3/18/2017

Trump and the Forgotten Man, Forgotten by the party of FDR

It's been two months since Donald Trump referenced the "forgotten men and women" in his inaugural address. Speaking as a non-fan, I must say that it was an excellent speech. It was brief, yet powerful. I was particularly struck though by his resurrection of the term "forgotten man", which was most famously spoken by Franklin Roosevelt in a 1932 radio address. Roosevelt however, did not invent the phrase. It was actually borrowed from an 1883 essay, written by William Graham Sumner, a classically liberal social scientist and professor at Yale. Now obviously Roosevelt's forgotten man was nothing like Sumner's. You might say that it was the direct opposite. While Sumner's forgotten man was written about the man who pays for the populist's "reforms", Roosevelt used the term as a populist, for the purpose of class warfare, very similar to, but evidently more effective than John Edwards' "two Americas". 

So why am I writing about this now, two months after that inauguration address? Well simply, I have come to understand why Donald Trump exists and why the Democratic Party is losing, quite willingly I might add, the coalition that sustained itself for almost a century. The Democrat Party is essentially turning it's back on, "forgetting" about a large population of people, hard working people who play by the rules, only to be looked down on by the elites, who label them as hicks, rednecks, racists, etc. These are the same elites, I might add, who heap virtue on the "poor", who turn a malcontent like Michael Brown into Medgar Evers, and who seem to despise the white country boy with a Confederate flag on his hat more than they dislike foreign Islamic terrorists. No, to the elites who run the Democrat Party, white middle class evangelicals are to be shamed as un-Christian because they see it as unfair that the poor are subsidized to the point of an equivalent lifestyle to them. Simply put, they are tired of pushing the wheelbarrow that, not only holds the poor, but also the very rich, who also feed at the trough of the federal government. 

Donald Trump gets these people. He understands their anger. Before the election of 2016, Republicans did not even consider the possibility of carrying Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Those states were written off, "forgotten" about, if you will. But now, the farmers, assembly line workers, and coal miners from those states, who at one time would have never considered voting for a Republican, might never vote Democrat again. So what is the Democrat Party's response to this? Well obviously these former Democrats, from states President Obama carried, are all a bunch of racists. Yes that will win them back, just as well as calling up your ex-girlfriend on the phone to curse at her, will win her back. They double down on the smears, and also the social agenda. After all, they would not want to lose that 0.01 percent of the public that identifies as a sex other than the one they biologically are. The Democrat Party is so proud to have rammed through a healthcare bill, because it expanded health insurance, most of it free, to people who did not want it, while raising the costs and the deductables of the forgotten man. 

As previously stated, Donald Trump understands these "forgotten men and women", and not only does the modern Democrat Party not understand them, it does not care to. As a conservative, I have mixed emotions about this change in party structure, the narrowing of the Democrat tent and the widening of the Republican party. Obviously, these new conservatives are not really conservatives, but New Deal Democrat types who woke up one day and realized that the kooks had taken over the party of FDR. We used to call these people Reagan Democrats, Reagan, by the way, won 49 states. Hmm...

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