Letter: Economic insecurity is at root of Trumpism

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Economic insecurity at root of Trumpism

To the editor:

If you are among the millions of Americans still puzzled by the rise of Republican Party presidential candidate Donald Trump, consider the following statistic: 47 percent of Americans could not raise $400 in the case of an emergency, without borrowing the money, selling something, or simply facing the reality that there was no way to do so at all.

This is a startling finding reported in a 2013 Federal Reserve survey of American consumers, according to the lead article in the May 2016 issue of "The Atlantic Monthly."

Now put yourself in the shoes of a member of that 47 percent (not Mitt Romney's 47 percent) and consider Trump's high decibel pitch: "Mexican illegals, rapists and murders, are stealing your job! Fat-cat CEOs (read 'establishment Republicans') will ship what's left of your work to Mexico! Lousy trade deals with China are putting you in the poor house! The system is rigged! Your vote doesn't count! I'm going to make America great again!"

The economic insecurity represented by that 47 percent (the author of The Atlantic Monthly article, speaking for himself, calls it "economic impotence") is rending the social and communal fabric of our country.

If you found yourself among that 47 percent, would you possibly be inclined to attend a rally to cheer on The Donald? While you are at it, would you also, just possibly, be looking for some protester to smash in the face, just because you are mad as hell and aren't going to take it any more? An honest answer might go a long way toward explaining the rise of Trumpism.

Charles B. Dew, Williamstown


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