I turned on the national news on television today. This is something that has been difficult to do for some time. Today has changed somewhat but Mr. Trump is still the headliner which is appropriate now. How he and we got to this point is a road other nations have taken, generally to their disadvantage in the end.
The media, the experts, the consultants, the journalists have beaten this election to death. Mr. Trump played the media well. Every preposterous tweet of his was repeated daily as if it had any merit. Every comment on Mrs. Clinton’s email server was fodder for the media as well regardless of the source. Meanwhile China is flexing its muscles, Putin is showing no regard for political stability, Europe is fighting to hold together or split, Venezuela is in flames and the Middle East is a quagmire. Apparently how to deal with these doesn’t compare in importance. What about the streets of America? What is happening there?
According to the political pundits the sense of alienation and neglect felt by the white working class has become a movement. The backlash against Washington’s lack of concern or help for displaced, underemployed and unemployed workers is taking hold. Mr. Trump is our President-Elect. The voters, are not going to take it anymore. They, the electorate, are going to change this neglect.
If the backlash is against Washington I would expect more. Congress has the lowest rating in history while the President’s is relatively high. I wonder how many of the Washington insiders in Congress were sent packing? Wait a minute according to the news media just about none. Let me understand, a segment of the population, substantially white, male and older found no problem with Congress. This doesn’t make sense to me. What is the backlash about? Continuing with the news it concerned job loss, trade agreements, illegal immigrants and potential terrorists coming into our country. I think people having health care through the Affordable Care Act was viewed as a problem by many. Right to life and gay unions were both issues that the Supreme Court could address.
Both candidates had stated that job loss and trade agreements needed to be corrected. Both had plans to alter illegal immigration and to control terrorism. Health care remains a major issue for everyone. The Affordable Care Act helped millions but can use some adjustments. Right to Life and gay rights essentially are a religious issues for many. The Christian Right in particular has maintained their objection to both of these issues.
Over the years Congress has been in a position to address all of these issues in some way. The past six years have seen little effort by Congress to act at all which has led to its very low favorability rating. Why do we keep re-electing these people every two years if they do not address the issues?
America has traditionally been perceived as a white, male, Christian society. If people work hard, one can get a good job and live a relatively decent life. Now all these illegal immigrants and quite a few legal immigrants have come to this country and gotten jobs. People of different religions are increasing in numbers in our society. Gay persons can openly love each other and even get married. African-Americans have made substantial gains economically but still occupy the inner cities and jails in disproportionate numbers. Women can hold management positions and even become CEO’s but receive lower wages. The minimum wage we are still told that it is a job killer by many in Congress. If corporate taxes are reduced that will let corporations invest and create more jobs is part of the current mantra.
After thinking about all of this I have come to a conclusion that is different from the election experts as to why Mr. Trump was elected. He did appeal to racism, anti-Muslim and anti-immgrant fears and economic stress by many. I do not believe that was the primary motivator for his supporters. The fear that our society, white, male, Christian dominated was ending. The current majority population will soon be the minority population. Mr.Trump’s appeal was to the worst in us. The fear of lost status. This was reinforced by the election of a black President. This electorate sure as hell was not going to turn that over to a women after eight years of “him.” The damage is done by those who have benefited the most from our country. But the times are changing and that wall of division will soon be replaced by a bridge which these voters will have to cross. These same voters will need to understand that the other side presents no fear only greater opportunity for all, when the dust settles.