Monday, November 14, 2016

Trump hoodwinked rural voters on trade, opines daily paper in coastal North Carolina

President-elect Donald Trump hoodwinked rural America, says an editorial by the Daily Advance in rural coastal Elizabeth City, N.C. (Best Places map). The paper says Trump played on fears that "that the country’s demographics and cultural norms are changing too quickly; that too many immigrants are here 'stealing' jobs from Americans; that formerly strict rules on who can get married are gone and need to be reinstated; and that too much of Washington’s attention is focused on the problems of other communities, many of them home to African-Americans, Hispanics and Muslims, and not enough on theirs."

Trump said that if he were elected, "He would renegotiate every U.S. trade deal ever signed to ensure Americans’ interests come first," the editorial notes. "It’s easy to see why rural voters bought this hokum. First of all, many either don’t understand or chose to ignore the fact that trade deals aren’t the culprit for the loss of jobs overseas. Increasing automation and globalization are why those jobs that were once the path to the middle class are gone—and why they’re not ever coming back."

"Secondly, rural voters are scared—and not just about their own economic future, but that of their kids and grandkids as well," says the editorial. "If someone who appears to be successful comes along and says, 'I can fix this thing that’s making your future so vulnerable,' you will probably believe him—particularly if you also agree with him about there being too many immigrants in the country and too much social and cultural change taking place. You are also likelier to overlook the serious character flaws in such a person—and vote to elect him president."

"Despite aggressively stumping in their communities and promising things he can’t deliver, the fate of small-town Americans is not among Trump’s top priorities," says the editorial. As evidence, it cites his vow to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, "a measure that’s been good for rural Americans because it’s allowed many of them, thanks to taxpayer-backed subsidies, to finally be able to purchase affordable health care insurance."

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