I grew up in Oak Park which borders Chicago on the west… except for a stint in the military… I’ve lived my whole life in and around Chicago until just a few years ago. There are ~13 million in the state of Illinois, ~10 of which live in metro-Chicagoland. I now live in central Illinois.
I went into the Farm and Fleet the other day wearing my Hillary pin and the kid behind me in line was openly glaring at me and muttering under his breath angrily. I said something about how I suspected the trend in micro-homes and RV’s seemed somehow to coincide with the rise of the Billionaires and the woman at the register chuckled a bit and vowed never to go back to a double-wide.
Though she was polite, I am sure she was a Trump supporter. I stopped a moment to chat with an older woman waiting for her husband and picked up the thread of conversation we had been having about Billionaires in politics, our Governer Rauner has held up a state budget for over a year now demanding cuts which would put pensions, funding for services such as psychiatric outreach, not to mention schools and educational programs, at risk. Companies have gone under waiting for checks from the state. Educators and other state workers live in a limbo of insecurity. state colleges and universities are drastically cutting curricula. And people like this woman I stopped to talk too say they are voting for Trump because they don’t trust Hillary.
Not wanting to cause any unpleasantness with this, otherwise, nice woman, I steered the conversation to an unacknowledged crisis we are having here in Bloomington. In the first 5 months of 2016, in a town of 79,000, $8.6 was spent in video gambling machines. I spoke about how one third of that money goes to the video gaming vending co. and how there are no jobs of any substance created by this business even while so much money is being siphoned out of our local economy. I was speaking to this woman but facing and projecting my speech to the lines of people checking out. I saw only one potentially attentive and sympathetic smirk at my point.
I ended with, [these business people are running a business which takes advantage of people’s hopelessness to the detriment of the entire community.] She excused herself as her husband had showed up with the truck and I said good day to her… leaving the dangling conclusion that Trump was just this sort of person. These are scary times, there is no convincing people. Trump’s appeal is psychological, not ideological.