Working-Class felt Betrayed by Elitist Democrats, More Communities Turn to Trump
New York Times reported that there has been a massive change in U.S. voters, as working-class Americans turned to Trump. The media outlet reports that the sudden shift was a result of the Democrat’s failure to deliver the promises of a globalized economy, driving even the most loyal left-wing supporter to see Democrats as people who represented the affluent suburbia.
Currently, the majority of Trump’s GOP is made up of the working and lower-middle-class voters. People coming from these income brackets are the ones who had been hit hard by the free trade policies which began 30 years ago. So while the suburbia and major cities were able to bounce back from the great recession, the working class had gained more competition through the influx of foreign goods, and even foreign workers. The effects of a failed “globalized economy.”
However, the President saw the faults in these trade deals and was able to pull the U.S. economy up. This is why Trump’s “Make America Great Again” legacy becomes appealing to the working class. Through his economic policies such as the “America First” order, Trump encouraged reliance on American-made goods, promising that the government infrastructures should only be built by “American Steel” and “American Hands.”
The “America First” order was able to counteract the effects of globalization by driving down the competition and providing a better job market. Moreover, the people who had benefited from these economic initiatives are those in blue-collar employment. These are especially beneficial for African Americans communities who belong to the 60% of working-class to lower-middle-class families. In fact, Trump was able to improve the lives of those that belong to the bottom 25% of the income brackets.
The New York Times also cited that the changes can be seen across the nation. For example, Columbus County in North Carolina had leaned towards the GOP as the working-class and middle-class. These communities were affected by manufacturers who went out of the region to outsource overseas.
The scheme becomes beneficial for companies to gain cheap labor and devastating for thousands of employees. As the Times wrote “By 2016, the nation’s political map corresponded neatly to the distribution of prosperity: Mr. Trump won 58 percent of the vote in the counties with the poorest 10 percent of the population. In the richest, his share was 31 percent.”
The Times also cited real-life stories such as Will Minehart, a 45-year-old machinist who claimed that his loyalty shifted after he was laid off by the GM. Minehart said, “I am not a Republican nor a Democrat. I’m working class.”
Lela Klein, a former union activist, also responded to the Times with her insight. Klein said that a more prosperous town like Columbus, Ohio becomes “bluer” and Dayton who is composed of working-class communities “become redder.” To back this up, Trump gained an eight percent advantage by advocating against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), free trade deals, as well as promises of better infrastructure plans.
As the 2020 election draws to a close, people have become more concerned as Democrat nominees such as Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, and Pete Buttigieg planned to immediately end tariffs on Chinese imports. The influx of foreign goods will have a massive impact on American manufacturing and the millions of Americans who are relying on it. As statistics show, one manufacturing job can support an additional 7.4 American jobs in other industries.