So, for damn near 48 years, poor whites have done terribly. For forty-eight years, ordinary politicians have promised to do something about it, and nothing has improved.It’s really pretty simple, but that won’t stop the onward march of “free trade.” That won’t stop the Mandarins of the Beltway, secluded in their bubble of neoliberal groupthink, from doubling down on the policies that brought us to this dismal state of affairs. As Welsh points out, they have no one to blame for Trumpian fascism but themselves: They produced the conditions that made it inevitable.
Do not tell me, or them, that they are “privileged.” Yes, it is better to be poor and white than poor and black, and better to be a poor white man than a poor white woman, but people who are in pain do not react well to some smug, upper-middle-class jerk telling them they are privileged when their lives are clearly terrible.
It is a FACT that working class whites will not see any improvement worth mentioning under any normal politician, including Clinton. They may see an improvement under Trump, they certainly would under Sanders.
They are voting for what they see as their interests, and they are not necessarily wrong. Certainly, Trump is more likely to help than Clinton, as the chance of Clinton helping them is zero. Zip. Nada.
It is insanity to expect poor white males to accept 48 years of decline and not get angry. It’s perfectly reasonable for them to respond to a man who offers them a better life in a way that is different from all the politicians who have failed them in the past.
Trump does not feel or campaign like an ordinary politician. Poor whites read this as: “He might not betray us like all the normal politicians do.”
At the least, it is worth a try.
Nor will President Hillary save us. She won’t think twice about jamming TPP-style deals down our throats, creating even more pissed off lumpenproles to feed into the Trump machine (as well as alienating progressives, who will abandon her in the midterms, producing yet another shellacking for the Democratic party). Even if Trump doesn’t win this time, he or someone like him will after four years of Hillary’s stale, tone-deaf, unimaginative, business-as-usual Third Way New Democrat (i.e., Republican) “leadership.”