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November 21, 2016 5:49 AM Age: 4 yrs

President-elect Trump is no Mystery

Category: AC - Billboard, AC RSS, A/F Commentary & Opinion, CM Commentary & Opinion, ERM Commentary & Opinion, ERM News, Larry Checco, GPG News, GPG Commentary & Opinion, ESG Highlights
Source:  Larry Checco, featured commentator

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My wife and I voted before leaving the states and were vacationing in Italy when swing states were swept up in an electoral tsunami no one -- not even the winning presidential candidate -- had expected. 


Given the time difference, it was all but over when we awoke at 5:30 a.m. in Rome on the morning of November 9th.  An hour or two later it was officially announced that Donald J. Trump was our president-elect.


Stunned?  Yes!  Totally mystified by the results?  Not really.


Ever since the Great Recession, I’ve been attending the events of noted Washington, DC, think-tanks that represent both the left and right on the political spectrum, and when given the opportunity would ask influential Washingtonians—from Senators, Congressmen, former and current Federal Reserve Board officials and others—basically the same question:


“The Great Recession has caused millions of Americans to lose their homes, jobs, healthcare, personal savings, marriages and more.  Does anyone in official Washington truly understand the depth of the frustration and anger people outside the Beltway are feeling?”


I’d inevitably get some mealy-mouth, long-winded answer that amounted to: “Of course we do.”


Yea, well if you did, you certainly didn’t do anything to quell it.


You see this wasn’t an election about politics.  It was a lesson in simple physics. If you squeeze a balloon long enough and hard enough at one end, it will eventually burst at the other.


Working middles class families—and those striving to be middle class—have been squeezed so long and so hard that they finally burst and said ENOUGH!!!


The result?  Donald J. Trump, President of these Disunited States of America.


Ironically, DJT was never a serious or legitimate presidential candidate.  What he was was an effective, slick messenger.  And the message that he delivered resonated with the millions of Americans who for the past several decades have been losing ground in their efforts to achieve or retain middle-class status. 


“The system is rigged…and I’m the only one who can fix it,” he said unabashedly.   Whether willfully or in desperation, millions of Americans believed him.


Not only was DJT not a legitimate candidate.  He was never a true Republican.  What he was in essence was the first viable “third party” candidate since President Teddy Roosevelt’s "Bull Moose Party."  Donald Trump deftly used the present Republican Party’s infrastructure, as well as part of the GOP’s loyal voter base, to get elected.


For those Republicans who are unhappy with the leader of their party:  you can only blame yourself!  Trump is the electrifying Frankenstein of your own making—an obstructionist, exclusive-rather-than-inclusive and totally paranoid, unpredictable public personality.


But as they like to say in Washington, there’s plenty of blame to spread around. 


Yes, but I lay this one squarely on a tone-deaf establishment, elitist class—both Republicans and Democrats, alikethat has allowed income inequality and greed in this country to flourish, without doing much about it.


You’d be surprised how much saner, rational and respectful people would act if they had a full belly when they went to sleep at night, could pay their bills on time and saw a bright future for themselves and their kids. 


Meaning, let’s spread the wealth around (yes, I said it!) not through welfare or other government hand-outs, but through progressive tax reform, job training, job opportunities and providing livable wages that allow everyone—not just the one percent—to share in the bounty of this great nation of ours.


There’s no good reason that the wealthiest 400 Americans should have, according to Forbes, an aggregate net worth of $2.4 TRILLION, when more than 45 million Americans are living below the poverty line.


As Karl Marx once said:  “The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.”


Greed, total self-absorption and self-interest have their consequences, if not short-term.  What seems so counterintuitive is that millions of Americans have bet that one of the most self absorbed and self-interested of billionaires can save them from their desperate situations. 


Let’s hope they made a good bet -- or my wife and I are going back to Rome, to what is left of the ruins of the once-great Roman Empire! There are lessons to be learned there.


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