Phil Kadner: Angry voters play a Trump card

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reads a letter from New England Patriots NFL football coach Bill Belichick to a campaign rally, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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“Attention must be paid!” That’s the message the American people sent by electing Donald Trump president of the United States.

The average person in this country, the working stiff who pays the taxes, who sees giant corporations getting tax breaks, the government handing out freebies to people who don’t work, businesses that made fortunes here shifting jobs oversees, and watches as his boss gets pay raises and huge cash bonuses while his wages are frozen, he’s tired of being ignored.

The Wall Street honchos, the bankers, corporate CEOs, the very poor, the gays, the immigrants, even people living in foreign lands, all seem to have people championing their causes in the corridors of power in the United States.


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But who pays attention to the average guy? Nobody. Or at least that’s the way it often seems.

Enter Donald Trump. The billionaire real estate guru, TV celebrity and spokesman for all of those people who feel neglected, undervalued, mistreated and forgotten.

The words “Attention must be paid,” are from a famous scene in a play written by Arthur Miller called “Death of a Salesman.”

Here’s a portion of that monologue spoken by the wife of Willy Loman, the title character who eventually commits suicide.

“I don’t say he’s a great man. Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He’s not the finest character that ever lived. But he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention, must finally be paid to such a person. … He works for a company thirty-six years this March, opens up unheard of territories to their trademark, and now in his old age they take his salary away.”

No one was paying attention to millions of Americans whose anger and frustration were growing these past 10 years or more. Not the Republicans. Not the Democrats.

That’s why Trump and a socialist U.S. senator, Bernie Sanders, drew the largest and most enthusiastic crowds during the presidential primaries this year. They hold entirely different world views, but both were shouting, “Attention must be paid!” to ordinary Americans.

Trump also appealed to the worst aspects of American society, the evil demons of our nature.

After decades of being told it was wrong for people to say insulting things about minorities, or women, the disabled, or even admit thinking such thoughts, he sent the message that you could say anything you want, maybe even do what you want (grab women’s privates) if you are rich and white because this is America.

Make America great again!

The words mean different things to different people. It means jobs to some. Supremacy of the white race and male dominance to others. No more being bossed around by fringe groups or terrorized by terrorists. Maybe it just means that men shouldn’t be allowed into women’s washrooms.

Will President Donald Trump actually create jobs and make the government more responsive? Can he turn back the clock to a time when people imagine life was better?

I don’t think anyone has a clue of what President Trump will actually do once in office.

But that may not matter to the people who voted for him. A message has been sent to the power structure. The elites, the know-it-alls, the people who run things and have refused to hear the growing anger of the masses, must now understand one thing.

Attention must be paid!


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