I was a poll worker yesterday in West Boca Raton, Florida, and I issued the ballots when voters gave me their driver’s license.
I looked them in the face, saw their birthdays, addresses, and when that information was entered, the system printed out their party affiliation.
I was there about 14 hours, and by noon, I saw the precinct was going for Trump. This was a blue-collar precinct with many Hispanics, older retired whites from the South, Brazilians, and some younger people in temp, hourly jobs.
You’d be amazed at the number of lower-income people who voted for Trump.
It became apparent that some of the older Republican voters were voting for Trump because they were raised as Republicans. It was part of their identity. Their version of the Republican Party was from 50 years ago. Many had no idea that the 2020 Republican Party today had no connection to the same party from a decade or so ago. That is one definition of being conservative.
It also made you wonder, why would anyone ever vote against their own economic interests? The top 1% focus on their wealth, so why would these people vote against their own?
Maybe, these people still believe they will someday be “rich.” They are people who want to believe in something. Maybe, that is the link between the evangelicals who support Trump and their burning desire to believe in something otherworldly that will give them a path to follow, even if it leads downhill.
As a poll worker, you cannot interact with anyone regarding politics, but you’d be surprised at who your neighbors are, who they consider a leader, and their values.
These are open questions and the Dem’s inability to make a clear case for their candidates, or even present a more forceful one, helps explain why there was not a Blue Wave to emphatically carry Congress and the presidency.
While Trump’s fascism, including stacking the Supreme Court, slowing the U.S. Mail system, co-ordinated propaganda campaigns, and voter suppression, all worked, they also were are all stronger messages the Dems would ever think of creating.
That is one huge difference between the corporate Dems and Trump. Trump engages in unethical behavior and it works. It has made him billions. The Dems live in a different, antiquated institutional era. Biden and the dem leadership are institutionalists, people who respect institutions that have an embedded meaning. But, today, those institutional meanings are relics. The average American has no knowledge of what those old values are supposed to be.
Dems: Old Leaders With Old Ideas
The Dem Party is run by old people with old ideas. Those ideas are even older now.
Don’t be surprised to discover that many of your neighbors want a degree of fascism, but they don’t know what to call it.
The current Dems are too wimpy to execute anything new, and they don’t have anything like the propaganda network FOX, Breitbart, and paid liars like Hannity. Limbaugh, Beck, Ingram…
Many people don’t associate with Trump’s followers, and for a good reason, but these people outnumber Dems in many places, and they don’t want to learn new things or see current injustices.
Don’t be optimistic even if Biden wins. The great divide is between urban and rural. Isolated farm communities are susceptible to propaganda. This means it will be political trench warfare for at least a generation.
Time To Re-Vamp the Dem Party
Since Trump has destroyed and rebuilt the Republican Party, the same should happen to the Dem Party.
Bernie Sanders’ economic message was more potent than Hillary Clinton’s. Bernie addressed the financial and wealth gap between urban and rural. He knew the identity of the top 1% and how tax loopholes, like the venal carried interest tax loophole, made wealthy people wealthier. He has plans to correct the wealth imbalance and knew the trade deals did not benefit blue-collar and rural factories and farmers.
Bernie followed the cause of the opioid crisis in rural American. He knew it was fueled by financial despair and sad prospects about the future, especially for people with a high school education.
He also was much more likable. But, he was no corporate Dem, so he was discounted.
Bernie has more energy than Biden. He knows how to combat Trump’s fake message about rampant “socialism” in the USA, even when the only socialism here is corporate socialism.
In this election, the Lincoln Project, all former Republicans, and Bernie Sanders, who delivers a consistent anti-plutocrat message, all advanced the most powerful political messages.
Meanwhile, the tepid Dem leadership still advances a unity, “we are better than this” limp message, which doesn’t resonate with 90% of voters. Trump followers love mixed martial arts, Nascar, professional wrestling, Jerry Springer politics, sexy blonde press secretaries, and behavior that would never be tolerated in the average workplace. Trump is the average American’s Dr. Jeckyll, who runs wild because they can’t.
In short, don’t ever overestimate the intelligence of the American people.
Dems Should Go Low When Republicans Go Low
The Dem’s wimpy campaign message was, “when they go low, we go high.” That’s a big mistake. When you do that, Trump supporters think you are a fool. They give the sucker punch to anyone who believes that.
Even the evangelicals don’t see anything wrong with voting for an adulterer, thief, and liar.
Trump supporters even embrace Trump’s view of success in capitalism. Lie, steal, abuse workers, and don’t pay suppliers….all that is great business practice. Let’s hope they practice that in their daily business activities.
So, where was the Blue Wave? Where were all the right people who embraced higher ethical values, public health practices, clean air, anti-racism, anti- misogyny, and higher societal values? They certainly are here, but they have a near equal number of people who discount all that.
So, what drives the American people?
Just turn on cable news and Facebook. It’s many variations of professional wrestling or electronic versions of the Tower of Babble. But what they all have in common is that they ignore the wealth gap that separates rural from urban and gives preferential tax and financial treatment to a few over the many.