Note: Please read the whole thing before commenting.
I’m as old as you. I’m as educated as you. I’m as upset as you. Put yourself in my shoes.
I run a small business. I’ve been breaking even since 2008. I’ve paid my share and other people got bailed out. I’ve built my business but you want me to pay more for insurance? No one in DC knows how to run a machine shop or a gardening service or an insurance office. They don’t know what I do all day and why I do it. I used to want to retire early. Now I just want to retire on time. I’ve done right by my employees and they go work for competitors. Nobody will help me so why should I help anybody else?
I need work but I don’t want a job that insults my intelligence. I didn’t get much of an education but I know waking up at 7am to go put up drywall is for chumps. Where’s my GI Bill? Where’s my scholarship? Besides, who has time for college? Give me a job that I can be proud of, not one that plenty of people can do and do a lot worse than me.
I grew up in a town where things were pretty good for a long time. Now I can’t talk to anyone on the street. There are people here from different countries and they don’t bother to learn English. I’m alone out here and nobody cares.
I’m busy putting out fires and stopping gunmen and serving my country. I’m proud of my job. I’m tired of being ignored or, worse, called out. I do good work. I protect you. I want someone who appreciates that.
My kids left home a few years ago and since the house went quiet I’ve decided to listen to guys who speak to me the way the guys at work used to. I also like to piss the kids off a little when they come home.
I don’t know you. You don’t know me. You come into my bar looking for fancy wine or some kind of craft brew when we all know this place serves three things — cheap beer, sandwiches, and conversation. Why are you bringing your shit here? What’s the point? Let me have what I love the way I let you have what you love.
What did the government ever do for me? I paid my alimony even when I scraped the bottom when I was laid off three times in a row. I work contract jobs now at the big banks and I could be out of work again if the rich CEO sneezes wrong. Where’s my “new economy?” What am I going to do next?
My friends and I are voting in a block. We know the score. We have all the information we need to make a decision about that Crooked Hillary. You have your opinions we have ours. Facebook is a big place and our worlds don’t overlap. I like it that way because you really piss me off.
I like to think freely. I like to speak freely. I don’t bother you when you make fun of the church or big cars or guns. All the TV shows out there are about you, not me. I get like three shows with folks I recognize and sports. Those Duck Dynasty guys reminded me of my crazy uncles. Diners, Drive-Ins, and Drives was my kind of travel show. All of America isn’t New York or Hollywood. I want someone who understands that.
I don’t trust the world. I have a house and a family and I want security. I’ll get it any way I know how. The world is dangerous.
My world isn’t your world. It can be but not right now. You say I’m fucking up the environment with the coal I dig. You say I’m fucking up society with my religious beliefs. You say I’m killing people with the guns I’ve been taking special care of, the guns that maybe my grandpa carried in France seventy years ago. I’m not killing people. I know who is and it isn’t me or my friends.
Listen: We can’t figure this out like this but until we figure out a better way to communicate I’m voting my gut. My gut tells me this is the best thing for us all. You can’t convince me otherwise this time but maybe next time you can respect my place and I’ll respect yours and we can start talking. Maybe that’s where we’re headed. Until then, what can this guy do that’s any worse than what the rest of those DC clowns have done?
I’m from Columbus, Ohio. I live in Brooklyn now. I’m voting Hillary. I’m angry all the time about this election. I wrote this so you can understand what you’re up against, what the people who are voting Trump are thinking. They’re not monsters. They want what we want: safety, security, health, and wealth. It’s not even us vs. them. It’s just us.
At this point in the game I think Hillary won. But this is just the beginning of what my friend Rich Svinkin calls “insurgent democracy.” We need to work together to get these grievances aired and solved, on both sides, or things will really get worse. Read Hillbilly Elegy and What’s the Matter with Kansas and let’s start talking.