Tuesday, October 11, 2016

My inner Trump voter

In 2004 I published an essay entitled "My inner Bush voter" which cost me some friendships.  It wasn't Kerry voters I lost, it was Bush voters.  They saw my essay as explaining support for G W Bush as a kind of mental illness.  That's not what I meant, but I see their point.

As we close in on the 2016 election I want to turn again to find the qualities I possess which I project onto Trump voters.  I don't think I haven't any Trump voters as friends to lose this time.

I think people who have trouble understanding the Trump voter fail to appreciate the nuances of objecting to Hillary Clinton.  Sure, there are those who believe the alt-right nonsense about her, and there are those who over-emphasize the weight of the mistakes she has made because of the polemics which have targeted her for 30 years now.  There are those who simply don't respect women, and there are those who are sincerely against her policy positions.

I'm not talking about those people, and I'm not talking about those notions.  I don't share any of that.

What the Trump voter in me sees is that she comes from privilege that she married into, and while not without credentials and talent herself, she has been springboarded into fame and fortune because of whom she knows, yet she has never made a point of letting us know she knows this.  She seems to distrust me, the public.

She is worth hundreds of millions of dollars now from being First Lady, which then provided her a route to Senator, not because she has produced anything new or noteworthy, her policy positions are all adapted from other's original work, but because of the advantage of proximity to power.  In other words, to paraphrase the late Ann RIchards, she woke up on third base and thinks she hit a triple.

I do not want to reward this.  I think her meteoric rise and spectacular success, essentially for being married to Bill Clinton, is a very clear illustration of what is very, very wrong with our economic and political system, and there is very little reason to believe she will do anything about it.

I don't mean that she shouldn't enjoy success as a lawyer or government servant.  That doesn't bother me.  It's being worth hundreds of millions of dollars that turns my stomach.  She should perhaps have a comfortable living, but that kind of wealth is simply obscene in the dearth of any significant social contribution or achievement.  She's another version of Wells Fargo's John Stumpf.

She isn't to blame for that.  I don't want to impoverish or jail her or Mr. Stumpf.  I want them to still be saving for retirement like I am.  I want them to make choices between gifts and vacations like I do.  I want an American middle class again, and I welcome them to be a part of it.

The money that the middle class needs is not in the pockets of poor people and immigrants.  That's a brutal, terrible story that we've all been told.  The money the middle class needs is in hedge funds.  It's in the pockets of the ridiculously wealthy.

It's harming those people.  Consider the notion that NFL players would walk off if they made the money I do, and I make about 180% of the US median family income.  Not I, nor anyone else would subject their brains to intentional trauma for what I make.  These players actually should find something else to do, they owe it to themselves and everyone else who loves them.  Why don't they?  Ridiculous amounts of money.  That money is harmful to them, it clouds their judgment.

There are versions of this kind of wealth-induced perverse self-destruction in every direction one turns.  Extreme wealth is not a good thing, not even for the wealthy.

Hillary is going to do nothing about the problem of extreme wealth.  She is extremely wealthy.  She thinks she deserves it.  Her winking speeches at Goldman Sachs confirm it.  I do not want to reward this.  It absolutely enrages me.  If I think about it long enough, I am literally blind with rage.

Blind enough to vote for The Donald?  No, but I understand.