What are Donald Trump's angry voters so angry about?

It seems to be widely accepted that Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy is being buoyed by “angry voters.” In the Fox News debate last week, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said, whatever one thinks of Trump, it is important to respect the concerns of all those upset folks who support him.

If it is true this multitude of livid Americans is drawn to The Donald, it would seem important to know why they are so angry. Obviously, certain people are ticked off — just read the rants in the comments sections of every newspaper website — but what are they mad about and why are they drawn to Trump?

Trump’s attack on immigrants from Mexico clearly strikes a chord with people who are freaked out by all the Spanish speakers showing up in their communities. Apparently, they do not like workers without green cards picking their fruit or mowing their lawns or building their houses or serving up food from taco trucks.

Trump’s annoyance with “political correctness” resonates with plenty of voters, too. Among them are those who used to have so much fun telling sexist, racist and homophobic jokes at work. Now these poor guys can’t even have a good laugh without some overly sensitive woman or black or gay person tattling to the boss.

However, beyond those two issues that are the sum total of Trump’s platform, it gets tougher to make the connection between the things voters are angry about and the appeal of the New York real estate tycoon.

A bunch of folks are red in the face because Confederate flags are coming down in public spaces. Many are upset by the issue of police shootings — upset, that is, that anyone is questioning the cops who, of course, are all good guys keeping the drug pushers and social freeloaders in line. Many more are generally peeved that white people are a shrinking percentage of the populace and, as they say, they “want their country back!” These voters love Sarah Palin; do they see something similar in Trump?

Gay marriage riles a lot of folks. So does the lack of prayer in schools and the annual “war on Christmas.” But these people already have a champion in Mike Huckabee. Trump, with his trophy wives and vague Catholicism, is not their kind of guy.

Trump is more appealing to those who are enraged that Barack Obama got elected, not once, but twice! Trump’s willingness to join the hunt for Obama’s birth certificate four years ago endeared him to the people who remain certain that the president is not a real American and is very likely a Manchurian candidate raised to bring ruin to the United States.

Then there are the agitated voters who feel as if the system is rigged against them, that politicians are all in the pockets of billionaires who enrich themselves at the expense of the middle class. It makes perfect sense that they would want to elect a billionaire to fix that problem, right?

Well, maybe not.  A current online survey on Reddit is asking people to say why they support Trump. Plenty of anger against “the system” is being expressed, but a significant number of the respondents say they want Trump in the White House because he would be such a disastrous joke that the whole rotten political structure would collapse and we could start rebuilding society from the ground up.

Those are angry voters, all right, but it is a distinctly faint endorsement of the man currently leading all Republicans in the presidential race.

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
75°