ISSUES OF VITAL IMPORTANCE TO ME
How did Donald Trump gain a significant base of supporters and why do they stick with him?
Decades of power and wealth increases for corporations at the expanse of large groups of Americans set the stage for Trump’s success. Here are some examples.
If your religion passionately opposes abortion or gay rights, it has been an uphill fight to be heard in the halls of power. If your manufacturing job has been moved overseas, who in government has come to your rescue? If you have been living a borderline economic existence for years while huge corporations control the government for their own benefit, who has cared about your insecurity? If you or members of your family have, through intense struggle made it to the middle class, who has cared about your resentment against recipients of welfare? If you have taken for granted the benefits of being a white male even without a higher educational degree and if you have been treated as a second class citizen for resenting the increase in status of people of color and immigrants, who understands your sense of loss? If you have been raised in abject poverty and see yourself blocked from a better life, who gives a damn about your condition?
Seeds of anger grow deep roots when people experience their lives as futile. They are angry because a critical promise has never been kept. They were promised a government of the people at every election period by candidates for office. The promise has been forgotten completely except by the voters whose hopes have been raised and then dropped.
And then along came Trump, a billionaire showman, who presented himself as a simple human being just like you. In irreverence, in crudity he violated every convention and seemed to fear no one just as you always wished you could. He declared himself your hero and despite all evidence to the contrary, you believe him. Hope, after so much despair is hard to give up. Giving up Trump seems like a retreat into irrelevancy. A smiling or angry or demeaning Donald Trump is an expert in promoting himself to his self-declared people.
Why do so many people with jobs support Donald Trump?
It seems to me that the essence of Democracy lies in a set of beliefs and expectations based on those beliefs. Primary among those beliefs is that your government will protect you from harm. In their zeal to defend and promote a military/industrial complex, United States governments have abandoned vast numbers of workers who live from paycheck to paycheck. They live just over the poverty line and far from middle class status. Husband and wife work more than one job, striving to raise their children and always too tired and stressed to parent those children well. They live in shame over their failures to do better.
People just making it into middle class live in fear of slipping back through loss of job or health or something else.
Trump is not the cause of threats to our Democracy. Rather, he is the result of an irresistible cabal that values profits and power over the people whom they use as sources of labor or as pawns to be ignored. Democrats and Republicans are part of that cabal. I believe that hope for change lies in a people’s revolutionary change. Therein is a major problem.
Why are democrats running for the presidency running so hard to gain support from the voting public?
Among the democratic candidates for president there is a split between those who see a need for gradual vs revolutionary change. My question is, Change to what? I doubt that either side can describe a vision of what a new American government should look like. All of the candidates present programs that they believe will attract voters.
Medicare for All is discussed yea or nay in terms of costs. I believe that costs are the least important factor. More important is, how will Medicare for All fit into the total pattern of American life? There is no vision for what a people’s government would look like in its totality. A vision would require delineating how the road to the goals of government would evolve over time if the candidate were to be elected.
Bernie Sanders favors radical change. He roars against the selfish rich and powerful. He assumes that his base will approve of cutting them to size. To win convincingly he must expand his base. He can’t do much of that as long as he fails to recognize that he offers little overall explanation for why the rich are a problem for the unrich. Many Americans admire the rich. The rich worked hard for their billions. Don’t they have the right to use their wealth as they please?. The variety of people’s beliefs may not be ignored by candidates for office.
All candidates claim that the American people will welcome their proposed changes. That’s nonsense. The term “American people” is a myth. There is no “American people.” Americans have probably never been as divided as they are today. Of the 435 members of the House of Representatives, less than 40 Democrats make them a majority with the power to impeach a President or make other crucial decisions for the entire electorate.
There is nothing democratic in simple majority rule where winner takes all.. There is nothing democratic in a system where a presidential candidate can be elected with a minority of votes cast in a national election. Hilary Clinton had some three million votes more than Donald Trump.
Is the American Constitution the Holy Grail to be defended at all cost?
The Constitution that the founding fathers worked out was a tortured compromise among differing colonial powers. Yet, they could claim a coherent vision of what they wanted in a government. That coherent vision was lost as soon as dramatic changes were made in the beliefs and the perceived needs of a growing population. For centuries American governments have tried to make the Constitution fit dramatic changes that were entirely unknown at its inception. The Constitution is held together by an increasingly politicized Supreme Court. I believe that the Court needs change desperately as does the Constitution.
Perhaps it is time for a constitutional convention to work out a new vision for our Democracy. I am well aware of the dangers of opening up the government to changes while so much power resides in the ruling classes. I don’t really recommend a new convention at this time though I wish, devoutly, for one. In any case, I would like to see recognition of our need to create a new vision for our government.
When we think in terms of goals conditioned by vision, who can deny the benefits of thinking and debating where we want to go and how we can possibly get there?