The Change No One Voted For

When Americans went to the polls last November, they sent a strong message that they were tired of the status quo. They wanted change. However, what they got is not necessarily what they voted for.

Three months into the Trump presidency, it became clear that the candidate who portrayed himself as a working class populist was gone. The man who promised to ‘drain the swamp’ quickly filled his cabinet with private industry billionaires, now grinning with glee at their new-found power to directly set policies that can make them even richer. The average, middle-class voter may have never imagined that their votes could lead to losing their access to health care, having their air and drinking water poisoned, having their tax dollars diverted to corporate-run, private school voucher programs, or being once again exposed to the abuses of Wall Street.

In a letter to the editor published in The Tribune in San Luis Obispo, Jay Devore writes,

The main reason Donald Trump won the presidential election is that he was much more willing to tell lies than was his opponent…When will those who previously supported Trump stand up and admit they were hoodwinked?

Those feelings have been echoed by the resistance of millions of Americans, who have taken to the streets in the largest protests in generations. It is making a difference, but has a tough fight ahead.

There’s also a lot to unpack on the corruption side of the Trump administration. Using the presidency as a tool for the self-enrichment of Trump family businesses is being committed shamelessly, and, for the most part, being ignored by the Republican-controlled congress.

In the Huffington Post, Paul Blumenthal claims, “Trump’s White House family affair looks a lot like the most corrupt nations in the world.”

It should be safe to say that the people who voted for Trump thought he’d be using the office to benefit them instead of himself, his billionaire friends, and Vladimir Putin.

Republicans may suggest that because Trump won the election, they are doing the will of the majority. But that leaves an inconvenient truth out of the equation. Not only did Trump get 3 million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton, only about 60 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot.

There are a lot factors involved in voter turnout numbers. New voter ID laws combined with cuts to early voting hours are among them. Apathy, and a belief that their votes don’t matter is another problem plaguing the American electorate. No matter how you add it up, Trump has nothing close to a mandate, and even less support for his authoritarian kleptocracy agenda. No one voted for the opposite of everything Trump campaigned on. However, an important lesson seems to have been learned. Every vote matters.

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Gracie Lou

Gracie Lou

Gracie Lou is a political junkie, animal rights advocate, and award-winning writer. She believes that if people can stand on line to buy junk food, they can stand on line to vote.
Gracie Lou