Feelings, nothing more than feelings

This guy knocked on my door this morning, campaigning for Jerry Long, who’s the Republican running for the Illinois State House in this district. He asked me what issue was most important to me – my son was hanging out in the living room, and I didn’t want to leave him there for longer than a couple of minutes, so I kind of shrugged and told him I’d have to think about it, but that I was voting for the Democrat in the race anyways. He handed me a flyer and was on his way.

The thing about the race between Skoog, the Democrat, who was appointed to the seat a year ago when Frank Mautino stepped down to take over as Illinois Auditor General, and Long is that they’re running almost the same campaign. It’s the “my opponent was sent by those no-goodnik Chicagoans” campaign, which I’m beginning to see as the only kind of campaign in downstate Illinois. Nobody out here really cares who’s in charge, because Chicago is a cesspool of violence and corruption, and they just want that shit kept at arms length.

So when the campaign guy was standing there asking me what my issue was, what I wanted to say was “Chicago.” As in, I think taxes ought to be higher out here, because Chicago needs the money, and the investment would benefit all of us. That’s not something that could ever happen downstate. And, truth be told, Chicago would probably have no problem whatsoever screwing downstate in perpetuity. People are terrible, its all just really depressing.

But it brings me back to Trump. All the wonks out there don’t seem to understand a very basic truth about Trump’s success – he is the voice of revenge. He often talks about the importance of getting even. This is something I know about from working in kitchens. You have a bunch of aggressive, macho guys in a room, and equality gets to be super important. Because if someone is shown to be weak, that person will become a focal point for abuse. Trump’s voters are not interested in policy at all. They just want to feel in charge. They want to get even. They want to show the liberals who’s boss. And there are no policies for this. What it would look like in practice is the total abandonment of federal administration of the government. It’s not about what Trump would do – it’s about what he would not do. And in short – he would not govern. He’d call into the morning talk shows three or four times a week, talk about what was going on. Assure us that everything was fine, under control. Meanwhile, Paul Ryan would defund vast swaths of the government. And the libertarians will all cheer and predict economic growth.

On the other hand, I’m the one spilling out feelings all over this web page. So, whatever. I get really depressed over my lack of ability to write and think like a proper economist. I always feel like I’m missing something, or that I just can’t read enough, or quite grasp things. Oh well.

Published by samuelbarbour

Besides writing a blog, I also teach, farm, cook, and play music. I live in the Illinois River Valley with my partner, Molly Breslin, who sometimes posts stuff at breslinfarms.com

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