“I was misinformed”


Interesting conversation last night on All In with Chris Hayes. Hayes spoke with Donald Trump voters in Las Vegas during this week’s caucuses. Supporters see Trump as aggressive, strong, and bold, and they like what they see. Ted Cruz? He cheated. Marco Rubio is an “establishment shill.”

Ideology, class, etc., according to one researcher Hayes cited, has “no statistical bearing” on support for Trump, but rather an inclination towards authoritarianism. In the segment with Jess McIntosh (Emily’s List), Sam Seder (Majority Report), and Nick Confessore (New York Times), Hayes’guests noted that Trump voters tend to compartmentalize Trump the performer from Trump the prospective president. They look past Trump’s bombast, the cursing and slurs and see someone genuine, as suggested by one woman who had voted for Obama twice. “I go past it,” she said. She doesn’t take the wild statements seriously. She could be in for a big surprise.

Olivia Nuzzi of Daily Beast felt voting for Trump is a “middle finger vote,” echoing the South Carolina car salesman last week. But Hayes admitted that Trump voters he met were “much more reasonable” than generally portrayed.

One gets the impression that Trump’s attraction is he makes voters feel like contestants in his nationwide reality show. Trump fans may all not be wild-eyed xenophobes, but do they know where they want the country to go or are they all just middle finger? Are they crawling through the desert toward a mirage and drinking the sand?

What was striking in Trump supporters Hayes interviewed was their admiration for Trump the businessman. Trump supporters want government run like a business. Seriously. Still held up as paragons, businessmen are, in spite of all that transpired over the last decades. In spite of a world economy brought to its knees by businessmen. In spite of deepening inequality fed by businessmen shipping American jobs offshore. In spite of declining wages and benefits even as corporate profits soar. In spite of an American city poisoned by businessmen with minds like spreadsheets. Trump voters came to desert Las Vegas the way Bogart’s Rick Blaine came to Casablanca for the waters. They are misinformed.

Coolidge said the chief business of the American people is business. But Trump voters don’t seem to have caught on that the chief business of business is not America.

(Cross-posted from Hullabaloo.)

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