The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Welcome to Trump Territory

Posted on | November 24, 2016 | Comments Off on Welcome to Trump Territory

 

SOMEWHERE IN FLORIDA
Donald Trump got 61% of the vote in this county, winning it by a margin of 40,000 votes. Considering that Trump’s statewide margin in Florida was only 120,000 votes, that means he got a third of his win right here.

We can explain this in four words: Rich, old, white people.

This county is nearly 90% white, about 30% of the population is 65 or older, and the median value of homes is over a quarter-million dollars. About a third of the residents have a bachelor’s degree or more.

For all the talk about the economic woes of the white working class, which supposedly explains how Trump won the “Rust Belt” states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, the fact is that middle- and upper-class voters, and especially older white folks with money, were the core of Trump’s 62 million voters. This was clearly evident in the Florida exit polls, where Trump got 57% of voters 65 and older, and 56% of those with incomes of $100,000 or more.

While progressives are trying to frighten people with the “Alt-Right” bogeyman, there are no neo-Nazis marching down the palm-tree-lined streets here. Trump won Florida by getting the votes of the same kind of people who always Republican — not angry skinheads, just regular middle-class people and, of course, old white folks with money.

There are a lot of old white folks with money in Florida, and thousands more of them move here every year. This county’s population is growing at about a 2% annual rate, and if you think about it, who retires to a Florida resort community? People with money, that’s who. OK, so go back about 20 years, to when today’s newly retired Floridians were in their 40s, what was happening? Republicans in 1994 took control of Congress for the first time in 40 years, and Newt Gingrich was leading the conservative opposition to Bill Clinton’s policy agenda.

Today’s 65- or 70-year-old Republican voter doesn’t mind a bit of bombast and, in a binary choice between Hillary and Trump, the choice for Trump wasn’t difficult, even if it wasn’t enthusiastic. This isn’t to say that Trump won only because of a “least bad option” rationale. Trump’s promise to fix the immigration problem — “Build a wall” — gained him strong support from many people who have tired of the weakness of Republicans who supported the “Gang of Eight” amnesty measure.

My point is that Donald Trump’s election is not evidence of any new “extremist” tendency among Republican voters. Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) have engaged in a ludicrous fear-mongering crusade intended to convince people that Trump’s election is a foreboding omen of incipient fascism, where roaming squads of Republican storm troopers will soon be rounding up Jews and homosexuals. Yet there is no rational basis for such political paranoia. The voters who elected Trump are not neo-Nazis. Most of them are the same people who would have voted Republican no matter who had won the GOP nomination, and they expect President Trump to implement a conservative policy agenda which, although it might not please Gender Studies majors or #BlackLivesMatter activists, is unlikely to justify the “Dark Nightmare of Neo-Fascism” persecution fantasies of the radical Left.

Somebody needs to tell these young kids the truth, i.e., your Republican grandma is not a Nazi, and Trump is not Hitler. Also, while we’re speaking truth, capitalism works and socialism fails, and maybe if you kids would stop moping and whining about how “oppressed” you are, you could get a real job, save your money, and 40 or 50 years from now, you’ll be living in sunny Florida, rich enough to vote ¬†Republican.

 

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