In my heart of hearts, I believe those regular people are deluded. Trump is no more interested in average Americans than the man in the moon. And he's not as fresh as advertised. In a Trump administration, I see an M.O. that promises more of the tired trickle-down mindset that the GOP has promoted for decades.
What gets too little attention is the fact that manufacturing jobs have vanished in large part because of automation and other efficiencies, along with competition from lower labor costs in Mexico, China and other developing (or exploitive) nations. Automation is only going to intensify, and Trump can't erase that. And the most effective way to compete against lower-wage countries for industrial jobs is to accelerate the drive already well underway to lower wages here. Blue-collar America is not going to be excited about making $15 an hour when they used to make $27 an hour. And eliminating the ACA, flawed though it is, is not going to help the working class move forward, either.
Trump scored a lot of points by making broad pledges to somehow fix very difficult problems, in the process blaming most of our nation's ills on minorities, immigrants, Muslims and other soft targets. It's an easy sell when your constituency feels underpaid and unloved, and Trump is a master of the soundbite. But platitudes and insults only take you so far. He risks a big backlash when the buyer's remorse kicks in big-time.
But who knows how long that will be.
In the meantime, the Democrats need some new blood. Pelosi is the safe pick for minority leader, and yes, her experience is valuable in that role. But it sure is hard to get excited about her. The DNC had better start looking for fresh leadership, and work hard to reframe the message, because what they have now is lacking.
Obama actually benefitted from being new blood himself. He has a forceful personality and ironically was frequently derided for having little political experience. Of course, his personality is quite different from Trump's. Obama proved you can win by staying positive and without being a bombastic authoritarian.
I also think he kept the economy from going off the cliff. Still, it hasn't rebounded to the degree that it once was say, before the tech and real-estate bubbles popped. Maybe it never will. Bubbles aren't a good thing, after all. I guess nobody wins elections by standing up and saying, "Working-class America, you are toast. The world economy has changed, and those high-paying manual jobs were a one-time blip in our history. You'd better upgrade your education and skills or else scale back your dreams and learn how to start farming." Sounds like "eat your broccoli." So the message is going to be a challenge. While I sure as hell don't want the Dems to pander to fear and anger the way team Trump has done, they have to show they are the party of the big tent, working to get things done.