Donald Trump made his improbable rise to the Republican presidential nomination with the slogan of “Make America Great Again.” Coupled with a recovery from the 2008 recession that didn’t trickle down to the working class, he is beloved by many people who haven’t paid attention to politics for most of their adult lives.
Here in Louisiana, I know plenty of folks who don’t know much about politics but they love Donald Trump even though they can’t identify much about his campaign platform. All they know is that he is going to make their lives better again, bless their hearts.
Louisiana is in a major economic slump due to the downturn of the oil and gas industry. Despite surviving the 2008 recession on the back of high oil prices, the people who laughed at the plight of the rest of the country are now feeling the pinch in their own wallets. Working folks who had all of the overtime they wanted when gas was $100 a barrel or more are lucky to make 40 hours a week, if they were lucky enough to survive countless rounds of layoffs.
Friends and acquaintances of mine here in Louisiana have been forced to move to other parts of the country to find work, or take jobs not in the fossil fuel industry that pay much less than they were making just a year or two ago. Some understand that the gravy train couldn’t run forever, and others are blaming Washington, President Obama, and liberals for their current plight.
The president cannot create a new industry on his or her own. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s CCC program in the heart of the Great Depression only employed a total of 3 million men, and Donald Trump has nothing like this planned to help unemployed and/or under-educated people who will have a hard time moving into another industry.
In a way, I can’t blame them for buying into the snake oil sales pitch Donald Trump is running on. Many are individuals who have spent their entire lives in the oil business. Some do not even have high school diplomas but still managed to make a lot of money spending half of their life on an oil platform many miles from shore and their families.
They’re angry, they want the “good old days” of prosperity back, but Donald Trump will not be giving that back to them. Just like President Obama didn’t confiscate their guns or force kids to become gay through Common Core, Donald Trump has no plan to make life better for the uninformed people who support him the most – just his fellow billionaires.