Add this to the list of things Donald Trump’s candidacy for president is exposing: the mainstream media’s false, self-deceived narrative about who and what the American people are.
Journalist David Barstow went to check out a Trump headquarters in Tampa, which is on Armenia Avenue in the old Garcia y Vega cigar factory building (I remember it well). To his surprise, he found an “unlikely melting pot”: a very ethnically diverse group of people working there.
Perhaps to his surprise as well, he found that they are the people hardest hit by the recession “of 2008.” Most of the people Barstow talked to have a business loss, foreclosure, or job loss – with industry transformation – in their histories over the last decade.
In some ways, their woes fit the narrative the New York Times has embraced; e.g., that the TARP financial rescue effort backed the big banks, but did little if anything for the small property-owner.
In other ways, their experience is live evidence against the narrative of the MSM. You couldn’t prove by them that there’s been an economic recovery. Whatever the “recovery” may consist of, according to the economists who work for government and public institutions, it doesn’t offer these Trump supporters opportunities to improve their lot. As far as they can tell, good jobs are being outsourced, illegals are flooding the economy, and for those in middle age, or as a senior, eating down your own fast-declining assets so you can survive on a wage-job in retail, without benefits, is the new normal.
They don’t think this because they read it in a blog post somewhere. They think it because they’re the people who had the jobs and the businesses before, and they want them now, and they have directly experienced the outsourcing, the illegals increasingly everywhere around them, the unavailability of any opportunities beyond less-than-full-time wage jobs.
These, in short, are the Americans I know. I’m betting they’re the ones you know too. And in Tampa, at the Trump HQ in the old cigar factory, few of them are “white.”
This next has to be the big surprise for the MSM. Instead of concluding what an NYT reporter would illogically conclude – that we need yet more progressive-collectivist government intervention to fix these problems – the ethnically diverse folks at Trump HQ want to control our borders, get back to work themselves in an economy that rewards work, as it once did, and make America great again.
They don’t think America isn’t great. They think what’s been happening to America in recent years isn’t great.
NYT reporters really need to get out of the city more. This is the American people’s reality: this diverse, middle-class, frustrated, hanging on, hopeful but wary Trump HQ in Tampa. It’s my neighborhood, my neighbors, my little town in inland Southern California. It’s probably yours too.
It hasn’t caused me to want to vote for Trump, because I don’t actually think Trump holds the key to restoring the conditions of freedom that make America America. But then, I started out with grounded knowledge of the philosophy of liberty that animated our Founders. The interest in it, and the cues on where to go to get smart about it, came more from my parents than from my formal education. Whether you are black, white, or Hispanic, your story is probably some version of that (maybe it was grandparents, if not parents, or other relatives), if you have the same grounding in the Founders’ philosophy of liberty.
It has been such a long time since our schools transmitted that grounding that there are a whole lot of Americans today who know viscerally that there is something better – better than the false civic religion of political correctness – but don’t know what it is.
It’s not enough to think respectfully but vaguely of the Founders. You have to understand what their thought process and philosophy were, to know why America was so great until so recently. You have to know how to listen for that philosophy itself.
And I think most Americans – more than 50% — don’t know how to do that today. They literally don’t know how to understand what the candidates with systematic philosophies are saying. There are quite a few people with native mental resistance to the socialist nonsense spouted full-bore by Bernie Sanders. But they don’t recognize the same system of ideas in what Hillary Clinton – or Barack Obama – says.
Likewise, they don’t realize, even though they’re smart, hard-working, well-meaning people, that guys like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have been outlining the systematic reasons why the American economy used to function so much better. Less regulation, less attempted government control of outcomes, more freedom – there are philosophically, politically systematic reasons for wanting these things. They aren’t the special pleading of a crony-capitalist class; in fact, they are anathema to cronyism. The big antidote to cronyism is actually more freedom and less regulation.
Trump’s specialty, meanwhile, is functioning within an economy whose conditions are set for him by someone else. And he knows how to be predatory, competitive, and get a better deal under such conditions. But he doesn’t know how to be impartial and try to foster conditions – not special advantages, but basic conditions – that are generically good for everyone.
What he does do is talk unabashedly about making America great again. Which is what millions of struggling middle-class Americans of all races and backgrounds want. These folks don’t despise America the way the New York Times does. They don’t think America is the problem. They think America is the solution, and they want America back.
No, they don’t fit the NYT’s laughably stereotypical profile of “people of color” as being “down for the revolution” and hating whitey. As far as they’re concerned, they might as well be whitey – at least in the terms NYT invidiously defines whitey by (as if whitey is the only one who believes in working for his own living, and having that produce real rewards).
Ethnically diverse people in America are the great middle class. To a greater extent than anywhere, ever, on earth, they always have been.