It isn’t just Trump, after all. It’s the 40+% of people who support his erratic foreign policy, his cruel domestic program cuts, his demonizing of immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ Americans and basically anyone who is not part of his angry white tribe, his repetitive lies, his monetizing of the Presidency to make himself and his family more wealth.
David Frum, a conservative columnist for the Atlantic, describes Trump supporters this way:
“The Trump vote, by contrast, is concentrated in the least dynamic areas of the country. The 2,600 counties won by Trump produce only about one-third of America’s wealth. Trump did well where people suffer most from diabetes, and where opiate overdoses take most lives. The Second Klan offered a defiant cultural counter-revolution; the Trump vote could be seen as the despair of defeated people—something more like the William Jennings Bryan candidacies.”
Trump voters seem to be the fearful, who believe a blustering autocrat will keep us safe, and those who have failed to rise successfully to the demands of a global economy. Can 40+% of the country really fall into the category of “the fearful and the failed”? Apparently so.
Before Trump, I used to think that paying taxes was my obligation to “we the people”, a commitment to the common good that comes with hard work and success. I’ve thought that for all of my adult life. But I believe that viewpoint has been decisively rejected by Trump voters, for whom “we the people” is an empty set of words.
Given that, I’m prone to want to take my Trumpian tax cuts, remain living in a progressive state that will take care of its citizens, and leave the people of West Virginia to their opioid epidemic, the voters of Tennessee to their coal ash pollution, the Rust Belt workers to their empty main streets. They want Trump and his policies, even though those policies are going to be far more devastating in the least economically dynamic areas of the country than they are for me and my neighbors here in Seattle. I think Trump voters should have exactly what they want.
My philosophy isn’t going to work very well on the issue of climate change, which doesn’t end at the border of any state, and in case of a global health crisis like a flu or Zika or ebola or other epidemic. But in may, in the era of Trump, be the best I can do.