Chris Arnade writes sometimes about being stuck in a bad trade.
He also writes about the poor and the invisible Americans.
I’ve been all of those things so I know what he means pretty deeply. I feel it.
Doubt I ever would’ve voted for Trump even if I’d stayed in my home town (including that I likely would’ve lost my voting rights as I would’ve become a convicted felon at some point) but I understand. I completely get it.
Years ago after I escaped Lake City, I lost $20,000 in a few minutes one time. Just like that. Bad trade. Gone. Still felt horrible even with six figures in my bank account. Devastating.
And I grew up poor. Yeah, we had a computer but we often had nothing in the fridge. No income, no car in a rural area because it got repossessed. That sort of thing.
Imagine being in a bad trade for fuckin’ life. That’s what it’s like where I grew up, 24/7/365, for many people.
And then imagine being a little kid (me) and the parents of some rich kids literally laughing at you to your face when you tell them you want to be a scientist when you grow up. Imagine that. I don’t have to.
Most people don’t understand how Wrong of a Wrong Family I was from where I grew up. But I could link you to the mugshots.
So I understand voting for Trump. I was those people.
I grew up fighting and I lived my life fighting. No, I didn’t make it on my own. So many people helped. But I still fought for every thing I have and am.
And as anyone who grew up fighting knows, sometimes even when you’re absolutely sure you are going to get trounced, even when you know without a doubt that getting up again and swinging at that bully is going to end very badly for you, you still do it any damn way.
Trump’s victory is millions of Americans standing up again and through the blood running down their faces throwing out one more wild, self-destructive punch.
And I know just how that feels and why you’d do that.