The Sunday Herald spent two days in Ansonia talking to Trump voters and asking what they expect from his administration. Few believed he will build his wall. Few cared whether he was elected with Russia’s help, or worried that he will start a war with China. He assumes office with the lowest ever approval rating for a new president, but if he can make good on his promise to bring back jobs, all else will be forgiven. It is a big if.
The president-elect tweeted: “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” His intent may have been to distract from an article about his many conflicts of interest, but the signal that he will not tolerate dissent could hardly have been more clear.
It is already clear how Donald Trump will govern: with no restraint or respect for conventions, his primary concerns the accumulation of wealth and the exercise of power. How people resist, and how many, will determine whether the next four years are remembered as a dark time for American democracy or the awakening of a new civil rights movement.
Trump is set up to fail, and when he fails, he will need scapegoats: the media, left wing agitators, immigrants, Black Lives Matter protesters, Democrats who oppose his policies and Republicans who blanche at his excesses. He will need war, to stimulate the economy and unite the country behind him.
These articles were published across five pages of the Sunday Herald on Nov 6, 2016. The editor went with a bold, anti-Trump front page, and encouraged me to write a strong piece to fit. Taken together, these collected short articles and sidebars were meant to serve as a handy guide to the election for Scottish […]
Who will vote for Donald Trump now? Many millions of Americans, clearly, but far too few for him to win the presidency. The question is no longer whether Hillary Clinton will be elected, but how many Republican congressional candidates Trump will drag under with him. The Grand Old Party is holed beneath the waterline and its nominee is scuttling the lifeboats.
“The word I hear most from people is ‘I’m scared’ – that Trump could be president. People are scared. And negative energy is energy nonetheless. Even if they’re not voting for the candidate they most love, they’re voting against the candidate they most fear.”
Hazleton’s native sons are becoming a minority in their home town. They have worse economic prospects than their parents and live in a city that recently asked its police officers to work part-time because it doesn’t have the money to pay them. An epidemic of heroin and painkiller addiction has led to rising crime rates and declining life expectancy. It is not hard to see why Trump’s promise to restore American greatness is so popular here.
Clinton’s acceptance speech borrowed policies, language and themes from Sanders. She promised to invest in jobs, expand Social Security, oppose free trade deals, make university tuition free, support a $15 minimum wage and tax “Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich.” As she spoke, scattered outbreaks of heckling were drowned out by chants of “Hill-A-Ry, Hill-A-Ry.”
Published in the Sunday Herald on July 24, 2016. The day before the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was asked if he was worried about violent protests disrupting the event. “Frankly, that impact will probably help the campaign because it’s going to show a lawlessness and lack of respect for political […]