Pitchforks and middle-class

I continue to wonder how it came to be that a large minority of American voters chose Donald Trump as their guy.

As a bystander, not having a vote in the election, you might ask why I care. The short version is that a title often associated with the President of the United States is "Leader of the free world". I'm part of that world. However I am not sure the free world agrees that the currently elected President serves the purpose.

Donald Trump is not a leader. He is a follower. As the executive in charge, he will follow us down a path to our least desirable tendencies, and he will follow us from the front. But he will not lead us anywhere.

To understand this I keep coming back to Nick Hanauer's memo, later presented as a TED talk (see below). When a society looses its middle class. It loses the foundation for a great political debate. It returns to Maslow's theory as well I suppose.

What Hanauer argue is that a working, striving, middle-class is essential for an efficient economy, to the benefit of all. I will just add that the middle-class is also essential for a functional democracy. Personally I would, of course, like to become a member of the rich elite. But I believe, as a community, that we are best served with me, and thousands and thousands of people like me, as part of a thriving, engaging, buying, discussing, middle-class.

And looking at America from my little corner (well, frankly even if you are in the US the country is so large you would also be looking at it from your little corner) that's where the betrayal is. Elected politicians in state and federal government, together with the rich elite have served the latter at the expense of the middle-class. And now it is gone. It will take a huge effort to redistribute all that wealth to recreate a middle-class. And it will benefit everyone in the society. But Donald Trump and his super-rich American oligarchy are not addressing that. Instead, it is making up problems, and solving those made up problems with real money that could have gone to solving real problems.


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© 2016 by Kai Mjaanes

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