March 11, 2016
When Trump originally announced he was running for President last summer, I didn’t think he really meant it, and I still believe that. I thought he was doing as a lark to feather his own ego and he would drop out at a later date. But, as faith would have it Trump pushed the right buttons (Border Wall, Immigration, economy) and caught the attention of many American People in fly over America. What made Trump so popular was his shtick and his willingness to take on the GOP elite. Whether they will admit or not doesn’t matter, they paved the way to his success and it all boils down to this.
The American People in the Mid term elections of 2014 gave the GOP control of Congress, the power of the purse and the expected them to put an end to a government that was out of control. Instead what they got was scandal after scandals every other day, (IRS, EPA, BLM, and thousands of new rules and regulations and more taxes and outlandish spending that has literally doubled our National Debt since Obama took office. What we are seeing in the primary season is a backlash against the GOP elite by Republican voters. They wanted to see someone who was willing to take on the GOP establishment. The bottom line is, the GOP establishment created Donald Trump.
I believe above is all true. But why?
Early this week The Wall Street Journal wrote had this story …
Angry White Males Propel Donald Trump—and Bernie Sanders
Many presidential primary voters feel free trade has marginalized their jobs and prospects
March 10, 2016
Here’s what is less noticed: Dissatisfied white males also helped propel Sen. Bernie Sanders to a stunning victory over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic contest in Michigan, and may keep him in the game for many weeks to come.
All of this further suggests they may be the swing voters who decide the general election in November, when the critical question could well be whether Democrats can win enough of them to supplement their big advantages among women and minority voters.
In Michigan, 52% of the Republican primary electorate was male, exit polls indicated. Mr. Trump won them going away, 43% to 23% for Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Meantime, he lost among women, 30% for Sen. Ted Cruz to 28% for Mr. Trump.
The story was similar in Mississippi. Mr. Trump won men by 20 percentage points, exit polls indicated. There, he won women, but by a mere 9 percentage points.
Take away from above that Trump (and Sanders) support is more than Liberal vs. Conservative or traditional Republican vs. Democrat. It is establishment vs. non-establishment. It is a pure populist movement.
Republican primary voting is up 70% while democrat primary voting is down 25%. White working class voters are crossing over from democratic primaries to republican primaries. Why?
All Hollowed Out
The lonely poverty of America’s white working class
Jan 16, 2016
For the last several months, social scientists have been debating the striking findings of a study by the economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton.* Between 1998 and 2013, Case and Deaton argue, white Americans across multiple age groups experienced large spikes in suicide and fatalities related to alcohol and drug abuse—spikes that were so large that, for whites aged 45 to 54, they overwhelmed the dependable modern trend of steadily improving life expectancy. While critics have challenged the magnitude and timing of the rise in middle-age deaths (particularly for men), they and the study’s authors alike seem to agree on some basic points: Problems of mental health and addiction have taken a terrible toll on whites in America—though seemingly not in other wealthy nations—and the least educated among them have fared the worst.
The highlighted part above is detailed below.
Middle-Aged White Americans Are Dying of Despair
Even as longevity increases across the rich world, uneducated white Americans are living sicker and dying earlier. Two economists speculate on the reasons why.
November 4, 2015
The left-hand chart shows developed country the death rates for the 45 to 54 year old cohort. The US is broken down into USW (red) or 45 to 54 year US white and USH (blue) or 45 to 54 year old US Hispanic. But note, reading the article closely says USH is really US non-white.
Every cohort is plunging except USW (red) which is rising. Even USH (blue) is plunging similar to other developed countries. So this is not about health care access or who pays for it. If it was USH and USW would track each other. Instead something unique to USW is happening. What is that?
Now see the right-hand chart above. It details the rising in death rates of USW. Note the categories that are soaring.
* Poisoning, overdoses are in this category.
* Suicides, see poisoning
* Chronic Liver Disease, heavy drinking
* Diabetes, Obesity
Whites are committing suicide, abusing themselves through drugs, alcohol or obesity at an alarming rate. Here is a picture of one of them.
When they try and speak up about their problems, like the guy above, they are told “sit down shut up you racists redneck. Better yet, go find a hole, crawl in and die.” Guess what, as the charts above say, they are doing exactly that!
This is not new; it has been simmering for a long time. Remember the 1993 move Falling Down starting Michael Douglas?
Who Can You Criticize?
In the US you can be hateful and say damming things about two groups. The wealthy or engage in class warfare talk. This is the basis of Bernie’s campaign. And hate speech against the broader category of whites.
The wealthy have the means and opportunity to deal with hate speech directed at them without resorting to suicide or drugs.
Poor whites do not have ways to defend themselves from this hate speech. And they are not allowed to speak up. If they even think about speaking about their plight, they labeled as racists, sexist, xenophobes, homophones or all of the above. Those that are critical think this gives them the “right” to launch into some of the most hateful things level by civilized people against other civilized people. When poor whites turn to religion (Evangelical Christianity) they are laughed at and told they are the problem.
Think hate speech does not matter? Ask a minority.
So now US whites they are lashing out and saying they will vote for Trump and/or Sanders and the “establishment” does not understand why. So the establishment now thinks they even are more stupid than they originally thought so they condense them even more. See Mitt Romney’s speech last week.
Why should whites “come to their senses” and vote for Hillary, Jeb, Rubio or whoever else the “establishment” wants? They think they will be dead in a few years. They think they have no hope. They think everyone hates them, because it is ok to tell them everyone hates them.
The scary part is I just described could be up to half the population of this country!
So when someone comes around (Trump) and says
- He is going to build a wall, they cheer because they are losing low skilled jobs to illegals.
- When he says Mexico will pay for it, they cheer louder because they like the revenge because illegal crime is intolerably high.
- When he calls Washington corrupt and self-dealing, they nod in agreement.
- When he says he is self-funding which makes him an outsider, they believe him.
- When he talks about his company, the thousands the Trump Organization employs, his supporters believe he is qualified for the job.
- When he talks tough and will not back down, they think finally someone is standing up for them.
- When protesters disrupt Trump, they are emboldened to support him even more.
Can Trump Win?
The short answer is yes. Why?
Hillary has won 14 primaries. She is beating the tar out of Bernie in states she cannot win in the fall (Southern) as they are solidly Republican. But in states she needs to show strength (swing and light blue democrat states like Michigan) she is stumbling badly to Bernie’s populist message. Bernie has won 9 of these primaries.
These are voters that will consider Trump. If Bernie shows that a populist message continues to “work” in the industrial Midwest (IL and OH), like it did in Michigan, then Trump is 100% correct, he can win Michigan, Ohio, WI, IL, PA and NY. If so, game over and Hillary loses.
As noted above, republican primary voting is up 70% while democrat primary is down 25%. The populist message is working in states that lean democrat meaning Trump’s message will “play” giving him a shot to take these states. Why is it playing? The whites that dominate the population of these states, living in the despair detailed above, are voting for Trump and Sanders. I would argue working class Sanders voters are more likely to vote Trump than Hillary. Young college aged Sanders voters are more likely to sit out the general election. Further, Hillary is sold in states she cannot win. And don’t forget Hillary is under FBI investigation over her emails.
Finally, have you noticed that the Democrats are largely not pounding the republicans over Trump? Instead they are joining the Republican Establishment in attacking Trump away from broadside attacks on the party in general. Take this as a sign they are also afraid Trump can win and job 1 is to get rid of Trump ASAP. Then they can go back to the well-worn playbook of conventional attacks against each other.
So far this has been the most unusual election season in modern memory, and it is just beginning!
But it is not unique. BRexit in the UK (voting on June 23 to leave the EU), the nationalist movements in continental Europe (see Podemos in Spain, National Front in France), the rise of Justin Trudeau from snowboard instructor to Canadian Prime Minister in two years to the Arab spring that began in 2011 are other examples form backlashes against the establishment.
The world is moving to a ‘establishment vs. non-establishment” axis in the post global crisis world (post-2008). The establishment does not know what to do. And yelling “you’re stupid” even louder to those that support non-establishment candidates is not a strategy. It is a sign of desperation on their part to hold onto power and preserve the status quo.
So far it is not working. How far will they go to hold onto power?