I have seen several of my Facebook friends plug/endorse articles, including with their own personal jabs, stating that they don’t care about blue collar regions, the rust belt, and states like Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. They view this as part of a backwards, outdated America.
You can believe whatever you want, but looking at the numbers, you won’t win elections if you don’t extend your platform, compassion, and yes, support, for this part of the electorate. For decades, Democrats owned this through union whipping. Unions whipped votes from their blue collar assembly line workers, and kept these states as secure DNC strongholds.
Fast forward to today. Union influence in America is at an all-time low. Blue collar workers are either not interested, or not capable with their means today, to retrain and land more service-economy jobs.
And it’s that former part that matters quite a bit… interest. A lot of blue collar workers in America like making things. They don’t want to become software developers, or globalized attorneys, or people invested in making ideas. They like to build stuff. And for decades following World War II, they were well paid to do that.
This is what three men realized: Bill Clinton, Michael Moore, and Donald Trump. Donald Trump, obviously, turned these rust belt states red, and in doing so, secured the strongest electoral win since 1988 for a Republican. Bill Clinton saw it, but his voice was lost in a campaign expecting a landslide. The Clinton campaign expected millions more votes for their candidate, and they got them, in the popular vote.
But while the Clinton campaign saw a wave election in the popular vote, Trump’s data-driven, targeted effort was gunning for flipping blue (collar) states red. And thus, Donald Trump did what Democrats could (easily) have done – brought the blue collar worker into his tent.
Michael Moore, much to his credit, and despite opposing Donald Trump, saw this coming. And he was spot on, at least, in determining why Trump was going to win.
Balance in The Building Force
We can balance the needs of an information economy, with the compelling national interest to build things here. America needs to build big stuff here. It’s part of our national security. Plants that make cars today, can make tanks tomorrow. For many of these blue-collar-scoffers, the notion that America might be dragged into a global war – is simply unconscionable.
And it is true, we’ve gone from a generation that stormed the shores of Normandy, to a generation with people of the same age, that seek “Safe Spaces” on college campuses – rooms full of Play-Doh and single-mindedness. That’s shameful. That’s wrong. And we need to push back against that, on a societal level. Building stuff here, with hard work, and actual muscle, helps to accomplish that.
But if you disagree, that’s fine. You can ignore the blue collar worker. Just don’t expect to win any elections nationally, until you’re very, very old.
This is not just a narrative aimed at Democrats. It’s just as aimed at Republicans. The GOP is a few Senate votes short of near-total power in crafting legislation. This isn’t 2004. It had better wield that power to actually deliver on its rust belt promises.
Today, all the products that Console is building, are going to be made in China. I sincerely hope we can change that as we move forward. I want to build high-tech here. And I am hopeful that we can.