Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The reality about Trump supporters

As I pointed out in two recent articles, the mainstream media are so dead set against Donald Trump that they're manufacturing a feeding frenzy, seizing upon any possible negative factor and exaggerating it to the point of absurdity.  I've never seen their bias displayed so openly, and with such contempt for their audience.  It's so blatant as to make a mockery of any pretense at objectivity.  I'm not a Trump supporter or advocate - I'm neutral, so far, about his candidacy - but this display of partisanship is so over-the-top that I'm forced to conclude he has a real prospect of winning the election.  If he didn't, they wouldn't be bothering to attack him so violently and so often.

What's even more interesting is that this overwhelming barrage of anti-Trump propaganda simply isn't working.  It's not deterring his supporters at all, as far as any objective observer can determine - at least, not thus far.  He took an initial hammering in the opinion polls, but has already recovered to within striking distance of his opponent.

Some commentators are now trying to associate Trump supporters with so-called 'hillbillies', racists and anti-social misfits.  That, too, isn't working.  Long-time military blogger Commander Salamander took his daughter to a Trump rally a few days ago, and offers these observations.

Especially if you follow me on twitter, it should be fairly obvious that I’m not a Trump supporter. That didn’t stop me recently from taking the eldest Wee Salamander and heading out to a Trump rally.

Why? It wasn’t because I like crowds – I don’t and neither does my daughter. It isn’t because she is a Trump supporter, she isn’t. We went because I believe in primary sources. Way too many people I know are self-selecting their information and are caught up in a self-feeding human centipede of emotion based politics. There is no better primary source than yourself, so I took the opportunity to teach something to my daughter again and we went to the Trump rally.

. . .

The most common demographic if I had to pick one? Young, middle class working white couples and groups of male co-workers. It was not a white out by any measure. If you consider that 80-90% of blacks in this area are Democrats, no shock that the audience was not representative of the ~30% of the population here that is black. I would say probably 5% was black. Those around me included and extended family of three generation and then a real funny guy two rows down who was there with his cute as a button blonde haired and blue eyed girlfriend. Trump voters being a bunch of racists? No. You can put that to bed right away. Also in this area, Asians are about 5% and “Hispanics” 9%. As such, I would say Asians and Hispanics were over represented as Trump supporters. It also seemed that 5% of the crowd was Albanian, Bosnian, Russian, Ukrainian or Russian. I can’t tell those languages apart, but I heard it as often as I heard Spanish, and we have a significant population of each here.

. . .

Neither one of us was swayed one way or another about Trump himself by going to the rally, but it did firm up one conviction that has built up for the last few months; the anti-Trump movement is even more anti-democratic than Trump himself. Nothing is more dangerous to a democratic system of governance than political violence, and the vilification to the point of instilling fear in to your political opponents that is a hallmark of the anti-Trump forces should give everyone pause.

If you don’t like Trump, then go after Trump. If you find yourself ignoring or making excuses for those who promote violence against Trump, or fall in to the trap of painting Trumpists with the usual leftist smears of racists, sexist, homophobes etc – you should take a deep breath and then go find out for yourself.

There's more at the link.

Speaking of commentators trying to spread disinformation about Trump supporters, I found this observation about his 'hillbilly supporters' very telling.

Manufacturing shed 5 million jobs after 2000, giving way to welfare, drugs and despondency. The number of Americans receiving welfare of one kind or another exploded from 42 million (or 18.8 percent of Americans) in 1983 to 109 million (or 35 percent) in 2012. As America added 83 million citizens, then, it added 67 million welfare recipients — during a period of massive wealth creation. (Per-capita income rose from about $30,000 in 1983 to over $52,000 in 2012.)

The factory closings on the one hand and the welfare checks on the other created lots of idle people. And what do they do with all that spare time? Drugs.

What the author is very carefully not pointing out is that $52,000 in 2012 would buy less than $30,000 would have bought in 1983!  Inflation eroded the purchasing power of the US dollar during the intervening period.  That had as much as any other factor to do with those factory closings.  Furthermore, the expansion of welfare was, as much as anything else, an official way to avoid admitting that.  By supplementing incomes that were able to buy less and less as their value eroded, the government did not have to admit that its economic policies were undermining the national currency.  That puts a rather different complexion on the issue, doesn't it?

I think City Journal got it right in a very interesting article titled 'Why Are Voters So Angry?  They want self-government back.'

Haunting this year’s presidential contest is the sense that the U.S. government no longer belongs to the people and no longer represents them. And this uneasy feeling is not misplaced. It reflects the real state of affairs.

We have lost the government we learned about in civics class, with its democratic election of representatives to do the voters’ will in framing laws, which the president vows to execute faithfully, unless the Supreme Court rules them unconstitutional. That small government of limited powers that the Founders designed, hedged with checks and balances, hasn’t operated for a century. All its parts still have their old names and appear to be carrying out their old functions. But in fact, a new kind of government has grown up inside the old structure, like those parasites hatched in another organism that grow by eating up their host from within, until the adult creature bursts out of the host’s carcass. This transformation is not an evolution but a usurpation.

What has now largely displaced the Founders’ government is what’s called the Administrative State—a transformation premeditated by its main architect, Woodrow Wilson. The thin-skinned, self-righteous college-professor president, who thought himself enlightened far beyond the citizenry, dismissed the Declaration of Independence’s inalienable rights as so much outmoded “nonsense,” and he rejected the Founders’ clunky constitutional machinery as obsolete. (See “It’s Not Your Founding Fathers’ Republic Any More”, Summer 2014.)

. . .

FDR spewed out his agencies in a “try anything” spirit to cure a Depression that his predecessor’s misguided palliatives had worsened, and debate still surges over whether the New Deal agencies did harm or good, putting aside their doubtful legitimacy. But the majority of Americans at the time gave the president credit for good intentions. By contrast, many voters give Barack Obama no such credit for his analogous response to the Great Recession. They see it as a cynically calculated ploy to extend government’s power over the people, especially given the White House chief of staff’s crack that a president should “never let a good crisis go to waste.” So on the pretext of addressing the financial crisis, the administration partially socialized American medicine with legislation that only Democrats voted for, without bothering to read it, and that citizens who opposed the measure—still a solid majority of those polled—saw as a kind of coup d’état, framed with utter irresponsibility and ignoring the scary financial mess. As happened during the New Deal, a timid Supreme Court found the act constitutional only by the politically driven legerdemain frequent in that institution’s checkered history. It struck many as flimflam, not government by consent.

The result was a spectacular expansion of the Administrative State, with some 150 new agencies and commissions created; no one knows the exact number. And these agencies purposely removed the Administrative State even further from government by the people. One agency, the Independent Payment Advisory Board—the so-called death panel—is so democratically unaccountable that Congress can only abolish it by a three-fifths vote in both houses within a seven-month period next year. After that, the law bars Congress from altering any of the board’s edicts, a provision as far from democratic self-government as you can get.

. . .

As the Founders often cautioned, a self-governing republic doesn’t have a governing class. Part of America’s current predicament is that it now has such a class, and the American people are very angry about it.

Again, more at the link.  I think it's indispensable reading, and the best explanation I've yet read as to why Donald Trump remains so popular with voters, despite all the vitriol and hatred directed at him by the establishment (which is inseparably shackled to the Administrative State it created on the way to becoming the establishment).



Uncle Lar said...

I think there is a lot of truth in the observation that to understand a man you examine two things, his family and his enemies.
Must say, from what I've seen his wife and kids impress the heck out of me.
As for his enemies, Democrats, most of the media, all liberal progressives, and that whole crew of I'll give away the farm to keep my cushy job Republicans.
I do not know what Trump would do if elected, but I have a very good idea of what HRC will try to do if she cheats her way into office, and I'm too old and sick to take to the streets in the inevitable rebellion that would follow in a new Clinton term.

TheOtherSean said...

While I mostly agree with Uncle Lar, I must admit that a portion of Trump's enemies are people I respect, admire, and (usually) agree with. For myself, I am likely to go ahead and vote Trump. He's not my ideal candidate by any stretch of the imagination, but there's at least an off chance that he'll be better than Hillary.

Judy said...

I'm no fan of Trump either. My biggest problem is, him shooting off his mouth before he has all the facts. If he goes to running his steamboat mouth and pisses off the Russians or the Chinese...We The People are going to have bigger problems than a bunch of folks that worship a 6th century Joseph Smith.

I had problems with HRC clear back during her husband's occupation of the White House and my opinion of her hasn't improved over the years.

Basically, I want my parents' country back with politicians that are held to the same standard that every other US Person/citizen is held to.

Uncle Lar said...

I do not claim to like Trump. In fact I think he is a mouthy arrogant jerk.
But Hillary scares the hell out of me. She is not a well or stable woman.
And she proved time and again that she will do stupid things in spite of being told better by the experts who surround her.

Anonymous said...

Uncle Lar took my answer. Trump can say idiotic things, but he is teachable (note his positions are fluid and are amended). Hillary has long proven that Her Agenda is all that matters - Laws are for citizens, not them. Her apologies for misdeeds ring hollow. Nope, Trump over Hillary choice is clear for me.

bmq215 said...

"Already recovered" is some cherry-picking of the highest order. First of all it's a news article based on a shift of 5 percentage points where the credibility interval is +-3. So a "real" value of 5 or 6 could show up as either result, ergo there's no proof that anything changed at all.

More importantly it's one poll and the aggregate of current polls suggests that Hillary has stopped pulling ahead but has yet to give up any ground: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_clinton_vs_johnson_vs_stein-5952.html

Anyone can prove anything if they choose the right statistics and massage the data just so. It's up to you to do the due diligence before passing it on.