You know, in the run-up to the election, my relatives who voted for Trump were like, "Oh don't worry. He's just appealing to the evangelical rednecks. He's not actually going to do any of those things," when Trump talked about building a wall and banning Muslims on the basis of religion. And my mom was like, "So you think he is telling a bald-faced lie, and you're voting for him anyway? How does that make sense? Its bad if he's lying, and even worse if he's telling the truth about something he actually means to do."
I'm not one of those liberal/leftists who makes fun of "rednecks." On my father's side, I have relatives in Arkansas. Some of them are well-to-do, but we know we're only one or two generations removed from Ozark mountain folk who came over with the Irish Diaspora, and who were still speaking Gaelic until my paternal grandmother's generation.
But the (admittedly few) republicans I have talked to voiced the same opinion; that it's mostly the white working class who fears Islamic extremism, and Immigrants coming in and competing with them for jobs. My maternal uncle is retired. His kids, my Generation X-aged cousins - including the one black sheep who voted for Hillary Clinton (he used to refer to himself and my mom and us as "The Black Sheep Squadron") have for the most part succeeded in their chosen fields. They are decidedly middle class.
But for a few exceptions, my maternal relatives fall squarely into Trump's base - white upper middle class, making 47,000+ a year. This is the demographic that voted for Trump the most.
The rust belt myth - that working class voters rebelled and voted for Trump because they felt the recovery left them behind - is a narrative that the MSM has been trying to push since November 9. They voted for Trump in a larger number than last time - enough to win him electoral votes in some key places
. But they're not his base, though from the data it's true that Hillary's campaign didn't do enough to win them over. She just didn't go to places that her campaign felt were lost causes anyway. And she should have.
But that's a subject for another post. The point I am trying to make here is, if the ones I spoke to are reflective of Trump's middle-class base, many of his actual supporters voted for him thinking that he was straight-up lying to get votes, to appeal to a certain demographic that was not them, playing to their xenophobia with a smile and a wink of his eye.
Well, he's not. And in this case, it's proving to be the worst-case scenario.
Of course we're going to fight this. America was founded on the ideals of religious liberty, of separation of church and state, and of being a place where people who are imperiled in their land of origin can come and make a fresh start. To me, those are three things which made America stand out from other nations. It's so surreal that Germany under Angela Merkel is now the leader of the free world, while the incoming GOP leader is openly pandering to the Nazis and to Russia's strongman dictator.
It's not common knowledge that the core tenets of the Nazi mindset actually began in America and were imported to Germany during Hitler's rise to power. But my grandfather, and the fathers and grandfathers of many Trump's supporters went to war to fight people who sound like Trump, who keep company with people like Steve Bannon and Richard Spencer. They should have known better. And if you walk into the voting booth on Super Tuesday thinking that the candidate of your choice is lying just to get votes from a certain demographic, you seriously need to rethink your life.