Trump Country

Driving back from Florida the week after the election, I saw dozens of ramshackle rural homes and farmhouses with Trump signs in the yards or spray-painted on the barns. It seemed bizarre: these folks actually expected a 70 year old billionaire who lived on the 65th floor of his own building in Manhattan and, in his entire life, had never lifted a finger to help anyone else—to somehow get to work making their lives better.

From Daily Kos:

There’s a thickening clique of plutocrats around him, as Politico’s Ben White and Matthew Nussbaum noted late last week in an article with the headline “Trump’s Team of Gazillionaires.” They observed that his emerging administration is largely a rich man’s (and woman’s) club, including Betsy DeVos, his nominee for education secretary, whose family is worth an estimated $5.1 billion.

Trump is also considering high-level roles for the “oil mogul Harold Hamm ($15.3 billion), investor Wilbur Ross ($2.9 billion), private equity investor Mitt Romney ($250 million at last count), hedge fund magnate Steve Mnuchin (at least $46 million) and superlawyer Rudy Giuliani (estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars),” according to the Politico article. “And Trump’s likely choice for deputy commerce secretary, Todd Ricketts, comes from the billionaire family that owns the Chicago Cubs.”

So we’ll get public schools shaped by people who’ve never attended one, law and order from people who’ve lived their lives behind security gates, health care from people who have personal physicians, and transportation policy from people who have their own jets. We’ll also get a lot of extra drug testing, reduced wages, and cuts to unemployment—because these billionaires know it’s you working people who are taking more than you’re worth.

This is the best article I’ve read explaining how we got to this point, about to inaugurate a con man, a human skidmark. The central irony of the 2016 election: Trump country has elected a president who will harass, deport, and bar the very people desperate to live there, the people who would help rebuild its small towns and cities.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2016/11/rural_americans_just_chose_a_president_who_won_t_help_them.html

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