On Election Day, many people were willing to overlook Donald Trump’s personal weaknesses because they realized that the biggest factor in this election was the economy — it affected their day-to-day lives more than anything else.
Many people – uniformly partisan Democrats – have accused Trump’s supporters of being bigots; but facts dispute this. A simple look at the voting changes between 2008/2012 and 2016 shows that fully one-third of counties that went for Obama in both 2008 and 2012 went for Trump in 2016. Clearly these Obama supporters were not bigots, and show that the move to Trump was based on real issues. You can hardly play the race card with such data. The electorate understood and believed that Trump’s economic policies were superior to Hillary’s, and they would be better off economically going forward with a President Trump instead of President Clinton.
Every single policy that Clinton advocated would have made the standard of living worse for the poor and the lower middle class – her major constituency. And this would have substantially increased inequality, the opposite of what she had promised. Her policies included:
- raising taxes on the upper middle class and the wealthy (who are already at an obscenely high tax rate). This stifles new growth by reducing the capital that would otherwise have gone into new or expanding businesses, and the jobs they would have created.
- increasing regulations, including overtime, sick pay, child care, union rules, environmental restrictions, etc. This places huge additional costs and burdens on job providers and creators, reducing the likelihood that they could provide new jobs.
- raising the minimum wage. This makes it too expensive for businesses to keep the least productive people on their payroll, as well as incentivizing business use of technology instead of people to grow.
Those that voted for Trump have been left behind or worse by Obama’s economic strategies. A vote for Hillary meant a vote for more of the same. So much of America is tired of that status quo, and wants to be able to not just try to survive — but thrive once again. For those who want to cast aspersions and heap cries of racism and other -isms upon the Americans who voted for our next President, they would be wise to remember the famous slogan of the other Clinton Era: “It’s the economy, stupid!”