One the many weird things about the 2016 election was that the working class voter embraced a guy whose brand was wealth, who announced his presidency with a trip down a gold plated escalator in a New York City building with his name on the top, who got out of serving the country with a bogus doctor’s note about bone spurs.
But it happened. In part, these voters turned to him, because Hillary was a terrible politician, who offended them with talk of being deplorable. But they also just liked the guy.
Around the time when Trump first announced his candidacy in June 2015, I took Jonah to the dentist. When Trump came on the TV in the waiting room, a college kid who was setting up his next appointment with the secretary said, “that guy is going to get it.” He explained that he had a summer job working in the garage in Trump Tower and that random people, desperate to express their support for him, would end up on the garage phone line, after taking a wrong turn on the phone tree. Scores of fans were telling the garage workers how much they loved their boss.
Guys working in factories and fields supported this strange dude, and we didn’t pay attention. Do we discount those folks as deplorables, racists, stupid? That’s a bad move politically and morally. I just can’t write off 60 million people.
But then Trump got sick. He got sick, because he didn’t follow the same rules as they rest of us. Everybody – PhDs, immigrants, religious communities, those Pennsylvania miners — are suffering on some level from COVID. Our kids are uneducated, our old folks are isolated, businesses are shut. Everybody is suffering, except our president, who laughed at the rules saying that they didn’t pertain to him. The guy, who claimed to speak for the common guy, didn’t walk the populist walk, because he NEVER did.
Trump not only got sick, but he infected everyone around him. Now, he has lost his ability to talk to supporters on TV shots and rallies. The polls are not in his favor, though Biden has not yet locked down the Electoral College. Old people, in particular, who have been faithfully following the rules are walking away from him.
Biden will be our next president, barring some unforeseen event. I do hope that we will be able to find some commonalities between the guy in the plastics factory and the guy on the BLM march in Oakland. I think Obama could have done that, but can Biden?