A lot has been said about the “elite” – both liberal and conservative – being out of touch with the concerns of a huge swath of America. And I get it. Most people from Washington don’t spend too much time in rural Kentucky or Ohio, or factory towns that have been devastated by job losses. They think that growth from technology and globalization has been great, even though it hasn’t been great for EVERYONE.
But what I don’t understand is the LEVEL of just OUTRAGE, this sense that the country is totally broken and headed in the wrong direction. Objectively speaking, for most of the country, things have never been better, at least economically. The economy has grown steadily for the past 7 years. In that time we’ve created 14 million new jobs, without a single month of net job loss since early 2010. The unemployment rate is at 4.9% – half what it was when Obama took office. 20 million more people have health insurance. We have more gadgets and technology that make our lives easier than ever before.
Yet when you hear people talk about it, we’re going to hell in a hand basket. Fewer people than ever before in human history are being killed by war or terrorism, but many people are afraid of war and terrorism. Crime is at 20-year low, but many people think law and order is breaking down in our cities. Yes, a lot of working class white people have not shared in the fruits of recent economic growth (for the last 16 years, not just the last 8), and they have a right to be angry with the way things are going. But “white working class” voters are only perhaps half of Trump’s voters overall – what about the rest?
Maybe it’s because I’ve been in Africa for the last 5 years, so it’s easier to notice how big the improvements in America have been each time I come back to visit (sort of like how you don’t notice how a friend’s looks have changed if you see them regularly, but you can really notice differences when you go years without seeing them).
But I still don’t get it. Things seem to be pretty good for most people, so why change them?
So if you are a voter who has felt outraged over how things have gone for the last 8 years and felt like we needed a change so badly that you were willing to gamble on Trump, leave a comment explaining your thoughts. I am eager to hear from you!