The Vanishing of America
Why Trump Became the Hero of Those Who Feel Deeply Aggrieved
I’m publishing this series of articles to share and discuss my ruminations on coping with a troubled and messy world. You can “follow” me to never miss an article.
A leading article in The New York Times makes perfectly clear why those who voted for Donald Trump continue to believe that the election was stolen from them[i].
In a word, the predominate feeling is that for too long White Working-Class voters have been lied to by politicians and sneered at by their “betters”. Not only have they not delivered, but they made things worse. In siding with them and articulating their grievances, Trump became their hero by giving them a voice. Conversely, by having the election stolen, their voices have been silenced.
But more than that, Trump is their America. In the words of one of the persons who was quoted in the article, “You either for America or you’re not.” And for another, “We’re going to set this country on fire.”
Very few have college educations. They are trapped in jobs that have been disappearing for decades. They are also stuck in small towns that have been losing out to their wealthier counterparts that are constantly encroaching on them.
In short, they feel that Whites have been steadily losing out. Indeed, it’s clear that in a few years, Whites will be in a distinct minority.
They are thrust into a world that is changing in every way possible and leaving them behind. To say that they are unhappy is putting it mildly. They’re outraged. No wonder why they want to set the country on fire.
In retrospect, it’s easy to ask why both Democrats and Republicans didn’t work together to head off what is not only a crisis, but a major Threat to Democracy. For if anything is clear, it’s that those who voted for Trump and continue to support him have not only given up on Democracy, but don’t care about it. All that matters is getting someone who fights for them.
I’m well aware that I’m constantly the voice of Doom and Gloom. I wish it weren’t so.
[i] Michael H. Keller and David D. Kirkpatrick, “Suspicion and Blame as Their America Vanishes,” The New York Times, Monday, October 24, 2022, PP A1, A18-A20.
Ian I. Mitroff is credited as being one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management. He has a BS, MS, and a PhD in Engineering and the Philosophy of Social Systems Science from UC Berkeley. He Is Professor Emeritus from the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Currently, he is a Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He has published 41 books. His latest is: The Socially Responsible Organization: Lessons from Covid, Springer, New York, 2022.
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