The War on Trump Supporters Must Stop

A famous speech given by Broderick Crawford portraying populist politician Willie Stark in the movie, All the King’s Men (based on the eponymous Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Robert Penn Warren) is apropos the treatment of the supporters of Donald Trump by the reigning tastemakers of the conservative movement. An updated version could be:

Listen up Trump supporters!  You are all hicks! 

Yeah, you heard me right.

You are all hicks and worse!  You are hicks because you want decent good paying jobs, and you are sick of American companies moving overseas.  You are hicks because you want a wall on the border and illegal immigration stopped.  You are all hicks because you like your doctor and you want to keep your doctor.  You are hicks because you want your kids to learn something in school besides which bathroom to use and why they should hate America.  You are hicks because you think military veterans are less likely to die in combat than they are standing in line at the VA.  You are hicks because you think the Bill of Rights actually means something.

Truth is you hicks are in the way.  You are nothing but speed bumps on the road to socialism.  You are nothing but an inconvenience to the politicians who want lifetime employment offering their services to the highest bidders.  You are nothing but a campaign problem to the billionaires who want to fatten their wallets at your expense.  Why don’t you keep in your place and do what you are told?  Who do you think runs this country?  How dare you threaten the powers that be?

Yeah, that’s right.  You are a problem.  You are a hick.  You are all hicks!  And so am I.

It was not long ago we knew who our enemies were.  The leftist Democrats called us racists, narrow-minded bigots, mean-spirited bible-thumpers, homophobes, rich fat-cats who want to take your social security away, sexists, and more. It was insulting, and for the large majority, untrue, but it was predictable.

That is definitely not the case today. Since early March, Trump voters have endured some of the most insulting malicious attacks ever in the print, online and social media, except this time the charge is not being led by the left-wing media or the Democrats, but by other Republicans.

The attackers have been supporters of the #NeverTrump movement and of the remaining Republican challengers, most notably supporters of Senator Ted Cruz.  Together, they have waged a remarkably large and fairly effective smear campaign against Trump voters.  And even though the worst may be over, especially now that Senator Cruz has suspended his campaign, it has not stopped yet.

The targets are primarily blue-collar whites, both Republican and Democrat, from small towns and rural areas of the country, who support Trump.  Many of these people are factory workers, laborers, tradespeople, farmers, and small business owners.  Some have college educations, but many who don’t have high school diplomas.  Some are unemployed.

These are the folks who used to be called the common people of America, the salt-of-the-Earth types, the ones who were depicted in the Norman Rockwell paintings.  Unlike other established voting blocs and special interest groups, these people have no protectors in the media, beyond the established right-wing web sites and talk radio, who, for their own reasons, have mostly abandoned them.

Since blue-collar workers form the largest bloc of Trump supporters, they usually get slammed the hardest.  The simple fact that blue-collar workers, on average, have smaller incomes than white-collar workers invariably gets translated into economically disadvantaged, distressed, or poor.  Since they are generally less well educated than people in the professions, they often get described as not well educated, poorly educated, or uneducated.

If it were nothing more than that, it would be bad enough, but it gets much much worse.  Trump voters have been called foolish, disgusting, frustrated, misguided, crazy, stupid, idiotic, dummies, willfully ignorant, defying common sense, driven by emotion, alienated, irrational and unthinking, an incompetent mob, thugs, hideous, hateful, xenophobic, violent, fanatics, Nazis, and on and on.  Another writer, in an apparent effort to appear even-handed, wrote, “Trump supporters are not stupid; they just haven’t been taught how to think.”  Others have gone to the extremes of telling Trump supporters they are all going to hell, and, most astonishing, suggesting white blue-collar communities, like the ones that support Donald Trump, deserve to die.  How nice.

This undeclared war on Trump voters has even carried over to psychological profiling.  A recent political survey was discussed in (click here to read it) under the title of, Why Donald Trump Supporters are Voting Alone.  In the article a majority of Trump supporters are called civically disengaged or disconnected, meaning they are less likely to join civic groups, go to church, or get involved in civic activities.  People who seldom or never participate in a non-religious activity group supposedly account for 52% of Trump’s support.

Although Trump’s share of civically disengaged voters is the highest, the fact is every candidate has a sizable fraction of voters who fall into this category, with John Kasich the smallest at 30%.  This is more of a revelation about the effects of modern telecommunications -- smartphones, online gaming and Internet movies -- than it is a profile of Trump voters.

Some of the conclusions drawn from this survey strike me as odd.  First, a Trump campaign rally is not counted as a civic event, even though the very fact Trump supporters are there indicates they are interested and engaged in a civic process.  Second, the fact that Trump has done less well in caucus states may have as much to do with the smear campaign being waged against Trump supporters and the lack of organization in these states, as it does about the psychological makeup of the voters.  Judging from the number of people at Trump rallies, I doubt they are going to be voting alone.

The fact Republicans, themselves, have turned roughly 40% of their own voters into a toxic waste dump in the vain hope they could suppress Trump’s share of the vote, and thereby get a compromise candidate sympathetic to their desires, speaks volumes about the gaps in the Republican Party from edge to edge and from top to bottom.  If the Republican coalition has any hope of winning in this election cycle, the attacks on Trump supporters must end now!  Common ground must be found between the various factions and a reconciliation begun before it is too late!

Unfortunately, now there is talk of running another Republican candidate under the banner of a third party, apparently so Republican leaders can save their self-respect.  What self-respect?  They fiddled while Rome was burning!  They helped bring in foreign workers to take American jobs under the H-1 visa program.  Through NAFTA they enabled the destitution of their own people so others could make a dollar, all in the name of globalism.  To run a third party candidate in this situation, just to spite Trump, is nothing less than base treachery!

Clearly, I just do not understand because I am too low information, too foolish, too emotional, and too stupid.  After all, I am just a hick.