The Washington Post is running readers' responses to the question, What on earth possessed you to shed all rationality and vote for Donald J. Trump? The submissions are many, with one in particular summarizing the general sentiment expressed throughout: "He was an outsider," "he spoke truth about political correctness," and "he is not a Clinton." Most telling is the reader's final remark: "Why not be part of sending a message to Washington?"
The question itself is a summary of the reader's overall sentiment. Wanted: A rhetorical renegade and outsider ("not a Clinton"), both of which, by definition, would send a message to the Washington establishment. Inherent in the reader's message-sending was, of course, the reader's knowledge of what message was being sent. And from where, or rather whom, did this knowledge come? Naturally, incestuously, from Donald Trump himself.
Thus Trump would be the reader's conduit by which a message is sent, said message being Trump's message. His "message" was multifaceted and routinely incoherent; nonetheless there were some messages that were quite explicit. And one of them, notes Paul Krugman, was this:
During the campaign, Donald Trump often promised to be a different kind of Republican, one who would represent the interests of working-class voters who depend on major government programs. "I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid," he declared.
The message-sending reader is now learning, however, that Trump's "major government program" message appears to have been severely garbled in transmission, which is a gentler way of putting the naked truth: Trump was almost certainly lying his ass off. Continues Krugman:
The transition team’s point man on Social Security is a longtime advocate of privatization, and all indications are that the incoming administration is getting ready to kill Medicare, replacing it with vouchers that can be applied to the purchase of private insurance.
In Trump's defense, I should back up a bit. He wasn't really lying his ass off; as the perfect sociopath, he has no betray-able core. What sounded very good to his ralliers sounds doubleplusungood to the Republican establishment on which he now depends, so to hell with the cheering ralliers.
Most voters knew this was the @realDonaldTrump, and so they voted against him. They knew that Trump would only do that which benefited Trump, which, turns out, is that which will most screw his white working-class supporters -- to whom my only question now is, How long before you rally again, take to the streets, and be part of sending a message to Trump's Washington establishment?