by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Like the hedgehog, Donald Trump understands only one thing that matters. His critics, such as George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Jeff Flake, who last week made three largely correct and inspiring speeches, seem to know everything but.
They understand politics, policy, and the uses of etiquette, but seem deaf, dumb, and blind from the central great issue that drove Trump’s election: The top tiers of the country have been flourishing nicely, while those underneath have been taking a beating. And one reason is international trade.
Like Hillary Clinton and the sixteen extremely well-qualified candidates who lost to Trump in the primary, these well-meaning, cultured, intelligent people seem unable to grasp what Roger Altman explained in the Washington Post this past weekend: that “the so-called American dream … has ended for most of our citizens. Half of the young adults in this country will earn less over their lifetimes than their parents did. Indeed, the whole idea of rising living standards, which defined this country for so long, is a thing of the past.”
Trump won, not because the country was racist or sexist, or because most in the country enjoyed his coarse language. He won because he was the only one who realized the problem existed.