We deserve Trump

For years we’ve been hearing about how the economy has been growing but wages have been stagnant.  About people having more and more trouble affording food, transportation and especially rent.  We kept hearing about how we couldn’t let this keep going.

We let it keep going, didn’t we?

More than that, we seem to have it in for the working class.  From shoving trans bathroom rights down their throats to denying them affordable housing we have been sending them the message that We Hate Them.

At least, that’s the message they’re hearing.

We should have known that, if we did that enough, they would, sooner or later, do something to send that message right back to us.  Maybe something stupid.

Well, they’re doing it now, in this election cycle.

We keep trying to tell them that supporting Trump is stupid.  That he’s stupid.  That making Trump president would make America a laughingstock.  And worse.

But the message they hear is: We Hate Trump.  They can get even with us by shoving Trump down our throats.

And as for making America a laughingstock that’s not their problem.  That’s a problem for the globally minded elites that have been kicking them around all this time.  Another reason to vote Trump!

And I can’t say I blame them.  Yes, they’re being foolish, but our so-called ‘smart’ way of doing things hasn’t been working for them.

  • priceymark

    Having a hard time figuring out if I’m a “we” or a “they” in this posting. How are you defining working class versus globally minded elites?

    I’m probably upper middle class in terms of income, but I don’t identify with the “elites,” and don’t feel that I’m kicking the working class around. Actually I feel more of a connection to the frustration with the political establishment in Washington. So with that, tell me where the flaw is in the following train of thought:

    Our political system is broken.

    Politicians lie, cheat, manipulate and kowtow to any special interest with power and money who can personally benefit them.

    Our two-party system is at war with itself and cannot make good decisions for the country.

    The people of our country are divided because special interest groups are running the show, meaning that every one of us in some capacity feels like something is being shoved down our throats.

    Every one of the “non laughingstock” candidates in the election represents four more years of the status quo.

    Trump, the loud, crude, egomaniac who knows nothing about running a country represents a huge middle finger toward the political establishment. And if elected, he can’t do any more damage to the country than [insert your least favorite mainstream candidate here] could.

    Sending a message through Trump might weaken the current political power brokers, paving the way in the future for someone who is truly qualified to lead our country.

    • whtllnew

      Sounds to me like, income notwithstanding, you’re more one of ‘them’ than ‘us’ from the standpoint of my post. But it’s only partly about income. A leftist college student could easily count as one of ‘us’ here.
      I’m not a leftist and I’m not rich but I chose to write this post the way I did largely because I’m not poor either and I was part of the problem. I made choices that largely insulated myself from the rent/decent living concerns of the working poor and, until recently, had little empathy for them.
      As for the question you asked I think maybe there’s some overlap between your view of the situation and mine but that mine is more accurate. It explains why all the attacks on Trump have had so little effect and actually seem to have helped him. It explains why so many people who are in favor of Trump’s proposed policies are against how he’s going about it (they don’t want a leader who actually appeals to the working class). Etc.

    • SteamTroller

      I agree with every point you’re making, but I wanted to point out that no one eligible to be elected president of the united states has any experience running a country.

  • Kingfisher12

    I’d be careful about how ‘We’ and ‘They’ are used, since I think the division of ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ is the main driver of the situation that leads to people like Trump.

    But as an outsider, I’d look at who, exactly, deserves Donald Trump (as in who contributed to the mess that made him (or someone like him) not only possible, but inevitable.

    The Republican Party as a whole certainly deserves Trump, since they just elected him. They deserve him by increasingly treating their core supporters with disrespect (see Romney’s 47% comment). And for manipulating popular sentiment for their own gain. They sowed the wind with their vilification of ‘them’, and are reaping the whirlwind.

    Conservatives and moderates within the Republican Party mostly deserve Trump because, while they may not have participated in the belligerence of their fellows, did little or nothing to protest. Moderate voices within the Republican party should have called out and chastised the crazier members, but they did not.

    Democrats deserve Trump for being no better. Rather than stick up for the poor and working class, they gave up on them because they voted Republican. In their defense, every time they extended a hand across the aisle, it tended to get slapped or bitten. But they don’t seem to be even trying anymore.

    Most American voters deserve Trump for giving up on the system. Yes, The Powers That Be used bread and circuses to distract the population, but America was supposed to be different. It was supposed to be government for, of, and by the people. The political system could have been course corrected at any time in the last century. Americans deserve Trump because they stopped believing in themselves. Not that there aren’t some that have continually done their part to fight against this tide, but in the aggregate, there are few who can honestly say ‘I tried my best to stop this’.

    Most honest (legal) immigrants do not deserve Trump. They don’t have much say in the matter, and for the most part did nothing to contribute to the problems. Most immigrants are, in fact, model citizens. The minority of bad apples (who definitely deserve Trump) are the ones politicians use to stoke xenophobic sentiment. Could the model citizen immigrants have done more to keep the bad ones in check? At this point I’d probably say no. The bad apples are encouraged and supported by TPTB for political reasons, and immigrants lack the power to fight against that.

    Children don’t deserve Trump. But then children don’t really deserve most of the crap that gets handed to them by previous generations.

    The world deserves Donald Trump. Not as individuals, but as a geopolitical system that encourages and enables the worst from America, and mocks or opposes the best from America. We should have stood by you more after 9/11. We should have stood up to you when you went after Iraq. We should applaud you for your leadership and restraint. We should call you out when you are being a dick. Instead of making fun of the fat, lazy, Wal-Mart shoppers of “‘Murica”, we should be encouraging, even begging Americans to live up to the ideals your country was founded on. The world needs America to be a beacon of freedom. Now more than ever.

    So I beg on behalf of the World: Be the America we need, not the one we deserve.

  • 404_Username_Not_Found

    Nobody has got it right so far. The rise of Trump is due to two sets of circumstances, the recession of 2008 and the mobile internet.

    The USA and the world took the hardest economic hit it has seen in two generations. That happened while a republican was in office (I am not laying the blame on him, but many may) and the period of recovery has been while a democrat was in office. So many would blame one party for driving us to that and another party for not fixing it fast enough. And in general all around the voters want to blame “the goverment” for the whole damn thing. But these economic cycles have happened a lot and do not usually turn out like this. So what changed?

    The mobile internet. Now we share our thoughts so fast that we dont even bother to filter them. 20 years ago an intolerant uninformed jackass had to find people to listen to him spout simplistic statements about what was wrong and who was to blame. That audience was small and those thoughts had trouble spreading unless there was actually enough truth in them to survive The medium of political discourse, which was slow so people would tend to put more thought into what was actually said. Now with the internet quite literally in the palm of ones hand that simplistic garbage has a wide audience and that frustrated audience buys into the BS without thinking about it because it resonates and they are able to provide supportive feedback faster than they can engage thier brains. And there is so much information available now that the useful stuff gets buried. And with so much available to read online people find themselves tucked away in little cliques where they get the false impression that most think like they do, so they must be right. And in our cliques we are able to belittle the other who are obviously stupid and uninformed, because look at all this information that supports our view. So when confronted with these other ideas we arent even open to them, we just rail against them. And another effect of this deluge of information is that in order to get noticed the people who could actually enlighten us are forced to sensationalize in order to get our attention. So they further feed the antagonism.

    So in short Al Gore deserves Trump for 1) inventing the internet and 2) not beating Bush in 2000.

    • whtllnew

      …No, sorry, not buying it. Specifically, not buying your first and last paragraphs; your two main paragraphs seem sensible enough, but A) you didn’t tie it into Trumps rise well enough (you think Trumpettes are the only ones guilty of building islands of ignorance on the net?) and B) Gore did NOT invent the internet, he just tried to take credit for it, and he WOULD have beat Bush in 2000 if not for Nader and the Greens.

      • 404_Username_Not_Found

        B) was a joke.

        A) Never said trumpettes are the only building islands of ignorance. Trump found a group that he could con by parroting back that them all the things that they think are wrong and then promising he can be the one to fix it. But things are no different now than they have been in tne past. The difference now is the medium. I didn’t bother to draw the connection because the topic seemed to presume that the conditions of discontent gave rise to Trump. My second and third paragraphs describe how those conditiona came about.

    • SteamTroller

      I don’t think you can reconcile the internet being responsible for Trump, and Hillary beating Bernie Sanders.

      • 404_Username_Not_Found

        Bernie didn’t exploit the underlying discontent the way Trump did. Also over taking Clinton as a Dem was a much harfer task than breaking out as a Republican. There’s a reason Trump chose to run as a Republican.

  • SteamTroller

    Your premise presupposes that Trump is an idiot, his supporters are vengeful, and electing him would be disastrous. The premise is wrong, though perhaps it was just rhetoric.

    I think you’re panicking. This is going to be the first President I can vote for that wasn’t selected from a short list of pre-approved shills, so of course the media owned by the same people who own the shills is going to tell you Trump stands for gloom and doom. This is the first time in a long time they won’t get their way; they’ll say anything negative about him that they can, and frequently lack any integrity or intellectual honesty.

    I’m curious what policy Trump says he’s going to implement you think would be bad for you, or bad for America in general. Everything I’ve heard is going to benefit me and the people I know, to the detriment of a few wealthy tax cheats, health insurance companies, and illegal immigrants.

    • whtllnew

      Actually, no, I’m not panicking but I don’t blame you for thinking I was. My own opinion of Trump is that he’s a crapshoot; he might be good, he might be bad. But the media has been shouting for months about how President Trump would be a disaster, about how everyone else in the world hates him, etc., so I decided to write my post from that POV, partly because it seemed a sensible way to get my point across.

      • SteamTroller

        Alright, rhetoric it is, then. I agree he’s a crap-shoot, but it’s a risk I’m taking.

    • 404_Username_Not_Found

      Trump is not an idiot, his supporters are angry and frustrated, and Trump would be disastrous as President. A President whose opening position in negotiating with foreign countries is a credible threat to shut down all trade will create a lot of uncertainty in markets, which is never good. It is bad enough that terrorists have video of the Republican nominee saying he would order the military to target families of terrorists, can you imagine the propoganda if he were the President? He routinely makes policy statements on topics he is clearly ignorant of. I bring that up not because I expect a President to be an expert on all things, but because I expect a President to educate himself before making public statements on a topic.

      You mention specific policies that he plans to adopt? What are they? What are his positions? Because to use a Scott Adams term Trump has been “Strategically Ambiguous” so I fail to see how anyone knows exactly what he stands for other than American greatness and wanting us to start “winning” again.

      • SteamTroller

        In the first set of posts on the US-Mexico border wall, Scott brings up negotiating with anchor points. Both the trade and terrorism remarks are anchors.

        The trade stance is simply Trump recognizing that America is where everyone wants to sell their stuff, but we aren’t protecting domestic production enough. Currently it makes financial sense for a company to move work overseas, but it doesn’t make national sense to allow a company to move work overseas because the lost jobs do not offset the cheaper cost of goods and services domestically. Historically a nation would fix this imbalance with tariffs, but our politicians are so bribed that we’ve signed some terrible trade deals stopping us from doing that.

        We’re negotiating from a position of power here, but we refuse to use it. President Trump won’t stop all trade, but he will be able to shine a big light on why companies are leaving, what laws could stop them from leaving, and which politicians refuse to enact those laws.

        Trump brings up wiping out terrorist families as an anchor point in the negotiation, because frankly this half-war, nation-building bullshit isn’t working, and exterminating a death cult threatening global stability is justified, though callous. It should be obvious that it won’t happen because the president simply doesn’t have that much power; that’s just where people will negotiate him down from.

        First google result. In contrast, I suppose Hillary has provided quite a lot more policy information, but it’s not helpful information if half of it conflicts with the other half, and both sets of policies are going to take a backseat to the whims of corporate donors.

        • Kingfisher12

          Currently it makes financial sense for a company to move work overseas, but it doesn’t make national sense to allow a company to move work overseas because the lost jobs do not offset the cheaper cost of goods and services domestically.

          While this is true in practice, there are no fundamental reasons why this should be the case. All things being equal, the two should balance out.

          But of course all things are not equal. If it was simply a matter of cheaper wages elsewhere then things should work out for the benefit of all. (Also, employment should never go down anywhere, as there should be a virtuous cycle from lower consumption costs). But it isn’t just cheaper wages, it is also looser health, safety and environmental standards in other countries.

          Sweatshops that pay a pittance for hard work aren’t inherently evil. Sweatshops that chain workers to their stations, employ children, dump toxic waste in drinking water, and ignore basic workplace safety is inherently evil – it is blood money.

          Tariffs and other trade disputes for economic reasons is a fool’s errand; trade advantages are rarely – if ever – zero sum. But tariffs and sanctions over human rights are actually important. I rarely hear politicians frame it that way though.

        • 404_Username_Not_Found

          The fact that they are just anchor points in the negotiations does not change the damaging effects these statements have. For them to be valid anchors points people have to believe he is willing to do them if the other side doesn’t budge from thier initial position. If Wall Street thinks there is even a chance than trade with China will get stopped what will that do to the market? What will that do to the valuation of companies that are brining in components manufactuered there? He doesn’t actuallu have to do it in order to have an impact on the markets. Look at what happened to the US credit rating and the bond markets when Congress said they were thinking about not raising the debt ceiling. The same hold true for the terrorism statements. Whether he would ever actually do that or nit is irrelevant. He has given ISIS great propaganda material.

          As for Trumps policy page, its pretty vague and only covers a few issues. It is written well enough to appear thorough without actually committing to anything specific.

          • SteamTroller

            You can’t have it both ways. Either people believe his anchor points and that could cause market turmoil, or people don’t believe them and it will not.

            People choosing to join an organized society of rapists and murderers were always going to be our enemies, regardless of how many mean words Donald Trump said.

            Trump’s policy page is as specific as it needs to be, and likely as specific as it can be. Everything that any President wants to accomplish must be pushed through congress, and getting into fine detail without knowing who you’ll be negotiation with is pointless. Hillary’s page is at a similar level of detail. Your demands on specificity are unreasonable, and you should come to terms with that.

          • 404_Username_Not_Found

            I am not trying to have it both ways. They are only valid anchor points of negotiation if they are credible actions for him to take. How does threatening to walk away from a negotiation give you leverage if the other side does not believe you would do it? So it doesnt matter that he doesn’t want to do it, or that circumstances will probably not force him to do it, as long as it is credible that he might it creates uncertainty in the markets which is a problem.

            Ah but the propoganda makes it easier to recruit people. So it means maybe those who would otherwise not have joined are given reason to join. Fires are going to burn, but throwing gas on them doesn’t help. And I dont really care how much gas citizen Trump throws on the fire, but the President is a different story.

            You are the one that made claims to know what Trump was going to do for this country. I challenged your basis for making those claims. I made no ascertion about any other candidate. So no my demands are not unreasonable in the least.

          • SteamTroller

            But they are credible actions for him to take. They’re probably not actions he wants to take, but they are certainly solutions to the problems. If the other side doesn’t believe that, they can be proven wrong when they refuse to negotiate. And then that leverage strengthens America in the next negotiation.

            Propaganda makes it easier to recruit people that already had terrorist leanings. And I don’t buy that this bit of propaganda would necessarily have that effect — if you believe it and join because of it you would also have to believe you were endangering your family.

            No one knows what Trump will do; I know what Trump said he’ll do. And if you’re not for Trump or Hillary you’re irrelevant. In the future, let me know you only have half an opinion to begin with and I’ll try to be more considerate of your idealized mental image of a candidate that doesn’t exist.

          • whtllnew

            [if you’re not for Trump or Hillary you’re irrelevant.]

            Not quite. To a Trump supporter someone who isn’t voting is half as good as someone who votes for Trump, since that person at least isn’t voting for HRC.

          • 404_Username_Not_Found

            “But they are credible actions for him to take. They’re probably not actions he wants to take, but they are certainly solutions to the problems. If the other side doesn’t believe that, they can be proven wrong when they refuse to negotiate. And then that leverage strengthens America in the next negotiation.”

            Great we agree. Trump’s negotiating techniques need to be taken a credible possible actions by the other side and ANYONE ELSE WATCHING. So if you are invested in companies that would be negatively impacted by cutting off all trade with China (like the S&P 500) how would you react if Trump put that out there during a negotiation? Do you see the problem?

            “Propaganda makes it easier to recruit people that already had terrorist leanings. And I don’t buy that this bit of propaganda would necessarily have that effect — if you believe it and join because of it you would also have to believe you were endangering your family.”

            If you can’t see how when a group is already telling people they should join because the west is killing innocent women and children by bombing them, that the President of the United State on video saying that he would literally and deliberately target innocent women and children is a very bad thing, then I cannot help you. Also that is one example of my larger point that he speaks out of turn publicly about things he is ignorant of without educating himself first. Funny haha when he is a citizen. Disastrous if he is President.

            “No one knows what Trump will do;” Great. So I have given good reason why based on his actions he would be a foreign policy disaster. And since you cannot know what he will do domestically we cannot conclude good things about a Trump presidency.

            “And if you’re not for Trump or Hillary you’re irrelevant. In the future, let me know you only have half an opinion to begin with and I’ll try to be more considerate of your idealized mental image of a candidate that doesn’t exist.”

            The opening premise of this blog was that Trump is bad and we deserve it. You made the following opening statement challenging that premise followed by your reasons: “Your premise presupposes that Trump is an idiot, his supporters are vengeful, and electing him would be disastrous. The premise is wrong, though perhaps it was just rhetoric.”

            So point of fact discussing any candidate other than Trump is irrelevant to this conversation. The only question at issue is if Trump as president would be good or bad, and assuming he is bad, who deserves the credit for his rise. So in the future if you are going to express an opinion around a question that wasn’t posed tell us in advance so we can consider your otherwise unstated assumptions.

            Now if you want to force the conversation around the dichotomy of Trump vs Clinton okay. You have made no valid case for why Trump would be good. You have attempted to counter my case that he would be bad, by agreeing with me on the negotiation tactics needing to be taken as credible course of action, acknowledging that Trump does fuel terrorist propaganda but stating that you don’t think this impact is significant, and by acknowledging that you don’t know what Trump or any other candidate would do.

            So we have established that Trump would be bad, what is your case for Clinton being worse?

  • Mouth

    Electing Trump makes me uneasy because he’s unpredictable. Electing Hillary makes me weary because she’s predictable.

    Should we put everything on red or in a savings account at 1% interest with 2% inflation?

    It’s too bad the Republican nomination was not a policy debate about what would help the working class the most.

    Acts as a tariff and removes taxes on exports: a consumption tax replacing income taxes and capital gains taxes would make other countries bleat about corporate inversions and manufacturing flowing back to the US.

  • Jake

    There was a much better Trump than Trump: Bernie Sanders.

    But he was not too appealing.

    Bernie, after all, didn’t have all of that “hate, ignorance, and racism” zazz.

  • Hmm, looking at this topic from outside the US, I find myself largely agreeing with 404 and KingFisher. I see this through the prism of popularism: popularists like Trump always have more appeal when (as 404 says) the US (and world) economy is still recovering from the disastrous screwup of the 2008 financial crash, the worst in two generations. 404 makes excellent points about both conventional Republicans and Democrats sharing the blame for the crash, because a Republican (Bush) was in post when the ground rules for the crash got set, and a Democrat (Obama) has been trying to deal with the consequences, and arguably many of the recovery steps (printing money etc) have made things worse. However, I’m not with him re: the rise of the mobile internet being a tremendously significant new factor.

    It’s certainly natural at such times for people to want to “lash out” at their government, and more generally the whole “System” that they think has failed them, and look for scapegoats – Mexicans, Immigrants, China, Europe, NATO, free-trade, globalisation etc. But it’s deeply unpleasant to watch when it happens!

    Whether Trump would be a disaster if elected remains to be seen. KingFisher’s analysis of who “deserves” Trump is impressive, and quite funny.

    Personally, as a friend of the US, wanting the US to continue taking it’s role as sole remaining superpower seriously and act responsibly in the world, I find Trump’s speeches deeply worrying and hope that you guys don’t elect him – but it’s your choice not mine! His positions on the https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions website that SteamTroller mentioned are certainly better written than his speeches, but they are still pretty worryingly anti-free trade. His tax plan in particular seems appealing but unrealistic, everyone pays less, it’s great for everyone, it helps to reduce the deficit, but somehow it’s revenue neutral? Yeh right, if you believe that then I would like to sell you a flying pig!