Letter to the editor: Verbal slap fight lacks understanding of current politics
In previous issues of the Summit Daily News, there has been an interesting debate over the intelligence of Donald Trump voters. I find it entertaining, especially when one man feels it necessary to broadcast his supposed 144 IQ (IQ has nothing to do with your worldview and understanding of politics). However, calling people stupid because they are Trump voters lacks a nuanced, dialectical understanding of our current political moment.
Trump’s brand of faux-populism is well documented. This, and rhetoric about “draining the swamp,” helped him define himself as an outsider to politics, no matter how entrenched within the elite he is. His racist and sexist remarks appeal to the underlying ignorance and prejudice that America was built on and still exists today. Combine all these things with an uncharismatic and milquetoast opponent, and you begin to understand how we got here.
Now we can reckon with why he still has such die-hard support, even after bungling the COVID-19 response. Longtime Republicans love him. They were behind everything he did. He cracked down on immigrants with ICE. He escalated American imperialism by ramping up drone strikes and almost started a war with Iran. The only meaningful difference between Trump and George W. Bush is an aesthetic one. His disastrous COVID-19 strategy is causing massive suffering for working people but less so for his base of suburbanites and wealthy retirees. But now it seems their opposition to masks will be affecting everyone equally for a while.
If Americans truly want progress and to heal the divide, I suggest we get behind proposals that help everyone during this tough time. “Medicare for All” has 55% support among voters, according to a recent article in Jacobin. A minimum wage increase recently passed in Florida. The only way forward is through solidarity.
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