Why Trump? This question seems to be a source of genuine bafflement for the ruling classes on both sides of the aisle, but especially for liberals. Let me see if I can explain.
I fell victim to one of those nasty, late fall colds and went home sick at lunch on Wednesday. While ladling chicken noodle soup down my aching throat, I turned on the TV and wound up watching the America’s News HQ midday program on Fox. The newscaster was interviewing Democratic Representative Tim Ryan from Ohio, and they were discussing why House Democrats are delaying a vote on the minority leader. The talk is that Ryan may be tagged to replace Nancy Pelosi.
They cut away in the middle of their live interview to a clip of Ryan talking to reporters in the hallway at an earlier time. Ryan said Democrats needed to reconnect with voters in the “flyover zone.”
The “flyover zone.”
The newscaster repeated the term, looking slightly puzzled by Congressman Ryan’s casual use of it, but she didn’t belabor the point. They moved on to their main topic.
The thing is that the term “flyover zone” IS the point…of the entire election.
I’m sure Ryan didn’t mean to be insulting. His was benevolent condescension. He was just saying what the intelligentsia in both parties thinks of those of us in Middle America; you’re smarter than we are, you’re more sophisticated, you’re better qualified in every way to run this country and if you occasionally have to take a few shortcuts in the Democratic process or the Constitution to achieve your goals, well, the ends justify the means.
We know that’s what you think of us. You make it abundantly clear. We get it from the top down – even the President of the United States made it clear when he sneered about us rubes “clinging to our guns and religion.”
When I say Middle America I’m not just talking about the states located geographically in the middle of the country, although the election map certainly lit up that way. We’re in every state of the union and we encompass all races, backgrounds and religions. Middle America is made up of everyday people who quietly go about the business of living life. Some went to college, some didn’t, but most of us work hard to earn our keep and take care of our families. On our days off we kick back or kick up our heels a little. We’re no saints, but we try to do the right thing. We probably go to church.
We love our country and we worry about our families and the future.
You won’t find us out on the streets vandalizing property when things don’t go our way, because:
- it wouldn’t be nice
- many of us own small businesses and we know how we’d feel if someone did that to us
- it’s hard to stay up all night smashing car windows when you have to get up early the next morning to go to work
Middle America is tired of being lied to, either outright or by the ever-present “spin.” We’re tired of being sneered at; we’re tired of being condescended to; and we’re tired of having the things that matter most to us mocked or brushed aside like so many pesky gnats; unimportant in the Grand Scheme of Things.
I’ve talked to a lot of people about this, mainly since the election. Most said they were afraid to voice an opinion contrary to the established narrative beforehand. They knew that the same crowd screaming for inclusion and diversity would exclude them in a New York minute for espousing diverse ideas on topics that had been declared closed for debate. If you suggested that Trump had anything at all of value to offer to our country, then that thought would put you squarely in the basket with the other “deplorables.”
It seems to me the main appeal of Donald Trump to Middle America, and the thing that first caught people’s attention, is one of the very characteristics that the intelligentsia ridicules the most: he says what he thinks.
You have no idea how refreshing that is.
He hasn’t had every syllable vetted by a carefully orchestrated focus group. He’s relatively rough, unpolished and direct and, consequently, he often sticks his foot in his mouth. Average people react to that because they do that, too.
I think that many Americans feel that Trump is an average Joe. He’s one of them…except really, really rich.
In another interview on CNN, Congressman Ryan candidly said that his party needed to reevaluate how they talk to voters. He said that they need to go into the red states and connect with working class voters, people he says he knows well. “They want to – they want you to talk to them about how they can run machinery, or run a back hoe or sling concrete block. That’s what they want to do. So we need an agenda for Democrats that speaks to those workers.”
He’s figured out what went wrong. This is good. The ideas aren’t the problem; it’s just that they didn’t explain their fabulous vision in a way that Joe Doakes in the flyover zone could understand. They need to write a new script.
If they could just explain in simpler terms, Joe Doakes would understand that fossil fuels are BAD. We don’t need that nasty smelly stuff, or those nasty, smelly jobs. Joe can still run machinery. He can run machinery to repair windmills and solar panels. He’ll make a lot more money, too, because the taxpayer subsidizes those industries a ton.
If they could just explain it right, he’d understand that when he loses his job running a backhoe to an illegal immigrant who will work for $4 per hour less, he should blame his greedy, fat cat employer. What possible justification could that employer have for trying to hold costs down in a global economy? Blame him, not the government who refuses to deport illegals, not even those who are criminals.
If they could just make him understand, Joe Doakes would know that he’s much better off now under Obamacare. When he’s slinging that concrete block around and he drops it on his foot, he now has unlimited access to the emergency room. Of course, he has a $6,500 deductible, but he can sign up for free lactation counseling on his way out of the hospital. That benefit alone makes it perfectly acceptable that his insurance premium doubled this year.
Every possible negative label was thrown at Trump. They were piled on his back like heavy rocks, purposely designed to weigh him down and count him out. The right hurled labels at Clinton as well, but the aim of those hefting the labels wasn’t nearly as good.
I’m no cheerleader for Donald Trump. I’m not going to defend or explain things he has said or done. I probably can’t and I sure as hell don’t want to. Lord knows the man is far from perfect, but neither is he the anti-Christ he has been painted.
I think people saw both campaigns as the hatchet jobs they were, and they chose to look beyond the labels. When presented with two, deeply flawed candidates, voters tried to look past the man or woman and determine from their words and actions what each believed. More importantly, what they intended to DO.
I’d like to think that everyone would give the President-elect a chance. Maybe a new way of doing things WOULD be good for our country. I feel that way after every election, no matter which way it falls. I say I’d like to think that will happen, but I gave up on impossible dreams when I learned the Easter Bunny wasn’t real. After a one-day pause to cry and lick their wounds, the attack dogs went right back to the task of tearing down everything Donald Trump does, says or is with renewed vigor.
There is one change I think we can count on as a result of this election. Now that the intelligentsia has figured out they need the votes from the flyover zone, we’ll be seeing a lot more hard hats and Caterpillar tractor t-shirts on Capitol Hill in the next 4 years.