Making it great again
I don't believe the majority of Trump voters, middle and low income whites are idiots, racists, or rednecks. The America they want back is a myth perpetuated by the pop culture of the late 40s, 50s, and 60's... a country that had just won a war, a country that stood up to the Nazis and eventually the Soviet Union. It's an America of clean streets, fresh manicured lawns, Thanksgiving, and apple pie.
That myth ignores an America still thriving on FDRs new deal, a government that taxed its richest citizens upwards of 90%, a far cry from today's 15% capital gains and 35% income, enacted by the Reagan administration, and made permanent by congress in 2010. Post World War ll America was a time of massive infrastructure progress, the advent of suburbs, consumerism, strip malls, strong industry (which still thrived under heavy taxation and regulation). It was also a time of heavy civil unrest, which blossomed in the 60's and into the 70's.
The story of a strong America 60 years ago also forgets the roll of a democratic-socialist American Government that made what they are so proud of: a strong white middle class with good jobs, great pensions, quality (almost free) higher education, upward mobility, and the idea that their kids would be more prosperous than them. Said myth only applied to white america.
That American myth ignored a growing population of minorities who were severely mistreated, under represented, disenfranchised, heavily incarcerated and heavily policed. During that moment American's middle class was slowly slipping away, then dissolved in the 70's and 80's without them knowing why.
The myth continued, Archie Bunker and Edith played their piano as their beloved country was changing, "those were the days". The heavily taxed corporations and industry were less and less regulated, and less taxed. By the 80's they were completely free to leave the country, find cheaper labor elsewhere; labor that didn't require full time employment, pensions, benefits, and union rights. The people of Sri Lanka could now make your $50 polo shirt for only $2 a day, or the inmates of an American state prison can do it for free thanks to a clause in the 13th amendment.
The white working-class America that elected Donald Trump was angry. They were given a chance to chose between someone who expressed their misguided anger or a known quantity, Hillary Clinton, an uninspiring candidate, another corporatist politician.
On November 8th, 2016, America gambled out of deep seeded confused anger and resentment toward business as usual politics that represent only the richest in our society.
How could one minority say that their lives matter? Why does that Mexican and his kids get free healthcare while I pay high premiums? Why are my only options for employment in retail? Why can't I find full time employment? Why can't we run government like a business and stop giving things away to the least of my brothers? These are just a sampling of the sentiment so many white middle and lower class voters feel.
Here lies the common ground for all Americans, white, black, Latino, conservative, liberal, or socialist. Democrats and Republicans don't represent us anymore. Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and this election stated that sentiment loud and clear.
Sent from my iPhone