Thursday, November 09, 2017

Standing By Their Man

She probably would have lost the election anyway. But there is no certainty that Hillary Clinton would have been defeated in Pennsylvania, Michigan, or Wisconsin (all three of which she needed) had she not remarked

I know there are only 60 days left to make our case — and don’t get complacent, don’t see the latest outrageous, offensive, inappropriate comment and think well he’s done this time. We are living in a volatile political environment. You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?

It was a bone-headed remark, offensive and one ripe for ridicule by Donald Trump as being "elitist."  It probably also was inaccurate because voting for a deplorable human being does not render oneself "deplorable."  It does not automatically do so, notwithstanding some of  the views encountered by Michael Kruse when he recently interviewed Trump voters in Johnstown, whom he had visited a year earlier.

In this town once dominated by steel and coal and long in decline, in an area in western Pennsylvania long in decline, the individuals who voted for Trump overwhelmingly still believe in him, don't regret their vote, and stand by their man.  When one who would still vote for Trump said "he's kept his promiises"

I asked which ones.

Border security.” But there’s no wall yet. “No fault of his,” the man said.

What else? “Getting rid of Obamacare.” But he hasn’t. “Well, he’s tried to.”

What else? “Defunding Planned Parenthood.” But he didn’t. “Not his fault again,” the man said.

I asked for his name. “Bill K.,” he said. He wouldn’t give me his last name. “I don’t trust you,” he said.

But in an area beset by opioid addiction, the real betrayal is in the matter of jobs. Kruse points to

the message Trump delivered in person at War Memorial Arena last October. “Your government betrayed you, and I’m going to make it right,” he told them. “We’re putting your miners back to work,” he told them. “Your jobs will come back under a Trump administration,” he told them. “Your steel will come back,” he told them.

“The change you’ve been waiting for will finally arrive,” he pledged.

It has not arrived, and will not. However

Johnstown voters do not intend to hold the president accountable for the nonnegotiable pledges he made to them. It’s not that the people who made Trump president have generously moved the goalposts for him. It’s that they have eliminated the goalposts altogether.

Unlike in West Virginia and Kentucky, most laid-off mine workers in Pennsylvania seemingly still believe coal is coming back.. A president of an agency which provides retraining stated "They really do want to go back into the mines. So we've seen resistance to some retraining."  Reuters reports some "say mining pays well; other industries are unfamiliar; and there's no income during training and no guarantee of a job afterward."

The reluctance is not deplorable, only unfortunate and in most cases, self-defeating. Yet, these individuals share a characteristic with the guy who excuses Trump for failing to get his border wall, rescinding the Affordable Care Act, or ending funding for Planned Parenthood.

They are chumps, easy marks for the politician who once boasted "I like the poorly educated." Donald Trump recognized his market and sold his bill of goods. At times he promised what the individuals wanted, such as coal jobs. At other times, he denounced their enemies, whether immigrants, foreigners, minorities, liberals, the foreign policy establishment, or the media.

Political correctness must not prevent us from characterizng such people honestly. "If you have been in a poker game for a while," it has been explained, "and you still don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy." We've all been in the poker game of this presidency a while and as Donald Trump pimps for a tax bill to lower the taxes of  billionaires, it's time that the persons Hillary Clinton once described as deplorable recognize who Donald Trump is playing for patsies.

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