Why did Donald Trump win the Republican nomination and ultimately the President of the United States? It was never supposed to happen. He was labeled a joke, incompetent, and in spite of all the politicians or media said, his support only grew stronger with those who ultimately put him in office.
Who are these people and why did they vote for him?
What were they thinking and why do the support him so passionately?
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To understand the rise of Donald Trump as a dominating political figure we have to go well past his celebrity status. While name recognition didn’t hurt him, in the end it was as much a positive as a negative across the country.
There simply had to be more to it than that.
He overcame a lack of political insider knowledge and understanding of in-depth policy issues, and he overcame allegations as well as self-inflicted wounds.
Let’s take a look at the five reasons that Trump supports area adamant in their support of the 45th President of the United States.
#1 – Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
For too many people, jobs are still too difficult to come by in many parts of the country. Especially in hard-hit areas like the blue-collar communities in the rust belt of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin that have voted Democrat for generations and who flipped the election for the Republican, Donald Trump.
There are a number of factors that have caused steep job declines and income loss in the rust belt.
Obamacare slowed down hiring for small businesses who have decided they can’t afford to hire fifty or more employees and pay the high premiums of the employer mandate.
Listen to a Small Business Owner talk about how she can’t open more salons thanks to the Obamacare Employer Mandate.
Bernie Sanders Demonizes Small Business Owner for Not Making Enough Money to Afford Healthcare
In addition, some of the chronic unemployment can be blamed on EPA regulations on coal and other forms of energy across the rust belt.
Some of it is because of trade issues and manufacturing plant closures that led to overseas production because it is cheaper and has less regulatory overhead costs.
Many of people in the rust belt thought that Hillary Clinton was more qualified, but they also believed she was going to continue Obama’s agenda and that their jobs and way of life were going to be history.
In these hard hit areas, it’s not uncommon for someone to be making $10,000 less than they were just a few years ago, as illustrated in this Politico article.
That was just not an acceptable option after nine years since the collapse of the economy and being told by President Obama that jobs and the economy have rebounded. Unfortunately, it’s not true many of the people who are lost their jobs, not due to market forces, but because of government regulations.
For much of the last four years, it appears that the unemployment rate has been coming down. However, a deeper look reveals something much more ominous.
Over 94 million people have not been participating in the labor workforce.
Some couldn’t find jobs and many over sixty years old just stopped looking and retired. For younger Americans, they couldn’t find meaningful work and just stopped looking.
Unfortunately for others, they exhausted their unemployment benefits and fell off the unemployment rolls.
The unemployment rate is a measure of who is saying they are actively looking for work while collecting unemployment benefits, and so it’s easy to believe that while the unemployment rate is low, that doesn’t mean that good paying jobs are plentiful.
In July 2015 I was at a business networking meeting in Washington DC and Donald Trump had just announced a few weeks earlier that he was running. People in the room I spoke with didn’t believe he had a chance and that he was all the stereotypical things you heard through the media during the campaign.
When I shared with one individual how many people were not participating in the labor workforce, this person said; “I don’t believe that for one minute. That’s almost one-third of our entire population.”
That’s right… it sure is, and these folks are hurting and waiting for someone to speak their language and help them solve their economic problems.
The problem in Washington DC is that their world is very different from a lot America, and in their bubble they cannot believe that the rest of the country is hurting.
#2 – Illegal & Legal Immigration and Trade
Trump supports don’t dislike immigrants and aren’t racist as a whole (of course there are always some issues of ethics and morality in any large group). However, for the majority of Trump supporters their number one issue is tied to jobs and the economy, and immigration and trade has a large role to play in this conversation.
While many feel the crushing weight of lighter wallets, lost dreams and disappearing jobs… they see the borders open and for the taking, companies moving overseas, and jobs disappearing as a result.
They aren’t a part of the conversation, they are the conversation. They are living it every day of their lives.
The numbers are startling:
“In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services while paying some $10,334 in taxes. This generated an average annual fiscal deficit (benefits received minus taxes paid) of around $14,387 per household. This cost had to be borne by U.S. taxpayers… Under current law, all unlawful immigrant households together have an aggregate annual deficit of around $54.5 billion.”
~ May 6, 2013 – Robert Rector, MA
Jason Richwine, PhD, Heritage Foundation
In addition, consider that once here, under President Obama’s catch and release policy, many illegal immigrants receive welfare benefits, use emergency room care, and their children attend public schools.
But there are factors that go beyond illegal immigrants and jobs for Trump supporters:
- Diseases such as tuberculosis and measles that have been long eradicated in the United States are being re-introduced through the illegal immigrant population from Central and South America.
- Many illegal immigrants have less than a 10th grade education and understand little English, which puts them in difficult place in both education and the workforce.
- Violent street gangs—including Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13—have been actively recruiting new members at U.S. shelters housing illegal immigrant minors. These violent gangs are renowned for drug distribution, murder, rape, robbery, home invasions, kidnappings, vandalism and other violent crimes (Learn more here).
- 17 percent of those in federal prisons are estimated to be illegal aliens and reducing violent crimes that hurt American citizens and their families.
- Human trafficking violations and exploitation of illegal immigrants – It is estimated that 17,000 to 19,000 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States each year. By definition, human trafficking is the recruitment and possible transport of persons within or across boundaries by force, fraud, or deception for the purpose of exploiting them economically. (Learn more)
On the campaign trail, then Candidate Trump said if you don’t have borders, you don’t have a country.
He said he would build the wall, enforce immigration laws that had been ignored, and that he would fight for Americans who lost their jobs to companies replacing American workers with lower paid foreign workers.
Finally, Candidate Trump said on trade and deficits that countries were stealing our jobs, costing our economy and inflating massive trade deficits that were harmful to American workers. (Read more from Time Magazine to learn more)
The bottom line is that many Trump supporters believe that people ought to come into the United States in accordance with our laws and that US citizens shouldn’t be unfairly subsidizing citizens from other countries at their expense, and that trade should be fair and American workers should be considered first in all trade deals.
#3 – Misled, Betrayed, and Lied to…
Over the last eight years, resentment has built up as many Americans have felt their government openly lied to them for political purposes.
Here are a few of the promises made but not kept:
It started with Obamacare and with some of the following statements by President Obama;
- You can keep your healthcare if you like your healthcare.
- You can keep your doctor if you like your doctor.
- Premiums will go down by $2,500 per year and your benefits will increase
Nancy Pelosi stated; “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in the bill.”
We found out what was in the bill…
In October 2016, it came out that premiums were on average skyrocketing 22%. In Arizona, premiums are exploding with an increase of 116% and deductibles are climbing to extraordinary numbers. In some instances, deductibles are as high as $10,000 to $20,000.
Five states — Alaska, Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming — will only have one insurer providing plans on the federal exchange in 2017.
In my article last week titled “4 Reasons Why Obamacare Will Be Repealed and Replaced ASAP”, I shared how Obamacare is collapsing and will only hurt those it sought to serve, and that Humana is pulling out of the exchanges for 2018. They cover approximately 150,000 people on exchanges in 11 states.
In addition, the passing of Obamacare exposed corruption. While most Americans knew it existed, they had never before seen it actually happen right in front of their faces. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered $100 million in Medicaid funding specifically to the State of Nebraska, also known as the “Cornhusker Kickback,” to Senator Ben Nelson (D- NE) to help win him over* as the 60th vote on the Senate’s health care reform bill.
Then there is the final nail in the coffin… Dr. Jonathan Gruber – the architect of Obamacare.
What was his failure (or should I say success)?
“The lack of transparency is a huge political advantage” and that “the stupidity of the American voter . . . was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”
In 2007, then Candidate Obama promised to create “the most transparent administrative in the history of the United States.”
He failed miserably to be transparent, but he deliberately concealed important information from the public according to an article in Forbes.
We could go on, and on, and on…
At this point, I will tie it into Hillary Clinton because she is who Trump ran against, and it’s her email scandal and the media collusion that provided a perspective that the “fix” was in.
I won’t go into great details in this article but will save it for another time.
However, Secretary Clinton continually lied about several issues that middle America felt was over-the-top;
- Benghazi – In the hours shortly after Benghazi, Secretary Clinton and President Obama blamed the murder of our Ambassador and four others on a spontaneous attack that resulted from an anti-Muslim video on YouTube. The facts have come out that it wasn’t spontaneous and nothing to do with the video. In fact, the Ambassador was concerned about the potential for disaster and asked for help weeks and days before the attack, and what happened on the ground was different than how it was described by the President and Secretary of State (Learn more in this article from Fox News)
- The entire email scandal… what the email scandal ultimately did was validate what many believed about Hillary Clinton and Democrats… they are corrupt. While American’s every day go to jail for recklessly handling classified data she lied about it and got away with it… this served to reinforce the statement Trump would roll out in the final days of the campaign: “Drain the Swamp.”
- Her health – Hillary wasn’t forthcoming with her health and again a narrative was reinforced that she doesn’t tell the truth.
- She claimed “We now have driven (health care) costs down to the lowest they’ve been in 50 years” on January 18, 2016, and then said that Obamacare was a great achievement and only needed to be tweaked.
- Wikileaks exposed the collaboration and corruption between the media and the Clinton campaign and Democrats. This further eroded trust with the independents and some Democrats who would ultimately support Trump (read this Washington Post article for more on the media collaboration with the Clinton campaign).
#4 – Tired of Being Labeled as Racists, Homophobic and Xenophobic
The unrelenting campaign to label Donald Trump as a racist, homophobic, anti-immigrant, and anti-Muslim candidate became deeply personal to Trump supporters.
As the Democrats and media attacked Trump, without proof, for his policy positions to protect America, some in the media and among the public turned on Trump supporters.
If Trump is these things, then his supporters must be as well, was the essence of the claim.
Bill Clinton stated that Trump “knows how to get angry white men to vote for him.”
What was he “really” saying about angry white men?
The problem is that there is no support for these over-top claims. Even the New York Times defended against this claim in an article last December titled “Sorry, Liberals. Bigotry Didn’t Elect Donald Trump”.
But, it was too little, too late.
It’s true that “Trump won the white working-class vote over Hillary Clinton by a larger margin than any major-party nominee since World War II.”
For Trump supporters, the cause of his election was more economic and centered around corruption… and an outsider is needed to fix the problem. That appealed to not just white men, but also women and a larger number of Hispanic voters than anticipated.
The truth is, as the NYT article stated, Trump supporters felt that he was more on their side when it came to jobs, the economy and immigration. And, the article states that Obama won these same white voters in 2008 and 2010.
Something changed…What could it have been?
I believe that when Clinton turned the race to identity politics the country didn’t want to go there. There was a backlash and resentment towards Democrats by Trump supporters (Republicans, Democrats and Independents) that mobilized them in ways that were not expected by the Clinton campaign.
Or, maybe they did factor it in… if so, that’s even more despicable than they claim Clinton made about the “deplorables.” If they are that calculating and cold, she deserved to lose the race. While the media and Democrats complain about Trump and protest, it would have been hard for Hillary to have come back from these statements and pull the country together.
Regardless, while the Clinton campaign and Democrats were trying to mobilize their minority communities that were reliable for Obama and not so much for her, it had the unintended consequence of turning people away from the Democrats in bigger numbers.
Even now, in February 2017, identity politics is still going on.
Sally Boynton Brown, Idaho Democratic Party executive director and candidate for the Chair of the national Democratic National Committee, recently said, “My job is to shut other white people down when they want to interrupt… We have to teach them how to communicate, how to be sensitive and how to shut their mouths if they are white.”
#5 – Trump Supporters are Tired of Politicians Who Talk and Don’t Act
Candidate Trump said it like this:
“All talk, no action.”
That about sums it up. For decades politicians have made promises and nothing has happened.
In the debates, Hillary talked about trade, jobs and his products being made overseas, to which Trump asked her; “Where the hell have you been for the last 15 to 20 years?… you’ve been in a position for 30 years to help… the problem is you talk and you don’t get anything done… just like when you ran the State Department $6 billion went missing, how does $6 billion go missing?”
Trump made the case that in the inner city Democrats have promised to clean it up and bring opportunity and prosperity… and for generation after generation, nothing changes. In fact, it continues to get worse.
Furthermore, right now the U.S. government debt is equal to about 77 percent of the gross national product (GNP), the total annual output of U.S. goods and services. The CBO projects that figure to rise to 89 percent by 2027, and to 145 percent of GNP 30 years from now.Yet, they claim they are going to solve and protect entitlement programs (social security, medicare, medicaid, unemployment, etc), but the programs keep going deeper and deeper into insolvency. Nearly 70% of the Federal debt (which is approaching $20 trillion), is due to entitlements.
American’s have heard all the demagoguery, promises and sad stories and yet nothing ever changes.
Trump supporters decided it was time to go with someone who may be crass and an outsider over the ultimate insider in Hillary Clinton who continues to be a part of the problems instead of the solutions.
In a nutshell, if you want to understand a Trump Supporter, this is what is what is important to them:
- Common sense, not political correctness.
- Government size reduced and government spending under control.
- Jobs that can help them live their dreams and be the best they can be.
- Illegal immigration dealt with and national sovereignty restored.
- A vibrant economy for all Americans.
- A President who doesn’t make apologies for America.
- A President who will do what he promised he would do.
- A President who will represent the best interests of the United States and will create fair deals that support American workers.
- A strong military to confront our enemies and defeat terrorism.
- Someone who will honestly say it the way it is and the way it could be.
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