Early on in Donald Trump’s campaign, it seemed that his rhetoric regarding jobs moving out of the United States, immigration reform (if we could call it that), and fears of threats to our national security were hitting home with many white, working class voters across Middle America. However, as the Trump campaign has intensified making its way across the country his rhetoric has become even more regressive and loose by the day, proving to be a national security threat himself, and having voters begin to believe this must certainly be an elaborate hoax to end the Republican Party for good—it is becoming increasingly clear that Trump’s words are resembling less and less of Middle Class America’s values. It is now well past time for the American public as a whole to admit that the con is over and we can do better.
There are, however, many working class voters still holding tight to the belief that Trump can bring some sort of ease to the economic anxieties of the middle class. Maybe this is based on his business endeavors over the years, many of which seem to be held in higher regard than necessary, as very few of them have ended in anything but cut-and-run type outcomes where Trump himself sees profit at the expense of someone else. Whether it be Trump University, where students who shelled out tens of thousands of dollars to learn Trump’s “secrets” to successful real estate find themselves still tied up in litigation years after the schools closing, or one of his four bankruptcies over the last 25 years, its safe to say that his time in business shouldn’t give anyone confidence in his abilities to create healthy economic growth.
If not his business endeavors, it can’t be his policies that attract the public, can it? With Trump’s tax plan involving only three tax brackets: 12%, 25%, and 33%, the result, with fewer brackets yielding a less progressive scale, could likely be an increase in taxes on low income and middle income individuals and families from where they are now, all to be able to drop the top marginal tax rate down from 39.6% to his preferred 33% for the richest members of society. Sounds like he is protecting his interests, and not the interests of the people.
Trump has based his campaign on fear tactics and on trying to convince working class voters that we live in an economy that does not have a place for them any longer, and that globalization, immigration and diversity are the causes of the new reality. This is economic fear mongering and has given Trump his rise in this election and given this apparent weight to his words with many voters.
At this point, one thing should be perfectly clear: Donald Trump will serve his own interests and the interests of his own class, and that is not, and has never been, the working class.