At The American Conservative, Alan Tonelson explains how the everyday Americans who make up President Trump’s voter base are benefiting from his presidency. Despite accusations that Trump is a “phony populist,” Tonelson says the president’s critics have “been wrong-footed over how working- and middle-class voters have fared during his administration.” He writes (abridged):
President Donald Trump is a phony populist. Everyone in the intertwined worlds of politics, the mainstream media, and show business understands this. Then-president Barack Obama made the charge during a self-described “rant” in mid-2016, just before appearing at a campaign rally for the decidedly non-populist, and ultimately defeated, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The only Americans supposedly holding any illusions to the contrary are his core supporters. Those at the lower reaches of the national income scale are supposed to be among the most pathetic victims of this epic con.
Except an obscure set of official national statistics has undermined this thesis. Overlooked as usual when it was released in May, the latest version of the Labor Department’s quarterly County Employment and Wages reports contains abundant evidence that the Trump victory in 2016 has paid off handsomely for the everyday Americans who gave him his Electoral College margin.
Four data years don’t make a slam dunk case. And with the current U.S. recovery setting new longevity records each month, neither a slowdown nor even a recession can be entirely ruled out between now and the 2020 presidential election (even though the latest data indicate that the economy is moving past a soft patch experienced earlier this year).
But so far, it’s the Trump critics who have mainly been wrong-footed over how working- and middle-class voters have fared during his administration.
Barring big changes in the economy’s direction, unless they start looking at the data rather than trafficking in their own biases, another Trump shock could be in store come next November.
Read more here.