Sunday, June 17, 2018

Reading "The Great Revolt" by Salena Zito

So today I found an article in the NY Post by CNN contributor Salena Zito - These Harvard kids got the lesson of their life in the Heartland - I knew the name but I don't watch much CNN, I usually listen to NPR for news, sometimes some Fox or CNN (never MSNBC) so I didn't realize until seeing this article that she had been traveling the country examining why Trump had won in the Rust Belt. 

The result was her book  The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics I am about 25% in and honestly it's kind of an eye opener.  I am one of those who believed Trump was unfit to be elected.  I agreed with him on illegal immigration, disagreed on trade, and thought his temperament was completely wrong. 

Turns out it was me that was wrong. 

While I have been an ardent freetrader for years, that's because I was unknowingly one of the coastal elite benefiting from it to the detriment of many of my countrymen.  I don't really think of myself as a member of the elite, and I am definitely opposed to most coastal politics, but really I am.  That caused me to miss a lot of signs that pointed to a Trump victory. 

I knew there was a lot of anger, and a lot of it I agreed with.  We have been on the short end of a lot of trade deals because it's good for companies like Facebook, Google, and Boeing, with out giving consideration to American workers (that also includes H1B visas).  That never sat right with me and I used to argue about it in former jobs.  (moot point in the last two).  Our countries culture is also being overrun and that bothers me a lot.  Stuff like that.  So even though I was (and am really) a Never Trumper, in the sense that I won't vote for him, I kind of got it.  I even tried to explain to some of my very liberal friends that Trump and Sanders were really two sides of the same coin.  Anger at the system just boiling over.  They didn't believe me, but in the book there are a couple quotes from people saying they would have voted for Sanders instead of Trump if he had been on the ballot instead of Hillary. 

Anyway it's been a very interesting read so far.  If you think only illiterate, in-bred, mouth-breathing red-necks voted for Trump it's probably not going to change your mind, but you should still read it.
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