The Donald, Democracy and Demographics

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President Donald Trump, to many people, is one of the worst presidents in history. I see no point in attempting to change anyone’s mind about this, nor do I have any desire to persuade anyone to look at the president differently. What I want to do is to explain why he was voted into office.


Economic Determinism

One of my favorite questions to ask any economics professor, and I have asked many of my economics professors, is this question: Does economics determine politics, or does politics determine economics? Most of the professors will hedge their answer, saying that the answer is a little bit of both. The term “economic determinism” is mostly associated with Karl Marx, who came to the conclusion that economics would determine politics, in that the proletariat would eventually seek to overthrow the bourgeoisie. I won’t go into all of the Marxist theories, although I am intimately familiar with them, and the variations that were used by Lenin, Mao, and all of the others. The variations of socialism or communism have been tweaked and tried, without much economic success. Essentially, Marxism was, from the very beginning, a world economic vision of everyone having an equal part of the economy, or: “Each to his own abilities, each to his own needs.”  The international part of the equation was: “Working men of all countries unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains.” Marx never intended for communism to be restricted to one country, it was to be an international movement for the workers, but it never made it out of just a few countries, whose armies died, not for their countries, but for a vague international cause. Read the gravestone of the Russian soldiers who died in Afghanistan, they still reflect the international communist cause.  


Like it or not, Mr. Trump is in the White House because of the failure of the Old Guard of both major parties, Republicans and Democrats. From the 1980s until well into the second term of Barak Obama, blue-collar and skilled-trade workers, if they even kept their job, which many didn’t, their wages stayed right where they were in the 1980s. Meanwhile, the white-collar and pink collar professions gradually earned more and more money, except for CEO pay, which expanded exponentially.  


Taking the Side of Globalism

The political parties, as always, took sides, out of necessity. The Republicans sided with the country-club elites, while the Democrats, who lost much of their blue-collar base, gathered elites who felt guilty about being wealthy, even as they, too, took advantage of the working class, giving themselves padded expense accounts, astronomical salaries and fought against unions who were trying to keep the working class in hourly pay that would at least keep them from losing ground.


Many politicians argued that we were now in a global economy, while embracing deficits and spending as if the middle and working classes would somehow make a comeback and offer tax revenues that would support the lavish spending that our government could and will not abandon. It didn’t happen, and it probably will never happen. But Donald Trump saw a working class that had been ignored for decades, and the working class saw a glimmer of hope in a businessman who understood how businesses worked and would promote policies that would bring back some of the jobs that had been lost. For decades, the political class had ignored the working class who kept alive the shibboleth that they would make a comeback. Global agreements with developing countries were the order of the day, as if somehow encouraging the economic development of other countries would enhance the U.S. economy. It never happened, and it probably won’t.


The developing countries who signed sweetheart deals for tax-free access to the U.S. market had, if anything, only tepid responses to our generosity in returning the favor. Expanding overseas markets never came close to buying very many U.S. products, the exception being software and internet products, which brought precious little revenue for the working class. Yes, we have sold some heavy equipment, but those markets were captured mostly because of the expertise (and lack of competition) of the firms marketing products there, and not out of reciprocity.


Donald Trump embraced the working class in a manner not unlike Teddy Roosevelt, who would make decisions not based on some global perspective, but on what would help his fellow citizens. By the way, anyone reading this claiming to be a “global citizen” should renounce their U.S. citizenship and relocate to places like Guatemala, Nicaragua, Lebanon, Sudan, or Yemen. Claiming to be a global citizen is a nice declaration sitting in your safe U.S. home; almost anyone in those countries would swap citizenship in a heartbeat.  


Keeping the Money Flowing

In  2008, the financial class had finally squeezed out every dime they could, and had lined their pockets with deals that no thinking person would have entered, and as their paper-centric investments crashed, our government bought billions of dollars in worthless paper that the financial class had already stripped of any value. The financial class was bought off, and they walked away, leaving our government holding the bag, in this case billions of worthless paper promises that will never be kept. Had the financial class been the blue-collar masses who couldn’t make contributions to campaigns, they would have been left in the dust of the paper that they insisted had value. The political class had to protect their investments, which meant the financial class had to be saved; the working class would never see that loyalty. Money is the mother’s milk of politics. However, a democracy recognizes (and votes for) even those who wish to help the downtrodden. The votes for opportunity for an electorate far outweigh those of an elite minority, one of the more virtuous characteristics of a democracy.


The Electoral College

Those who think Hillary Clinton should have won because the Electoral College jilted her, have no understanding of the constitution of our republic, nor do they have any grasp of history. There have been close elections many times before. A recount of the presidential election of 1960 would have been close to a tie, but Nixon, in a class move he was never given credit for, declined to challenge the outcome. Abraham Lincoln won mostly due to a Democrat party split between Northern Democrats and Southern Democrats, along with a few votes going to a Constitutional Union party. The protesters against the Electoral College are challenging the basis of our republic, where two states, California and New York, cannot determine who holds the presidency, and eliminating the Electoral College would mean tyranny of the majority, one of the problems our founding fathers understood to be a hindrance to the union of our states. Those professing eliminating the Electoral College are just sore losers who want what they want, and have no respect for the institutions that hold together our republic.


Bringing It Together

If Barack Obama’s election was proof of a class (along with ethnic groups) that felt abandoned by former politicians, Donald Trump’s election was proof of an ignored working class who were looking for a champion, and they have found one. Mr. Trump’s focus is on what he can do for Americans, as he says, “make America great again.” Is Donald Trump a threat to democracy? Absolutely not, he is the product of it. Is Donald Trump a challenge to our republic? Probably, but our republic has seen far greater challenges than those Mr. Trump can invent. The great thing is that Trump doesn’t understand the presidency the way Richard Nixon did, because if he did, things would be genuinely frightening.


Donald Trump is the president because he tapped the shoulder of a working class that had been ignored and disrespected for decades, and that is why he is president. The political operatives and the legacy candidates failed to recognize a strategy of going to the people and promising to really work for them. They all sat in slack-jawed wonder when he triumphed, accomplishing the highest office without ever holding office before, giving the term "political career" a new meaning. To anyone who says he is a moron, I invite them to exceed him in their accomplishments, and don’t say you don’t want to. Everybody wants to rule the world.


Ryan Messano Added Dec 2, 2018 - 7:52pm
What an egregious narcissist you are, Mogg.  A pretentious Pharisee, who has an unmatched level of conceit, never matched before on WB.  No one has ever posted a post, and deleted all comments.  You are in rare company.
Ryan Messano Added Dec 2, 2018 - 8:01pm
Ignoring is a good strategy, you and Jeff have nothing to say when directly presented with your overweening contempt.
Ryan Messano Added Dec 2, 2018 - 8:28pm
Hey Mogg, you combine all comments into one, unless it’s too long.  Eight comments for one post!  Gross obsequiousness, you brown nosing sycophant.
TexasLynn Added Dec 2, 2018 - 9:01pm
Thanks for your take on the Trump phenomenon.  I can't point to much that I disagree with.
Many (GOP and Democrat) have no clue that Trump's election has so much with their malfeasance over the past few decades culminating with the Obama administration.  We remember that Obama openly expressed disgust for those who "clinged" to old obsolete things and "feared" those things that were good, but they didn't understand (meaning globalism).
Hillary Clinton expressed a similar attitude with her "basket of deplorables' assertion.
Not to leave out the GOP, the "Never Trumpers" were all about this guy not being part of the club... not being dependable for the status quo.
In my opinion, the working man had not only been ignored for all this time but were actually seen with contempt as backwards and unenlightened.
Globalism is just the next step in solidifying the riches and power of the elite.  They know that smaller nations under self-determination will always be a problem.  Those who push globalism may not have Marx's intentions in mind.  But an eternal boot on the face of the working class, the deplorables... is not out of the question.
Donald Trump may or may not accomplish what he has promised for the working man.  The odds and the swamp built up over decades are against him.  I'm no fan of the man, but he's not the crook or monster his detractors imagine him to be.  The globalists who would crush him and his deplorable supporters?  They are every bit the villains that desperately need to be defeated.  The odds are very much against that as well.
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 2, 2018 - 9:57pm
Thanks Texas, and yes, you have made some good points, that, I hope were initiated by my essay. Yes, the working class has been considered a bunch of imbeciles by the elites for some time. Like many people, I hope that the swamp might be cleared by someone, Trump or not. Thanks for your insightful comments Texas.
Ryan Messano Added Dec 2, 2018 - 11:55pm
Dear Tsar Smog,
I agree on Spartacus Booker and Kamala Harrass being over the top,
Lyndsay Graham
The Burghal Hidage Added Dec 3, 2018 - 9:12am
Always a pleasure to read your articles, Jeff. Can't disagree with any of this. And for those who need to hear and understand this will fall on deaf ears. Thanks Jeff :)
TexasLynn Added Dec 3, 2018 - 10:29am
Jeff Jackson >> I hope [comments and thoughts] were initiated by my essay.
My thoughts on the subject were definitely initiated by your essay... as iron sharpens iron so to speak.
TexasLynn >> In my opinion, the working man had not only been ignored for all this time but were actually seen with contempt as backwards and unenlightened.
Another thought on this subject... So, the working man that was once the icon of what this nation was all about and the emblem of who the parties were fighting far, now finds himself on the outside, despised even.  He never saw it coming.  Why he is now shunned is that both parties found him too fickle and undependable.  Both parties asked, why can't he be more homogeneous as the black community is for the Democrats?  Both realized that was never going to be the case... so...
The solution?  ^%$# him and import a new demographic to replace him; one believed to be more pliable and dependable in delivering political power.  Thus, our immigration policy over the last several decades and ramped up under Obama.  One might call this; "Fundamentally Transforming the United States of America..."
The problem is... it's working.
George N Romey Added Dec 3, 2018 - 10:43am
Jeff great article.  I've been mulling over in my head and doing some research for an article about how over the past 40 years the bar for achieving the American dream keeps getting raised.  The same moving bar as dictated by the elite class.  Its no wonder Trump won. While wealthy himself he enjoys poking the eye of the elite class.  Likely because he's never been invited into their little clubs.
Donald Trump is the American middle finger to a ruling class that has been stealing the American dream or making it near impossible to achieve.  I think he on whole he's probably an average President but personally I love the way in which he gets the elites all up in a tizzy and basically calls bullshit on them.
TexasLynn Added Dec 3, 2018 - 10:48am
George R >>Donald Trump is the American middle finger to a ruling class... 
THAT is exactly what Trump is.  And his chances at re-election in 2020 depend on how badly the elite class still needs to hear that message.  Since they're still clueless... it's looking like a double-barrel year to me. 
One can only imagine the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth to come.
The Burghal Hidage Added Dec 3, 2018 - 10:53am
Get out your hair shirts and render the ashes!
George N Romey Added Dec 3, 2018 - 11:13am
And by the way I'm appropriating all of this from Michael Moore, who foresaw Trump getting elected while all of his liberal friends laughed at him.  I agree. At this point Trump will win even bigger in 2020.
Koshersalaami Added Dec 3, 2018 - 11:19am
I actually agree with part of this. Where I think Trump sold out was in ignoring the Drain The Swamp! phenomenon in favor of stocking it in order to keep his peers rich. He tapped into working class and Middle American anger and, unlike any other politician I can think of, he didn’t desert them when he got into power. The Wall would make a great campaign promise to break once he got elected, like the Brexit guys did with their promise to put that money back into the population’s pockets, but he didn’t break it. Getting elected did not change him and they love him for it. 
Given my leanings, both political and economic, I’m obviously very far from a fan of Trump’s, but he is doing one thing I hoped he’d do that no one else had the guts to do, and that’s get protectionistic on countries who are already de facto protectionistic against us. We have a long history of ignoring that on an American Government level, starting with trade with Japan in the 1970’s, an economic invasion we still haven’t recovered from. If we reduce trade with China, they are way more dependent on our buying than we are on theirs, so they’re way more vulnerable than we are, and finally someone had the sense to use the leverage. I don’t agree with squeamishness on tariffs. 
FacePalm Added Dec 3, 2018 - 3:20pm
Jeff Jackson-
My only complaint about your article is that you seem to be using "democracy" and "republic" as interchangeable synonyms.
Other than that, an excellent analysis of not only why Trump was elected, but why he'll be elected again in a bit over 2 years, now.  The democrats still haven't learned their lessons, apparently, as not a one who claims to be a viable candidate has any sort of platform for the working class but welfare, as they continue to support policies which remove the jobs the working class need to maintain a middle-class lifestyle while simultaneously shouldering most of the tax burden, partially relieved by Trump's tax cuts...the first substantive thing done for them in maybe 30-odd years.
i have little doubt that the next two years of a Pelosi-led House will consist of little more than continued obstruction, but this time, with subpoena power and more bogus "investigations," like that proposed for Ivanka Trump, who apparently used a private server to do gov't business on, even though it was all unclassified, and every one of her emails is accounted for, unlike those of The Liar.
If they use their majority to end the criminal investigations into malfeasance at the upper levels of State, DoJ, FBI, and several other USG agencies instead of prosecuting the miscreants, they'll have signed their death-warrants for 2020, and will be in the minority again...ESPECIALLY if they try to halt or otherwise frustrate the investigations into The Liar and the Klinton Klepto Foundation.
Even A Broken Clock Added Dec 3, 2018 - 3:53pm
Good post as I've come to expect from you. As for one of your points, back to the keeping the money flowing, I think the election of 2016 would have turned out much differently if several of the most egregious Wall St. manipulators had been prosecuted for their obvious crimes - obvious to all but the elites.
Folks also correctly noted Obama's and Hillary's comments about the great unwashed class. But that attitude was also demonstrated by Romney with his 47% comment about takers. Basically, those who do qualify as elite in education and income, cannot comprehend the difficulties involved in surviving at or near the minimum wage level in this nation. The pent-up anger at seeing the elite walk away from the wreck of the economy not only scot-free, but sometimes with taxpayer funded bonuses was a key factor enabling Trump's rise.
opher goodwin Added Dec 3, 2018 - 4:23pm
Yes Trump got there by pandering to a gullible working class who thought that a billionaire could have their interests at heart. He got his money by exploiting them! But he understood what they felt and wanted and cleverly ploughed that furrow. He conned them all.
He works on their fears of immigration and job losses and that the elite don't care - Drain the Swamp, Lock Her Up, Build Walls, Ban Muslims, America First. Simple sound bites for the gullible and stupid.
All the time he's been building his own swamp, feathering his own nest and giving huge tax cuts to his own.
He is the most narcissistic and worst. He really believes he can get away with murder. That will be his undoing. Bubbles burst.
The Burghal Hidage Added Dec 3, 2018 - 4:34pm
 gullible working class
what was that about utter contempt? No, they still do not get it
TexasLynn Added Dec 3, 2018 - 5:00pm
TBH >> what was that about utter contempt? No, they still do not get it
Exactly!  I can't imagine these guys are reading the post (and comments) and THEN coming up with this stuff.  And it's the same stuff over, and over, and over, and over, and over.
Opher is against the "elite" but wants EXACTLY what the elite want.  The US to diminish and the UN to rule supreme.  Opher (in his own post) advocates for these backwards hicks to be forced to subject themselves to their betters (like the UN).
Before WB, I would not have imagined this level metaphorical tone-deafness to be possible.
Neil Lock Added Dec 3, 2018 - 5:19pm
Excellent article, Jeff. If I had been a US citizen, would I have voted for Trump? Don't know, but I surely wouldn't have voted against him!
Dave Volek Added Dec 3, 2018 - 5:19pm
I don't think Mr. Trump was ever in the mindset of "Joe Lunchbucket". He joined the R race mostly to get his name on TV. Like most politicians, he spouted a few things that would make him seem like a politician for the common man. Surprisingly to many, his style hand resonance for this disgruntled demographic. He, along with many other politicians, has no understanding of their true plight. In other words, he got lucky with his rhetoric!
As for the electoral college, I just say that is the rules of American democracy. Play by the rules. If one does not like rules, there are ways to change them. If there is no political will to change them, too bad!  Regardless, the electoral college will not vault an un-viable candidate in the office of the White House. Mr. Trump got 62m votes, most of them on his own merit. If he had only 52 m votes, the EC would not have given him the presidency. The EC is still very much a democratic institution.
The midterms were a success for Mr. Trump. The opposition was unable to use the population that normally don't vote to send a real message to the R Party. The message that they did get was to keep on the current course.
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 3, 2018 - 6:35pm
Thanks Burghal, and I am afraid that you're right on target, the folks who need to read that essay and understand what really happened will most likely not read it nor concede a view of the facts as they really are, they'll just keep calling Trump names. Thanks again Burghal.
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 3, 2018 - 6:37pm
Thanks George. The thing that Trump does that makes the elites so angry is that he has recognized their stealing of the American Dream, and you said it very well, that's what it is, theft. Thanks George.
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 3, 2018 - 6:42pm
Thanks Koshersalaami. Yes, Trump has set a precedent in American politics that may resonate for a long time. He make promises, and as he so eloquently professes in his speeches, "promise delivered." This is a new bar in American politics, deliver what you promise. If nothing else, Trump needs to be recognized for that characteristic, making promises and delivering them. Thanks Koshersalaami.
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 3, 2018 - 6:45pm
Thanks FacePalm, and you are exactly right, what we will get from a Pelosi-led Congress will be nothing but millions spent on "investigations: that will lead nowhere and obstruction of Trump policies, but as you say, that will not serve them well in the 2020 elections. Thanks FacePalm.
ChetDude Added Dec 3, 2018 - 6:46pm
The corporate media, Democrat collusion with the republican brand since the 80s and Hillary's hubris (and dirty tricks to block Sanders - the GOOD Populist) gave Trump the office...
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 3, 2018 - 6:47pm
Thanks Even. You're right, the folks that look down on the working class are the same people that take advantage of everything that the government gives them, all the while insisting that the working class are a bunch of whiny losers who take things that they shouldn't have. Thanks again Even, excellent points.
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 3, 2018 - 6:50pm
Well opher, as I said, we're lucky Trump doesn't understand the government the way Richard Nixon understood the government. I don't think Trump will get away with as much you indicate, if only because we have a Congress that is watching his every move looking for a reason, any reason, to impeach him. so for they've come up with, after millions of dollars, a big nothing. Thanks opher.
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 3, 2018 - 6:51pm
Thanks Neil. The way to get to vote as  an illegal immigrant is to just register as a Democrat, and they'll let you vote from anywhere! Thanks again Neil.
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 3, 2018 - 6:54pm
Thanks Dave, and yes, I believe that the Electoral College is the right way for our republic to go in elections. As I noted, Nixon and Lincoln, among others, were very tight races, and the college got it right. Thanks again Dave.
wsucram15 Added Dec 3, 2018 - 7:01pm
Hello again.  In touch with the common man? No he is a marketing man and his people gave him the  slogan "drain the swap" and its not real (he even admitted it to his own fans).  He didnt come up with it or even mean it.. 
But ppl liked it so he sold it to them. Just like I will bring back your jobs and help your victims and take care of this crisis or that crisis.
Perhaps I misunderstood your article Jeff and he did tap into what people that I grew up with (friends and family) in a variety of states wanted to hear but they are not too happy with him now. Somehow people see him as a winner because he defied "the man"...his deficit is higher for absolutely no reason helping the taxpayer. None.
These companies laid off large numbers of employees..Phizer, AT&T, Kimberly-Clark, Comcast, First layoff for GM 1500 before mcannouncing 3 plant closures, Harley-Davidson, Walmart, Citibank, McDonalds, HP, Tenent Healthcare, Trumps beloved Carrier, Tesla, Microsoft, Schneider Electric, Coca-cola, Dun-kin-Donuts among many other smaller companies feeling the burn. Like Element Electronics in SC...I believe 150 lost their jobs in august this year.  This is stuff you do not hear about..but its happening.
In addition, instead of taking care of problems when they happen  he lets things get worse.  So far this year alone we have had 1B in damages due to weather related issues.  Now thats not his fault, not saying that..just being on top of rescue and relief is his job.  He is getting better now, but still on the slow side in some cases.  I guess with him it does depend on the color of your tie or skin.
Because these ppl are primarily white and didnt like Obama, literally believed the birther crap and thought Trump would save the midwest and even to some the south.  Also healthcare in 2016-2017 was a big issue and something I spent 6 months researching in various states at town halls, they really thought he could fix it because he ran a business.  What they didnt know is he never ran it except on tv, he marketed his name.  When he tried to run things, he had to have help from his father, and later money from siblings after his father died.  His father had problems also but was much more astute.
However, hypocrisy is just matter what side of the aisle. When plants close in the  state of voters or things like the drug addiction money promised never comes from the federal government, they pay attention.  Its their bills that dont get paid and family members that die from ODs.  People dont care if the tie being worn is red or blue.. They have had enough. 
I have a good friend in SC who "almost voted for him" and I stopped her. She thanked me later when her son almost died and there was no help for him medically.  Fortunately, she is a pastor and the church helped him in a mission recovery capacity.  He is a group counselor now with 2 years clean.
 I also cannot believe ANYONE did not know  that the US had no restrictions on China and FENTANYL. can used to be able to buy it online. Maybe still can, IDK.  But they did change the name to carfentanyl and on and on... I think that is stronger. I know Ohio and WV had a bad outbreak with both.
Trump while interesting to some of you..isnt doing anything yet, except sign executive orders which he bitched about with other Presidents.   Most of what he does do, he is advised on how to do so.
Which is long as someone is wearing big boy pants. I really do keep hoping he will level out at some point, but have not seen it yet. Not in the least.
His loss in the house is not good but I was disappointed in the senate.  Thing is Dems picked up a ton of governorship's and state seats in the redistricting in 2020 can be more even now.  No one paid attention to the locals...this will matter very soon.
ChetDude Added Dec 3, 2018 - 7:10pm
Jeff: Undocumented people cannot register to vote in any state.  Try another meme...
Nixon and Lincoln got the popular vote as well as the electoral college vote.  gwbush and Trump DID NOT. 
Face it, the EC is a profoundly undemocratic holdover from the good ole' days of Slavery and only White, Male Property Owners can vote...
ChetDude Added Dec 3, 2018 - 7:17pm
Your republican Congress (and big orange turd) already gave away $4.5 Trillion to billionaires and millionaires while a bi-partisan crew of republicans and corpo-dems shoveled more hundreds of billions into the ever-hungry gigantic mouth of the bloated war machine (to create more "terrorists" to make more profits to create more "terrorists" to make more profits...etc).
There's nothing left for them to do other than pass continuing resolutions to keep their corporate pork and gravy train rolling as payback for the campaign bribes they've received.
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 3, 2018 - 7:18pm
Well wsucram, I never said in the essay that he was a miracle worker, only that he made promises to the middle and working classes. The essay was about how he won the election, not about his successes or failures. The essay was why he won, not what he has done.
NAFTA has been redone, it was a total giveaway that has been revamped to help American workers.
China will likely stop manipulating its currency and imposing tariffs on U.S. goods, now that they know what can be done if they don't start cooperating.
The crummy deal with Iran is over, but I don't think we'll get any of that money back, but we'll start teaching Iran that if it wants to keep financing international terrorism, a price will be paid.
Many of the regulatory restrictions have been rescinded, helping businesses.
Yes, GM is closing plants and releasing employees. And Mr. Trump is now questioning why they need subsidies if all they're going to do is reduce their payroll, and his question is quite valid: "Why did we bail them out when all they would do for that privilege is close plants and release workers?"
Compared to other politicians of the current era and recent past, Mr. Trump has done more for the working class than many before him, and NAFTA is a prime example of that.  Again, the essay was on how and why he won. Thanks for your comments.
Tamara Wilhite Added Dec 3, 2018 - 7:21pm
Liberals cannot or will not distinguish race from class or culture from race.
They blame many problems for the black poor on racism, when the issue is differences in culture that contribute to blacks being poorer - an illegitimacy rate that is 3-4 times higher than that of whites. Children born to single mothers are 3-4 times more likely to be homeless, mentally ill, addicts and criminal than those raised by a married mother-father home - regardless of race and income.  Poor whites, though, have the same issues with drug addiction, broken families and crime when they have similar rates of illegitimacy. But these poor are ignored at best and openly hated on at worst.
Bill Kristol Says ‘Lazy’ White Working Class Should Be Replaced By ‘New Americans’
That several million traditionally Democrat voting block - working class whites - is what swung Trump's election. It isn't because these voters are racist. They voted for Obama overwhelmingly, and their issues are due to poverty - not bigotry.
Why did they swing their votes to the other party? It is because of liberals' hatred of whites, denigration of the poor of all colors but open contempt for poor whites, and liberals focus on trivia like transgenderism over crime and joblessness.
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 3, 2018 - 9:01pm
Thanks Tamara, some valid evidence. Perhaps we should replace Bill Kristol with someone who understands American citizens, rather than some elite who thinks that citizens are disposable. Thanks Tamara, great points and observations.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Dec 3, 2018 - 9:12pm
Good one Jeff. And respect for your deft handling of those wishing to dominate your thread. 
Stephen Hunter Added Dec 3, 2018 - 9:38pm
Excellent article Jeff. Many good observations that I cannot disagree with. 
I think you are bang on about the blue collar workers rallying around Trump, who echoed their blame and finger pointing about why they are not realizing the American Dream. 
Spartacus Added Dec 4, 2018 - 1:09am
Interesting Jeff. 
"All forms of government migrate to feudalism". ~ unknown
I think this is true.  What makes American government unique is that we slaughter our Noble class in every election.  This is and will be the only hope to return the power of the crown back to the proletariat in an unending and necessary process.   
Hillary's rise as the crowned Queen of American politics and her tragic defeat (for many of the reasons you stated) hit hard for many.  A pain many of the old guards on that side refuse to accept as normal American government -- "it must be because Trump is the evil one".  
This video was a quite interesting take on modern capitalism, where it has gone, and a bit of history of Marxism and the rise & fall of communism.  An interview with Sam Vaknin.  I do not agree with everything he says, but it stirred thought.
Leroy Added Dec 4, 2018 - 10:27am
A dazzling discourse on demographics.
"Donald Trump is the president because he tapped the shoulder of a working class that had been ignored and disrespected for decades, and that is why he is president."
And that made all the difference in the world.
One can't live the middle-class life on the median wage anymore.  I see many try.  The only way for many is to go deeper in debt.  Debt eventually catches up with you, just like the grim reaper.  With higher interest rates, it catches up to you quicker, just like an unhealthy lifestyle.
goldminor Added Dec 4, 2018 - 10:36am
There is one other reason for Trump winning the presidency. That is that the Republican primary had so many contestants. It is very unlikely that Trump would have gained the R nomination except for that fact.
I voted for Cruz during the primary race, and was negative towards Trump at that time. Mainly, I did not think that Trump could beat Hillary, and that he did not understand the importance of standing up to the global warming alarmists.
I did vote for him in the general election. Since then he has greatly changed my opinion of him. Trump was what this nation needed despite any character flaws from his past. The fact that he has been so viciously attacked mainly by Ds, but also by some Rs, since becoming president is proof that he is on the right track to solving some of our national and global problems.
opher goodwin Added Dec 4, 2018 - 12:04pm
Jeff - I hope you're right. He needs to be controlled. He's a real danger to us all.
opher goodwin Added Dec 4, 2018 - 12:07pm
Burger - yes the gullible working class - a large number of uneducated, religiously indoctrinated people instilled with patriotic fervour.
It's a group of people I treat with disdain.
George N Romey Added Dec 4, 2018 - 1:22pm
No Trump is no more of a danger than Clinton, both Bushes, Johnson, Truman and many others.  In fact he's less of a danger because he can't seem to hold his tongue.  Again, just hyperbole from people that seem to have never read a book.
Dino Manalis Added Dec 4, 2018 - 1:44pm
 Trump is still our president and Trumponomics has prevailed!
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 4, 2018 - 3:00pm
Thanks Jeffry. I'm letting certain, ahem, people comment as much as they like, but, I'm not getting into it. Thanks Jeffry.
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 4, 2018 - 3:02pm
Thanks Stephen. The blue-collar folks have lost the American Dream, for the mot part. Now the American Dream is a goal of the elites, who get a lot of help getting there. Thanks Stephen.
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 4, 2018 - 6:55pm
Thanks goldminor, I think you have it. When a president makes both parties angry because he is standing up for the American people, I think he must be doing something right. Thanks for your comments goldminor.
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 4, 2018 - 6:56pm
Wow Michael Dolan, you're saying things that someone needs to say. Thanks for your comments.
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 4, 2018 - 6:56pm
Right on Dino. Thanks for your comments.
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 4, 2018 - 6:58pm
George you are exactly right. Trump is no more a danger than the others who came before him. I think the history books will paint him in a different light when it is all said and done. Thanks George.
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 4, 2018 - 6:59pm
Thanks Leroy. The average family in the U.S. can't come up with $400 in case of an emergency, and that is a reflection of just how little they are taking home. Thanks again Leroy..
Jim Stoner Added Dec 4, 2018 - 9:22pm
Donald Trump being elected was a horrible accident which will not be repeated.  It happened because 1) Hillary Clinton's campaign was terrible, both from a communications standpoint and a tactical one, which allowed her to 2) lose the Electoral College because she failed to secure states that had voted reliably Democratic for decades. 
As I've said before, my opposition to the Electoral College is based on the concept that the President represents all the people, so that all the voters should participate in that election.    In its aggregate (not "it's", please) it is a random-number generator that turns close votes into landslides and produces unpredictable outcomes when multiple states' elections are close.  It does not favor large states nor small states, though it does bring unwarranted attention to those few states that are close to 50-50.  It is not an accurate reflection of the will of the people, or even "the will of the states", if such a thing existed.
It is not a partisan viewpoint, but it is one that recognizes that our aspiration, in this age of near-universal suffrage, universal literacy, and improved educational levels,  should be greater democracy, not more oligarchy.   We do not need a paternalistic elite to choose our candidates or our President. 
All this sociological BS about the poor people choosing Trump is just that.  Most people did not want him, and that's true of the upper class, the middle class, and the lower class.  Some middle- and lower-class white men felt insecure about their lack of status and voted for a guy who will betray their needs at every opportunity.   The guilt of that historic error is upon them, though those who knew better will gladly welcome them back to the majority who know better.  Unfortunately, we all have to suffer the errors which Trump commits daily and the damage he does to our nation. 
Cullen Kehoe Added Dec 5, 2018 - 1:17am
It's annoyed me that in the last 20 years it became almost a "fact" that winning an election was a complex formula of raising money, running political ads, promising a little bit to everyone with no intention of delivering anything, toss some red meat to the base, sprinkle in some good one liners in the debates and viola, an election win. 

These Aaron Sorkin media productions like the American President and the West Wing cemented this "reality" to all of us. 
And the politician will surround himself with these political consultants who will tell him the minutia of what to do and when. 
But what this all means is that politics is fake. It's just a glorified exercise in fooling the public. That's what many of these Washington establishment thinks is serious politics. Fooling the public. 
Well, I guess Trump proved them all wrong by talking directly to the people. (Note: I'm not even a Trump fan, really. I would have preferred a Rand Paul president myself.)
Jim Stoner Added Dec 5, 2018 - 2:03am
Trump is the most artificial of all--a complete Potemkin facade.  And, worst of all, he believes it!  OK, half-believes it, or it least he's sure he's right, if other people confirm it to him enough because they're sucking up to him. 
It's the process that is insane.  It creates all this artificial fakery.  It should be much quicker, cleaner, and, above all, less expensive.  And it contributed significantly to this bizarre 2016 result, in which the worst candidate of all 25 or so got elected. 
The Burghal Hidage Added Dec 5, 2018 - 4:17am
It's a group of people I treat with disdain.
I know Opher and I can tell you they are all losing a lot of sleep on account of that. Also.....that disdain? Right back atcha and those of your ilk
Cullen Kehoe Added Dec 5, 2018 - 1:12pm
@Jim Stoner - Completely agree with you. In the U.K. (this is how I generally understand it), the Prime Minister calls an election in 6 weeks, dissolves Parliament, everyone goes home to campaign for 6 weeks, there is a televised debate or two (apparently this is a new thing), and the people vote. Election over in 6 weeks. 
I'm not saying the U.S. needs to copy the Parliamentary style process, but a 1.5 year long process to choose a candidate and have an election? That's just stupid. 
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 5, 2018 - 1:45pm
Well, Mr. Stoner, redoing the NAFTA Treaty, cancelling the Iran agreement, and rattling China with tariffs on goods could hardly be called a Potemkin facade.. 
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 5, 2018 - 1:51pm
Cullen, the 2 year Congressman, 4 year president and 6 year Senate seats were set up so that there would be no sweep in the federal government in the U.S. Our founders were not big on one idea sweeping through our federal government. If the movement is strong enough, then in the (close to) six years it will take to overcome the government, then so be it. Our government doesn't change on a whim. While there are some that like the Parliament style, I'm not a fan. The Parliamentary system froze Winston Churchill out just  months after he won the war for them. Imagine that... 
No thanks. 
Jim Stoner Added Dec 5, 2018 - 2:02pm
Cullen, I agree with you 100%.  We shouldn't copy the British electoral system, but it provides a model from which we could draw some benefit in how we run ours.  In particular, in Britain candidates are penalized for making false statements during the campaign! 
Jeff, those were certainly actions, but I don't think any of those will benefit Americans or promote international harmony.  As for China (as with North Korea), we will see what comes of it.  If his hardball tactics with the Chinese end up resulting in greater protection of intellectual property developed here, he will deserve some credit. Seems unlikely to me; more likely results are disincentives for economic activity and inflation.  
Ward Tipton Added Dec 6, 2018 - 2:11am
And once again, we are back to the fact that being a narcissistic sociopath capable of charming the people to win a popularity contest will make a great leader. 
The entire discussion is based on failed logic, though the article remains spot on about the psychology behind it ... as evidenced by some of the comments herein. 
Jeff Jackson Added Dec 6, 2018 - 5:52am
Thanks Ward, and yes, the commentary reflects the mentality described in the essay to some extent. I would like to comment on some of the comments, but they are so ideologically hypnotized that there is no point in responding, sorry about that Autumn. Then there are the trolls, who don't merit a response. Thanks Ward, for a rather brilliant observation.

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