The “Forgotten Man” and How Donald Trump Became President

President-Elect Trump stated during his victory speech on election night that “the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.” These forgotten men and women, who live primarily in the “fly-over” states and who are often the punch line of the jokes made by the liberal coastal “elite,” were the ones who carried Trump to victory. While the poles leading up to the election seemed to have forgotten to include these individuals, Donald Trump had addressed them by name. And these citizens thanked Trump for acknowledging them by electing him President.

I honestly do not blame anyone for supporting Trump. I blame the degradation of the values, institutions and economy of our country that allowed a Trump presidency to occur. I believe that many people cast their vote out of desperation, and voted for the candidate who promised to bring back the American Dream, rather than for the candidate who wrote them off as a “basket of deplorables.”

This election was the Democratic Party’s to lose. And they started that process during the primaries by choosing to dismiss the one candidate who was running an issue based campaign which spoke directly to the interests of Middle America. Instead, the party chose to endorse a candidate, which many Americans found unpopular from the start, but the liberal elite still personally decided was a better fit. The Democrats counted on voters fleeing Trumps hateful rhetoric, but failed to offer an alternative to run to. People don’t jump ship in the middle of the ocean if they cannot spot a better vessel to climb aboard.

I do not believe that the majority of people who voted for Trump are bigots, sexists or racists. I think such individuals only make up a small sub-demographic of his supporters; a subset that gets overly televised. Many Trump supporters are the same people who voted for Obama, and during both elections cast their vote for the candidate who they hoped would bring change.

The liberals on the coast poked fun at Trump supporters in their late night television shows instead of ever trying to engage them. They labeled themselves as being better and more progressive because of their geographic location and college degrees. I guess if you can’t get a job in your field, at least having a feeling of superiority over others helps justify spending $200,000 on a piece of paper.

The people that liberals put down live in poor neighborhoods with poor schools, which make it incredibly difficult for them ever to attend a “prestigious university.” With this in mind, perhaps one should not be surprised that such individuals would not share the typical east coast liberal’s metric of success. If a metric labels you a failure from the start, of course you are going to vehemently reject it, and instead search for an alternative.

Are things wildly better on average for white men in the USA than for minorities? Heck yeah they are! But this does not mean you should label everyone who does not support your positions as an ignorant white privileged racist. While the political correctness policy in many top universities makes even holding discussions regarding race taboo, the one race that it has become trendy to put down is the southern white male. The more liberals label these people as deplorable, and seek to put distance between themselves and them, the more “progressive” they think they are. After all, putting others down via sharing a social media post is much easier than actually standing up on the front lines for the rights of women or minorities.  The same way that scapegoating minorities is easier than choosing to reflect critically on the true causes of a nation’s problems.

While many Trump supporters might actually support the causes of equal rights, perhaps they were simply not attracted by the new wave hashtag activist versions, which are less about the actual causes themselves, and more about dividing people into tribes where their collective outrage can be channeled for political or monetary profit. Or perhaps they were just sick of the social justice warriors in their company’s HR department accusing them of “mansplaining.” These individuals fled a suffocating PC culture, only to unfortunately end up at the other extreme.

Just as many inner city youth look to Jay-Z as an idol that represents what they too could potentially achieve: status, wealth, and women. Middle America looks to Donald Trump in the same way. Both Jay-Z and Trump profit by selling disenfranchised Americans a dream of a better future, either through a new album or a Trump University course. People always look to the individuals that they feel best represent them and their personal interests.

Of course poor white Americans have much more in common with black Americans than either group do with the powers that be. And the day that they realize it and organize for their common interests, will be the day that true and lasting change occurs.

We now need to stop the name calling and finger pointing. Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump supports are at their core all angry about the same thing. And this is seeing their quality of life diminish. Instead of using hate speech or social justice crusades to scapegoat our nations problems onto another group of individuals, we need to come together and examine the core bipartisan issues which we all face. So please before you judge your neighbor, I ask you to first look for commonalities. We are all in this boat together, and will need to band together if we are going to survive the storm ahead.

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