USRESIST NEWS Investigates
Americans on America: What My Country Means to Me
Americans on America is a USRESIST NEWS investigative reporting series with ordinary Americans on the values that they believe their country stands for and what needs to be done to enable their country to live up to those values
# 2 Retired Military Veteran, A “Shy Voter”
I believe America has lost its core values, namely respect at home and abroad. Our democracy, freedom, and the right to privacy are all at risk.
By Linda F. Hersey
A rigged system that favored Democrat Joe Biden unseated President Donald Trump.
That is the blunt assessment of Election 2020 by a Trump supporter so timid about candidly expressing views that he declined to give his name or other identifying information during an hour-long interview with US Resist News about America’s values that quickly veered into politics.
Nourished by a steady diet of conservative opinions on radio talk shows that he turns on before dawn each day, this voter expressed reluctance about sharing his own opinions publicly for fear of being judged and ostracized. He worried that friends and neighbors may recognize him.
Dubbed the “shy voter” during the 2020 presidential election, this retired white military veteran expressed anger, confusion and a sense of betrayal about his own perceived status in a nation undergoing vast changes in demographics and the economy, in what many experts call the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This “shy voter” admits to feeling left behind and marginalized.
There are many other voters just like him.
Has the U.S. Lost Its Core Values?
More important, he believes that the U.S. has lost its core values, namely respect at home and abroad. “I got respect from my service in the military. But there is a big decline in respect today,” he said.
What are the traditional American values that this voter cherishes the most – and feels are at risk? “Democracy, freedom and the right to privacy,” he said, quickly ticking off a list. “I’ve had the freedom to live and work where I want,” he said. “But all of this seems threatened today.”
He blames the decline he sees in American values on entitlement programs. “There has been a breakdown in society of values. People have unrealistic expectations about what the government should do for them.”
In an interview with US Resist News, this so-called shy Trump voter admitted to voting the GOP ticket for most of his adult life. But he described the outgoing commander-in-chief as “the most important president of my lifetime. And,” he asserted, “The election was stolen right from under him.”
He said he admired Trump’s willingness to voice fears and concerns that people just like him share but keep to themselves.
Undercounting the ‘Shy’ Trump Voter
Dutch economist Arie Kapteyn, a researcher at the University of Southern California, aptly predicted that polls would undercount “shy Trump voters” like him, who were not disclosing their support for a second Trump term or the reasons behind it.
Robert Cahaly, founder of the Trafalgar Group polling company, echoed that conclusion prior to the election, telling Politico that it is difficult for many Trump supporters to talk candidly about their views: “We live in a country where people will lie to their accountant, they’ll lie to their doctor, they’ll lie to their priest. And we’re supposed to believe they shed all of that when they get on the telephone with a stranger?”
This “shy voter” – who served in the military for two decades prior to retiring — said he strongly identifies with Trump, whom he sees as a victim, just like himself. “Donald Trump and his entire family served this country, and never got a moment of peace,” he said. “Any country bumpkin can see he was robbed of his victory.”
Economic Structural Changes Lead to Uncertainty
He blames the struggling economy not on setbacks from the Covid19 pandemic but on people who are abusing the “welfare system and taking government handouts for generations.” A smaller government would serve everyone better, he argues.
Economists point to job layoffs from shelter-in-place orders to limit the spread of Covid19 for business slowdowns that may extend well into 2021.
In addition, there are structural changes in the U.S. and global economy under way that lead to uncertainty for many about the future, giving rise to the nationalism that Trump espoused.
Major disruptions in the U.S. economy and other advanced nations are occurring from automation of traditional jobs that used human labor, referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The growing knowledge economy, which has emerged in its place, has a smaller number of high-paying jobs filled by well-educated, technologically skilled workers, while middle and working class jobs have been “hollowed out.” That leaves increasing competition for low-paying, unskilled service jobs.
Trump, by contrast, presents supporters with an old-world view of the U.S. that is more about domination than the educational opportunities, cooperation and diplomacy required in a globalized digital economy. “Everything is moving too fast today,” said this voter. “I wish we could go back to simpler times.”
- Politico is an American political journalism company.
- Trafalgar Group is a U.S. political polling company.
- Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C., that informs the public about policy, politics and trends shaping America.