Why Trump voters are not “complete idiots”
Chris Arnade
1.1K159

I think your analysis is great and does a pretty good job of explaining what’s going through the minds of the non-elite Trump voters. They believe their downside is flat, or in other words, “It can’t get any worse than it already is.”

The problem is that their belief is absolutely wrong. It absolutely *can* get worse, much worse, even for those at the bottom of the scale. Just as one example, starting an all-out trade war with China (and with pretty much the whole world, actually) will make things much worse. Costs will go way up and jobs will go way down (by 7 million, according to Moody’ Analytics). People at the bottom will absolutely bear the brunt of that. They’ll be completely devastated.

I continue to be amazed at the extent to which economically-disadvantaged people can be convinced to vote against their own self-interest. Yes, much of America is suffering from huge, systemic problems. The right economic solution is to implement policies that give them the ability to care for themselves and a chance to move up the scale: higher minimum wages, free access to a college education, guaranteed access to healthcare. But the very people who would benefit the most from those things (and actually do, *today*, benefit from weaker versions of them) don’t seem to be convinced. The only conclusion I can draw is that this really isn’t about rational economics at all.