Anyone following my campaign knows how little I think of Donald Trump. He is everything we don’t want in a President. But he has lots of people supporting him, some because they really like him, some because they like him better than Clinton, and others because they really dislike Clinton.
A few days back, Clinton labeled half of his supporters as “a basket of deplorables.” Her exact words were, “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables.’ Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that, and he has lifted them up.”
I think Clinton’s definition of deplorable applies to Trump, but labeling his supporters this way is, itself, deplorable. Clinton, to her credit, said she regretted the statement.
Clinton would do well to reflect on where Trump’s support is coming from.
It is not, to be “generalistic,” coming from people who are all the disparaging things she labelled them. Trump’s supporters are not Trump. Trump’s supporters are angry. Many can’t find a job. Others can’t find a good job. Most are working long hours for low pay and having terrible trouble making ends meet. Many are scared by the mass killings happening in places once thought safe — schools, churches, workplaces, nightclubs, … Many hate politicians who they generally view as up for sale. Many hate the bureaucrats who seem to delight in making our lives difficult. Many hate being lied to about our nation’s fiscal condition and foreign dangers. Many fear for their children’s futures. Many fear for their lives. Many think their last defense is their own guns and worry they are going to be taken away. Many hate being taxed to pay for others they think are freeloaders. Many resent the rich and their apparent power. Many view political dynasties with disdain. Many worry about North Korea, Iran, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbolla, the Muslim Brotherhood and everyone else who feeds on hating America. Many see a nation in decline. Many think the Democrats have too little to show for their eight years in power. Many see the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Many think immigrants and machines are stealing their jobs. Many look at our crumbling, outdated infrastructure and wonder what’s going on. Many can’t believe how bad the schools have gotten. Many, even those with insurance, can’t afford to get sick given the high co-pays and deductibles. Many correctly worry that the country is broke. Many are outraged by our 30 different tax and transfer systems, one more complicated than the next. Many think the banks took us to the cleaners in 2008 and are back at it again. Many are just tired of same old same old and want a change.
To those of you who are Trump supporters, please hear me out. I’m angry too. But voting for Donald Trump is not voting for our country, your welfare, or your children’s futures. Voting for Donald Trump is voting for big trouble. Doing so will disgrace yourself, disgrace our country, and endanger us all.
If you really want to learn where we stand as a nation, read the book. If you really want to fix America, spread the word, join my campaign, and write Laurence Kotlikoff for President and Edward Leamer for Vice President directly on your ballot on election day.