Thomas Frank on Election 2016

Thomas FrankYou’re describing the same thing that put Barack Obama in the White House in 2008. Only then, it was a hopeful movement. I mean, people were scared then, too, people were frightened. But what you see in the Trump phenomenon is desperation; it is hope after it has curdled in vinegar for eight years. People had such high expectations for Barack Obama and they were disappointed. And I think that they were right to be disappointed. He really did not deliver in all sorts of ways that people expected him to. And things that he easily could have — it’s not like they were expecting things that were outlandish or really radical or completely off the table. He just didn’t deliver them.

When I say desperation, we’re talking about people that can see their way of life slipping away from them. The middle class of this country is crumbling. This is terrifying to people. And they rolled the dice and took a chance on Trump. Hillary did not really promise anything different. I mean, if you read the campaign platform very closely, she had a lot of things that I thought were pretty awesome — I voted for her — I’m certainly not going to vote for a guy like Trump.

But the thing is that nobody believed her promises. Nobody really thought she would actually try to get them done. There’s just something about the way the Democrats have ruled. It’s not just something vague. People just knew they couldn’t expect anything different from Hillary.

–Thomas Frank
Democrats’ Failure to Address Economic Insecurity Gave Trump Election Advantage

2 thoughts on “Thomas Frank on Election 2016

  1. Democrats tell lies of omission, Republicans lies of commission. By that I mean, Democrats promise things they can’t (or won’t) deliver; Republicans promise the things they fully intend to do a 180 on. Every single Obama State Of The Union address was thrilling, the programs he proposed. None happened. Trump promised to stop billionaires from gaming the tax code. He’ll cut their taxes.

    Republican voters are dumb for not realizing this; it happens Every. Single. Time. But it’s our fault as citizens and the Democratic Party’s fault as an organization for not educating them. And that goes to what Warren, Sanders, Nader, Reich have all been saying. It needs to become a grassroots party again. Currently it’s a well-oiled fundraising machine. With virtually no serious policy goals. The signature achievement under eight years of Obamacare was a goddamn Republican plan! Which didn’t do nearly enough to stop premiums from rising, and so now it’s going to have its best provisions gutted.

    • I think you have to listen to politicians very closely. I think most of them don’t lie. For example, when a Republican says they want to “save Social Security” what they mean is that they want to cut it. It’s true: if you cut benefits to $10 per month, you will save it. With Democrats, you have to listen to the details. There is “I will close” vs “I will propose legislation to close.”

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