The Difference Between Maine’s Trump Voters and Trump Supporters

MIKE SEGAR | REUTERS

MIKE SEGAR | REUTERS

Although it may come as a surprise to many of the people who follow my writing, a number of my friends voted for Trump. And, to be honest, I don’t necessarily fault them for it.

Nobody I knew really denied that Trump was a pig on a personal level, but most of them thought both candidates were pretty repulsive as people, and Trump at least seemed eager to go to bat against the Washington elite on behalf of rural communities.

It was a worthy cause.

America deserves to have a President who cares more about the American people than about the well being of people living in other countries. If you’re coaching the Red Sox, it’s not too much to ask that Dustin Pedroia be more important to you than Masahiro Tanaka. That’s your job.

Look at the philanthropic efforts that the Clintons have done. To date, the Clinton Foundation has raised around $2 Billion, but if you go to the foundation’s website, it’s all about working “to change lives around the world.”

If you’re stuck in a rundown former paper mill town, working awful hours at Wal-Mart to pay your ever increasing bills, it’s easy to see how you might get kind of pissed off at that. You could use a hand, and the Clintons could have been doing stuff to help you, but they weren’t.

It was easy to feel that as rural Maine was falling apart, Clinton was nowhere to be found, too busy putting all her energy into trying to help people on the other side of the planet, while simultaneously sending our troops to go bomb half the Middle East. The fact that she still felt entitled to run our country just added insult to injury.

On the other hand, sure, Trump was kind of a sleazy jackass. But, even if his business practices hadn’t always been above board, at least he’d started businesses and created jobs in this country. Trump had been a fixture of our nation’s pop culture for decades. He loved entertaining the American masses. When he said “America First,” it seemed plausible that he might actually mean it.

The election, however, was months ago.

Trump’s the only guy in the spotlight right now. It’s no longer about him vs. Clinton. It’s about what he’s doing for our state, and personally, the impacts that I see him having on Maine are terrible.

While Trump is indeed moving forward with enacting isolationist trade policy at the national level, I find it hard to believe that ending NAFTA is going to be the magic bullet he claims it is. I think it’s pretty clear we’ve been scammed.

If Trump’s efforts to repeal the ACA pass, and it seems clear that they will, each of America’s 400 Highest-Income Households will get a tax cut of about $7 Million a year, tallying up to $2.8 Billion, roughly the value of premium tax credits that people in the 20 smallest states and DC will lose. In addition, around 20 million Americans, 66 percent of whom have a high school education or less, will be left completely uninsured.

The American people know that we’re being taken advantage of by the elite – that’s why we elected a populist firebrand like Trump. But we’ve been had. Trump’s in bed with all the other rich guys, hoarding the profits that we all work so hard to generate, leaving us with crumbs, too broke even to go to the doctor.

And his efforts to fire two thirds of the people working at the EPA and gag the National Park Service are deplorable. Global warming is dangerously real, just ask any Maine lobsterman. The only people who gain from policies like these are Trump’s billionaire buddies in the oil industry who will now be free to do irreparable damage to the American landscape. This isn’t standing up for the American people and our homeland. It’s the opposite. It’s selling us out, so the billionaires can come in and do whatever they want to the Maine woods.

Whatever you might feel about folks from Africa moving to Maine, all the economists who’ve studied their impact on our state, such as these folks at CEI, say they’ve been a strong boon. Just stroll down Lisbon Street in Lewiston and take in all the immigrant businesses that have brought that city’s once dilapidated downtown back to life.

Maine’s small towns are losing their smart, young people in droves. We genuinely need families from countries like Sudan and Somalia to help jump start our state’s more rural economies. As Maine ages, our older residents will need people to provide the services they need to survive. Unless their kids pull a 180 and head home tomorrow, which doesn’t seem likely to happen, Maine’s seniors will be screwed if we don’t get more immigrants into our towns to care for them.

Trump, as we all know, has announced that refugees from both Sudan and Somalia, along with five other nations, will no longer be welcome here in the United States. It’s a shame. I’m not sure how rural Maine is supposed to become great again when there’s nobody around for miles willing to change your pepe’s Depends and spoon feed him his Grape Nuts.

You can deny what I’m saying. Go ahead. Call me stupid. Tell me I’m just an entitled little Masshole. Say I should stop teaching high school kids to build software because, clearly, I’m corrupting Maine’s youth. Tell me how you know better than me because you’re a veteran or you’re older than me or whatever silly reason you’ve got to explain your inability to form a rational argument in response to what I’m saying here.

Maybe just throw Trump’s infamous one word epithet at me: “Wrong!”

But I’m not.

Coming into November, we all had to choose between two fairly terrible candidates. If you voted for Trump, as much as I disagreed at the time, I doubt there was anything I could have said that would have changed your mind.

But, as we head into February, remaining a diehard Trump supporter seems like a different thing altogether. I just wish we could all agree that many of the new policies that he’s been announcing are tyrannical madness. The future of the United States depends on it.

Rob Korobkin

About Rob Korobkin

Rob is a software engineer, community organizer, teacher and musician. He can often be found at Peloton Labs, staring at his laptop, drafting diatribes and programming software late into the night.