As far as I’m concerned, The Donald was elected President in 2016 for one reason. At a time when President Obama and Senator Clinton claimed everything was fine, because the economy was recovering in a cyclical sense, and because things have (for the most part) remained fine for college and graduate-school educated people who were born in 1957 or earlier (59 years old or older at the time, 63 or older today). Trump was willing to acknowledge that for less well educated Americans, and even for better educated people who were born later, things have significantly become worse over the long term. And that the U.S. as a whole is getting poorer, deeper in debt, more dependent on subsidies from the rest of the world. He didn’t really understand why, or have a real idea what to do about it, but he at least pretended to care about what those inside the affluent bi-coastal bubble were indifferent to. When later-born generations saw that no one was really speaking to, or caring about, their situation and concerns, they stayed home. Meanwhile working class Whites, and some working class Blacks and Hispanics, took a chance on Trump, just as Michael Moore predicted.
Trump’s best line? “What have you got to lose?”
Now it is four years later, and The Donald is singing a different tune. Things are Great Again! he says, and all because of him, and if it wasn’t for bad luck – a once in a century pandemic – he would have been re-elected easily. As of last December some people seemed to buy it.
But is this true? We would be having an election about nothing, absent COVID-19, but now we are having an election about almost nothing. Just Generation Greed’s culture wars, which are mostly about sex, rather than the extent to which the future and those who will be living in it are screwed. But I couldn’t let Trump’s assertions go unanswered. He was, in this case, right the first time, and what he said the first time in 2016 was still true in 2019, before the pandemic even hit.Continue reading