I can’t be alone when I say I am sick and tired of hearing stories of how Trump’s policies are adversely affecting Trump’s voters. There is no reasoning or talking with these people. Bernie Sanders has recently said they are not racists or xenophobic though that is the message Trump began his campaign with and what carried it through. The strategy for the Democratic Party is simple when it comes to Trump voters: F*ck em. They can’t be saved because of their misunderstanding of history, their loyalty to the “plantation”, the “us vs. them” mentality, and of what generally happens to people when they get conned.
Your Parents, Grandparents, And Great Grandparents All Benefitted From Government Spending
Trump voters and conservatives in general seem not to understand the relationship between government spending and success particularly in the 20th century. The government stepped in and saved dust bowl farmers and northwest agriculture in the 1930’s. It built dams, hired people during the depression and funded all kinds of public works. So while it was honest work, it was government subsidized and in a period of deficit spending.
World War 2 lead to the best economy in decades, all predicated on government going into debt to buy the things we used to win the war. Then, the interstate highway system, airports and construction housed the post war baby boom. Social security starting in the New Deal and expanded during the Great Society, huge agriculture bills propped up farmers, the Cold War and the space race are all examples of government piling money into the economy and hiring people at taxpayer expense.
If people are opposed to government “largesse”, that’s fine but they need to understand history. Their parents and grandparents lived in an economy that put plenty of government money into their pockets. If not theirs directly, then the people who hired them.
Conservatives Will Not Get Off The Plantation
Middle America and Confederate America have long been captured by the Grand Old Plantation system which, regardless of pigmentation, always fostered a religious worship of rich plantation owners, rich businessmen and the ‘boss’ which relegated everyone else to the status of lowly, grateful slave-wage worker. That plantation syndrome runs deep in America and leads conservatives and Trump voters to be ‘company’ voters who hate regulation and any ‘government’ interference with the golden sugar daddies who give them their daily bread. It’s all a variation of Stockholm Syndrome that has led rural white America to side with their Good Old Boy abusers who have been economically abusing them for years with non-living wages, non-existent benefits, underfunded public schools and a shared belief in an imaginary God who blesses their grinding daily poverty with hellfire, brimstone and the company picnic.
Trump Syndrome is Stockholm Syndrome featuring:
1) Positive feelings by the victim toward the abuser.
2) Negative feelings by the victim toward family, friends, Democrats, or others trying to rescue them or let them know they’ve been scammed.
3) Positive feelings by the abuser (Trump) toward the victims (‘I love the poorly educated’).
4) Support of the abuser’s behaviors, reasons and bizarre explanations by the victim while helping the abuser (“I will stand behind my Groper-In-Chief.”).
5) Inability to engage in behaviors that may assist in their release (“I don’t think I need to re-evaluate Trump”).
Seeing that the GOP is 89% white, in essence, they are white slaves.
It’s Us vs. Them For Conservatives And Trump Voters
As a result, conservatives and Trump voters are driven by a sense that they are part of a special community of “real” Americans united against a threat from “those people” meaning racial, religious, and ethnic minorities, lgbtq, liberals, progressives, intellectuals and foreigners. Devotion to the community means believing in the same articles of faith as their family and friends. Breaking with the Trump orthodoxy means breaking with their community which explains their agony when reality threatens their beliefs.
This belief in their world under assault drives their hatred and vitriol towards Democrats and automatic acceptance of completely different rules applied to “us”. Lies and crimes by those avowing fealty to the community and those outside are completely different phenomenon. Thus Hillary’s emails are treason while colluding with the Russians must be in the best interests of real Americans.
As with all articles of faith, it may be far easier for the typical Trump voter to make up reasons why someone else is to blame rather than to break with their beliefs. Facts will have little affect. The average Trump voter doesn’t really know or care whether Obama is from Kenya, global warming is real, what Benghazi was, or that coal hasn’t been more than 5% of even West Virginia’s jobs for a lifetime. They believe because these are articles of faith in their community.
When People Get Conned
When otherwise sensible people fall victim to a con man, many are so ashamed that they hesitate to report the crime to the police. Plain and simple, it’s humiliating to be taken for a fool.
Trump’s voters and conservatives are starting to have the same realization: they’ve been conned by a common huckster masquerading as someone with actual ability to solve problems and lead this country. Every day they’re faced with mounting evidence they’ve been had. Rather than their embarrassment being limited to exposure in front of their close friends and family, as might be the case with a garden variety con, Trump’s gross ineptitude, dishonesty, ignorance and cruelty exposes these voters as suckers — on the national stage.
I’m not surprised few of these voters are willing to publicly admit how foolish they were in casting a vote for a con man. The humiliation in publicly admitting one has been swindled, especially when one was warned so clearly on so many occasions, is a strong incentive to double down and insist the whole thing can’t possibly be a con.
While conservatives often decry government spending in general, red states generally receive more in federal government benefits than blue states do — and thus are often at greater risk from someone like Trump. Democrats gleeful at the prospect of winning penitent voters back should take a deep breath. These voters may be irritated, but they’ll remain loyal to Trump. These people don’t regret their votes in November. The overwhelming majority will vote for Trump for re-election in 2020.
Some of the loyalty for Trump seems to be grounded in resentment at Democrats for mocking Trump voters as dumb bigots, some from a belief that governing is complicated, and some from a sense that it’s too early to abandon their man. Perhaps if jobs don’t reappear, they will turn against him but I doubt it.
One recent survey found that only 3 percent of Trump voters would vote differently if the election were today (and most of those would vote for third-party candidates; only 1 percent said they would switch to voting for Hillary Clinton).
It’s time to forget about Trump voters. They are a lost cause. Instead, as Democrats, let’s focus on maxing out our constituencies that we failed to turn out this election which would be blacks, hispanics and asians. Afterall, what some call identity politics, others call civil rights.