Even if it’s still hard for you to understand what motivated voters to elect Donald Trump back in 2016, there has to be at least some small part of you that gets that they truly were buying what he was selling. And what Trump was selling wasn’t ALL Muslim bans and a return to the ’60s, when you could grab your secretary’s ass and never expect to be called out for it.
The other part of the equation, at least for coal miners, mill workers, and farmers, was that Trump promised he was going to bring back the jobs and prosperity that these people had seen erode over the decades even as they had been previously told that some of those jobs were never coming back.
Unfortunately, some of those coal and steel jobs ARE never coming back due to automation or new processes or their contribution to environmental degradation. But farming is supposed to never go away — robots can’t run a soybean farm yet, and if we succumbed to outsourcing crops and just buying everything overseas, we would truly be forfeiting the American economy.
And unlike coal and steel, industries that Trump promptly ignored after his election, farming long stood behind this president regardless of his economic policies, because federal subsidies for farming literally has its own subcommittee in both houses of Congress, and every year our government signs a “farm bill” that specifically addresses the concerns of the agricultural midwest.
But with the tariffs Trump signed against China in March of 2018 came a trade war.
CNN checked in with a Pennsylvania dairy farmer named Bill Boyd who told the network that Trump wasn’t coming through the way he said he would, and was, in fact, doing the opposite. Boyd is a Republican who generally supports Trump, but not his trade war with China. He says that the president’s ego-off with China’s Xi Jinping has cost farmers in his region their entire profit.
In fact, says Boyd:
I think he’s kind of backstabbing the main people who got him into office in the midwest.”
Unfortunately, what you also heard there was that Bill Boyd still plans to vote for Trump, which means that the racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and anti-intellectualism of the Trump platform is enough to make him overlook the fact that Trump is literally destroying his livelihood.
And so I don’t have much sympathy for ol’ Bill here. Nor for the other farmers featured in this clip, one of whom was a Democrat who flipped from Obama to Trump, and one who actually supports the trade war.
So long as they hitch their wagon to the criminal occupying the White House today, CNN can run as many sad-sack interviews with farmers who have lost everything as they want. Bill Boyd knows what killed his farm, and he’s voting for him again.
Featured image via screen capture
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