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What did Trump voters accomplish?

June 12, 2017

That question was posed over Saturday morning coffee among a group of people who have somehow managed to remain friends, despite representing differing political viewpoints. There were several Trump voters, a Clinton voter, a non-voter, and two who voted for local write-ins as a protest.

It’s a fair question, given that if you only pay attention to the media you might think it’s all about race or religion or economic status or gender.

Ah, the media.  Described by one person as a modern plague of locusts, and by another as the world’s largest sewer. Suffice it to say, these folks don’t form their opinions of Trump based on CNN or MSNBC. Not even the ones who didn’t vote for Trump.

One thing they all recognize…the Stop Trump movement is about stopping everyone that voted for him too. All 62 million of them.

So why did they vote for him?

The overwhelming consensus was that the Trump voters wanted to restore optimism and expose a real threat to the nation.

For instance, they have hope that common sense will replace government interference in people’s everyday lives.

On a local and personal level, one man mentioned that he had a place on his property that always flooded due a low spot in his neighbor’s irrigation ditch.  The ditch got fixed, and the place is dry now, and has been for three years.  Upshot, the neighbor wanted to cut down the willows that had crept in and subsequently died, and bring in fill dirt to fix some erosion.

Only he couldn’t, because it was now considered a seasonal wetland, according to a county official.

Only when President Trump addressed the issue of the Obama-era expansion of EPA regulations, was he able to go in and fix the damage.

That’s just a very local story, but it is an example of how what happens in Washington affects real people.

On a more national scale, another person who didn’t vote for either party’s candidate asked what about all the unrest, the people rioting in the streets, the never-ending media wars, the attempts to stamp out conservatives, all of that.

Interestingly, no one focused on individual symptoms, like college radicals trying to suppress opposing speech or people identifying first as some gender, racial or ethnic group, rather than Americans.

They very much see what’s happening as a battle for the country’s national identity.

Most people felt that bringing into the light how far the country has moved left was a good thing. Sort of a feeling that exposing the enemy within was the first step to combating them.

Everyone agreed that the support for socialism was disturbing. One lady mentioned that her grandparents had immigrated through Ellis Island to get away from that and would be horrified to see how many people supported Bernie Sanders and the far left if they were still living.

Most Trump voters agreed that while it would have been nice to have had a mainstream candidate with shall we say, a bit less polarizing personality in the White House, that person apparently doesn’t exist.

One person put it this way…”It isn’t Trump who is the problem. It’s the country. If the problems weren’t so big, he wouldn’t be so polarizing, because no one would object to rebuilding America.  There wouldn’t be any need for a Donald Trump, and he wouldn’t need to be out there tweeting about his enemies attacking him ”

A woman compared the country to her granddaughter, who is four.

“Kids are really good at emotional blackmail. If I tell her she can’t have a cookie, or that I won’t buy her a certain toy, she immediately says I don’t love her, or that she hates me and turns on the crocodile tears. I raised six kids, so I know that’s just the way kids behave. How she turns out on the other hand, is based on how I behave. If I give in to her every time, she will turn out to be a shallow, self-centered and manipulative adult.

For far too long the people that run this country have been giving in to every demand from first this group and then that one. With identity politics we have many spoiled, manipulative human beings gathered in tight little groups, and politicians pandering to them to stay in power.  Donald Trump got picked to say “No” to the special interest groups when it’s necessary.”

As a group, these folks see the race, religious, gender and other social issues as mere battles in a larger conflict.

And that’s kind of the point. It’s not about Donald Trump.

The country has gone through this kind of upheaval many times in the past, starting with its very inception. It’s one of the side effects of people having the right to disagree with the central government of the moment.

Until recently, it’s always come through the maelstroms with its national identity intact.

Maybe if we can stay focused on the big picture, it will again.

From → op-ed

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