Reading through the news over the past month, I’ve seen a lot of stories about worried people. Texas ranchers are facing difficulty in getting loans, farmers in the South and California are wondering if they’re going to be able to harvest their crops, thousands of people in coal country are worried about losing their health insurance, and farmers in the plains are concerned about losing export markets. Yes, they’re facing real problems, and they’re not happy. But here’s the thing: They all voted for Donald Trump and for Republicans for Congress.
The Texas ranchers are facing problems because of the cancellation of the Trans-Pacific Pact (TPP) by President Trump. They’d expanded their herds in anticipation of access to Asian markets, as part of the deal would be a major cut in import duties. It’s gone, and not coming back, so their herds are worth much less and the banks are placing new restrictions on their loans. Farmers in the South and California rely on immigrant labor to harvest their crops, and Trump’s new immigration policies means that they may likely not have the labor force they need. One of the major export markets for corn is Mexico, and Trump’s antagonizing that country as well as proposing import taxes means corn farmers will lose out. People in coal country are learning that “Obamacare” is the reason they have health insurance, either through the exchange or through Medicaid expansion, and Republicans are getting ready to repeal it.
In the past, I’d have a great deal of sympathy for the straits they find themselves in, or facing. Now? No, I have no sympathy whatsoever. This is what they voted for. None of this should have been surprise to them. Republicans have been promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act since the day it passed, and they’ve made it a big part of their platform. Donald Trump campaigned on getting rid of NAFTA, TPP, rounding up illegal immigrants and “building a wall on the border with Mexico.” Apparently, they didn’t believe that any of that would affect them.
I grew up in an era when what was “normal” was what’s now called “free range parenting.” In other words, we weren’t constantly under parental supervision, in fact most of the time (particularly in summer) the command was “go outside and play,” and we operated under the assumption “out of sight, out of mind” when it came to that. As long as we showed up when we were supposed to, didn’t have any injuries, and no reports of misdeeds made it to our parents, things were good. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t have rules, and we were expected to follow them. One of the lessons we all learned the hard way was that our normally loving parents could be remarkably unsympathetic if we got hurt or stuck doing something we’d been told not to do. As long as it didn’t mean a trip to the hospital or the doctor, it was considered a “you got what you deserved” incident, or “you just had to learn the hard way, didn’t you?”
Which is why I have no sympathy whatsoever for these people. It’s not as if any of the things that they’re panicking about should be news to them. It was all over the airwaves during the election, it was very clear from the campaign rhetoric, and yet they still marched into a voting booth and voted for Donald Trump and the Republicans. Either they weren’t paying attention, or they didn’t believe it would mean anything for them. They’re getting a hard lesson, and maybe next time around, they’ll pay attention.
The people I worry about are the people who didn’t vote for this, who are still going to have to pay the price for these people’s choices. For them, my heart bleeds. For the Trump voters who are complaining now? Sorry, my heart ain’t bleeding. Suck it up and deal with it, you got what you voted for.