I can understand the anger that the insurgents within the Republican Party feel (and I think closely mirrors the anger that drives those who are Sanders’ supporters
A generation ago the working-class, whites who are backing Trump voted for Democrats (when they voted). Many were Union members. Many had a positive sense of class identity. As a whole, they had a positive sense of their place in America and knew that they played a positive role in the life of the Country.
In the 70s & 80s the Unions faded away as blue collar manufacturing jobs were outsourced overseas. The Democrat Party’s establishment shifted from its New Deal roots and adopted a more “elitist” stance. The Democrat Party took its blue collar base for granted, assuming that “those people” would always vote for Democrats, as it was in their best interests to do so. After all, where would “those people” go?
But the Republican Party of the 70s & 80s proved able to recruit many of “those people” to its ranks. Not by looking out for their economic and social interests, but largely appealing to their values – to fears as well. To a certain extent, it was to the Republican Party’s advantage if working-class, whites were in economic hardship. First, because it allowed money to grow ever more concentrated in the hands of the wealthy elite and just as importantly, it encouraged a sense of siege mentality among the working-class.
Working-class whites and poor whites not only suffered economically as income inequality grew, but also began to understand that they were losing their place in the country. Neither Party was sincerely looking out for them. The Democrat establish had for the most part written them off, in terms of potential votes and the Republican establishment felt confident in taking them for granted.
The Republican establishment seemed convinced the old maneuvers who keep that voting bloc firmly in the fold. If working-class white grew a little discontent, all it would take would be some sloganeering. “Obama’s gonna take your guns” Terror! Terror! “Immigrants & Others are stealing your jobs” Others! Those people are not like us – be afraid!
Encourage their sense of marginalization and they’ll stick with the establishment.
No one, from either Party, really offered up a message of hope to this group. No one showed a path forward.
Trump came along, if it weren’t Trump it would have been someone else, and channeled their anger in a direction that serves his purpose.
What’s the solution? There likely isn’t one solution. Rebuilding a manufacturing sector based on 21st century economic realities is a part of it. Reworking tax structure to free up some money at the main street level of the economy is a part. Things like that could be done, and actually wouldn’t be all that challenging to accomplish.
But there is also an element in our national psyche that needs to change – and I’m not certain how that can be changed. Many American have become wimps. Things don’t go the way they want them to; they just sit down and whine. The once thing I agreed with in the NR article was the statement about packing up and moving – if you don’t have a job, go look for one. It won’t be easy, it’s probably not what you want to do, but suck it up and get a move on – sitting on your thumb isn’t the answer.
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And as Ken Minnow said – America is a great country – folks really need to think on that.