There is much hand-wringing as Trump gathers momentum in the US. But it is worth asking the question – just who are his supporters, the Trumpa-Loompas?
I am indebted to this piece in The Atlantic which boils it down as follows:
1) Trumpa-Loompas are not necessarily socially conservative. It is probably safe to say that many of his supporters are conservative on social issues but they are not supporting Trump because he is a social conservative (very debatable if he is). Trump cannot really push the social conservative card, given he is on wife number three. On that count he makes Boris Johnson look like a stand up husband loyal to the end. Sure, Trump’s supporters do not necessarily understand Dworkin’s theory of ‘Rights as Trumps’ (hah!) but they love their Constitution and don’t like seeing it trashed by the Supreme Court. But issues like abortion and gay marriage are not vote-deciders for them.
2) Trumpa-Loompas are not pure free marketeers. They do not believe the market Trumps all (hah!). In fact, many of his supporters believe they have been left behind in the globalised market. They have seen their factories shut down, their towns devastated and their jobs shipped off to India and China so the stock of the company can increase by a half of a per cent. They know only too well how the globalised market works. They lost.
3) However Trump’s followers are not huge supporters of big State entitlement programmes when their own entitlement programmes have been cut. They do not believe government is there to be your friend, although perhaps this is what they want and ultimately need.
4) The one issue that marks them out is immigration. Trumpa-Loompas have had enough. They have watched so many jobs outsourced to China, and those poorly paid jobs that are left are outsourced the poorest of the poor: recently arrived immigrants on their own doorsteps. They feel they have enough of their own problems. There are enough American poor, American working poor and – egged on by Ann Coulter – enough American criminality. They simply don’t see why they should import any more.
5) The Trumpa-Loompas feel betrayed and abandoned. They are not rich enough to be protected by the Republican donor base and establishment. And they are not poor enough or minority enough to benefit from Democrat entitlement programmes. Until recently, mainstream politicians simply did not represent their views.
6) The Trumpa-Loompas are angry. Angry as hell and they are not going to take it anymore. Whether there are enough of them to make Trump a reality remains to be seen.