Although it is errantly attributed to renowned “showman” P.T. Barnum of circus fame, the quote, “There’s a sucker born every minute” is an apropos statement regarding Donald Trump’s staunchest supporters; particularly those in high poverty areas such as Appalachia. The meaning of the “suckers” quote can be better stated:
“There is an abundance of stupid people ready and willing to become victims of a master fraudster, cheat and swindler like Donald Trump.”
And ever so true to their renown as the personification of stupid and gullible, Trump’s base believed the lying swindler and are now on the verge of being economically raped by their “god-sent” messiah.
There is no doubt among sane Americans that Trump fully intends to wreak havoc on all Americans not in the richest one percent of income earners, but he is beginning the assault by targeting the 95 percent of his Appalachian supporters who voted for what they foolishly believed was their champion sent from their idea of an economic god.
One of the programs Trump wants abolished immediately is a 52-year old economic recovery program, the Appalachian Regional Commission. ARC was created as part of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” to aide the poorest people in 420 counties across 13 states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The program has been successful in helping one of the poorest regions in the nation of which Trump won 10 states with 95 percent voter support; that 95 percent of the voters are about to see just how little regard their “messiah” has for them and learn how easily they were conned by a genuine television fraudster. And, that doesn’t include the assault on healthcare and other social safety net cuts Trump and his savage Republican cohort in Congress have in store for “their base.”
Over its 52-year existence ARC has invested a measly $3.8 billion in “economic” aid primarily focused on infrastructure improvements like roads and bridges that benefited the coal industry more than the local populations. But since those improvements are reaching a conclusion, ARC has been shifting its focus to education and training former coal workers to find gainful employment in the 21st Century.
It is noteworthy that even if the dying coal industry were to suddenly experience a boom, American coal workers are still out of luck, and jobs, because of mechanization in the mining industry; a fact even the coal industry leaders confesses is the case. Those poorest Americans in the land reveled in the opportunity to be trained in healthier technology and renewable energy jobs they have found exceedingly helpful to avoid wallowing in a perpetual state of dire poverty; a state of existence Trump intends on maintaining regardless he is punishing his staunchest supporters.
As Nobel Laureate in economics Paul Krugman stated, “The only logical conclusion to be drawn from Trump’s proposals is that he despises the very voters who elected him.” And, Trump intends to demonstrate in action that deep-seated contempt for his “base” by sending them deeper into poverty with no hope for a better future. It is how Trump intends to make America great; but only for the richest one percent who will be the recipients of massive tax breaks funded with massive cuts to social programs.
As an example of how badly Trump detests the people who supported him, Paul Krugman cited just one of the states benefiting immensely from ARC, poverty-ridden West Virginia. West Virginia is one of the 13 states and 420 counties where 95 percent of the people voted for Trump. Krugman said just the assault on health care championed by Trump and Republicans will be “apocalyptic.” That apocalyptic devastation is in addition to Trump wiping out ARC. As Mr. Krugman noted, “Hundreds of thousands would lose health insurance; medical debt and untreated conditions would surge; and there would be an explosion in extreme poverty, including a lot of outright hunger.”
An explosion in extreme poverty, like “a lot of outright hunger,” is a condition Republicans have hoped to see with every budget and policy proposal they’ve supported over the past decade. And like Trump, they’ve lied profusely that creating hunger and more poverty is a crucial element of enriching corporations and the wealthy to make America great again. It’s been an important part of their trickle down propaganda campaign since its introduction by Reagan.
Trump’s intent to completely wipe out the ARC didn’t go unnoticed by some Republicans elected by the same 95 percent of voters who voted for Trump. For example, the Republican governor from Kentucky, Matt Bevin registered his complaints to Trump regarding abolishing ARC. Bevin was joined by Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY) rumored to be a powerful presence on appropriations who labeled Trump’s wipeout of the ARC and EDA as “draconian, careless, and counterproductive.” Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), no friend of any domestic social program, told a television station that “We’re not going to allow any cuts to the Appalachian Regional Commission; they’re not going to happen.”
It is highly questionable if other Republicans in Congress with no electoral stake in the “Appalachian region” will be interested in saving ARC; particularly when cutting any and all federal domestic programs is their raison d’être. Remember, the Republicans would hardly support the GOP healthcare plan because it was not nearly harsh and draconian enough for their tastes. And, it is noteworthy that their “tastes” are completely in line with Trump’s because their primary goal, like Trump’s, is “deconstructing the administrative state.” A plan founded on wiping out all federal government programs and agencies. The Appalachian Regional Commission epitomizes the typical federal program the Trump and Republicans want eliminated.
It’s possible that Trump’s supporters are so gullible that they actually believed him when he pledged to “make America great” by “draining the swamp” and eliminate special interests from Washington. By now they are learning what any sane person understood Trump’s slogans to really meant throughout the campaign. When he said “drain the swamp” he meant wipe out social and domestic programs Republicans have regarded as just “so much waste” for decades.
It is too late for the idiots that voted for Trump because part and parcel of the “waste” he and the GOP want to eliminate are America’s poor and vulnerable citizens. Ironically, it is the poor and vulnerable that elected the source of their future demise by overwhelming numbers. It is glaringly apparent that in America there was an over abundance of “stupid voters ready and willing to become victims of a master swindler;” so they cheered wildly as they put Trump in the White House.