Thursday, November 10, 2016
A Dog Explains Why Trump Won.
I hope you've all had a good cry, got drunk, banged your head against the wall, or screamed primally into the ether. Feel better?
Now, stop the whining and hand-wringing, and get to work. Stop bleating about racism and misogyny. That's NOT why HRC lost this election. It's an easy answer, and it may comfort us in our smug progressive superiority to think that, but this race was about so much more. Recognize why we lost, so it doesn't happen again.
It was really about forgotten America. The person living in the rust-belt, or the Mon River Valley, who used to be able to support his or her (yeah, probably his, but let's not gloss over the surprisingly high number of women who voted Trump) family with a decent job. Those jobs are gone, and they haven't been replaced in rural America.
Rural unemployment is significantly higher than it is in urban areas. The vast majority of jobs created by the recovery went to our urban centers. Rural meth and opioid addiction rates are sky-rocketing. Rural youth suicide rates are also spiking, and again are significantly higher than in urban areas. Global trade has left that part of America behind, and scorched their way of life in its wake.
So don't talk to that guy about white male privilege. He's going to wonder what the fuck your talking about. He just knows that HIS world is worse than his father's was. He's going to wonder what kind of privilege has him working at a Walmart, going home to a kid at significantly higher risk of suicide or drug addiction than our children face. And that the only real economic opportunity for the kids will be to leave home.
The system abandoned him (or her), and they know it. Hell, we didn't just abandon them, we mad FUN of them: hillbillies, knuckledraggers, inbreds, or pick any other insult we've used to describe these folks.Then we Democrats nominated a deeply flawed candidate, who was the personification of the very system that dirt-roaded these folks.
Are some of them racist, homophobic or misogynistic? Sure, but not all of them. Not even most of them. Not enough to account for Trump's victory.
See, I suspect they KNEW he was an opportunistic asshole from the get-go. And they didn't care. That's why with every new tawdry revelation about Trump, his numbers didn't really move. They were backing him BECAUSE he was an ass-wipe. This was their way of putting a thumb in all of our eyes. And it worked.
They collectively shit in this Country's Wheaties.
And until we, as a party, come up with a way to address the economic issues that caused this divide, the issues we've ignored for 30 years, we may be having this same conversation in four years.