February 23, 2016 by David K. Sutton
Reich: The Voice Of The Great American Working Middle Class
Tonight on Facebook, Robert Reich posted an email he received from someone who is undecided between Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. Yes, you read that correctly. But, we know these people exist. The question is, how?
“I mentioned several months ago on book tour through ‘red’ America that I kept on running into people who told me they were trying to make up their minds between supporting Bernie or Trump,” said Reich via Facebook. “At first, I was bewildered. Gradually I began to understand.”
There are people out there, who might have certain ideological views, but who are mostly fed up and really angry when it comes to the soul crushing American capitalist system run amok. So, they are grasping for any candidate who is defying the political establishment. Although, I still can’t understand how someone can be undecided between Trump or Sanders.
I want to share with you an email I received just now from someone who read my recent essay “The End of the Political Establishment? I’ve omitted the senders name in the interest of privacy. I’m not sending it to you because I agree with the sentiments it contains. I find some of the views abhorrent. I’m sharing this because it typifies what I heard last fall. Like it or not, this is the voice of the great American working middle class, furious at what’s happened to the nation, and lashing out.
The American political establishment still doesn’t get it. The real choice ahead is either an authoritarian bigot or the kind of “political revolution” Bernie is advocating.
What do you think?
Here’s the email Reich received from a “Mad voter”:
Subject: The End of the Political Establishment. I sure hope so!
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2016 16:46:27
Thanks for your article and telling like it is! It’s time for Washington to wake up.
I’m college educated working for Chase bank. This firm has cut jobs and sent jobs and call centers overseas. They have outsourced IT jobs and lower skilled contractors jobs through third party vendors with no benefits or paid days off. Contractors get nothing and companies should be taxed hard for using them. But the bank is making money. They give paltry raises and top grade to only give big raises to the top. Executives get bonuses for reducing staff. My husband has a trade school degree and works for United Airlines. He worked for Continental airlines which was the better airline but a merger that should never have been allowed ruined a great airline. United is making big profits. But outlying areas took a $2 cut in pay. Why? Greed that’s why! Corporations don’t do the right things anymore. They don’t care about their employees.
Let me add to your article:
– we send politicians to Washington who become corrupt and do nothing for us voters.
– we need term limits and to outlaw lobbyists
– We are tired of watching good paying jobs go overseas as Trump describes our political hacks negotiate our trade deals.
– we are tired of immigrants getting free everything.
– we are tired of the abuse of the disability welfare system. Everyone knows people that shouldn’t be on disability and needs to get a job.
– we are tired of program after program in Washington DC eating up our money.
– we are tired of insurance companies having monopolies in each state protecting themselves to charge whatever they want. All insurance co should have to sell in 50 states.
– we are tired to sending countries that hate us money
– we want to see Muslims assimilate with our values and love of our country. I know some and they don’t love our country. They need to go home. These are not the immigrants from 200 years ago who loved our country.
We plain and simple are tired of politicians selling us a bill of goods. Anyone that sounds like a politician needs to take a hike.
Thanks for speaking for many of us.
I’m totally with this person when it comes to corporate outsourcing, downsizing, and use of contractors (to avoid paying for benefits, among other savings). I’m also with this person when they talk about lackluster raises (but plenty of bonuses for executives). I even agree, we vote for representatives who do nothing but represent big business. And yes, term limits are probably a good idea. And I don’t know what we should do, but I agree something needs to be done to blunt the impact of lobbyists.
But, where this person loses me is when her anger becomes misdirected. Show me where immigrants are getting “free everything,” whatever that means. Show me abuse of the welfare system. And no, I’m not talking about anecdotal bullshit, I mean real hard numbers showing that the system has widespread abuse. And, what does it mean to “assimilate with our values” when talking about Muslims? Frankly, I’d like religious people (of any religion) to assimilate to my values, but I guess I’m not in control, and well, that’s how shit works in America, because freedom and all. So no, “they” don’t need to go home.
But, at the end of this email, this person thanks Robert Reich for “speaking for many us.” I guess they really do come in all stripes. And, well, maybe I do see how there could actually be people undecided between Trump or Sanders. They recognize, at least in-part, some of the reasons why the system is rigged against us, but their inclusion of Trump means they are conflating economic fears with a healthy dose of xenophobia. They can’t prove brown people or people of a different faith are the cause of their economic despair, but they are going to make that connection anyway. And that’s where Trump steps in to reassure their fears are not misplaced.