Sunday, December 4, 2016

Is the USA really divided??

Watched the Sunday pundits this morning.  One of 'em, Meet the Press, showed a post election Donald Trump speech.  Over laid upon The Donald's blonde hairdo were three lines, red for Republicans, yellow for independents, and blue for Democrats.  For most of the speech, the Republican line was at, or over, the top of the chart.  The independents weren't quite so enthusiastic but still a solid 80-90 percent.  The democrats stayed down at 20 percent. 
   I call that a serious split.  Let's call the two groups Republicans or Democrats.  There are other names we could use (conservative or liberal, progressive or stick-in-the-mud, etc) but  Republican and Democrat are the names we use in politics and elections. 
   So what is the difference between these two groups?  Some of it is just partisan ship, the same kind of thing that motivates fans of the Yankees and the Red Sox.  Some of it is distaste for this year's candidates.   But let's focus on things that  the incoming Trump administration could do something about.  That's issues.  Like the economy, tariffs, immigration, taxes, "the social issues", and other stuff that can be expressed in concrete terms, rather than the feelgood means nothing talk so beloved of politicians, especially when they are on TV.  The media didn't talk issues, probably because they are too ignorant to recognize an issue if they should trip over one.   It's so much easier to just read the polls over the air.
   Going from stuff I read in the Economist, the Wall St Journal, and the TV I see things this way.
   Republicans like tax cuts,  keeping immigrants out,  keeping foreign made goods from competing with American goods (tariffs),  repealing Obamacare.  Republicans see American corporations as job providers and want to encourage them. 
   Democrats want tax hikes.  They say they are OK with immigration, although I wonder if the rank and file Democrats agree with the leadership on this. They seem to  be OK on tariffs, they want to keep Obamacare.  Democrats see American corporations as robber barons in need of more good harsh regulation.

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