What Do the Trump Voters Want?

Now that Donald Trump has won the South Carolina primary and Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are very definitely second fiddles, we are all asking the old question allegedly asked by Freud about women.

What do the Trump voters want?

Perhaps the answer is in the great question asked by Frederick Douglass. “What shall be done with the Negro?” And his answer: “Do nothing with us.”

Really, the same could be said for the white working class, that all of a sudden we recognize is in bad shape after a century and a half of doing from the state, with a suicide rate among white working class men only exceeded by the suicide rate among Native Americans.

As Douglass said, “Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us.” The doing with the Negro was the worst, and still is, but the doing with the worker has come a close second. First the worker had to be exempted from the law against combinations, then protected from the exploitation of long work days. Then the worker had to be protected from want with government social insurance instead of his own mutual-aid society. The result was inevitable. The working class came to expect that the ruling class would look after it with good jobs and good wages forever.

But the labor unions exempted from laws against combination turned into parasites that killed their host manufacturing corporations and their good jobs at good wages, and government social insurance is not social and not insurance, but a way for the ruling class to pay off its supporters.

Then the ruling class tired of its working class supporters, decided they were racists and sexists, and went back to its old game of playing mischief with the Negro.

In the 1980s Reagan boom got the economy going again after the stagflation of the late 1970s, but it didn’t, couldn’t revive the old union-dominated manufacturing economy. By the time of the Obama revolution the ruling class was past caring about the bitter clingers. It planned to lead minorities, women, the educated, and young people to a new Promised Land of Hope and Change in which the white working class would only be a long withdrawing roar. Only Charles Murray, reviled for writing badthink about IQ in The Bell Curve, had the wit to write about the mess of the white lower class in his Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010.

I am writing this piece from my daughter’s apartment in Paris, where she has moved her family so that she can do a Master’s in international relations at the American University just down the street. Last evening we dined with a young Frenchwoman who’s a couple of years into a career in software security armed with two Master’s degrees in software engineering from the U.S. Life is good for the global educated elite, in the world designed, implemented, and ruled by the educated elite, even if you affect a rebellious conservatism like me.

But what about the rest of America?

The rest of America is looking right at the Gates of Hell. All because it believed the government when it promised good jobs at good wages. Oh sure, the Reagan and Bush tax cuts promised growth and better wages, and they delivered for the educated and the self-motivated, but not for the rest of America.

And so in 2008 the rest of America let Barack Obama romance it with a Hope and Change that delivered the economic rape culture of administrative liberalism that was named and shamed 30 years before.

Now in 2016 the rest of America is rallying to Donald Trump who will Make America Great Again. And what will he deliver?

The arc of history does not bend towards justice, as President Obama believes; it bends towards extinction for the defeated males, whether you are talking about the Rape of the Sabine Women by Rome, the Vikings sailing up the rivers of England in 1000 (men slaughtered, women and children enslaved), or the demoralized remnant of the Plains Indians with the highest male suicide rate in the U.S.

And the same goes for the farmers pushed off the land by the agricultural revolution, and the hand-loom workers by power looms, and the semi-skilled manufacturing workers buffeted by automation and low-wage Asians.

Life, the Universe, and Everything is about bucking the system and surviving to fight another round, and like the Jews, never, never give up. If you sell your birthright to the ruling class for a mess of pottage you will pretty soon be left without pottage.

There is only one sensible answer to the question of what the Trump voters want. If they want anything other than to demand that the government “do nothing with us,” then they are taking a fateful step towards oblivion.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.