After three first place finishes out of four contests for the Republican nomination for President, New York magnate Donald Trump has become a target. Ted Cruz is snivelling, this way and that, trying to compound a story to derail Trump. Marco Rubio looks like a boy in his father’s clothes as he seeks endorsements of older sponsors in his race to beat Trump.
Trump is testing well among all demographics across the board. He is politically incorrect in many ways but Republicans will put up with a good deal more of that than will Democrats. He has a definite immigration policy. Trump says we should control immigration with actual borders.
There are two prime reasons both parties hate the thought of sound borders. First, the Democrats never saw an embattled minority they did not tearfully embrace. Second, modern Republicans never saw a pool of slave labor they did not want to exploit. There are too many poor Americans for the leaders of either party to see them as a problem. They and their plight are hidden among the issues.
But Trump has found them. The only other candidate that is aware of poor Americans is Bernie Sanders. Both Sanders and Trump have correctly diagnosed America’s greatest problem correctly. But their responses are starkly different.
There are still, in America, lots of jobs for the elite, the brightest, the well-educated or well-financed. The top half the work force, though it is being pressed ever downward by the most wealthy, can still make a living.
Not so the simply average and below which by definition means half our population. For them, there is no longer a path toward prosperity in America. In many cases there is not even a path toward anything above mere survival.
We don’t assemble or sew anymore in America. Those jobs have all been parcelled out to the poor countries of the Caribbean at best. At worst, they go on in the sweatshops of Asia and the prison factories there. There are factories full of children who work where the fire escapes are chained shut. They work for American entrepreneurs and bankers who have gotten ever richer since Clinton’s NAFTA and the free trade banker’s dream that has expanded since then.
Both Sanders and Trump know this. Neither is afraid to say it. But their approaches differ drastically. Sanders wants to tax the rich and give the money to those Americans displaced by foreign labor. Not so Trump. He is talking about bringing industry back to America again. That, though he has not said so, is how Mexico will pay to secure its border with the US.
And that, the return of real jobs, for real people, is what will make America great again. A simple idea, but great in scope. Simple ideas are what make leaders great. That is where all the hope is coming from. And that is why Donald Trump is in danger — of becoming the next president.
A View From The Mountains is a column for print and online media written by Bill Hayes for over 20 years. Bill Hayes is a trial lawyer and former prosecutor practicing law in Kentucky and the Eastern District of Tennessee with an office in view of the Virginia mountains. He is a former member of Kentucky Democratic State Executive Committee.