defending my people

I promised myself to quit engaging on FB and on political topics in general because of the high blood pressure – but maybe writing it out is better than thinking it over and letting it fester.

I’m beginning to get that feeling that supposedly elected Trump – that feeling that my kind of people are ignored by those in power, those with privilege, those with their smug ‘I got mine’ attitudes that don’t care how the rest of us might struggle. Only my kind of people aren’t Trump voters.

My kind of people, the kind I come from and a lot of those I hang out with, don’t have a lot of money. They worry a lot about how to pay for their kids’ college, but they work their ass off to do it because they want their kids to have a better life. And they tend to vote liberal, for a few reasons – none of them pertaining to being part of any ‘elite’.

One is that they’ve been through hard times. This has had two effects; it’s made them see the need for a safety net in case things really got bad, and it’s given them sympathy for those who have it even worse. They can’t vote for “I’ve got mine” if it rips the floor out from under everyone else.

Another is that they’re educated – but don’t assume that makes them ‘elite’ either. Some (OK, me) got degrees and are doing OK, but a lot of others majored in the kind of thing that may help you learn to think but doesn’t necessarily have you stashing doubloons under your mattress. Still others got to be educated on their own, by thinking and reading and listening. That’s another reason they don’t vote for Trump: because they actually listened to what he said, not just the “make America great” but all the other parts too, the parts about hurting people and the parts where he said one thing Monday and denied it Tuesday. And they looked at the historical data, and saw whose policies in the past have lifted America up and whose have let her down.

To those rural folks reputed to be feeling disenfranchised, who voted Trump for that reason: quit complaining about made-up problems. If all you’re losing is the ability to assume everyone is just like you, forget it. A lot of us have never ever had that; we’ve been standing on that shaky ground for generations, and maybe it’s done us some good. And quit making your own new problems – if you really think a rich white city boy famous for screwing people over, and who has spent way less time, effort and dollars than people with comparative riches on helping others, is the only one who cares about you, you might want to listen to those words and that data a little better. Come work with us instead on your real problems. If you’re losing your farm or can’t get decent healthcare in your community, we’ll care about you and we’ll help you (and we’re the ones likely to be raising money for you). When it comes to those real problems, my people have a lot in common with you.

And yeah, this rant was sparked by Facebook. The other day, someone told me I probably voted for Hillary just because I have decent health insurance – even though I know people who have only had any insurance since Obamacare went through. (Clarification: I think Obamacare kind of sucks, and I don’t want to give any impression that I’m defending it. I just think it’s better than nothing, since Congress blocked anything that might be better.) Just now I read two comments in a row by people who are working their asses off, having trouble making ends meet, and tired of being told they must be rich because they voted for Hillary and should just throw money at their problems.

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