I know. The 2016 election is over with. Why create a thread on that topic when another thread on the same topic has beenlocked.
Well, look at which forum this is in.
Yes, that is right, the history forum. The 2016 election is now history. So why not a thread about it in the history forum?
What I do not want to see in this thread: any stories that belong in the news forum section. So any topics that are making the headlines should be avoided. First and foremost, no discussion of the Trump-Russia connection. At least not until that becomes less than a red hot item in the news. We already have at least two other threads that are appropriate for such news articles.
What I do want to see. Articles, comments, and observations that give us insight as to why voters might have voted for Trump.
I suppose I need this thread for therapy reasons. I simply do not understand how any rational adult could have voted for Trump. Witty one liners like "because they are stupid" do not cut it for me. They are way too simplistic, insulting to Trump supporters, and generate much heat and little light.
With that introduction, here is my first submission for your consideration:
In Left Behind, a small group of Christians, who convert after the rapture, form a militia to battle a hostile world. Morally imperfect but virile leaders emerge with names like Rayford Steele and Buck Williams. Dispensationalism appeals to the sense of being among a besieged people, surrounded by chaos and decadence. It promises strong leaders who will guide the faithful to paradise. It has deciphered a pattern in the Bible, one that speaks, if in a very different context, to Martin Luther King’s “fierce urgency of now.” And it has deciphered a pattern in current events, one that tells the same story as the Bible: you are embattled, but the end is near, and you will be saved.
Trump, by fortuitous accident, has tapped into this narrative and the anxieties that drive it. He too depicts the world as chaotic and decadent — the irony! — and promises to restore order. His people are besieged by apparently inexorable forces. Salvation awaits the next election. We will all be saying “Merry Christmas.” Jobs will return. Threatening invaders will be repulsed by a big, beautiful wall. America will be great again. You don’t have to believe in dispensationalism to be seduced by this story, but it helps.
Many of the people gathered for the caucus training had lived hard lives. They had seen factories close, been laid off, worked multiple jobs to make ends meet. The key difference between Trump and Ted Cruz is that Trump has broken, at least in rhetoric, from the Republican Party’s economic orthodoxy. He calls for tariffs on Chinese goods and higher taxes for hedge fund managers. Decades of economic frustration have paved the way for this message to resonate. The New York Times sifted through census data and found “that Trump counties are places where white identity mixes with long-simmering economic dysfunctions.” Variables that make someone most likely to support Trump, according to the Times, include: identifying as white and having no high school diploma; living in a mobile home; working in agriculture, construction, or manufacturing; and being an evangelical. Trump’s salvation narrative recognizes these people — white, evangelical, working class — who feel forgotten, lost.
“We are the Titanic,” said the man in front of me…voice trembling, “and we’re heading for the iceberg.”