I must readily admit and the readers of this column will most assuredly agree I have had a very difficult time coming to terms with the election of Donald J. Trump. I have not been able to truly understand how anyone could vote for someone as unqualified and unfit as he is. Granted, he did corner the market of “Deplorables.” Certainly, if anyone finds him or herself in that grouping they almost certainly voted for Trump. However, that grouping alone could not have won him the election. There was clearly a grouping not consisting of Deplorables, misguided maybe, but not deplorable, that put him over the top.
I am convinced of that because some of my very own relatives and acquaintances, even friends, voted for Trump. Why, I asked. When confronted they would recite the same old propaganda that the Republicans have been brainwashing the electorate with: “I can't trust her,” as if Hillary Clinton personally swindled them on a real estate deal, “Benghazi,” “email” or any of the other Republican talking points. (Whatever did happen to those Benghazi hearings; haven't heard much about them lately!)
Now I agree that Hillary did as poor a job of curtailing the rhetoric against her as John Kerry did in minimizing the impact of the “swift boat” propaganda against him. That, however, does not explain how these, for the most part, intelligent individuals could be snookered into voting for Trump.
After careful consideration, I think I may have finally come up with at least a piece of the puzzle. It is my opinion that these misguided souls actually flattered themselves into believing that they are part of the income elite, the top one percenters of income, the aristocracy, the plutocracy. These misguided individuals would be very wrong.
These Trumpsters were bamboozled into believing that all of the economic ills of our society can be attributed to the poor who depend on government assistance to survive. These Trumpsters haven't yet caught up with the work requirement that has drastically reduced instances of welfare fraud that was so rampant in the past.
These Trumpsters do not understand that a head of household who WORKS a 40-hour workweek and still must rely on food stamps to stay above the poverty line is not what is draining our economy. A look at the federal budget, by the way, reveals that 57 percent goes to the military, six percent to education, six percent to veterans benefits, and three percent to international affairs as just a few examples with only a mere one percent going to food and agriculture within which comes the food stamps program. Hardly a deal breaker.
The top four hundred wealthiest Americans account for as much wealth as the bottom 155 million Americans. It is the group at the very top that will benefit most by a Trump presidency. Unless you find yourself at the very top levels of income, if you voted for Trump you voted against your own self interests.
It was the New Deal legislation of the FDR years that rescued this country from the Great Depression and ushered in generations of prosperity and the growth of the middle class all the way through the 1970's.
It was the failed Reagan policy of trickle-down economics which was brought to new lows by George W. Bush that contributed so greatly to the shrinking of the middle class as well as the recession of 2008. A Trump presidency is more of the same.
Ever wonder why the self-funding Social Security Program faces financial concerns? Could it be both Reagan and Bush II “borrowing” from the fund without ever paying it back?
Oh, and by the way, wondering why Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell were so quick to eliminate pre-exisiting conditions in the health care legislation? The reason is because insuring those of you without health insurance and who have pre-existing conditions is not very profitable, certainly not as profitable for the insurance companies as is insuring healthy individuals. Wondering who Ryan/McConnell represents? Not you. Try big donor insurance companies.
Flatter yourselves all you want that you identify with the income elite. You don't. A quick look at your bank account will help you to better understand that.