Donald Trump’s election came as a shock to most of us who couldn’t imagine anything like this ever happening in America. But there were signs that something was afoot in the republic that the pollsters didn’t take seriously.
First was the emergence of Senator Bernie Sanders who took the Democratic Party by surprise – just like Donald Trump took the GOP by surprise. And second was that so many union voters – usually the bulwark of the Democratic Party – supported the Republican nominee.
The only real issue
These not-so-hidden factors in the election demonstrate that the struggle of the middle class was the only real issue in the campaign.
Donald Trump deftly exploited the frustration and resentment so many Americans feel who are working harder than ever for less than they made before the recession. And he convinced at least half of union voters that he would do more for them than the candidate endorsed by their union.
I’ll bet that the union members who voted for Donald Trump didn’t know that he ran on a Republican platform that would weaken, if not destroy unions, and end federal support for public transit (a matter of great concern to ATU members). If this is not a formula for disaster for workers in general, and ATU members in particular, I don’t know what is.
But, these are only two of many things voters don’t know about Donald Trump, and “buyer’s remorse” will eventually overtake those who elected him, big time, when they find out that he cannot do, or never intended to do the things he promised.
That’s why we cannot let up now. We must continue to fight for what we believe in, not only to prevent the worst from happening in the near-term, but to be ready to bring all of the workers who voted for Trump home after they realize they’ve been had.