Sunday, September 27, 2015

Why the angry U.S. middle class sees Trump as their spokesman

Below is a graphic representation applied to Argentina by citizens of that country who posted it on Facebook. It also applies in modified form to the USA.
To understand, change “Viene un gobierno popular” (a populist government is elected) to the Democrats take the White House. Let’s set aside the arguments among the three lefty Americans as to whether the Democrats are populists; in comparison, and within the conventional spectrum, they are.

Next, merely translate “aumenta la clase media” (the middle class increases).

In Obama’s case, the middle class was very slowly pulled out of a hole the banks (and Republicans dug); more importantly still, the middle class was saved from altogether disappearing permanently, which in 2009 was a distinct possibility. People forget that for a while it looked as if we were headed for becoming, in socioeconomic terms, the United States of Bangladesh.

“La clase media empieza a creerse oligarquía y apoya la derecha” at the bottom right means: the middle class begins to think of itself as the oligarchy and supports the right-wing.

In the USA we have to adjust for the fact that even the 1% don’t have the guts to call themselves “the oligarchy.” (Besides, what’s  an oligarchy? Rule of the few). Nonetheless, many middle class people who are benefited by the Democrats' middle class social programs have begun to identify with the poster children for the 1%, Republican politicians.

 “La derecha destruye la clase media” means the right-wing destroys the middle class. Think 2007-08.

“La clase media empobrecida vota a un gobierno popular” means the impoverished middle class votes for a populist government. Think the presidential elections of 1992 and 2008.

We return to the beginning. I think we may be in the next stage, if the Republicans manage to cleverly misdirect the middle class into thinking that they are poorer because of immigrants. As Trump seems to be doing.

Welcome to the United States of Argentina.

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