“Divide and Conquer” the Trump Strategy is Not New
“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” – LBJ. The above quote sums up “Trumps” strategy for winning the hearts and minds of most fearful ignorant working class white male masses. “Knowledge is Power”, but Trump pandered to the main of his followers by bluntly stating, “I Love the poorly educated”.
Ignorance, Fear, Xenophobia, Misogyny, and Racism have been the Stock in Trade of elitist catering politicians since the founding of the American Experiment as a tool to take simple minds off the real issue; which is the exploitation of economic issues by the wealthy to pit the working class against each other.
Just think if Americans totally voted based on economic class, without regard to relatively superficial issues such as Race, Religion, Reproductive Rights, Gun Rights, Immigration, etc., no Conservative would ever win an election. I use the phrase “Superficial Issues” not to degrade the importance of other issues, but rather to point out when people have egalitarian economic power, all other issues usually fall into place.
For example, as an Atheist I do not have a problem with someone else privately choosing a “Evangelical” religion so long as they keep it out of politics, education, and a women’s body. I do not want to eliminate gun ownership, but I want reasonable gun restrictions, safety education, and licensing; this is something we require for vehicle ownership or professional conduct. Women’s reproductive rights are a personal matter, between a woman, and her doctor, and no one else. Women with money have always had access to abortion and contraception, but the poor suffer from restrictive laws.
The bottom line is that Donald Trump is only passionate about one thing, his “wealth and his power”. He does not possess any idealism or passion about abortion, the ACA, gun rights, religion, jobs, or the environment. Trump is the great mercurial vacillator, changing his mind and positions every other week. By his behavior and multiple fact check organizations he has demonstrated that over 80% of time he is a patent liar, or one who tells incomplete truths. Most politicians are not 100% honest but we are talking extreme shades of gray relative to Trump. So, the question, is why did so many, mainly ignorant poorly educated white males vote for him? I believe that people want to have hope and faith that things will get better, in spite of their present hopeless situation. In their desperation for hope they are very vulnerable to believe the promises of any forceful snake oil salesman who promises a cure, even if that cure is unrealistic and irrational.
Trumps promised unemployed Kentucky coal miners jobs, but the reality is that coal mining has become very efficient due to open pit mining, versus the old pick and shovel underground mines.
Wall Street is not passionate about financing coal mining. The fracking of abundant cleaner natural gas is replacing is replacing coal burning power plants with gas, solar, or wind farms. Americans in general have accepted that coal burning is very bad for the environment and is a major contributor to Global Warming. But these poor uneducated coal miners still grasp for hope, and can live in the illusion that they can keep their guns, believe they are living in the most exceptional country, hang on to their religion, and feel superior to women and people of color, but none of these illusions will pay the rent, give them better health care or education for their children.
Studies have shown that there is a direct inverse relationship between the quality of life and standard of living in a country and religiosity. As a developed nation, we are one of the most religious, with approximately 25% declaring that they are Evangelical’s. America ranks 17th in childhood poverty, with 45 million living at the poverty level, and no national healthcare or no cost public university education. On the other hand, if the poor choose to believe that there is utopia in the afterlife, then they are prime “Suckers” for religion.
So, in summary if we can all band together based not on race, religion, gender, or national origin, but rather on economic strata then we have the collective power, if we choose to vote, to overpower the 1% and create a just and fair society where the word “Democracy” has real meaning. For those concerned you can still keep your guns, observe your religion, and maybe get to know your neighbor who is primarily like you, who may be Black, Hispanic, LBGT, or Muslim. Please do not be taken in by charlatan preachers or politicians, exercise Critical Thinking skills and put aside reactive emotions that include ignorance driven fear. Most importantly do not vote against your most important economic interests. United we stand, divided we fall.