Where do Trump supporters come from? Jim Goad thinks he knows:
Yesterday I saw Donald Trump speak live at a rally in downtown Atlanta, and I stand here before God and man to report that not once did he mention the topic of race.
This is disconcerting for multiple reasons, not least of which is the fact that the primary criticism lodged against him is that he’s a racist.
Fresh off a thumping of his robotic GOP rivals in South Carolina on Saturday, Trump was greeted by a rapturous crowd that was almost entirely white—or, as those who see something innately wrong with such a thing are fond of saying, it was “overwhelmingly” white. More than half of his opening speakers were black, but they didn’t make a point of being black like so many black people do these days in the name of, er, fighting “racism.”
As much as it will disappoint the white nationalists out there, Trump did not utter a syllable in his hour-plus speech that could logically be construed as a white nationalist sentiment. But nearly every word out of his mouth suggests that he’s a diehard economic nationalist.
Trump extemporized about how Apple computers are made in China and how Ford, Nabisco, and Carrier Air Conditioner are packing up and leaving for Mexico. He also said that the only way to combat Chinese and Mexican economic nationalism was to slap a 35% tax on any imports from expatriate American corporations who try to peddle their foreign-made wares in the USA. This theme—a tragic loss of American economic sovereignty—was a primary motif back when he announced his candidacy, yet the press completely glossed over this and fixated over one brief but factually accurate statement that Mexico was sending rapists and criminals to America.
Despite the fact that Trump hammers on economic issues and hardly ever makes a whisper about ethnic issues, the press seems content to call him a bigot and a hater and every other scare word that whips most people in line these days.
One might be forgiven for noticing that the media and the leftists—as if there’s a substantive difference—that assail Trump hone in entirely on race and completely gloss over Trump’s far more voluminous comments about economic globalism and the outsourcing of America’s industrial base. They don’t want to touch that issue with a ten-foot selfie stick.
Trump says that global trade policies have raped the USA economically, and he’s right. But simply because he doesn’t make a habit of blaming everything that’s wrong with the country on “racism,” Godwin’s Law is invoked as if it were the Eleventh Commandment.
I’ve felt for years that all this witch-hunting and moral hysteria over race is little more than a diversion and a deliberately sustained form of PSYOP to terrify anyone about complaining over the fact their jobs are either being shipped to foreign countries or handed to recent nonwhite immigrants who are willing to work for less.
Before Trump’s speech as some friends and I huddled outside the Georgia World Congress Center in the rain peeping at the other attendees in line—an endless array of Average Southern White Folks—a friend said, “These are people who have absolutely no voice in politics or the media.”
Trump speaks to a maligned, mistreated, and disregarded demographic that the elites of both parties view not as a constituency but as an obstacle. But even though this constituency is majority-white, Trump is never the one who points this out—only his enemies do.
The Trumpsters who have been awakened by The Trumpening have been systematically beaten down and silenced into a sort of learned helplessness. And then comes Trump speaking directly to them—but far more to their economic anxieties than to their ethnic ones.
Sure, they love Trump because he represents a huge wet sloppy unapologetic fart in the face of all the Cultural Revolution-style witch-hunting madness of the Obama years. But I think they love him even more because he’s the first presidential candidate in memory to speak directly to their completely legitimate economic anxieties.
It is an article of faith among the GOPe that FREE TRADE IS GOOD™. This is also a belief held by DLC-type Democrats like Bill Clinton. Hillary’s stance on free trade depends on who she’s talking to. Bernie Sanders hates it.
I’m no economist or expert in international commerce, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if some American jobs go to China then some Americans won’t have jobs. Free trade means that American workers will be competing with foreign workers who will do the same jobs for a fraction of pay.
Free trade means we get cheaper goods. There are a lot of other advantages to free trade like those nasty pollution spewing factories will move to Third-World countries where regulations are lax or non-existent. Win-win, right?
But if all our jobs go to other countries, how will we afford to buy the stuff they make? On the other hand, if we import lots of foreigners to take jobs over here, what jobs will our people do?
As I said I am no expert but something doesn’t seem quite right.
This does not mean that Donald Trump has the answers. But Trump and Bernie Sanders are the only people talking about it.