Why This Electrician Is Still With Trump

Why This Electrician Is Still With Trump

No other politician—let alone the current president—has shown the same pragmatic concern for the little guy.

I don’t really have anything in common with Donald Trump. I’m certain that he and I have not endured the same struggles, or have the same exact family values, or share every civil conviction. To be honest, I find aspects of his personality obnoxious and his frequent divisiveness tactless at times. I’ve also voted for him twice. 

Thinking back on why I’ve voted for him, none of the reasons have much to do with the man himself. Trump turned the Republican party’s gaze towards the working class—towards people like me. Appealing to this sector of American society is tough. Most of us have been jaded by politics for years; establishment Republicans have been more obsessed with globalist agendas and catering to big business while Democrats have pandered to the highly educated and incited cultural discord. Trump, despite his many faults, lifted the rug to prove to the rest of his party that there are indeed millions of us scampering around down under it—many of us politically homeless and some of us completely disengaged from American politics altogether.

There were a few things Trump did other than acknowledge our existence that earned our trust. His almost comical outsider status, for one thing, worked in his favor. I almost viewed him as a kind of “Carnie” candidate—a political obscurity that you had to see to believe. Despite this, I was also convinced that he was bullheaded enough to pull off at least some of what he was promising to do.

Working in manufacturing at the time in 2016, I often worried about the stability of my future in this almost fossilized American industry. Trump’s talk of getting tough on China appealed to me. Growing up in the Midwest, Ohio specifically, I can drive to several old manufacturing towns nearby that are lopsided husks of what they used to be. A stark reminder of the skin America shed when our politicians and corporations decided that sacrificing the socioeconomic security of millions of Americans was worth the paper-thin bottom lines and burgeoning GDP as a result of outsourcing American manufacturing.

I am not completely averse to the Reagan-era, libertarian economic reflexes that have guided much of the Republican party’s fiscal policy for decades. I think there is real power in the markets these policies make. But I also see how retiring America’s manufacturing backbone here at home only to resurrect it more cheaply overseas has left my neighboring communities. It left the promise of the American dream in shambles for many in rural and suburban America, and for what? Cooler, cheaper widgets? Trump promised to scrape some of the dream back for the working class by renegotiating trade agreements, imposing tariffs, and championing domestic manufacturing growth.

He also promised to help achieve energy independence. Not only would this help the pocketbooks of Americans at the pump, but it would also be a boon to America’s industrial capabilities. Working to counter our dependence on China while also giving America access to cheaper, domestic energy was like unkinking a hose. For many of us in the working class, we saw the reality of fossil fuel use as inevitable—at least for now. Whether it was coming from overseas or being produced at home, we weren’t going to decrease our demand for fossil-fuel based products any time soon.

Then there were Trump’s promises of national security. Everything from securing the border to increasing military spending. Leading up to 2016, ISIS was running rampant and terrorizing various parts of the Middle East. Not long after Trump took office, they disappeared. You no longer heard stories of ISIS campaigns where they seized various territories. Instead, we heard stories of our pursuit of these wolves. Until you didn’t. So much of this was possible because of our military leaders and forces being properly resourced and efficiently commissioned.

While the chaos at the border is more insane today than ever before, at least Trump was willing to acknowledge that it was insane. There is a lie that those seeking moral currency let themselves believe: that enforcing border security laws is inhumane and bigoted. As a Catholic and as an American, I believe we have a mandate to be a nation that welcomes immigrants into our fold. But I refuse to believe that an existence as a perpetual illegal alien is one of security and safety. I want these desperate souls to have the protections and safety nets that are made possible by entering our country legally. I also can’t let myself believe that consistently granting mass amnesty to illegal immigrants is wise either. We must have border security. We must have an orderly immigration system. The work Trump began on this could have eventually led to a more streamlined and safe immigration process. Instead, it fell apart.

What’s the unifying thread? How has this coastal elite billionaire found his way into the hearts of so many ordinary, working-class Americans

Pragmatism. Trump created a mandate for the Republican party to begin the work of fashioning itself into a party that is bullheaded, productive, and committed to ordinary people. 

So, while I may not have much in common with Donald Trump, or think he’s much of a sweetheart, I do think he has allowed a much-needed shift to occur. This shift has spurred on new leaders like Senator J.D. Vance, Governor Ron DeSantis, and Senator Josh Hawley. But Trump is the man for now. He’s the one who made it all possible. He forced the Republicans take a meaningful look at an entire class of people who have been fatigued by political and civil malaise for decades. And in the face of a Biden–Trump rematch, I expect much of working class America to continue its shift toward the party that pulled the rug back in 2016, rather than the party that swept us under there decades ago.

The post Why This Electrician Is Still With Trump appeared first on The American Conservative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *