predatory; their medical care is inadequate; and their politicians mostly ignore them. At the Federal level, both Republican and Democratic politicians have been ignoring them for decades. In many of the towns in states that went with Donald Trump, the biggest businesses are McDonald’s and the thrift store that sells used clothes. If that was your family in that situation, imagine how you would feel. That’s right, be honest. You’d be seeing red, red, red.

Those people are angry, and their anger is righteous. Their anger, predictably, has spread far and wide in the absence of a clear target. That was way in advance of the entry of Donald Trump into the political arena. I don’t want to list some of the groups that they have subjected to undeserved obloquy (they know who they are, and you do too), but the anger of this forgotten demographic has been simmering just below a boil for some time now.

Mr. President Donald J. Trump, most exalted ruler (please don’t fucking sue me), saw this anger and did the math. For a man whose usual manner of speaking marks him for an uneducated Rube himself, he did a wonderful job of analyzing the situation. And then, on a shoe-string, and almost alone, he set himself the task of getting elected president of the United States. And then, poof! Like in a Harry Potter movie, there he was. Unless somebody now figures out that the Russians hacked the voting machines, he will be our president on January 21, 2017.

Of all of the candidates in this election, and there were two dozen, only Trump looked this demographic in the eye and said: no one gives a shit about you except me! I’m listening! I’ll change all of this! I’ll give you your country (i.e., your lives) back! And his math was correct: there were enough of them to give him the win in enough low-electoral-vote states to win the whole prize.

Most of we coastals view the Trump voters as a bunch of overweight Walmart shoppers who spend a lot of time either tweeking or nodding out on Oxy. A bunch of cartoon hillbillies that wouldn’t move out of the Bible-tornado-alley-belt even if they could afford to. In the heat of my own anger at Trump’s election, I myself formulated the term, “The Honey Boo Boo vote.” My head is cooler now, and I apologize for that awful characterization. It is completely unfair to describe them all as low-functioning (that’s the politically correct term!). If they had to get Donald Trump elected president to make their voices heard, well, it worked. We have heard them. What we clearly need to do now is get their lives squared away so that they can rejoin the society that has for so long rejected them so that they will stop voting for any opportunistic propagandist that panders to their base instincts.

The terrible truth is that Trump said a lot of terrible things along the way to endear himself to the voters that he was courting. It wasn’t even the more usual “dog whistle politics.” That kind of statement is when you don’t really say something at all, but people hear it anyway. No, Trump came right out and said things. And many things that he has done were widely publicized, things that would prevent me from even getting some little job somewhere. Nothing seemed to hurt him, though. He spoke directly to his target voters and they heard him, and they desperately wanted to believe him because they desperately needed the help.

It’s worth noting that not all Trump voters are racist xenophobes who hate that laundry list of people that are often referred to as “the other.” Not all of them are uneducated. Although by now it’s obvious that the KKK, various neo-Nazi elements, hysterically anti-homosexual and anti-abortion religious fanatics, the Russians, and yes, the Goddamned FBI, seem to all be firmly in Trump’s corner, many of his voters were of a more reasonable type. I know many of them; many of them were teenage friends of mine. I know them to be otherwise reasonable people of above average intelligence. No, they're not all racist xenophobes, although they do all seem to tolerate that stuff very well. 

Somehow, though, they all had a sense that something had gone terribly wrong with America, and that only Donald Trump could set it right. It may have been a sense of being ignored; or a sense that something had been taken from them; or it may have been the appearance of a world that they no longer recognized. Maybe things are changing too fast for people to keep up with it all. DJT is certainly a reactionary figure; maybe Trump voters just wanted to take a Mulligan on the last fifty or seventy years.

The sad thing is that many Trump voters genuinely believe that he will do what he was talking about, at least to the extent that we could understand the vague sentences that he uttered. They seem to believe that he’s going to help them. “Thank God for President Donald Trump!” they comment on Facebook. Of course he will not help them. We know what his program will be. The Paul Ryans and the Mitch McConnels of the world make no secret of their program for the United States, and Trump has repeatedly expressed the same sentiments. It has been the same program since that prick Reagan was elected. The “drown the Federal Government in a bathtub” program. As Yogi Berra said so eloquently, “it’s déjà vu all over again.” The same old voo-doo economics, and the same old "small government/states' rights" bullshit. It didn’t work for Reagan/H.W. Bush, and it didn’t work for W. Bush, and it’s not going to work now. Watch out for those 401k’s people! Heads-up, world economy! We’ll be lucky if this crowd doesn’t wreck the dollar while they’re at it.

And when it happens, again, the Republicans, the new Trump-Republican-Axis-Of-Evil, will exploit the fact that their voters are very, very easy to fool. They will blame their failures on President Obama, or those ineffectual semi-idiotic Democrats in Congress, or “Libtards,” or the “mainstream media,” or God knows what all. And there is a disturbing probability that this year’s Trump voters are such a credulous bunch that they will believe whatever spew the Republicans and Trump throw at them, and vote for them again.

These Trump voters (I almost said, “these yokels”) will be the gift that keeps on giving. Mark my words. Our only hope is to bring them back into the fold and return them to some kind of secure prosperity so that they calm the fuck down. Is that going to happen? Why no, it’s not! And I’m afraid that many more Americans will be dragged down into Honey-Boo-Boo-Land before this is over. 

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