Demonstrations in Chicago marred Trump's effort to spread his message to followers in that city last Friday (March 11, 2016). While I am not a Trump fan, I knew demonstrations by those who are largely leftist would increase Trump's appeal. From my perspective it seems the lines of demarcation appear increasingly sharp and defined.
A few years ago I read somewhere that a society would reach a point of rebellion which the takers approach 50 percent. Those who prepare, work, save, and invest would reach a point where they would ultimately react negatively toward those who sit back and treat life as if others should provide for their every need. Add to such a situation the appearance of growing lawlessness and leaders who shrink from every challenge and you have a volatile potential for a negative reaction.
That's precisely why this election cycle is so heated! Donald Trump is speaking out for Americans who work hard and who are appalled by the cultural drift in the country. It is no wonder! Nearly 46 percent accept food stamps and consider them an entitlement. What was once a "safety net" for families has been misused and corrupted by those who "game the system." The same can be said for welfare recipients. Further, seniors watch the government plunder Social Security funds leaving them with concerns for the future. All too many consider Social Security and Medicare an entitlement similar to socialistic welfare. Seniors worked hard and paid into these programs for years only to have them labeled as "takers."
Frankly, funds paid into Social Security would have earned a much better return if invested in interest bearing bonds, mutual funds, or annuities.
We already know there is a huge percentage of Americans who pay no Income Tax while a decreasing minority pay an ever growing share.
As the majority of the "doers" shrinks and the percentage of the "takers" increase, it is no wonder Trump gets attention. Demonstrations such as those last Friday in Chicago or on the streets of a St. Louis suburb only serve to create the angst of the producers. The constant charge of racism, the marches of the "Black Lives Matter" crowd calling for the murder of police officers does nothing but serve to add to the irritation. The threat of terrorism and the failure of our current president to deal with it effectively only scrapes the wound. The surge of young people supporting a socialist like Bernie Sanders only causes more concern. It seems to me and, I'm sure, many others that the mob will elect anyone who promises to give them stuff.
All of us know there are those who need our help. My son lived on the streets of Riverside County, California, and discovered some of the homeless were there through no fault of their own. Serious financial reverses, mental illness, and illness or injuries resulted in loss of home and family. There are others who made bad choices including problems with alcohol and drug addiction; those who "lived for the moment" and failed to take advantage of educational opportunities open to all Americans, and still others who believed they were too good to take "that job." There are those who have "fallen through the cracks." We all know that! Life choices, however, have consequences.
Compassion is helping those who face consequences in life through no fault of their own or who make the effort and it is just not enough. Compassion is not the result of a government who steals from those who work, invest, and take risks to redistribute what was earned to those who refuse to make the effort.
I know full well there are those who want to work but either can't find a job or personal circumstances prevent them from doing so. Is the best way to help found in simply giving them stuff or helping them take personal responsibility, teaching them a skill, and helping them find employment so they can become a productive member of society? The old saying is still true, "Give a man a fish and he'll have food for a day; teach a man to fish and he'll have food for the rest of his life." If he'll go fishing!
Producing Americans will only be pushed so far. They already feel they are being taken for granted. While their feelings may be incorrect, they are what they are! Trump is using growing frustration with the status quo to garner support. While I am leery of his message, he seems to speak for the growing number of the frustrated who want people to take personal responsibility and stop using the tactics of the intolerant to insist on a tolerance they won't give.