Skip to main content

Who Avoids Our Wars? The Rich, The Entitled



Watch News coverage of Trump rallies, and you will see Trump supporters portrayed as white, poor and stupid.

There certainly are Trump voters who are poor and stupid, but I have not met them. I have only seen them on the News. 

The Trump voters I know personally have college degrees, are very wealthy, and believe the world started falling apart in the 60s and 70s when they were kids.  The college degrees of the Trump voters I know are technical and professional.  I have not met a Trump voter with a degree in arts or literature.

I recently met a tall, energetic engineer named Tom. He is retired but still works as a consultant.  He owns a dozen cars, eight of them show-quality American muscle cars of the 60s and 70s.  He has a home that would house a village in much of the world, no kids, and enough garage space for his entire car collection. 

He has lived in Houston for more than 30 years, but grew up in suburban Chicago.  As a high school student in the late 60s he was bussed to a different suburban school as part of affirmative action—desegregation.  He hated it.  He seethes with resentment when he talks about it almost 50 years later.

He says he is a minority in his adopted city of Houston and is angry that cars with Mexican license plates can drive his streets.  He is angry that Houston is not a majority white city. When he says Make America Great Again he means make it white again. 

He is also a very proud, technically trained guy who does not own a cell phone or a laptop computer.  He has two landline phones and a desktop computer.  On that computer, he runs high-tech simulations for his consulting work.  So he is not against technology, he is against people who do not understand technology having access to technology.  He is very proud of not needing the technology that others around him depend on.  He uses paper maps.  He sends email on his desktop computer and does not need to check his desktop constantly as smartphone users do.

Like Trump, he wants America to have a strong military, and just like Trump, he did not serve in that military.  He went to college.  When he graduated, the draft was near its end. He got the deferments he needed and did not volunteer--though he is happy to bomb, drone or invade. He isn't going.

After college, Tom got a good job and started a lucrative career while those who served in the military earned $168 a month and delayed the start of their less lucrative careers.

He mentioned that in 1960s Chicago he was subjected to many Polish jokes. He remembers with some pain what it was like to hear jokes about Poles.  He does not remember the 50s and 60s as an era when every racial slur was part of normal speech.  

Part of Tom’s resentment is that political correctness has removed hazing ethnic groups as an acceptable part of American life.  He was subject to terrible Polish jokes for years.  He should be able to treat the latest waves of immigrants the way he was treated. 

Tom is resentful and without mercy.  Anyone who thinks “education” will fix Tom and people like him is just wrong.  Tom is rich, privileged, smart and is perfectly happy with 11 million deportations, a Muslim ban and overturning any and all civil rights.  Like Trump, the rich and comfortable life Tom has enjoyed for half a century made him more sure that he deserves everything he has.   


Popular posts from this blog

Different Water for Sinks and Toilets--Camp Beuhring, Kuwait, and Amtrak

On the train to Philadelphia recently, the toilets had water, but the sinks did not in the last two cars. I walked three cars away from my seat to wash my hands. On the way back, I let the conductor know about the lack of water.  He said there are different water systems for the sinks and the toilets.  Then smiled and said the water is blue in the toilets.  
I told the conductor about a morning at Camp Beuhring, Kuwait, in April 2009. We were there for training before we went to Camp Adder, Iraq.  During our two-week stay, we slept in 77-man tents.  Outside the tent were several sinks and mirrors just standing in the open on the sand. I wish I had a picture.  
About twenty yards away were Porta-Johns or Shit Ovens, which everyone called the plastic enclosures when the temperature approached 120 degrees.  One morning just after down I went out to the sinks, brushed my teeth, then walked toward the Porta-Johns.  One of the soldiers just stepped out of one and was walking toward me.  
H…

Ten Years Ago Today: Cold War Soldier Starts Re-enlistment Process

The Night Before Basic, Killing Brain and Lung Cells
On January 31, 1972, I flew to Texas to begin basic training. On April 2, 2007, ten years ago today, I called Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Askew, recruiting sergeant for the 28th Combat Aviation Brigade, and began the process of re-enlisting after 23+ years as a civilian.  I was 53 years old at the time, about to turn 54.

In the Spring of 2007, The Surge in Iraq was in full swing and recruitment for the Army was down a lot. The economy was good, Congress would not even consider re-starting the Draft, so in late 2006 Congress raised the maximum first-enlistment age for the Army from 35 to 42 years old.

The program was a failure and was rescinded three years later. But that failed program allowed me to re-enlist.  The maximum enlistment age for soldiers with prior service is the enlistment age plus the years of prior service plus a one-year waiver.  I needed all of that.

I called three recruiters before I called Kevin. He was the first one…

My Last Tanker Nickname: Oddball

Donald Sutherland as Oddball, a tank commander in the movie "Kelly's Heroes"
I got my last tanker nickname more than a decade after I earned the nickname Sgt. Bambi Killer.I got that nickname on a business trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2000.The company I worked for just bought a company in Brazil and I was part of a team that went to Brazil to introduce ourselves to the people who ran the business.
Sao Paulo has traffic that makes Los Angeles look like Omaha, so the local managers sent a limo for the four of us. This meant we could be more comfortable on the three-hour 20-mile trip from the airport to downtown. 
At the time I had a beard and still had a lot of brown hair.  Among the local staff people who were waiting to meet us was my now long-time friend Ivan Porccino. Ivan speaks five languages and was assigned as our interpreter.  When we got in the car, Ivan introduced us to the driver and said we would be in Sao Paulo for a few days. The driver said, “I love Americ…