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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    The Anger Is Real

    September 23, 2016
    By Jeffrey Folks

    This weekend, I talked with a distinguished scientist, now retired, who in his day contributed to the production of drugs that saved millions of lives. This man – I'll call him "Frank," and frank he was – offered an unsolicited critique of the state of Washington, and it was not good.

    Frank was equally indignant at Democrats and Republicans, and I had to admit that there has been plenty of blame to go around. Democrat Harry Reid has behaved for years with the appearance of utter contempt for the welfare of ordinary Americans, while Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell, while more reasonable and well meaning, seems remote and tone-deaf. You wouldn't hire either of them to oversee your health care, but with the Democratic veto in the Senate, that is what you've got.

    As Frank put it, "they don't give a s--- about us. Don't give a s--- about anything! Except themselves."

    That more or less sums it up. The anger is real, and it is widespread. It's not just "deplorables," which would include what Hillary and Obama have in the past called Tea Party "extremists." It's broader than that. It includes high school graduates unable to find decent employment and retired scientists like my friend Frank, who have risen to the top of their profession. It's not just the traditional red states, either. As a recent mapping of Trump support shows, it's also strong in Iowa and Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York and New England.

    That anger is not going away. It has been bottled up, and every time Hillary and her ex-boss talk down the Islamic threat, every time there's another outrage such as the transgender bathroom fiasco, every time GDP growth comes in at less than 1%, every time another American company moves to Mexico because Democrats who hate private enterprise refuse to pass corporate tax reform, that bottled up anger grows.

    Hillary claims to be "fighting for us," echoing the terms Obama, Kerry, Gore, and her husband Bill have used during every election since Reagan. But all that fighting hasn't yielded much. Blue-collar wages, adjusted for inflation, are worse than they were in 1992. From 2007 to 2012, wages fell for the entire bottom 70% of earners, and they remained stagnant after 2012 until this year. While wages for service occupations (the fastest growing sector under Obama) grew by 2.5% under President Bush, they fell every year of Obama's first term (data through 2012). According to CNN Money, the U.S. has lost 5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000.

    "Don't give a s---," Frank kept saying, his voice rising with anger and rage.

    "Yes, I know. I agree." Cool off was what I wanted to say. I did agree with him, totally, but heads were starting to turn, and I didn't want a scene. That would do nothing for the cause. What we needed was more who saw things the way we did. Enough to win Florida and the other swing states in November.

    We could have gone on for hours. It's not just the economy. Americans feel less safe than they have at any time since 9/11. Already Obama has admitted 76,000 Syrian refugees. Secretary of State Kerry has set a goal of another 100,000 for fiscal 2017. Hillary, as she said in September 2015, thinks "the United States should do more." We should "lead the world" in accepting Mideast refugees. "Lead the world" would mean more than the 800,000 refugees accepted by Germany in 2015. A recent poll shows that only 14% Americans support admission even of 100,000 Syrian refugees.

    I don't know how Frank felt on that particular issue, but I can guess. Frank is not a partisan – he blames both parties for the mess we're in – but he is a conservative and above all a patriot. He grew up when it was expected that a young man would get an education, go to work, marry, raise a family, and stick with it for the rest of his life. Frank has done all of these.

    It was getting late, for me at least, so I broke off in the midst of our discussion.

    I believe that there are millions of people like Frank in the country today. They feel betrayed by both parties, but for the last eight years above all by Obama and Clinton. They're not sure about Trump. They want to believe in him, and they know what they'd get from Hillary: four more years of Obama.

    This is not an ordinary election. As anyone who has attended a Trump rally can tell you, it's a year in which the pent up anger of the voters is finding an outlet in the one candidate who is truly an outsider. Unlike a long list of GOP candidates before him, Trump understands the resentment of the ordinary American who has been ignored by the GOP leadership and who has been treated with blatant contempt by Hillary and her staff.

    What Trump brings to the table, above all, is the sense that he respects the little guy. He knows why only 12.8% of Americans approve the job Congress is doing. He also knows that two thirds of Americans think Hillary "is not honest and trustworthy." Would you trust her with your 401(k)? That's just part of what you'll do if you elect her. Calling her "crooked Hillary" goes to the heart of the matter, and most Americans get it. And even those who don't particularly like Trump are starting to realize that he does get it.

    What with the stagnant economy and new terrorist attacks, Floridians are restive and resentful toward Washington. If they're like my friend Frank, they will drive turnout in November to record levels. My own informal survey shows not just a lot of Florida voters turning to Trump, but a lot of highly motivated voters turning to him. Those are voters who will get to the polls, no matter what.

    Once Trump enters the White House, the country can go back to being a happy, secure, productive place, and my friend Frank can get back to playing golf instead of worrying himself sick over the future of the country he loves. As for myself, I can write about what progress we're making with 3.5% growth rates, full employment, and wages expanding as they should be, at 5% per annum. That will be a lot more fun than grousing about the latest progressive outrage, and a lot better for the country.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Great article! Thank you Jeffrey Folks, thank you very very much!
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
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