"Why Trump and Sanders were Inevitable."

Why Trump and Sanders Were Inevitable.
It was only a matter of time before we had a populist backlash to 30 years of flawed globalization policies that both parties embraced.
By Michael Hirsh | Politico | February 28, 2016.

There were, in retrospect, clear signs of what was to come—signs that if Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders did not appear on the scene, someone else like them would have. We’ve had decades of forewarnings as the top income earners —the “one percent”—began taking bigger shares of our economy starting in the 1980s: The anti-globalization protests of the late 1990s. The rise of Ross “NAFTA-will-suck-our-jobs-away” Perot and Pat “Pitchforks” Buchanan against the GOP establishment. The brief but intense Occupy Wall Street movement. The adoration of Elizabeth Warren. The warnings from superstar economist Thomas Piketty in recent years that the United States was suffering the worst income inequality in the developed world, worse than anything since the 1920s—and that it was not sustainable.

Above all, there was the drip-drip-drip social acid of stagnating middle-class income—interrupted by the false dawn of the mid-2000s mortgage mania, when the poor felt rich but in truth were only more indebted—and the simultaneous self-isolation of our increasingly uber-wealthy class over three long decades. All without any effective policy response from Washington to redress the widening income gap.

On the contrary, from Washington there was only the all-too-self-confident movement of both political parties toward a full-on embrace of policies that further promoted the brutally unequal society that America is today. First, the Republicans became ardent free traders, then the Democrats under Clinton, with Obama following suit. Even the Democrats—having become deficit-slashing “Eisenhower Republicans,” in Bill Clinton’s tart phrase—responded with mostly harsh trickle-down medicine: “Workfare.” Unfair tax policies, with capital-gains earners (read: plutocrats) getting most of the breaks. Rubinomics. Greenspan worship. And all the while we in the media listened—in hushed awe of their genius—to the economists who told us that of course there were inequities and a lot of people would be left behind, but globalization and ever-freer markets were still good for most of us, overall anyway, sort of, we think. … And besides, what’s the alternative?

The only wonder, perhaps, is that it took Trump and Sanders this long to get here.

True, both men may fail in their respective insurgencies against the establishment. After his weekend thumping in South Carolina and facing long odds on Super Tuesday, Sanders could fade quickly as a candidate. Trump, meanwhile, still faces a sharp backlash from Republicans, some of whom are already saying publicly they can’t support him as their party’s nominee. But make no mistake: The message that Sanders and Trump are bringing to the stump isn’t going away soon, not until the two parties acknowledge the deep flaws in the economic paradigm that got us to this place of inequality, but which neither the Democratic nor the Republican leadership have questioned deeply.

Trump and Sanders are thus in many ways the yin and yang of America’s present discontent; both address, in different ways, the seething sense of unfairness, of inequality in Americans. Their supporters tend to be angry, somewhat less educated, more-industrial-age-than-information-age-skilled Americans—and in other cases, insecure young people just out of college, for whom unemployment until the age of 30 still averages 12 percent—who believe their political parties no longer represent them. Trump emphasizes shutting down job-stealing immigrants and getting “better” deals from the world; Sanders, imprisoning wealth-gobbling, spoiled Wall Streeters and getting “fairer” deals from the world. Both candidates plainly appeal to people who feel that no one is really standing up for them and what used to be known as their middle class; people who want more of the pie than they’ve been getting for a long time, and people who realize that their political parties are at best half-hearted about doing anything about that.

For some economists out of the mainstream, like Harvard’s Dani Rodrik, who issued one of the earliest warnings against the idea of the free-market-as-panacea in his book Has Globalization Gone Too Far? nearly two decades ago, this merciless crushing of the middle class at the hands of a mere economic theory has been a “slowly growing cancer” that has gone untreated by politicians. Today, he says, the Trump-Sanders phenomenon is plainly the long-awaited political reckoning for 30 years of errant policy and too-facile belief in the wonders of markets: the wild-talking building magnate on the right and the wild-haired socialist on the left have met up at the same intersection, one bounded by the four corners of anti-globalization, anti-free-trade, anti-immigration and anti-Wall Street sentiment.

“I don’t want to sound like the economist who called 10 out of the last five recessions, but yes, this is the populist backlash that unremitting globalization has historically unleashed and I had warned about,” he says. “When mainstream politicians are unable to generate meaningful responses to inequality, social exclusion and insecurity, populists of various ilk gain ground.”

The United States, which once idealized itself as a classless society, has become more socio-economically stratified than the aristocratic “old Europe” of the pre-World War I period, says Piketty. Much of this is the unintended consequence of untrammeled globalization, which has enriched the masters of capital, especially at the expense of blue-collar labor. In the global system, investment capital moves at blinding speed, while labor still must go by boat, train and plane—and that’s if it’s lucky, since immigration restrictions are much harsher than they used to be. All this helps to explain why U.S. labor is at the mercy of vicious competition abroad and Wall Street has the whip hand over corporate performance; why the gap between executive and worker pay has widened to record levels; why even incompetent executives enjoy golden parachutes while high-performing employees can be laid off without explanation or apology.

Above all, globalization has disrupted our national narrative in profound ways, says Rodrik. “The sense that we’re all in this together as one nation, a common society and a common policy, has been disrupted by globalization. Now, there is a greater realization that the benefits of globalization accrued disproportionately to the professional classes, the higher skilled, the ones who had the mobility and access to capital.”

Nothing underlined this divergence of fortunes between rich and poor more than the Big Crash of ’08, which caused a calamitous drop in Americans’ median net worth. According to the Federal Reserve, a broad group of Americans loosely defined as the middle class saw its net worth plummet from a median of $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. Thus we came out the other side of the Great Recession a very different economy altogether. “The recovered wealth—most of it from higher stock prices—has flowed mainly to richer Americans,” The Associated Press reported. According to Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez, the wealthiest 1 percent of the country actually made out better, in percentage terms, during Obama’s “recovery” than they did from 2002-07 under George W. Bush.

By 2012, according to Saez, the top 1 percent were earning 23 percent of the nation’s income, almost the same ratio as in 1929. “My guess is that was one of the last straws that led to Trump and Sanders, but things had been building for a while,” says Frank Levy, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who co-authored a much-cited 2007 paper concluding that labor began losing the fight to capital and Wall Street in the late 1970s, leading to greater inequality than in the days of what Levy calls the “Treaty of Detroit”—a consensus that supported high minimum wages, progressive taxation and other New Deal policies.

Cue Bernie and Donald, both of whom convey a message that Americans have every right to be angry about a rigged, big-money-corrupted economic system. According to a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, nearly three-quarters of voters likely to head to the polls in November’s election say they think the United States is on the wrong track, and these disaffected people make up a majority of the base for both Trump and Sanders—87 percent and 54 percent, respectively.

Both Democratic and Republican leaders, meanwhile, are still kidding themselves that their respective bases are … basically OK with their economic agendas, when plainly the numbers show they aren’t. On the GOP side, there were those who thought the tea party was libertarian, but nothing could have been further from the truth, as Rand Paul discovered when his presidential bid crashed and burned. Even a conservative in the maltreated middle class doesn’t want less help from government; instead the tea party backlash was anti-immigrant and anti-Obama—not so much opposed to government per se as to how government redistributes wealth. The Democratic establishment from Obama to Hillary Clinton has been continually surprised by the anger and sense of betrayal within its progressive wing, which is why so few people took Sanders seriously at first (including the Clintons).

Thus what we have now is an emerging ideology with no party to speak for it. Among those claiming vindication is Pat Buchanan, who told the Washington Post recently that the “revolution” he predicted (the pitchforks in other words) was finally at hand: “What’s different today is that the returns are in, the results are known. Everyone sees clearly now the de-industrialization of America, the cost in blood and treasure from decade-long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the pervasive presence of illegal immigrants.”


We can debate the causes of inequality; and certainly whether Sanders and Trump have any real solutions or are just making empty promises. What is not debatable is that growing inequality is a major, society-shaking problem—one that, as Rodrik says, has actually made America less cohesive, and neither Democrats nor Republicans are doing much about it. Here too we’ve had years of warning: Real wages for most U.S. workers have been relatively stagnant since the 1970s, while those for the top 1 percent have increased 156 percent, and those for the top 0.1 percent have increased 362 percent, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute. Thus, the Harvard Gazette reported earlier in February, the poorest 20 percent of Americans received just 3.6 percent of the national income in 2014, down from 5.7 percent in 1974. The upper 20 percent, meanwhile, received nearly half of U.S. income in 2014, up from about 40 percent in 1974, according to Census Bureau statistics.

This has translated into inequality in education—which in turn exacerbates the larger inequality in a vicious circle. “Smart poor kids are less likely to graduate from college now than dumb rich kids. That’s not because of the schools, that’s because of all the advantages that are available to rich kids,” Robert Putnam, a professor of public policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, said recently.

Ordinary Americans feel poorer for a reason. Adjusted for inflation, average hourly wages declined by 1 percent from 1970 to 2009 while home prices increased 97 percent; gas prices went up 18 percent; health costs rose 50 percent; and the price tag for public college spiked a whopping 80 percent after adjusting both wages and costs for inflation, according to figures compiled by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The average family of four needs an annual income of $68,000 just to cover basic costs, but in 2010, half of all jobs paid less than $33,840. Perhaps the greatest irony of Obama’s “Yes, we can” presidency is that inequality actually increased during his tenure.

All these bleak numbers raise obvious questions about the dominant economic paradigm since the end of the Cold War. For more than a generation, economists, trade experts and policymakers, including both Republican and Democratic presidents, have told us that we could do little about globalization and the brutal displacement of old industries and jobs, and that we might as well just get used to it. Indeed, we were told, the United States must lead this charge: Free trade in the West helped to win the Cold War, after all, and the United States emerged as the sole superpower. This self-conceit infected both political parties. It was Clinton, after all, who pushed through the North American Free Trade Agreement and “triangulated” his way to agreement with then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich on a workfare replacement to the welfare system.

Most economists agree that opening up markets, especially in the aftermath of the Cold War, did produce a wealthier world overall. At the same time, however, globalization’s advocates have plainly overstated its benefits and underestimated its hazards, including social upheaval. The open trading system that Washington adopted more aggressively than any other major country—particularly, the giant economies of China, Germany and Japan—has exacerbated inequalities at home far more than the government was prepared for. And those who challenged the wisdom of the day, who pushed for “fair trade” (more tariffs, unemployment insurance and worker protections) over “free trade,” were typically branded protectionists and driven from the discussion. The outcasts included Robert Reich, Clinton’s dissident labor secretary, who loudly advocated a sturdier safety net for the middle class and was edged out of power; and Paul Volcker, who wanted to crack down more on Wall Street but was largely ignored by Obama’s chief economic advisers, Tim Geithner and Larry Summers, as the middle class was further gutted by the subprime collapse (with a minimal effort by Obama to help underwater mortgage holders dig out) and Wall Street escaped jail-free. Earlier, those who second-guessed the massive deregulation of Wall Street mostly suffered the same fate: They were ignored. What job training and adjustment programs the government did provide were meager and mostly ad hoc.

“About 30 years ago, the market system turned ferociously—you might even say viciously—against low-skilled labor,” former Federal Reserve Board Vice Chairman Alan Blinder, an economist at Princeton University, told me a few years ago. “Regardless of the underlying cause, that phenomenon was going to lead to substantial rise in inequality. So you might have thought the government would look at that and say, to quote William F. Buckley, well, we’re not going to ‘stand athwart history yelling, Stop!’ but we are going to have to ameliorate the effects on low-skilled labor. What government did instead was almost the opposite, starting with the [regressive] Reagan tax cuts. And they tried to cut the welfare state.”

Among the few who has long second-guessed the Washington mind-set is MIT’s Levy. “I’m not sure how much better we could have done in preserving the middle class,” Levy told me a few years ago. “But I know that, with a few exceptions, like the earned income tax credit, we didn’t really try.”

Trump and Sanders at least say they’ll try, however far-fetched their solutions. And plainly for many voters, that’s enough. If both candidates lose and fade away, and Hillary Clinton—the ultimate establishment candidate—becomes president, that will mean another victory for the status quo policies that delivered America to this time of inequality. But unless the underlying economic problem is addressed, such an outcome is likely to generate only new insurgencies in the future—perhaps worse than what we’ve seen so far.

Michael Hirsh is national editor for Politico Magazine. SOURCE

'Not even my wife knows': secret Donald Trump voters speak out.
We asked Guardian readers who are voting for Trump why they support him. From firm conservatives to fed-up liberals, their answers were revealing.
Emails compiled by Amber Jamieson | The Guardian UK | Thursday 3 March 2016 13.30 GMT

The Hispanic attorney (29, Florida)
‘He has demonstrated that he is, at heart, a caring person’

On paper, I probably look like a guaranteed Cruz or Rubio vote. I’m a millennial woman, my parents immigrated from Castro’s Cuba, I work as a trial attorney in Miami and I’m a born-again Christian. But I’m voting for Donald Trump, and I’ve convinced all my friends and family to do so as well.

My sister worked for him and has spoken glowingly of him for years, just like everyone else who actually knows the man. I trust her judgment more than any random pundit’s. Actions speak louder than words, and he has demonstrated that he is, at heart, a caring person through his many random acts of kindness. His peers say there are “two Trumps” – the brash character he portrays himself as, and the decent man they know behind closed doors. It’s clearly a strategy; his proclamations have kept him on the front pages for a sustained eight months.

Before he ran, the left’s stranglehold on the national conversation of what is or isn’t tolerable was getting stronger by the minute. It was the year of Caitlyn Jenner. Rachel Dolezal. Black Lives Matter. Anyone who even hinted at disapproval was exiled. Every week, someone would dare to blurt out something un-PC, and the media would absolutely crucify them. It had me thinking this was it. We’ve lost. How on earth can we hope to defeat these people, with their complete domination of the national conversation and relentless narrative of “Progress! Tolerance! Acceptance! Feels!”?

Political correctness is the birthplace of disastrous, un-American policies that will destroy the country in a death by a thousand cuts. But here comes Trump, the first person who didn’t even blink when the machine turns its sights on him.

He didn’t just fight back. He chewed it up and spit it out.

The scientist who likes both Bernie and Donald (48, California)
‘I’m very concerned about radical Muslims’

I moved to San Francisco from the UK in 2000. I’m a citizen now and I voted for Obama. I am a closet Trump supporter and I haven’t told any of my friends or co-workers. They would think of me as a meat-head if they knew.

The funny thing is that I like Trump and Sanders, and there’s no party or politician for me.

I’m pro abortion and pro equal pay for women. I’m pro gay marriage.

I want to increase the minimum wage and I’m prepared to pay higher taxes and higher prices for groceries and fast food to cover it.

I’m pro death penalty, but against the pro gun rights lobby.

I hate the Republicans’ efforts to restrict voting rights for black people and the erosion of The Voting Rights Act, but I’m against affirmative action.

I’m very concerned about radical Muslims, and liked Donald’s idea to stop all Muslim immigration.

I’m also no supporter of Israel and I’m pro the BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] movement.

I’m concerned that some US citizens have a loyalty to their own group over and above their loyalty to America, and will lobby accordingly.

I’m a patriotic socialist, but my strong-borders patriotism wins over my socialism if I have to choose. As Donald says, we either have a country or we don’t.

The Occupy protester turned Trump supporter (24, New York)
‘His candidacy is ripping the soul of America apart – we deserve it’

I work in a liberal arts department. I’ve read the works of Karl Marx, Herbert Marcuse, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Nietzsche, Plato, Judith Butler, Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Foucault and so on. I am more inclined to listen to what Slavoj Žižek or Noam Chomsky have to say about current affairs than Rachel Maddow or Bill O’Reilly. If one were to take account of my demographics, the smart money would be to peg me for a Bernie Sanders supporter.

My interest in politics did not truly develop into an intellectually mature form until 2011, when Occupy Wall Street broke out as a populist leftist grass roots movement to combat the evils of unrestricted robber baron capitalism.

Early in 2014 I began concealing my political opinions from people, and it was shortly after this time that I began plotting to vote Republican in hopes that the party would send the country so far in the direction of complete unrestricted neoliberalism and libertarian free market superstition that Americans would come to recognize the dangers of these ideologies and eventually reject them.

I don’t find conversations about how morally repugnant Trump is to be interesting when the rest of the candidates seem to also support imperialistic and fascist policies concerning drone strikes, torture and mass surveillance.
I don’t agree with discussions of how Trump is making the national dialogue more base and vulgar when Obama has instated common core standards to gear humanities education in public schooling to be teaching children how to read memos, rather than cultivating critical thinking skills that would allow them to understand subtle arguments.

Do I like Trump’s platform? No, I think most of it is silly and misguided, but at least it is not the same bullshit casserole that has been on the menu in Washington DC for as long as I have been alive.

His candidacy is a happy accident that is currently ripping the soul of America apart, which is something that I think we desperately need (and deserve) at this time in our history, for better or for worse. I support whatever strange gods happen to be behind his candidacy, for, as Martin Heidegger proclaimed in his famous Der Speigel interview, although for slightly different reasons, “Only a God can save us.”

The casino supervisor (56, Oklahoma)
‘We are completely tired of government’

I am a Democrat but will vote for Trump, because he is not bought and paid for by anyone. We the American people are tired of politicians owing favors to rich businessmen, bankers, oil companies and stock markets. It should be against the law to have lobbyists involved with government.

Being a businessman, I think our government will have to be run like a business, and Trump has the experience to do it

The middle class and lower class – which I am part of – are completely tired of our government, which treats our veterans like they don’t even exist. These are men and women who have gone to fight for what they think was the right reason, only to see that it was for money or some arms sale that is done behind closed doors. We are also sick and tired of working and paying taxes and then seeing our government send it to other countries to benefit someone else when we have homeless people and vets that need it just as much.

If you noticed, in the Nevada election Trump won 46% of the Hispanic vote and the reason is because the legal Hispanic voters also have to compete with the illegal immigrants for jobs.

Being a businessman, I think our government will have to be run like a business, and Trump has the experience to do it. Trump sees that we have a problem, and he is willing to try and fix it.

The yoga teacher (29, Tennessee)
‘Don’t publish my name. It would ruin my progressive image’

Barack Obama talked about hope and change, but I believe he failed to deliver on his promises. His record with drone strikes and prosecutions of whistleblowers are especially troubling (not to mention he didn’t follow-through with prosecutions of those who caused the financial crisis).

As far as Obamacare goes, I’m not buying it, because it seems ignorant to throw money at a problem and hope it will get better. I’m glad more people are covered, but the plans aren’t worth shit, as many of them don’t kick in until you spend thousands on a co-pay. No thanks.

Bernie is a breath of fresh air, but I’m not sure he can beat Hillary. In a match between Bernie and Donald, I’d vote for the former. In a match between Hillary and Donald, I’d vote for the latter. It isn’t a vote for Trump, but rather a vote against the political establishment (which must be removed from office at any cost – even if it means electing a reality TV star for president). The stakes are too high. Hillary cannot win or the oligarchy will continue unabated.

And please don’t publish my name, it would ruin the whole “progressive” image (and my girlfriend might kill me).

I bet a lot of pragmatic sorts are in the same boat ...

The retired biomedical engineer (56, Hawaii)
‘It’s too late for a cure’

Given a chance, I would vote for Bernie. But the only choices will probably be Trump and Clinton. In that case, I will vote for Trump.

I believe that Clinton will continue the Wall Street-style march to oligarchy. With her, the eventual demise of democracy will lead to a fascist plutocracy. It is going on right now, and it will continue to be slow, painful and inevitable.

I believe that it is too late for a conventional cure. So, there is Trump. He is indeed a buffoon and a recipe for disaster. If he were to do half of the horrific things he says he would, he would be a catastrophe. He could be a blend of Hitler and Hirohito.

That’s why I would vote for him. The last time we crossed paths with a Hitler and/or Hirohito, the country woke up and fought. And won! He might supply us with the shock we need in order to wake up and fight.

The gay Arab Muslim student (20, Missouri)
‘My parents are horrified’

As a gay muslim, the Republican Party has not been kind to me, to say the least. However the Democrats almost arrogantly expect me to hand my vote to them because of who I am, which insults me.

I am a son of immigrants but we have always followed the law to the letter. Donald Trump’s discussion on immigration is extremely relevant. I even support the temporary ban on Muslims, even though I still have many law abiding family members in Syria who deserve the opportunity to come to the US and escape the horrors of the war. We don’t vet these people properly. To let them in willy nilly is ludicrous.

Ironically enough, Trump may be the best thing for moderate average Muslims
Trump will break the poisonous bonds that hold America and the cult state of Saudi Arabia. Clinton would never do that; she would continue supporting Saudi Arabia while bombing Islamic countries left and right.

My parents are horrified at the thought of a Trump presidency. They say things like “Trump is going to round up all the Muslims and put them in camps.” For all his bombastic remarks, Trump will not attack innocent Muslim countries. Ironically enough, he may be the best thing for moderate average Muslims. He isn’t our enemy, he is the enemy of the globalist Wahhabi cult that has propagated mass violence and murder through out the world.

The anti-PC college professor (50, California)
‘I’m angry at forced diversity’

I’m a liberal-left college professor in the social sciences. I’m going to vote for Trump but I won’t tell hardly anybody.

My main reason is anger at the two-party system and the horrible presidencies of Obama and Bush. But I’m also furious at political correctness on campus and in the media.

I’m angry at forced diversity and constant, frequently unjustified complaints about racism/sexism/homophobia/lack of trans rights. I’m particularly angry at social justice warriors and my main reason to vote Trump is to see the looks on your faces when he wins.

It’s not that I like Trump. It’s that I hate those who can’t stand him. I want them to suffer the shock of knowing all their torrents of blog posts and Tumblr bitch-fests and “I just can’t ...” and accusations of mansplaining didn’t actually matter. That they’re still losing. And that things are not getting better for them. They’re getting worse.

The evangelical pastor (51, Tennessee)
‘I’m not electing someone to fight for my soul’

Yes, I admit it. I support Trump, but it’s a secret.

My reason for keeping it secret is that I’m an evangelical pastor and have to hold my nose at some of the things that Trump says, as far as being tasteless and brutish. This language and attitude flies in the face of my faith.

But I’m not electing someone to fight for my soul, I’m looking for someone to fight for my country. While his attitude could use some polish, his strong stand against all things DC is appealing. I’m weary of going into a voting booth and casting a ballot only to see “more of the same”.

I minister to Hispanic people (most of which disapprove of Trump and some are illegal aliens) and see great contributions that they bring to our particular community. They are great people for the most part. But the rule of law must be followed.

The white male early retiree (62, Delaware)
‘Trump is a wake up call’

I am highly educated (PhD, MBA, JD) and a licensed attorney. I am British by birth and naturalized American. I grew up in England appreciating the free medical care and education that I received, and in that sense you could say I understand the position of Bernie Sanders. All my life, I voted Democrat.

The tension between my liberal politics and the real world has become too much to live with.
I am also “unemployed” (forced early retirement) and unable to get a job because, in my perception, I am too old, male and white. You may think that discrimination over these factors is illegal and therefore not practiced here. I can tell from my experience as a hiring manager that you would be wrong. There is not even any point in me showing up for an interview now. If I try to hide my age and race on my resume, it becomes clear when you meet me in person. For the first time in my life, I feel disadvantaged by factors over which I have no control.

The tension between my liberal politics and the real world has become too much to live with. Your publication and others have endlessly described the demographics of a Trump supporter; people look at me and assume I think a certain way. I am tired of being looked at with these assumptions in mind. I may as well join the Trump bandwagon simply because that is how I look and am treated.

Trump is a wake up call. A president Trump could be as bad as Hitler, but if he shocks some good people in both the Republican and Democratic parties into realizing that they are ignoring legitimate concerns of a seizable minority, then let him have his four years.

The manager (52, South Carolina)
‘People would realize democracy is messy’

Not even my wife knows.

I’m fairly well educated – masters degrees from Harvard and University of South Carolina. Income in the upper 10%. Trump is the only candidate that gets it.

Do I believe that the US is “losing”, or that illegal immigration is destroying the economy? No.

What Trump gets is that a significant number of voters can be stirred up with a few catch phrases. Whether he actually believes he can do any of the things he has promised is beside the point. He has hit on a formula to get people motivated to do what he wants – acclaim him and vote for him.

I voted for Trump with the faint hope that his election would actually be good for the country. If he were elected, it would perhaps teach more to the country than all the high school civics lessons in the our nation’s brief history.

If elected, Trump would accomplish very little to none of his vacuous agenda. His congressional agenda would be as dead on arrival as that of Bernie Sanders’s. So what good could result? Perhaps more people would begin to realize that members of Congress, governors, mayors, and members of the state houses have the real power. That the framers of the Constitution created this wonderfully balanced system in which no one person holds the kind of power that Trump claims he could wield. That democracy is messy and frustrating. That change involves more hard work than just voting for somebody who says the right things.

Foolish hope, I know.

The Indian-American attorney who is part of the 1% (50, Illinois)
‘It’s a very economics-driven decision’

I’m an Indian-American male and moved to the US with my parents when I was three in 1968. I’m presently an attorney with an engineering background and am in the top 0.5-0.6% of income earners and top 1% in terms of assets.

A Trump presidency would mean to me a return to a US where immigrants came to this country in measured amounts, and who could substantially contribute to the economy and to society. There was no chain immigration, so those who came were well qualified, earned as much as their American counterparts, and lived in a much better ordered society.

Cheap immigrant/HB1 visa labor is killing the standard of living for Americans, leading to general unhappiness and dissatisfaction. It’s a very economics-driven decision for me. For my parents, who are in their 70s and 80s, it is as well. They were Democrats until now. Even though we are all well off, we see that the loss in standard of living is dragging down the entire country. Money may not cure all ills, but it certainly helps.

• Emails have been edited for length and clarity. SOURCE
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.
Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
  A Note From The Gull Thank you .