2/4/17, "Trump is no fascist. He is a champion for the forgotten millions," UK Guardian, John Daniel Davidson, opinion
"During his first two weeks in office, whenever Trump has done
something that leaves political and media elites aghast, his supporters
cheer. They like that he told Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto he
might have to send troops across the border to stop “bad hombres down
there”. They like that he threatened to pull out of an Obama-era deal to
accept thousands of refugees Australia refuses to admit. They want him
to dismantle Dodd-Frank financial regulations for Wall Street and
rethink US trade deals. This is why they voted for him.
The failure to understand why these measures are popular with
millions of Americans stems from a deep sense of disconnection in
American society that didn’t begin with Trump or the 2016 election. For
years, millions of voters have felt left behind by an economic recovery
that largely excluded them, a culture that scoffed at their beliefs and a
government that promised change but failed to deliver....
Support for Trump’s travel ban, indeed his entire agenda for
immigration reform, is precisely the sort of thing mainstream media,
concentrated in urban enclaves along our coasts, has trouble
comprehending. The fact is, many Americans who voted for Trump,
especially those in suburban and rural areas across the heartland and
the south, have long felt disconnected from the institutions that govern
them. On immigration and trade, the issues that propelled Trump to the
White House, they want the status quo to change....
In his inaugural address, Trump said: “Today, we are not merely
transferring power from one administration to another or from one party
to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, DC, and
giving it back to you, the people.” To be sure, populism of this kind
can be dangerous and unpredictable, But it doesn’t arise from nowhere.
Only a corrupt political establishment could have provoked a political
revolt of this scale. Instead of blaming Trump’s rise on racism or
xenophobia, blame it on those who never saw this coming and still don’t
understand why so many Americans would rather have Donald Trump in the White House than suffer the rule of their elites....
In many ways, the 2016 election wasn’t just a referendum on Obama’s
eight years in the White House, it was a rejection of the entire
political system that gave us Iraq, the financial crisis, a botched
healthcare law and shocking income inequality during a slow economic
On election day, millions of Democrats who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 cast their votes for Trump. In those earlier
elections, these blue-collar Democrats were voting for change, hoping
Obama would prioritise the needs of working Americans over the elites
and special interests concentrated in Washington DC and Wall Street.
For many Americans, Hillary Clinton personified the corruption and
self-dealing of the elites. But Trump’s election wasn’t just a rejection
of Clinton, it was a rejection of politics as usual. If the media and
political establishment see Trump’s first couple of weeks in office as a
whirlwind of chaos and incompetence, his supporters see an outsider
taking on a sclerotic system that needs to be dismantled. That’s
precisely what many Americans thought they were doing eight years ago,
when they put a freshman senator from Illinois in the White House....
But change didn’t come. What they got was more of the same....
America is deeply divided, but it’s not divided between fascists and Democrats.
It’s more accurate to say that America is divided between the elites
and everybody else, and Trump’s election was a rejection of the elites."...