In Defense Of Trump Supporters
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

In Defense Of Trump Supporters

Instead of calling them names, listen to them.

74
In Defense Of Trump Supporters
Matt Black - "The Geography of Poverty"

This year’s Democratic National Convention consisted mainly of endorsing Hillary through bashing Trump, a tactic employed by the Republicans just a week earlier for rallying behind Trump. Of course, dismantling Trump’s campaign includes dismantling his mantra, as President Obama tells a crowd of fervent supporters that, no, we don’t need to “Make America Great Again”, because “America is great already”; similarly, First Lady Michelle Obama echoed her husband’s sentiments, saying, “don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great.”

The question is, is America already great? Clearly not, for the camp that Hillary is trying to win over – the white American working class struggling under poverty, lamenting a bygone era of glorious economic prosperity and more simplistic social orders.

The white American working class lives at a strange intersection of privilege and oppression – they are told by today’s society that their skin color is a sign of privilege built on the sufferings of others, yet the harsh reality of financial despondency seems to signal otherwise. They are often invisible – and when they are visible, it is in stereotypes – uneducated, poor, God-fearing, drug-abusing “rednecks” – they could be openly mocked with no apparent repercussions. They are not a group to be even “pandered” to; to them, both the Democrats and Republicans have done very little to assuage their economic and social crises.

Simply put, the white working class exists in a society that often overlooks their problems and treats them with hostility – as long-time Republican and fellow Yale alumnus J. D. Vance puts it, “the two political parties have offered nothing to these people for a few decades” – from the Left, they receive “smug condescension” that the white working class is voting against their own economic prospects due to social issues, and from the Republicans, a rather basic Republican reform of neoliberal tax cuts, deregulation and free market – policies which ultimately backfired on their economic wellbeing. According to Vance, author of the white working class memoir Hillbilly Elegy, and hundreds of former laborers on the Rust Belt – Trump is the only person who indicated a concern – genuine or not – for their economic and social well-being. He promised to bring jobs back to America – it is yet unclear how he will be achieve this, yet he promised, with the directness and plainness that are appreciated by these communities.

Trump addressed, in clear terms – albeit crudely and undiplomatically – issues that ring to the woes of the white working class spiraling into cycles of poverty, shorter lifespan, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse... Trump spoke boldly in everyday layman’s terms – considered undiplomatic, crude, divisive, bigoted – but plainly, in a spirit that resonate with the laborers who have gone out of employment as the economy of their industrial hometowns withered and died. The laborers have found a voice that echoed theirs – someone who didn’t come to shove esoteric economic policies down their throat, or mock them as ignorant and stupid, or call them racist; someone who had the guts and audacity to do what no Establishment politician dare to do – and, perhaps, bring real change.

Cambria County, PA, one of the many great industrial towns during the 1940’s, suffered significant financial losses when cheaper steel was starting to be produced by overseas mills. In 1973, Bethlehem Steel cut a third of its workforce; within six years, local unemployment topped 23 % and since 1980, the county’s population declined by a quarter. Similar fates were met by counties across the country – industrial towns whose competitive edges were outshone by factories overseas, and whose growing pains were met with very little attention from both parties.

Cambria, PA was significantly Democrats until 2012 – EPA’s new environmental regulations, endorsed by President Obama, left very little choices for Cambria’s working force, whose economy depend so vitally upon the continuously shrinking coal industry. This year, many white working class citizens were Sanders supporters, regarding Sanders as an outsider who could fundamentally challenge the current political system that has given them little attention, yet when Sanders failed to clinch the nomination, they switched to Trump – Trump was also an outsider, who at least openly acknowledged their hardship. Clinton was for clean energy; Trump, on the other hand, was all for expanding heavy industry, and that was all they need to hear. Trump brushed away the lofty talks and focused on economic prosperity for white working class, and he talked like a businessman who might just fulfill the promises Establishment politicians failed to deliver.

For a long time, the white working class identity was threatened – at the intersection of privilege and victimhood, it is sent scrambling for reconciliation in a society increasingly practicing “identity politics” and coming to terms with diversity and multiculturalism. Many times, they are told, mostly by the American Left, that their voices don’t matter, or that they are already beneficiaries of “white privilege” – a term that is foreign and strange when contrasted with real poverty that seems to be the antithesis of privilege. For many white working people, this is a threat and a crisis; whether the sense of threat is entirely “reasonable” or not is another story, yet elections have never been about reason. Trump speaks their language – a certain anti-intellectualism that bashes the elites who have been oblivious or condescending towards their causes. Trump acknowledges their existence and their hardship, and that alone is enough to drown out no matter how many facts or figures his opposition may present.

I have always admired Hillary’s vision, persistence and her consistent fight for the greater good; she is without doubt exponentially more experienced, more competent, and will make much better of a president than Trump can ever hope to be. Nonetheless, I remain pessimistic that preexisting Trump supporters would ever change their minds and voter for her after DNC; the entire conference screams “Establishment” and it endorses tirelessly a candidate who grew and nourished within the existing American political system and who in turn shaped it into what it is today. Her years of experience as a lawyer, a politician and an activist will not matter to the white American working class Trump supporters; she is a product of the same system that has condescending pretended to care for them, yet never did.

I’m not saying it is, by any means, justified to be racist, xenophobic, sexist, anti-intellectual – as Trump has tireless proven himself to be. A Trump presidency would be incredibly dangerous for not just the U.S., but the rest of the world. All I wanted to say is just – in today’s world, it is perhaps far too easy to label someone a bigot, a racist, an ignorant, uneducated brute – it is easy to throw labels around and ascribe people’s decision to the race, gender or socioeconomic group they belong to – and then shut them down and refuse to listen. It is easy to obtain your news from social media, associate yourself with friends from similar backgrounds sharing similar political views, and dismiss the voices of those who hold different opinions.

Unfortunately, this is what Trump fuels on, and he’s succeeding.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.

336930

When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

12 Relationship Therapists To Follow On Instagram For The Most Fulfilling Love Life, Doctor's Orders

It's 2020, you should only be following accounts that inspire you.

27759

While you continue working on prioritizing your health and happiness in 2020, why not transform your social media feeds to be places that inspire and teach you? Long gone are the days where you follow accounts that make you feel bad about yourself (unfollow them because... no thank you).

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.

460835

Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Spoke To A Mental Health Therapist About How We Can Put Wellness First In 2020

It's all about being intuitive and finding a balance.

11879
Shalyni Paiyappilly

We could all use a mental health check-in, especially as we approach the end of a wild calendar year. Each of us has faced obstacles we probably didn't see coming in January, and whether you're feeling confident or terrified about the end of the year, a mental health reset is probably a good idea.

Shalyni Paiyappilly is a mental health therapist and yoga and meditation teacher who has remained diligent in helping her patients and students stay healthy, whether virtually or in person. She took some time to share how her roles have evolved since New York City first shut down in March 2020, as well as how the climate surrounding mental health has shifted and grown even more apparent in 2020.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

How To Write About The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.

164631

The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Loved This Face Mask So Much That I Sent One To My Mom

A good, comfortable mask is a hot commodity these days.

6385

At this point in our pandemic year, a good face mask is a necessity. A mask is required to enter many establishments in most states (you can find your state's regulations here), and even if you're in a county that does not have an enforced mask mandate, a business may still require that you wear one before coming inside. At the beginning of these mandates, it seemed like one face mask would do the trick, but now I'm keeping a face mask in my purse, in my coat pocket, right next to my keys... everywhere I could possibly need a mask at a moment's notice. My family, while in an entirely different part of the country, is doing the same thing. They have a car mask, a backpack mask, a jacket mask — everywhere you strategically place a tube of chapstick, you're now stocking a mask.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tips

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.

260475

For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less

Thursday night, Ariana Grande released "Positions", her sixth studio album and one of her best to date. She gave us pop, R&B, and jazz. She gave us powerhouse and soft spoken vocals. She gave us anthems, bedroom jams, and ballads. Basically, "Positions" has all the replay value in the world and a song for everyone.

Because it is so good, it's only right to rank the songs. This list is not in order of best to worst, because there are simply no "worst" songs. It's in order of great to utterly stellar.

Keep Reading... Show less
Iron Horse Entertainment

November is upon us — and once it's November, the holidays are like a freight train because they are here and gone so quickly.

It's definitely important to cherish these holiday months, but it also means that the new year is right around the corner! Snuggle up and get cozy with these new Netflix TV shows and movies as they rid out the old ones.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

After One Woman Lost Her Mom To Domestic Violence Before Her Eyes, She Reminds Us It 'Can Happen To Anyone'

"I hope those suffering in silence know that they are not alone."

2670
Courtesy of Sarah Ripoli

Even as Domestic Violence Awareness month comes to an end, the fight to raise awareness and speak out to save lives will not stop — especially during a pandemic in which individuals worldwide are forced into quarantine with their abusers. For Sarah Ripoli, a 27-year-old woman who was witness to her mother's death by domestic violence when she was just 6 years old, this couldn't be more true.

Today, just about 20 years after her mom's murder, the Angel Energy founder is using her voice, and her business, to continue the conversation around domestic violence every day while also donating 25% of proceeds to domestic violence charities like Safe+Sound, One Love, National Domestic Violence Hotline, Women Rising, The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Child Witness to Violence Project — to name just a handful.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Every Product From Sarah Hyland's Sexy CMA Look Was Under $15 From Maybelline

If it's good enough for the stars, it's good enough for you, too.

2459

Sarah Hyland has been thrust back into the spotlight with her new show, "Lady Parts," as well as appearing at award shows, and her artists and designers have been giving the public some of the products that they've used.

The best part? A lot of them you can but at your local drug store, including the makeup that was used on her for the 2020 CMAs. Here is a step-by-step from Hyland's designer, Allan Avendano, that you can follow for the ultimate camera-ready glam look.

Keep Reading... Show less

I admit there was a time not so long ago when you seemed heaven-sent.

Keep Reading... Show less

We are well into spooky season, which means almost every person's partner has heard them talk about pumpkin spice and "Hocus Pocus" for the last 30 days. I applaud my own boyfriend for bearing to look at me in my decked out Halloween socks that I never seem to have a shortage on. Sadly, the end of the spooky season is right around the corner. But, not to fear, use these five unique date night ideas to spice up your last date October date night.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

The Jonas Brothers Have A New Christmas Song And I Honestly Need 5 More Minutes With This News

I think this makes it acceptable to start listening to Christmas music now, yes?

1557

It is that time of year where the most controversial question comes into play — and no, it is NOT political — is it too early to start listening to holiday music?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments