What the Pundits Miss About Trump
I hate talking to people on a plane. It’s the worst. Stuck in a chair next to someone annoying for three hours. Fuck…
Still, a few months back, I flew to Jersey for my grandmother’s funeral and was sitting next to a couple, a tall physically fit man and an attractive blonde. We’ll call them Dave and Susan.
Dave is a cop, and Susan works as a physician’s assistant. Both from Staten Island, they had met for the first time after moving to Florida even though they grew up half a mile from each other. (Awww, so sweet, feel free to puke)
Dave told me a hilarious story about some guy he was trying so hard not to arrest, but the guy was a drunken asshole and pissed in the backseat of the cop car giving Dave no choice but to bring him to jail.
Susan recounted how Dave’s cop friend told the story at their wedding. She rolled her eyes as if to say, it wasn’t what she exactly wanted to hear at that time, but hey what are you going to do, she married a cop.
Eventually, talk turned to politics through the cop telling me about investigating food stamp fraud. Susan made a comment about how she doesn’t eat lobster at home, and she sure as shit doesn’t want to pay for others to eat lobster.
More importantly, she was just as dismissive of wealthy people. She had the feeling that she was out there working hard and getting by while others, both poor and wealthy, gamed the system.
They weren’t religious. I think she regularly smoked weed, but I got the impression they planned to vote Republican. I didn’t get the impression that it was a firm party preference that guided them. They were probably the type that voted for Obama the first time around if they voted at all.
They looked at life through a moral lens, right and wrong with just enough fuzziness. They didn’t expect people to be perfect, nor did they think that life was the same for everyone. They weren’t blind to life’s injustices, but they worked hard and felt like maybe other people weren’t working as hard as they were. They seemed like perfectly reasonable nice people to me.
To people with that perspective, does the single unifying idea behind most Republican economics, tax cuts for the top 1%, really make sense? I think not.
On the flip side, they probably view most Democratic ideas as hopelessly naive about human nature.
I could see much of Trump’s most obnoxious remarks being repugnant to them, but them also feeling like at least someone was finally voicing their concerns which brings me to my long winded point.
The Republican party elite does not represent the interests of their own voters, and they can’t hide it anymore because people who are disgusted by “lazy welfare recipients” are just as disgusted by “greedy robber barons.” But Republican politicians can only criticize poor people.
It’s difficult to bite the hand that fills up your super PAC.
Along comes Trump. He’s calling out everyone. Mexicans, muslims, and, briefly, even millionaires. Criticizing the tax advantages of hedge fund guys made Trump seem even handed. Like a guy who got it.
Trump may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and I am sure that eventually voters will figure that out, but he at least seems different from all of the politicians who spend most of their time with rich people and are totally divorced from the real life problems of day to day people.
The patent absurdity of someone born to great wealth representing the interests of the working class is a truly “only in America” story.
Still, I can understand why the idea of Trump might be appealing to people like Dave and Susan.
For a while at least.