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Trump’s Popularity Cannot Be Blamed On The Economy

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Trump’s Popularity Cannot Be Blamed On The Economy

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gestures as he speaks to the Economic Club of New York luncheon in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 15, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

For months now, we’ve heard about an angry and anxious electorate, depressed by stagnant wages, furious about a “rigged” economic system, uncertain about the future for their children and grandchildren. That analysis supposedly explained Bernie Sanders’ surprisingly strong showing in the Democratic primaries, as well as Donald Trump’s stunning takeover of the Republican Party.

But it turns out that the economy isn’t quite as “rigged” against the hard-working middle class as we’ve been led to believe. New economic data show some excellent news: Last year, middle-class and poor Americans enjoyed the best economic growth they’ve had in decades.

According to the Census Bureau, real median household income was $56,500 in 2015, up from $53,700 in 2014. That was the largest percentage increase recorded by the bureau since it began tracking median income statistics in the 1960s.

There was also good news for poor households: The poverty rate fell by 1.2 percentage points. While that may not seem like much, it was still the steepest decline since 1968 and represented 3.5 million fewer people in poverty.

The new economic data suggest that many of the explanations (including my own) offered for this strange election season have been, well, wrong. Allow me to turn the famous mantra of Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign upside down: It’s not the economy, stupid.

More than anything else, Trump’s rise is the manifestation of the anger of a significant minority of white voters over their loss of demographic and cultural hegemony. They’ve seen the new America, represented most dramatically by Barack Obama, and they’re not happy about it.

That’s not to say a stagnant economy hasn’t provided fuel for those racialist fires. It has. Some households are yet trying to climb out of the wreckage of the collapse of 2008, when pink slips were issued, savings accounts disappeared and homes were lost.

That said, the average Trump supporter isn’t faring so badly. According to FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver’s website, Trump’s voters are better off than most Americans. The median household income of a Trump voter in the primaries was about $72,000, based on estimates derived from exit polls and Census Bureau data. That’s higher than the median income for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters, which is around $61,000 for both.

The relative affluence of Trump’s supporters shouldn’t come as a great surprise. The foundation for his rise was laid by the tea partiers, who rose up in fierce resistance to President Obama immediately after he took office. They, too, were better off than the average American, polls showed. But their rhetoric was full of racial resentment and xenophobia.

Many of them were waiting restlessly for a candidate — for a flag-bearer — who would give voice to their claims to own patriotism and to being the real Americans. The tea-partiers often held aloft signs that proclaimed their desire to “take our country back.” Trump’s promise to “make America great again” is only slightly less suggestive of racial resentments.

While Hillary Clinton has apologized for characterizing half of Trump’s supporters as fitting comfortably in a “basket of deplorables,” defined by their own “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic” tendencies, she wasn’t far off. Just take a look, again, at the polling data: Trump’s supporters tend to have more negative attitudes toward black Americans than the general electorate, believing us to be lazy, violent and unintelligent. Trump backers tend to have more negative views toward immigrants and Muslim Americans than the electorate as a whole.

But here’s my personal favorite: A whopping 59 percent of Trump’s voters believe the president was not born in the United States, a view that Trump has widely disseminated. That’s not a dog whistle; that’s a full-throated battle cry of racist resentment, a way of trying to delegitimize the first black president.

If this were a more conventional election season, the improving economy would have calmed the electorate and Trump would be nowhere near the finish line. Instead, he has moved uncomfortably close to Clinton, with some polls showing a dead heat.

But Trump isn’t really offering better financial prospects to a disaffected middle class. He’s offering to restore white privilege. And that thinly veiled pledge is enough for many of his voters.

(Cynthia Tucker won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2007. She can be reached at cynthia@cynthiatucker.com.)

Photo: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gestures as he speaks to the Economic Club of New York luncheon in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 15, 2016.  REUTERS/Mike Segar

Cynthia Tucker Haynes

Cynthia Tucker Haynes, a veteran newspaper journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, is a Visiting Professor of Journalism and Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Georgia. She is also a highly-regarded commentator on TV and radio news shows.

Haynes was editorial page editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper for 17 years, where she led the development of opinion policy. More recently, she was that newspaper’s Washington-based political columnist. She maintains a syndicated column through Universal Press Syndicate, which is published in dozens of newspapers around the country. Besides winning the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2007, Haynes has also received numerous other awards, including Journalist of the Year from the National Association of Black Journalists.

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  1. Dominick Vila September 18, 2016

    Trump’s popularity, and the fact that he is leading in states like Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina, has absolutely nothing to do with the economy or job growth. Forget statistics, a casual look at any newspaper would show dozens of adds offering employment, a leisurely walk in any Mall o a drive through industrial sectors in any American city would reveal Hiring signs everywhere. Only those who don’t want to work can’t find a job.
    What is influencing the growing support that Trump enjoys are his proposals to deport Latinos, don’t expect any Slovenians living in the USA illegally to be deported. Demeaning remarks about African Americans, and insulting the first African American president, are an added bonus. Insulting professional women doesn’t hurt him with those who believe women are supposed to stay at home taking care of the kids and baking cookies. Banning Muslims from entering the USA is like music in the ears for those consumed by cultural hatred, or fear bordering on paranoia. Last, but not least, is Trump’s ability to appeal to the patriotism of mos Americans. He knows how to push buttons, how to remain on the spotlight, and how to wrap himself in the flag to embolden himself and to convince the naive that he is the one, the only one, fighting for what is best for our country.
    Sadly, neither Hillary’s objective rhetoric, nor her record, is convincing large segments of our population to support her. She needs President Obama, Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail ASAP, before early voting starts, or her chances of winning, and Democrats taking over control of the Senate, is very much in question. According to Nate Silver, she is still leading the popular vote by 2% (a statistical tie), and has 292 Electoral votes, well above the 270 needed to win, but those numbers have been dropping steadily during the last month, and if that trend continues, all bets are off.

    1. itsfun September 18, 2016

      I read this morning that Trump now has the 270 votes needed. There is still a long ways to go. This thing is a toss-up now. The way both candidates are hated by about half the people and Congress, I have to ask if it really matters who wins.

      1. Dominick Vila September 19, 2016

        I haven’t heard that one yet. According to Nate Silver, the only pollster that predicted the 2012 election correctly, Hillary has 292 electoral voter, and Trump has 229. He did acknowledge, however, that Hillary’s numbers are dropping rapidly, and that the outcome of this election may be unpredictable, if the trend continues.

        1. itsfun September 19, 2016

          I saw on a news outlet on the web. Doesn’t really matter or mean anything. The race is getting very close though. With Ohio, Florida, NC leaning to Trump now, it is very much in question.

          1. Jim Samaras September 19, 2016

            It won’t be in question 2 weeks from now. Trump in a landslide

          2. itsfun September 19, 2016

            If Trump wins the battleground states he will win in a landslide, but if he doesn’t Hillary wins.

    2. dpaano September 20, 2016

      Actually, as of this morning, her polls have gone up significantly!

  2. Godzilla September 18, 2016

    But Trump isn’t really offering better financial prospects to a
    disaffected middle class. He’s offering to restore white privilege.

    No wonder why the Left Wing media has a low trust rating. This is utter nonsense and a complete fallacy. This isn’t even journalism, it’s more Marxist lies to bring forth the Progressive (COMMUNIST/FASCIST) agenda. Stupid ignorant propaganda. But rejoice, because IF the agenda takes over, free press is dead…along with a whole lot of you useful eaters.

    1. charleo1 September 18, 2016

      If that’s your explanation as to why the Author is wrong, I suggest your case is very unbelievable, very weak, and very ignorant. If THE AGENDA takes over, you say, the free press is dead.” And you go on to embarrass yourself by saying that that will will end the propaganda. You poor misguided fool! I can’t believe I actually feel sorry for you.

    2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 18, 2016

      More rabid rantings from a “human”(?) stuck in reptilian mode. Whining, complaining, moaning, are your favorite pastimes. Nothing thoughtful, rational, or sane ever issues forth from your bitterly disappointed and morose soul.
      You go to bed in a foul mood, and you awaken in a foul mood—there’s nothing spiritual whatsoever about that tedious routine.

      Like Donald, your clock on earth is ticking down to “ZERO” and you haven’t shown the least desire to develop positive attributes, and as a result you may enter the next world “Stillborn” with spiritual “limbs” nor “eyes” to cope in the next Realm. Is it your desire to remain a “Godzilla” in preparation for that eventuality?
      Because worshiping Republicanism and having a false god called Trump will avail you NOTHING—Trump is one of today’s version of “The Golden Calf”.
      The sooner you realize this, the better your condition will be, Godzilla.

      1. charleo1 September 18, 2016

        Having an inherent faith in the common decency of people, and also in the traditions of liberty upon which our Country was founded. I must see our resident, ‘Godzilla,’ the would be authoritarian/executioner, ideologue as a definite outlier. Something that comes to light because of the very freedoms of speech, and expression he, if given the chance would gladly end for everyone else. He is entertaining in a somewhat morbid way. A confirming reminder of why we need a Constitution. Why the Constitution was written as it was in the first place. And why America is, and remains a great country.

    3. Dan S September 18, 2016

      Are you even human ? Where’s your humanity ? You may be lily white skinned but your heart is black as coal. Where there is no love for your fellow man just malice & hate because of their skin color there is no place for you in the kingdom of the true living God. It’s Trump himself in his praise for the likes of Vladimir Putin that makes him & his deplorables pushing a true fascist communist agenda. Stupid & ignorance applies to the likes of Trump & yourself. Be careful you don’t choke on that hate your billowing out

      1. charleo1 September 18, 2016

        I’m betting he once was human. Yes. That’s before whatever happen to him, or didn’t, like getting an education created his down the rat hole philosophies.

      2. dpaano September 20, 2016

        Now you know why I’ve blocked most of these trolls….they have NOTHING of any consequence to say and only prove themselves to be the lowly human beings that they are! The most we can hope for is that not ALL of the American citizens are of the same ilk!!!

  3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 18, 2016

    America from its inception was primarily all about material wealth. In Columbus’ letter to Luis De Sant Angel,, shortly after reaching one of the Caribbean islands after his long Atlantic voyage, we find glowing references to the material resources of one of the islands, and spoke fondly of how the resources would further enhance the throne’s quest for domination. While writing, he noted how docile the Native people were and that it would be no problem overwhelming them to seize control.
    (Refer to http://www.bartleby.com/43/2.html)

    Later, the Pilgrims, French Huguenots, Millerites, and others would arrive seeking religious freedom, but that aspiration soon took 2nd fiddle to materialist concerns—a product of a continental hunger for more material goods that was beginning to take systematic hold over much of Europe, a phenomenon observed and commented on at length by Shoghi Effendi, one of the Central Figures of the Baha’i Faith, in one of his surveys of the social forces slowly taking shape in the world.

    It’s only logical then, given the waning influence of the already established Religious institutions here and abroad, that the influence of an appetitive nature fueled by rising materialism would assume dominance in America and give rise to such forces as organized crime, a Gold Rush that led to the slaughter of thousands of Native Americans to to take their lands, and later to the rise of Trump, and the GOP’s thirst to rape the land, water, and air in order to slake an unquenchable thirst for more an encapsulated in the chimera called “Fiscal Responsibility”.

    And so we have an electorate driven by materialism which in turn has intensified racial, religious, and ethnic animosity. These items are the key fuels for driving the urge for more material goods and a bitter outlook that leads to an illusion that material /economic prosperity are the primary keys to happiness and what it takes to be “human”—truly a distortion of what being human is about. (Even some have taken on descriptors like “Goat”, “Godzilla”, or assumed the hubris of “Informed Voter”, and whatnot).

    1. charleo1 September 18, 2016

      If I might add something very pedestrian to your sage, and discerning commentary this morning, Region’s proper function, as I’ve always seen it. Is to be one of a counterbalance against what is for want of better explanation, the reptilian tendencies of man. Which is to take without conscience from the weak, so as to dominate. Not only to insure survival, but also the wide as possible disbursement of the alpha male’s genetic code. That first motivation being more written into genetic code, than the second, a lust for power, wealth, or self aggrandizement. Which puts mankind in a perpetual state of war with his specie without the braking effects of Religion admonishing him to be generous, and kind to others. And teaching him to have faith that there are many rewards to found in such counterintuitive behavior as being our brother’s keeper. A tall order, as man, in keeping with his tendencies, keeps returning to his predatory reptile roots. This despite the vast majorities of us humans claiming to believe strongly in a great hereafter, and a final accounting of our behaviors. We just keep right on raping, and pillaging our weaker brothers in one way or another. Maybe we can’t help ourselves? Because religion in many cases seems to have either given up on us, or to have actually joined in, and gave its blessing to the raping, and pillaging. Thus ‘goat,’ ‘Godzilla,’ ‘Informed voter.’ all feel great about the whole nasty fight.

      1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 18, 2016

        That biological urge is very important to consider and I’m glad you brought that up. This is another potential encoded in us on purpose, and serves as a test to see if we have the ability and willingness to put the “brakes” on that, as I understand one of purposes in the Messages from each of the special Teachers.
        Which means that I have this “reptilian” tendency to be bellicose and the potential to try to take advantage of others just as every other human has. My test, and that of all of us, is to challenge myself to master those “animal” instincts which might lead me to want to take advantage of others, to be combative(something I still have yet to master), and to want to acquire more than is necessary for my comfort. It’s a life-long struggle and not intended to be an easy test.

        Trump et al have fared far worse than the rest of us; he and they are failing life’s exam, with Trump having achieved an “F -” grade so far. Oddly, there’s a spectrum of grades below F- that Trump is assiduously aiming low for. What an odd propensity for Donnie. Oh well, that’s his trip.

  4. Earnest Comment September 18, 2016

    Trump’s popularity doesn’t have anything to do with anything the media is picking up on.

    Its pretty simple…popular culture is leaving a huge chunk of americans behind and not only are they pissed off about it but they’re tired of the left calling them stupid for wanting to hold onto their vision for American culture.

    They’ve got whiplash. Five minutes after the courts make gay marriage legal they’re being told their daughters have to share bathrooms with little boys in elementary school and having visions of dudes in pantsuits with hairy beards that call themselves Susan in the bathroom next to their wives. And they’re being called all manner of bigot for being what they feel is justifiably nervous about the situation.

    They saw arabs blow up the twin towers and sent their sons off to fight arabs and come home in bags marked members missing and now have a president who us cutting deals with iran and calling for the importation of masses of the people that are killing their sons.

    It’s not all trannies and arabs its a larger picture. What’s on TV. What’s being taught in schools. How teens are being taught to behave. How traditional two parent households are completely ignored when benefits are being handed out to single moms. And frankly how religion and traditional values are mocked in the public square.

    All they’re thing is: whats next?

    It’s not trump they’re voting for as much as it’s hillary they’re voting against. Most trump voters think he’s as much if an ass as everyone else. But given the choice between a liar advocating for every thing they hate and an ass, they’ll take the ass any day.

    They’ve been waiting in the tall grass for a guy like trump. A loudmouth that they think will give those lefties h*ll.

    And every time she calls people that don’t agree with her outlook degenerates more of us come out of the woodwork and want her scalp.

    Angry white folk vote and there are a bunch of us in the toss up states that entirely determine elections. Who cares about California and new York? They’re as irrelevant as Mississippi and Connecticut.

    On the other side her must have constueuency, blacks, Hispanics and the youth vote, are getting liberal doses of her inability to tell the truth which plays into their cynicism which will see them at home smoking a fat one on election day instead of voting.

    As for trump…personally I think he’s a moderate. Look at his history before election trump came along. Donates to both parties, completely disinterested in fundamentalism, gay marriage, civil rights, women’s issues….just a guy trying to make a buck.

    I think he and a couple smart guys sat around one day and created a strategy to beat hillary. Run cheap. Use the press against themselves and ignore them.when they’re not useful. Say a few stupid things that rile up the right wing base and try and make hillarys negatives the entire story. Play for the two or three percent in the places that really decide elections.

    You can argue how stupid these trump voters are till you’re blue in the face. All that’s gonna do is drive more of them to the polls.

    Cause they hate lefties far more than they like trump.

    1. charleo1 September 18, 2016

      Well, you’re just wrong on so many levels. Like saying transgender males have beards, and decide one day out of the blue to wear pantsuits in order to use the little girl’s room. No, they look like females, dress like females, and have been using public restrooms with our wives, and little daughters for years. Same goes for transgender women. And guess what? You’ve never noticed. Funny eh, this tyrannical Leftist agenda! And about those people in CA. or NY not mattering. Why would you think such a thing? Because they’re not real Americans, like people where you come from? That will probably just sit home smoking a fat ones. No, again. Having come from one of the most regressive, backwaters in this Country, and traveled extensively. I can tell you they are most definitely just like the rest of us. Have the same dreams, ambitions, hopes for their kids, and want the same Rights as everybody else to insure they have an equal opportunity to make of their lives all they can be.
      But you’re also fundamentally wrong in in your belief that societies who embrace change, and see inclusivity as a better way to live, and be productive, as most clearly the future is, are somehow Left driven, shoving their agenda on those stanch person like yourself, the keep it unequal like it always has been, like it’s always worked for us, conservatives. Who I understand, really do fear change, and enjoy their distinct advantages. And therefore oppose all this inclusiveness, fairness, and respectful getting along with one another. And while making all manner of excuses, and fuss as to why they hate the Left for not just going along with their program. It’s what you said, They hate the Left more than they dislike a racist demagogue. But here’s the real deal you don’t want to hear. It’s not the Left, It’s nothing so puny as a political Party. It’s the World proceeding in its natural order and progression, that you’re opposing It’s becoming more diverse. And the Right, may not, nor cannot stop it, even if the Left were to join in. No matter how much some may desire things to be more homogeneous, more like it used to be, like themselves. For as the tide, the World waits on none. The World is the World. And it neither stops, nor waits on no one. And it’s pure folly to think otherwise.

      1. Earnest Comment September 18, 2016

        Actually that’s why trump is going to win. Because folks like you aren’t bright enough to understand how he’s doing it or why it’s working.

        But as for you’re ignorant comments on the world. You sound like one of these American exchange students talking about how much more sophisticated french men are when the only Frenchmen that have time for spoiled American brats are those who french women don’t want and are simply trying to get laid. Nobody has any respect for americans.

        The rest of the world is incredibly racist and xenophobic. Europe can’t help but pass law after law limiting access to its citizenship to white Christians and is being ripped up with culture wars. Half of great Britain voted to leave the eu. Germany is moving back to its racist nature with right wing parties staring to make progress.

        Africa and west Asia are one big race riot writ large. Don’t be gay there. They’ll kill you. Don’t do it in Russia or China…it’s still a crime.

        Central and South America are a bunch of ubernationalist Latins that hate each other. Try calling a Brazilian a Peruvian and see what happens. They got nothin’ but their nationalism. They don’t want to.be you.

        East Asia is nothing but a bunch of asiatic tribes that hate the h*ll out if each other.

        Indian Hindus hate Pakistani muslims and have been fighting a race war for seventy years in the Kashmir. That’s 1/7th if the world’s population. And oh yeah the tribes within Indias Hindus and paki muslims hate each other too.

        And globalism is a white man’s fantasy. The other six billion people outside Europe and North America don’t want to play nice with you. They want to take your stuff and make you the third world. They don’t want to be lefty white people. They like who they are. They think folks like you are stupid for giving up your lead.

        Outside the little bubble of lefty parts of the us and certain parts of western Europe gay rights are an absolute non starter. And outside the us everybody accepts a certain degree of racism as natural.

        Not that that’s a good thing. Gay rights are a thing that needs to happen. But it’s not a sure thing and it’s not popular at all when you let the whole seven billion humans weigh in.

        As for racism and nationalism…that’s here to stay. Only children think differently.

        Probably too late but you might want to get an education.

        1. charleo1 September 18, 2016

          The World is wrong, and I am right. And anyone that disagrees with me is uneducated and stupid. That was just my point to you, Mr. thick as a board. Mr. don’t try and tell me anything, about anything, you ignorant jack ass, because I know it all. It’s been a real con-firming displeasure talking to you.

          1. Jim Samaras September 19, 2016

            LOL…I’ve never seen you in such a confused state without a real comeback to common sense charleo…..This man is a genius compared to some of the libtards on here! Here’s a guy that lives abroad and is telling you how it really is around the world and you want to retreat to your safe space so as not to hear the truth. Absurd to say the least.

          2. dtgraham September 19, 2016

            Yeah, the entire world is one big race riot and they all hate each other passionately. That’s the summation. Common sense to you, not so much to others. What was charleo supposed to respond to?

          3. Jim Samaras September 19, 2016

            The man or woman made some very good points in this post and others. The proper response would be just that, that he’s brought up some good points and that it’s refreshing to hear from an outsider looking at things that we as Americans perhaps overlook.
            “The World is wrong and I am right’? Come on!!!

          4. dtgraham September 20, 2016

            As soon as I see good points, I’ll acknowledge them. It was just a bunch of right wing BS about Arabs and trannies and single moms and religion and traditional values and new world order globalism, couched in showy grandiose terms. I’ve seen it before.

            He’s an American right wingnut living abroad. Nothing to see here. There is a certain economic populism about Trump concerning trade, manufacturing and protectionism only, that appeals to some who aren’t necessarily on the right. I’ll say that.

          5. charleo1 September 20, 2016

            Racism is normal, and here to stay? I can’t accept that man is not inherently capable of better. So, call me a fool. It’s how I feel. And
            you and the cynics had better start hoping I’m right, and they are wrong. Or we may not see the next 100 years.

    2. Dominick Vila September 18, 2016

      I am one of those evil lefties that support peaceful coexistence, and rights and opportunities for everyone, but I actually agree with much of what you said.
      What many of my fellow liberals (I am actually very conservative on some issues) either don’t understand, or ignore, is that the main reason for Trump’s popularity is not his record or qualifications, but a rejection of left wing dogma, especially on issues such as abortion, same sex marriage, social programs, welfare, Affirmative Action; demonstrating respect towards other cultures, especially Muslims, and supporting immigration. Especially illegal immigration, which in the minds of most Trump supporters, only involve Mexicans and Central Americans.
      What we are dealing with has absolutely nothing to do with the economy, or actual national security. We are dealing with an ideological, or cultural, war between half of our population wanting to move forward by embracing diversity, freedom of expression that often borders on things that are extremely offensive to some fellow Americans, and respect for other cultures; and the other half wanting to take us back to the pre-civil rights days, to the pre Roe V Wade days, to the days when Americans had to fend for themselves instead of counting on social programs to help them survive, and to the days of gun boat diplomacy, when even a foe making obscene gestures is enough to start a war.
      In a way, it is a war, probably a last stand, between progressive intellectuals, and those who have been left behind, intellectually and financially, because of cultural changes as well as the emergence of new technologies, automation, and other factors that many among us don’t know, or can’t, deal with.
      The biggest challenge for those who support Trump’s rhetoric, but not necessarily his record, is that we cannot afford to cede our position of global leadership by embracing what is tantamount to isolationism, and a step backwards on every front, from social issues, to the economy, to technology and science.
      The repercussions of the outcome of the upcoming election are likely to be far reaching, and will define not only who we are, and what we stand for, but will decide the future of the USA as the dominant economic and military power in the world.

      1. Earnest Comment September 18, 2016

        The outcome of the elections mean nothing and will have no long term consequences.

        Neither trump it hillary will have sufficeint support in Congress to do much of anything groundbreaking and I’ll bet you the court nominees that trump or Clinton would get past confirmation are little different.

        Trump’s not going to end the world any more than bush the lesser did and he started two wars. He’s probably going to be far more moderate than bush once the campaign is over.

        The last 60 years of highly stupid meddling in the affairs of the world by incompetents if both parties have seen us lose vietnam, crate the mujahedeen in Afghanistan, piss off the entire arab world, bankrupt the Treasury in two endless stupid wars and garnered us no respect as even countries like iran humiliate our troops without consequence.

        Maybe having a president who doesn’t sillilly parrot the same failed policy that’s produced nothing since the marshall plan might inspire the guys across the table to take us seriously in trade talks.

        A massively in debt country of 330 million can’t possibly keep propping up billions while sending our jobs overseas to countries that buy little from us.

        It’s time to make our “allies” in Europe and Asia who can afford it to pay for their own defense.

        Believe it or not the world got along quite well before the us arrived and will.figure out how to handle life if we step back a bit.

        1. Dominick Vila September 18, 2016

          Yes, we should not have gotten involved in Vietnam, and in Afghanistan and Iraq.
          However, suggesting that a man that suggested letting South Korea and Japan acquire nuclear weapons, to engage North Korea, is hardly a strategy conducive to world peace and harmony. The same goes for Trump’s statement about dismantling NATO and not helping our allies, if attacked.
          As for reducing our debt, and getting our fiscal mess under control, proposing to reduce taxes by $4T, while at the same time proposing to increase the defense budget, and letting the social programs that, together with the DoD and interest payments on the debt, intact, is the last thing anyone interested in balanced budgets should embrace.
          Donald Trump’s foreign and domestic policies proposal are reckless, and extremely dangerous.

          1. Earnest Comment September 19, 2016

            Yeah why even hold elections? See foreign policy has already been decided. Yep screw up. Invade. Screw up. invade. Whatever jeeps you in your safe subcabinet job and on the DC cocktail party circuit. That’s us state department policy. We should keep doing that. It’s not like they care about what anything costs.

            A president that “suggests” a lot of things is better than a president that hands out more prepared speeches vetted by spineless beurocrats in the state department.

            American foreign policy has become as stupid as walking into a car dealership and telling the salesman you have to have the car so bad you won’t pay less than sticker and thinking when the sales staff throws you a party it’s because you’re a good negotiator.

            I’m sorry the us has no business in NATO. At all. The sovs are gone as is the existential threat to the north Atlantic military supply route. The EU is now an economic competitor whose defense budgets we subsidize. I guess we should subsidize horse buggy manufacturers too. Never know when somebody is going to need a good buggy.

            As for the idea that allowing limited nuclear proliferation in certain countries might be worth discussion only an idiot wouldnt think proliferation in India and Pakistan turned out to have benefits. It might be argued and has been that nuclear proliferation has kept the most entrenched and active ethnoreligous conflict in history from outright war because it might go nuclear. And oh yeah neither side has been handing nukes to third parties like terrorists. Little brown people might not be stupid after all. Racism-the white man’s burden- is one of the backbones of the anti proliferation movement.

            Maybe a few native nukes in South Korea and Japan might allow the user to save tens if billions in staffing these cold war outposts that are essentially nothing more than using us troops as sacrificial lambs ensuring that conflict in the area will kill American troops guaranteeing a war. Seems like a stupid non solution that might warrant new thinking. Especially because if our bluff is ever called we might not be able to respond. Then where are we?

            As for increasing defense spending you gotta look at all Trump’s comments. The one I like best is when he explained that he’s going to build a better military for a lot less focusing on assets to project force and shooters. Ships, aircraft and troops…you can do this if you get out of expensive commitments that tie up forces and money fighting the cold war. You can’t say right size spending in an election year you say raise or cut.

            It’s time to rethink everything and make new deals.

            But you go ahead and keep getting your ideas from CNN. They know what they’re talking about.

          2. Dominick Vila September 19, 2016

            My ideas are the result of having spent 30 years overseas, understanding how people in other countries think; what their values, aspirations, and fears are; and knowing why they don’t trust us…and why they are terrified of Donald Trump.
            Nuclear proliferation is the last thing any person with an ounce of common sense should embrace.
            I am in favor of closing some of the outposts with have overseas, if nothing else because they are no longer needed, and because of they are an important reason for the negative impressions that so many people have of us. Having said that, I think a total withdrawal would be counter productive and reckless.
            Our military expenditures during the last couple of decades have been focused on modernization of our armed forces, including the construction of state of the art naval units, sophisticated jet fighters and bombers, the use of drones, and other modern technologies. That focus has allowed us to reduce personnel, while maintaining strength and preparedness.
            The threat today is not conventional warfare, but terrorism, for which our military has proved to be unprepared. To a large extent because the most logical apparatus to deal with the expansion of ideological movements involve our intelligence agencies, diplomacy, and tangible deeds.

          3. Earnest Comment September 19, 2016

            I live overseas and I don’t know anyone who is afraid of Donald Trump. Most people i’ve met think he’s silly.

            The only news they get about him is filtered through highly biased American coverage that paints him as the devil. It’s hardly believable. I think that’s because he doesn’t show the least bit of respect for or awe of the press. He doesn’t even travel with em keeping them on a zoo plane.

            Personally I think it’s funny that he’s running neck and neck with the woman expecting a coronation not an election having spent an eighth of what she has to do it. He uses the press like trained poodles.

            Pretty sure a trump white House will move the gossip columnists in the press room across the street where they should be.

            But in the real world he’s one guy out of hundreds of world leaders. You know the guys running where the other seven billion people live.

            People in general dont really respect americans that much outside parts of Europe and the respect there is has to do with money. American politics has always been a side show to the rest of the world.

            When he went to mexico the president sat and talked with him like he would with any leader. So will everyone else. The world will move on and do business.

            But who cares? Americans vote in us elections.

          4. Jim Samaras September 19, 2016

            You’re absolutely correct Earnest! The world will continue to turn and perhaps may have a better view of the US and it’s political culture.

          5. Jim Samaras September 19, 2016

            I commend you on a well written and thought out insight on a future Trump presidency and I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said…Kudos!

  5. Jon September 18, 2016

    The 3 G’s of history, Gold, Glory, and God, apply to the rise of Trumperism and the sick souls who support him. Like Trump, they believe in enriching themselves at the expense of others with no concern about the damage they do to others. Like Trump, they need to constantly feed their egos. They need to feel they, as a group, are better than and smarter than those not members of their group. They seek to glorify themselves and their leader by doing as much damage to and suppression of those who are different from and disagree with them. They feel they are doing God’s work by supporting Trump and demonizing Hillary. The Value Voters lovefest with Trump at their recent convention/forum in DC, the support of people like Pat Robertson, and the alt.right/racist/white supremacists/nationalists/Nazis and like minded groups who profess their deeply held Christian beliefs while calling for violence and discrimination against those different from them. You can’t convince them that their version of Christianity is perverted and ignores the teachings of Jesus. They insist that they and only they have the Truth.

  6. Viking. September 18, 2016

    — I saw a report on norwegian state television a couple of days ago where the police chief in Gothenberg admitted that they had lost control of areas of the city and that crime there was out of control. He did not say immigrant crime, but all of the faces on the streets and those interviewed in the report were people of color. A female Somali city councillor showed the film team around and said it was a terrible place to live, as did the other couple of immigrants they interviewed.

    The only Swedes interviewed were a couple of women that were voluntary street patrollers the team was out filming with. They said no one (swedish) dared to come there any more. (It is usual in scandinavia for such groups to patrol the streets in the evenings in hope that it will discourage crime and violence). A gang of older muslim youths walked through them brushing them aside and ignoring the polite greetings.

    There were the usual conclusions in the report that society was not doing enough for these youths, so they had no other choice than to turn to crime and other unsocial behavior. The Somali councillor had previously shown them a ground floor apartment that a hand grenade had been thrown into, not an unusual occurrence in Swedish cities, her concern seemed mainly to be that there had been children in the flat. The local council was working with measures to alleviate the suffering of the immigrant minorities. Not a word about the suffering of the Swedes or that something should be done to help them by reducing the numbers of aliens. The government is still pursuing an open borders refugee policy.

    The press and politicians just do not get it. The people they are importing are mostly uneducated, unskilled and african and or muslim. Most of them have no intention of even trying to integrate. The numbers are so huge anyway that it is no longer clear what they are really to be integrated into, you would be hard put to find anything that you could define to be Swedish in Sweden now.

    1. charleo1 September 18, 2016

      Was this supposed to be a fear mongering inducement to vote for more bigots, and xenophobes? As it is they, and not the press, or their enabling partners, people who can read, who are missing the point. No, I really get it. And plus, I get you really like White Europeans. Am I right? As opposed to “thuggish young Muslim men.” So as our own resident Nazi running for President would say, Believe me, trust me, as ugly, wrongheaded, and ignorant as it is, I get what you’re saying.

      1. Jim Samaras September 19, 2016

        Oh charleo, are you really THAT naive?


    2. 788eddie September 18, 2016

      I guess you mean that the fault lies in that the criminals were not white, right. I think I get where you’re going on this.

    3. 788eddie September 18, 2016

      If you want to get some insight into the problem, I suggest you read the Book of Amos in the Old Testament. It will sound scarily familiar, I am sure. Notice particularly what Amos says is the cause.

  7. itsfun September 18, 2016

    The slowest economic recovery since the great depression, Yep the poverty rate did drop by 1.2%. Problem is the poverty rate went up 14% last year. That leaves the growth of the poverty rate at 12.8% the last two years. The Donald will do much better than that.

    1. Dan S September 18, 2016

      Are you familiar with the phrase “Be Careful What You Wish For? ” This election goes far beyond political ideologies much more. This man Trump is a shyster who doesn’t care about anything or anyone but himself. Ask why won’t he release his tax returns ? Why has he spent the last several years trying to falsely accuse President Obama of not being born on US soil ? This recovery is picking up steam as both interest rates stay low along with low fuel prices. Everywhere I go I see help wanted signs as wages are picking up also. To argue otherwise is simply illogical & wrong knowing full well we’re much better off since the 2008 crash left this economy in tatters. Imagine how much worse it’ll be if Trump gets his $4.4 Trillion tax cut thru. Every entitlement that the middle class enjoy will disappear & say goodbye to Social Security we’ve all paid into since we started working. Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about & will permanently damage the USA’s relationship with close allies like Britain & France. He’ll get us into wars we can’t pay for & that dumb wall on the Mexican border will never get built much less paid by Mexico ???????? Wake up before you foolishly vote for a nutjob who’s out only to enrich himself & no 1 else

      1. itsfun September 18, 2016

        Have to disagree completely with you. The economy is terrible. Those help wanted signs are probably for minimum wages jobs. Obama had nothing to do with the fuel prices where they are now. Obama has us 20 trillion in debt and you like that? Social Security is going nowhere. Trump just wants our allies to pay their fair share, instead of us paying the whole toll. Trump was not the only American to question the birth place of Obama. Obama has had the U.S. in a war somewhere every year of his terms. He is the only 2 term President in our history to have that. Just take a close look at what he is running against. If you want 4 years of incompetence, lying, selling out the U.S., tax increased on the poor and middle class then vote for Hillary.

        1. Dan S September 18, 2016

          Of course you disagree & therefore you want the US to be stuck with the most unqualified incompetent to ever get a major parties nomination. All by being obnoxious & name calling like a punk schoolyard bully. It’s no wonder so many prominent Republicsns like George Will & Secretary of Defense under 2 Presidents Robert Gates will support Hillary Clinton. Maybe you’d prefer visiting news sites like Fox or Breitbart so you can whine with other bigots about how awful & terrible things are. Let’s just hope Trump doesn’t get in to find out how bad America would truly be under his rule of anarchy of fear & intimidation of anyone who disagrees or opposes him

          1. itsfun September 19, 2016

            Another post from a liberal that just has to use the progressive big 6 when you are losing. You have to name call, shout racism, bigotry, hate, sexism, or find a way to blame George Bush. Have you ever noticed how anyone that disagrees or opposes Hillary ends up dead? What Will and Gates wants means nothing to me. They just want the same old system, so they can get richer and get the perks for being powerful. This election is about getting rid of career politicians and listening to the will of all of the people, not just certain groups, or the 30 million citizens Hillary calls deplorable.

          2. Dan S September 19, 2016

            Is calling me a liberal supposed to be an insult ? All the name calling is coming from your man Trump most quoted is your a loser. We have Lyin Ted, Low Energy Bush, Crazy Bernie & of course Crooked Hillary. I’m sure you have a great brain too just like Trump ???? I’m done ✅ debating someone who refuses to listen ???? to having any rational conversation.

          3. itsfun September 19, 2016

            No; calling a liberal a liberal is not meant as a insult of any kind. You called me a bigot though with this sentence: Maybe you’d prefer visiting news sites like Fox or Breitbart so you can
            whine with other bigots about how awful & terrible things are. Typical of people like you though. Call someone a terrible name and then run away saying you are done debating. Some may call that cowardly.

          4. dpaano September 20, 2016

            From what I understand, even the elder Bush is NOT voting for Trump and has said he’s voting for Hillary. How does that make you feel…..when a Bush even agrees that Trump is an unqualified candidate, that’s saying something!!!

          5. Dan S September 20, 2016

            Yeah I heard that earlier & still can’t believe it. Trump is that toxic that the oldest living President hasn’t endorsed a nominee from the opposing party since 1976. I’d say W got it right when a few months ago he was afraid he’d be the last GOP President voted in by the people.

          6. dpaano September 21, 2016

            That might be very true unless they learn from this election and get their stuff together! They have a lot of changes that need to be made if they want to get back into the game! Trump’s messages are so against what I really think most of the Republicans want to accomplish. We need a more “centrist” government, and we need one that can, once again, learn to reach across the aisle and compromise for the good of the people and NOT just for the good of the party!! Most Republicans have clearly forgotten who voted them in and who pays their salaries…..it certainly IS NOT the Republican party!! They owe their constituents to vote for bills that are good for them! This past 8 years, this Congress has been extremely lax in helping to get anything done, and we can blame that on McConnell and his cohorts for deciding at the beginning of President Obama’s presidency to not let him do anything during his administration, and this has hurt MANY people and stopped MANY bills from being passed that would have helped this country and the people! We can only hope that perhaps the Democrats can take back the Senate, the House, or Congress so that things will get done once again for the good of the people!!! This Congress can’t continue as it has….thwarting the people’s wills!!!

          7. Dan S September 21, 2016

            It’s truly sad how our democracy is so dysfunctional. I’m still livid that Sen. McConnell is sticking it to President Obama by refusing to give his Supreme Court nominee a vote for confirmation. Would he have done that if our President wasn’t black ? I truly hate thinking that’s the case since I voted for him twice & would vote a 3rd time if he could’ve run again. I had hoped we turned a corner on race relations in 2008 then along comes Trump with his megaphone mouth ???? I can only hope Madame President Hillary Clinton can heal the divide between both parties after this election

        2. FireBaron September 19, 2016

          Well, if Congress would actually vote to restore the Shrub Tax Cuts, we could pay for all the deficit spending incurred by fighting two wars that were not included in any budget between 2003 and 2009. The budget submitted by President Obama in 2009 was the first one that actually included our military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. That was why they appeared so much larger. Naturally, Congress refused to approve them and the requested tax increases, but demanded we maintain the levels of operation called for. Guess what happens when you demand spending but don’t raise the money for it? You have to borrow more. We were on track to have our national debt reduced (not eliminated) to levels not seen since the Nixon Administration had we not had a President who got conned into believing in an economic theory that even the originator said would only work in an ideal laboratory situation, thus instituted a series of tax breaks that made his VP’s buddies richer.

          1. itsfun September 19, 2016

            If you demand spending, but don’t have the money, why not try to reduce spending? I know reducing spending is something foreign to our government, but isn’t that what most Americans do?

  8. Jim Samaras September 19, 2016

    In many cases the white “racism” is the fault of the black population as is evidenced by one of their own……



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