Donald Trump's most recent speech must give the Democratic establishment pause, yet it is simple ignored or made fun of.
Donald Trump remarks in Monessen, Pennsylvania
Donald Trump's speech in Monessen, Pennsylvania yesterday mortified me. Why? Because, to many in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan, it will resonate. The beginning of Trump's speech touched one viscerally. It did so because he attached the sad reality of the lives of millions to a causality supported by both establishment Democrats and establishment Republicans.
Read the following excerpt from his speech. Make believe it is not coming out of the mouth of Donald Trump.
Today, I am going to talk about how to Make America Wealthy Again. We are thirty miles from Steel City. Pittsburgh played a central role in building our nation. The legacy of Pennsylvania steelworkers lives in the bridges, railways and skyscrapers that make up our great American landscape. But our workers' loyalty was repaid with betrayal. Our politicians have aggressively pursued a policy of globalization - moving our jobs, our wealth and our factories to Mexico and overseas. Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache.
When subsidized foreign steel is dumped into our markets, threatening our factories, the politicians do nothing. For years, they watched on the sidelines as our jobs vanished and our communities were plunged into depression-level unemployment. Many of these areas have still never recovered. Our politicians took away from the people their means of making a living and supporting their families. Skilled craftsmen and tradespeople and factory workers have seen the jobs they loved shipped thousands of miles away.
Many Pennsylvania towns once thriving and humming are now in a state despair. This wave of globalization has wiped out our middle class. It doesn't have to be this way. We can turn it all around - and we can turn it around fast. But if we're going to deliver real change, we're going to have to reject the campaign of fear and intimidation being pushed by powerful corporations, media elites, and political dynasties. The people who rigged the system for their benefit will do anything - and say anything - to keep things exactly as they are.
The people who rigged the system are supporting Hillary Clinton because they know as long as she is in charge nothing will ever change. The inner cities will remain poor. The factories will remain closed. The borders will remain open. The special interests will remain firmly in control. Hillary Clinton and her friends in global finance want to scare America into thinking small - and they want to scare the American people out of voting for a better future.
My campaign has the opposite message. I want you to imagine how much better your life can be if we start believing in America again. I want you to imagine how much better our future can be if we declare independence from the elites who've led us to one financial and foreign policy disaster after another. Our friends in Britain recently voted to take back control of their economy, politics and borders. I was on the right side of that issue - with the people - while Hillary, as always, stood with the elites, and both she and president Obama predicted that one wrong.
Now it's time for the American people to take back their future. That's the choice we face. We can either give in to Hillary Clinton's campaign of fear, or we can choose to Believe In America.
That message sells because not only highlights the reality of a disappearing middle-class. It also gives the reasons for the demise of the middle-class and assigns blame. And he made the plausible argument that Hillary Clinton's association with the financial class makes her a part of the problem.
Forget about the inaccuracies. There is a lot of truth in the message even if the messenger is a liar, demagogue, a bigot, and one that is also guilty of the pilfer. Later in the speech, Trump copped to being part of the problem in the past, the type of mea culpa Americans love.
I read a note from a friend on Facebook that is as tone deaf as the message coming from Hillary Clinton and the Democratic establishment.
A bunch of writers lately have talked about the growing divide in the world is not generational or civilizational but between those open or closed to the world; those who like globalization and change and those who do not. I think the "open" group is super small. I love the UN, IMF, EU, NATO, and such--all those things made to keep the peace after WWII. However, of people whose feed I usually get, I think it's less than 10% who have positive feelings about these international institutions. These organizations cannot be sold during a stump speech. I suffered through Trump's Ohio stream of consciousness today and the audience was loudest when he struck at anything intergovernmental. I have no idea how Hillary can sell global institutions to an electorate too thick (right populists) or stubborn (left populists) to understand them and the many benefits that stem from them. The real issue is these organizations emerged out of the Cold War consensus in cooperation among the political elite. That's long dead and with that is any degree of elite agreement on anything. If it's a contest between open and closed, it's not a contest at all.
It doesn't matter that globalism increases the size of economies if most of the spoils go to a few. It doesn't matter that the world has less named wars if economics and other factors make for a seemingly less secure world.
Donald Trump had a horrendous month. Yet, he is within 5 points of Hillary Clinton. Americans know he is flawed. They know he is a liar. They know he is a cheat. They know he is a bonafide capitalist. But he is not the establishment. In a year like this, he could win. Hillary Clinton's only option is to be more like Bernie Sanders.