What Unites Trump And Clinton Backers

Ann (not her real name) is confident, and quietly ebullient about a woman finally breaking the glass ceiling, becoming the president of the United States. She says it has been long overdue and that the current candidate deserves it, has earned it. Why, she was unflustered after 11 hours of grilling by a legislative committee, has a long history of public service, and claims continuous engagement with the country’s problems. Ann and her husband identify with that as they themselves have had a lifetime of public sector work as college educated “low level” professionals, always in unelected positions. They also worked hard, put their two kids through college, and now scramble to find the means to be with their new grandchild. Ann’s husband had lost his job at the tail end of the first Clinton administration and never found like employment after that (or work that he liked). Hillary, after the NY primary, is emphatically reasserting her inevitability by changing the topic of conversation to one she can manage. Gun control has been something relatively incidental to the primary debate thus far though her husband Bill pointed out to protesters demanding he admit his own culpability — police don’t kill black people, black people kill black people. Pundits have pointed out that though essentially inevitable in being dismissed as viable presidential material, Bernie Sanders has continuously set the topic of debate, the subject matter of the Democratic primary, the agenda of concern. Now that it is all over but the shouting, Clinton redirects what is to be the public concern. Ann is unfazed when it is pointed out that Hillary’s income for a single evening of speaking amounted to what is 2 years of adjusted gross income on Ann and her husband’s joint returns.

A half century ago there were still low ceiling coal mines in Carroll County, Ohio (long since gone). Analysis was surprised when NPR’s Morning Edition broadcast live out of Tennessee and interviewed a man who had lost his job working in one within the recent past. Dan (not his real name) worked every day crawling on his hands and knees in the 36 inch high tunnels following the narrow seam of coal (a man does what he has to do). He backs Donnie Trump. For Dan, Donnie is success personified, and that can’t help but rub off on the rest of us and the area he lives in. Trump has a no nonsense approach to playing the game and, unlike Hillary, he is setting the agenda of what concerns Americans, the mark of a winner. For Dan, having clear cut winners and losers matters. Trump is a winner. When the game is played, those who win are entitled to the spoils of victory. For Dan, this is a fairness ethics learned on the athletic playing fields of his youth. Why a mega winner like Donald Trump should be concerned with the collateral damage of his deals, which just may include someone like Dan himself, leaves Dan unperturbed. What is right, is right.

Analysis finds both candidates and their followers to be an awful lot alike (truly awful). Both are drawn to and emphasize the inevitable winner. Both win through playing the game, claiming to do it by the rules. Politics is its own rules. Both campaign and offer solutions on a cause and effect basis. Problems like crime (statistically not) are caused by illegal activity, hence those active in such are illegal’s. Get rid of the illegal’s (literally in Trump’s case) or through manipulating what is and isn’t illegal (precedent policy in the first Clinton presidency) are simple cause and effect solutions. Analysis finds repeated statistical evidence of the percentage of mental illness involved with shootings of civilians by police (25% if not more by current studies) and by other civilians. Current U S mental health care provided is severely underfunded, inadequate, and not universally available (the “conventional wisdom” that accounts for this must be that those suffering this malady will make inordinate effort to seek out treatment). The addiction epidemic (a true concern not manufactured by either candidate) is likewise aggravated by mental health challenges. But these are complicated issues not neatly tied up by “cause and effect” approaches. Both candidates are embraced by their constituency for favoring incremental change – Trump through a trickle down economics, Clinton building slowly on the rearrangements of past Democratic administrations. Complete and full change is favored by neither – Clinton wants all to succeed, Wall Street as well as Mickey D’s employees, Trump wants to Make America Great AGAIN. What unites Trump and Clinton backers almost completely is the near universal indifference, if not downright denial, to the no man’s land that separates the backers from the candidates themselves (who reside in a virtual and invisible gated community). Ann enjoyed family celebrations, suffered heartbreaks and lived a plethora of experiences within the 2 years needed to earn what her candidate was reimbursed for in an evening of “speaking”. What kind of life experiences did Hillary have during the nano seconds between syllables? Dan got dirty, sweated and ached, grew numb delivering “product” for a company that ultimately played the game by going bankrupt to avoid contractual commitments regarding retirement, health, alternate job training and employment. Did Donnie go numb with each of his multiple bankruptcy filings?

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