We often talk about privilege purely in the sense of race. But I believe there’s a different kind of privilege that nobody really talks about, which is the privilege of choice and mobility.
A vast majority of us (in my network) have had it pretty good in life, whether we want to admit it or not. Most of us went to great public schools, went to college, traveled to different countries, and live in a nice area where we have jobs. Those of us who are unhappy with work can make the effort to transition into different careers relatively easily compared to the rest of the world. We understand some jobs will not create a future for us (like manufacturing), so we have the choice to do something else, which is why most of us are working in white-collar jobs. We’re not rich with money, but rather we are rich with choices.
But imagine in 10 years, having everything change and the rug pulled from under you (which it will due to Artificial Intelligence). That is how people in manufacturing feel. They have little choices, they have little mobility. All their lives they thought manufacturing jobs, with Unions, would provide them a stable income until they retire. But globalization crushed all of that. That is how people in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania feel. Trump didn’t win these states because of racism, he won because of his proposed trade policies. His trade policy message in these states were almost identical to candidate Obama and Bernie Sanders.
In fact, the same “racists” in WOMP states that voted for Trump, also voted for Obama. Twice. If Trump weren’t so distasteful, this election would have been a landslide in his favor. Because finally, in their minds, the people who suffered due to establishment trade policies now had their savior who understood how to make great business decisions. I don’t agree with their vote, but I can totally understand why they feel this way.
So step outside the liberal Facebook echo chamber that we all live in and try to understand it from their perspective. Wouldn’t you have a sense of hopelessness, knowing the job you trained for all your life will never come back? And you are left with such few options to take care of your family and kids? And here’s where it gets even worse. Americans in these states are really suffering, but instead of reaching out and trying to empathize with their problems, you know what Democrats did in 2016?
They called them sexist, racist, homophobic, uneducated, and white hillbilly trash.
Because that’s such a popular thing to do today. Instead of having a discussion, we get on our iPhones and MacBooks and self-righteously laugh about how uneducated these people are. Instead of questioning the systematic policy decisions that led them to be poor and uneducated, we circle jerk about the latest John Oliver “takedown” of “Drumpf.” Democrats belittled and mocked them for having differences in opinion, instead of reaching out and connecting with them. Is this the tolerance and love we keep preaching? We got so obsessed with trying to battle white privilege that we lost track of a huge population that is battling for their livelihood. They are Americans, too. And they decided this election.
Trump did something that NO REPUBLICAN has done in 32 years. He swept the WOMP states. From a political history perspective, that is incredible. To give perspective, that’s longer than California has been a solid-Blue state (24 years).
Combine this trade-issue fervor with everything that happened in the Democratic Primary. 2016 was a outsider-populist election from the start. That is how Bernie Sanders got the attention he did, until he was rigged out of the race through corrupt party insiders.
I’m sorry if this upsets you, but Clinton was a hugely flawed candidate from the start. Clinton was one of the most corporate-backed, special-interest-funded candidate in American history. Sans one trait, Clinton was the shining example of the establishment status quo. Plus, her team ran such a poor campaign! She literally gave a speech about how a cartoon frog symbolized Nazis… and people took it seriously. In the beginning, they were pouring resources trying to flip Texas, Arizona, and Georgia. It was clear they were hubristically trying to win in a “historic” landslide, when all they needed was 270. She didn’t even visit Wisconsin ONCE since she got the nomination. So Wisconsin chose Trump. Millions of voters in these states who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 simply did not show up to the election. People need to understand WHY and HOW he won. It’s WOMP. WOMP decided this election.
Whether you like it or not, anti-establishment sentiment is deeply rooted in American history. That is how JFK was elected, how Obama was elected, and how Reagan was elected. And now, that is how Trump became the 45th President of the United States. I am sorry if you are saddened by the outcome. I am too. But after a grieving period, I hope we can love our country just the same and move forward with energy in making it the best place on Earth for everyone.