Blogger: GOP’s Neglect of Its Blue-Collar Voters Has Driven Them to Support Trump-Style Fascism

These days, one of the biggest meta-debates in politics concerns apportioning blame for the staying power of the Donald Trump circus. How much of Trump’s popularity is attributable to, say, the mainstream media? To conservative talk radio? In a Sunday post, The Washington Monthly’s Martin Longman pointed the finger at Republicans and absolved President Obama.

Apropos of Trump’s economically dislocated blue-collar backers, Longman maintained that Obama has “done what he could for them, and it’s been considerable,” whereas Republicans “have ignored them…[A] population that makes up the core of the Republican base has been committing suicide, overdosing on opioids, and drinking itself to death at a rate comparable to the AIDS epidemic. And the Republicans not only spent zero time trying to help them during the Bush and Obama years, they didn’t even seem to know that this was happening to them.”

Longman concluded that GOPers have “give[n] up on the political process as a way to help their people,” and that consequently those people have “turn[ed] to an anti-political movement…What you get, then, is support for fascism.”

From Longman’s piece (bolding added):

The hollowing out of the manufacturing base and loss of good-paying blue collar jobs should be a pretty important component of any theory about why older whites without high school diplomas are flocking to a charlatan like Donald Trump…

By identity, experience, temperament, and style, it’s obvious that Barack Obama is “not one of them,” so it would never have been easy for him to become their champion. He’s done what he could for them, and it’s been considerable. Where their governors have permitted it, they have full access to Obamacare, even if they need to go on Medicaid to get it. Their communities are less poisoned, although that doesn’t mean that they live in healthy communities. They have much better protection against predatory businesses and the credit card industry. Many fewer of their kids have been maimed and injured in ill-advised military adventures under Obama’s leadership than the leadership of his predecessor.

But the Republicans have ignored them…

[A] population that makes up the core of the Republican base has been committing suicide, overdosing on opioids, and drinking itself to death at a rate comparable to the AIDS epidemic. And the Republicans not only spent zero time trying to help them during the Bush and Obama years, they didn’t even seem to know that this was happening to them.

…As president, Obama is responsible for all Americans and American communities, but these people aren’t his core base of support…The first responsibility here is for the Republicans to talk to their supporters, figure out what they need (and, no, it’s not Wall Street deregulation and tax cuts for the rich) and take some proposals to the president…

…[Y]ou can say Obama drove people nuts with his bloodless Mr. Spock routine and that he doesn’t get the emotional needs of the country, but that is a very partial explanation for what we’re witnessing.

When the Republicans cannot even identify an AIDS-size epidemic in their communities and give up on the political process as a way to help their people, their people turn to an anti-political movement…

What you get, then, is support for fascism.

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters