You know Paul Rudnick from his work on movies like Addams Family Values, The First Wives Club, In & Out, and his play Big Night which deals with among other things, the aftermath a mass shooting. His observations on Facebook have turned to politics while his Twitter (a must follow) has been an endless satire of Ivanka and Jared. This is his latest on why, after being heard, Trump supporters still aren’t yet happy…
“Trump’s supporters most often cited two reasons for voting him into office: the economy and the notion that, as Middle Americans, they hadn’t been heard. Both of these always dubious claims have evaporated. Trump inherited an already healthy economy from President Obama and installed tax cuts for the wealthy. Most of Trump’s base weren’t hurting to begin with – their average income is 72K per year. Unemployment is at a historic low – so why aren’t Trump’s people happy?
They’ve certainly been heard. With Trump in office the coverage of non-elite voters has been massive; journalists have staked out every diner, VFW hall and rally. Trump voters have Fox News, Breitbart and many other outlets for their toxic views – so why aren’t they happy?
The truth of Trump’s support has become evident. What his base always wanted were racist scapegoats, as a means of restoring their vision of lost supremacy, which they’d either politely term America First, or acknowledge as a hatred of minorities. Trump has used immigration and the bogus need for a Wall as a smokescreen for the petty complaints, unwarranted fears, and blatant bigotry of his acolytes.
Illegal immigrants never threatened American jobs; they did the work Americans refused to do. The immigrant crime rate is miniscule when compared to that of white Christian citizens. Immigration is Trump’s forefront issue, as he ignores infrastructure, education, housing and anything real. Even his base prefers Obamacare, and the Republicans, after years of whining, have never come up with a workable, or any alternative.
Trump’s other predictable targets include LGBTQ people, especially brave trans soldiers; women’s reproductive freedom; and always, the media. Again, all of these issues provide convenient scapegoats for Trump fans. They supply targets for their restless bile, and that’s what they demand: someone to hate, whether it’s Hillary, a teenager who wants to use the bathroom, or any reporter who fact-checks Trump’s lies.
The good news? These ludicrous battle lines have caused a resurgence in activism. The midterm elections’ blue wave resulted in historic wins for female candidates. I don’t know if Kamala Harris or Beto O’Rourke can become President, but they’re both viable and exciting candidates, and a new face for the Democratic party.
The most tiresome trope remains the concept of a still misunderstood, embattled Trump voter, that mythical creature without prejudice, who only wants his or her nation back on track. This person finds Trump’s personal behavior immoral and disagreeable yet ‘likes the direction he’s going in.’ This person ‘doesn’t hate anyone.’ This person feels discriminated against, especially at liberal cocktail parties. This person somehow wants to be congratulated on their independence in voting for a repulsive bigot.
Trump may very well remain in office for another term, but he’s never become a hero or beloved in any way. If he fails to deliver on his most hateful promises, his base will desert him – they’re keeping score. He’s only valuable in opposition to the hated liberals.
Michelle Obama‘s book is a huge bestseller, because she inspires people. This fact eats Trump alive, as he hunkers down and glowers, spewing irrational tweets which even his supporters ignore. Trump has been exposed, as a pathetic detour, the Great American Mistake, and he knows it.
The future isn’t about healing or compromise or learning to live together. It’s about electing someone the country won’t be ashamed of.” –Paul Rudnick
(Photo, Wikimedia Commons/ Gage Skidmore)