Please allow me to respond to the commentary "Democracy needs an educated electorate" by Zaf Iqbal in the May 5 issue of New Times. I'd like to start by saying that my general takeaway from Mr. Iqbal's writing is that he is obviously much smarter than the rest of us "average Americans" and he think's he understands why we, the ignorant masses, are supporting Donald Trump.
As one from that group, I will be voting for the next president of the United States, Donald Trump, and below I explain why. But first I am curious about Mr. Iqbal's political leanings. He writes as if he's an objective observer, never sharing his political bias, leaving it to the reader to figure it out. This reader could only assume that Mr. Iqbal won't be voting for Donald Trump and, perhaps, won't be voting for anyone.
From his article I learn that "according to the Pew Research Center, Americans' political knowledge has been at the same low level for more than half a century." He goes on with a long quote by H. L. Mencken ending with, " ... the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." Could he be talking about President Obama? You know, "Hope and Change." "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor." No, somehow I don't think so. Perhaps the electorate was smarter in 2008 and 2012 and just recently became dumbed down again.
Mr. Iqbal continues to denigrate the mental capabilities of most human beings (he, of course, excluded) and posits, "The problem is that many people either lack proficiency in critical thinking or find it too onerous. Consequently, their mental processes are controlled only by emotions and intuition." Then in the next several hundred words he blasts Donald Trump on everything from his opposition to the United Nations to his thoughts on climate change. His article ends with this conclusion, "Yes, Trump supporters are inoculated to facts and reason."
OK, let me try, in my very primitive and unsophisticated way, to share some facts and reason to hopefully explain why I, and perhaps many others, find Donald Trump an appealing candidate. First off, Washington isn't functioning very well (i.e., very little is accomplished in Congress). Our federal government is too big, too intrusive, and becoming unmanageable (i.e., scandals in the Veterans Administration, the IRS, the State Department). Our debt is approaching $20 trillion (interest payments steal from needed programs). Obamacare is beginning to fall apart following an embarrassing start. We have no rational foreign policy (i.e., Iraq, Syria, North Korea). And due to our weak economy, workers are still feeling insecure in their jobs and some are even trying to earn a living on minimum wage. Race relations are at an all-time low. And student loan debt is creating an entire generation challenged to support themselves. Other than that, I guess things are fine.
So along comes Donald Trump. Can we agree he's been a very successful businessman earning MORE than any associate dean or professor emeritus at any American university (though I know such folks receive a very generous compensation)? Also, it's a fact that he has created jobs, thousands of them, and not single one is a government job. His talent continued into a very successful television show, which demonstrates that he's not a one-dimensional success. And let's not forget that he started his presidential campaign pitted against the best and the brightest from the Republican ranks and beat them all demonstrating, once again, that he's a winner. So here are some reasons why I'll be voting for Donald Trump:
• Trump is a leader. For the last seven years we've had a president who leads from behind. He's allowed our country to drift aimlessly with no coherent policy or plan. "Hope and change" has been a disaster. With President Trump, we'll know where we're going and how we're going to get there.
• Trump has had amazing success in business creating many outstanding companies. As president, he'll know how to direct government to be a friend to the business community, aggressively supporting job growth here in America. He'll do this through policies that encourage businesses to grow here rather than move overseas.
Recoveries from past recessions had job growth often as high as 500,000 to 600,000 jobs per month compared with the paltry 200,000 averages under the current administration. Modification to tax and regulatory policies can achieve similar results. Job growth in this range would solve many of today's nagging problems like complaints over minimum wage (businesses would need to pay more to attract workers), stagnant wages and mobility (as businesses grow, their workers benefit with promotions and new hires) and more job opportunity for graduating students (which will help them pay off their student loans). President Trump will accomplish this by making deals with those in Congress interested in helping to create jobs for America's working class.
• President Trump will build the wall on the border with Mexico and fix our immigration system, which has been a disaster for a long time with no progress made under the current administration. In fact, it's getting worse. This failure has resulted in Americans losing jobs to illegals in industries far afield from agriculture. Ask anyone in construction and you'll learn how low wages paid to illegals keeps construction compensation down even in the current healthy building economy. Our workers shouldn't have to compete with those here illegally, and President Trump will fix this problem.
• President Trump will make sure our veterans receive the best care available to any American. Under the current administration our vets have been treated worse than those incarcerated in our prisons. This situation is unconscionable and an embarrassment, and he will fix it.
• President Trump will make deals with foreign leaders; deals that are good for both countries, but really good for us. Isn't that what we want and expect? The current administration's policies have resulted in a loss of respect for America and for our role in helping others in the world. Under President Trump, this will change. We'll no longer be viewed as weak and uncertain. President Trump will make sure everyone knows that we're strong and will no longer tolerate disrespect.
• President Trump will end gridlock in Congress and help them start getting things done again. He'll do this by making deals. This is something the current administration's approach of "my way or the highway" failed to understand. In a successful negotiation, both parties need to get some of what they want and, in that respect, President Trump's deal-making skills will pay significant dividends.
Today we need a strong leader who understands how organizations work, can make deals with both friends and foes, and is a winner! That's why I'll be voting for Donald Trump.
Gary Wechter is a retired businessman and average American living in Arroyo Grande. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to the editor at email@example.com.
-- Gary Wechter - Arroyo Grande