“Can I ask you a favor? Women from the suburbs: Can I please like you?!”. It’s Donald Trump’s plea between jokes and truths at his last rallies,aware that that segment of the population is playing the White House on November 3.
It rains in Manheim Township, one of those residential areas on the periphery of the American cities trump refers to. The day is as sad and dark as the mood of these four women residing in an urbanization on the outskirts of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, one of the decisive states for electoral victory. In times of covid-19, rain forces improvising roofs so that they can gather and converse outside the homes. The pandemic has left nothing untouched.
Amelia Miller feels like an insult that the president asks for the vote of women like her. “But it will be the last, ” he says with determination. Miller, 53, now regrets not having voted Hillary Clinton in the previous election, because he believed that a businessman outside the “dirty” world of Washington politics could turn the country around. “The overturn has given it to her, that’s for sure,” ironizes this theology teacher who left teaching to dedicate herself to her two sons, now older.
Neither Miller nor her friends identify with Trump’s America. It’s not your America. “And four more years of this president can leave the country on the edge of the abyss.” It’s Donna Hall’s opinion of 48. And Evelyn Nguyen’s, 49, who although she believes the country has institutions strong enough to survive Trump’s second term, “the wound rather than heal would get deeper, we would go backwards.” Of all of them, the only one who didn’t vote for Trump was Heather Moore, though she didn’t vote for Clinton either. Moore, 51, voted for the Libertarian Party nominee, a stranger Gary Johnson.
There are three things these four women have in common. The first: his rejection of Clinton in 2016. “I didn’t like it, even though I saw it, maybe today I miss it,” Nguyen says. Libraries in universities may be full of doctoral theses about the rejection, even hatred, that the former first lady produced in many women.
The second element that uniessotions these women is that almost all of them voted Trump and are now very sorry. They’re talking about penance. “If I had known that…”. And the third, they are all mobilized to prevent Trump from elected president of the United States again and ask for the vote for Joe Biden.
“I spend the day making calls to ask for a vote for Joe,” explains Hall, who has a lot of free time since the last of his three children went to college. Hall comes from loading his poster car under the name Biden and Harris to place in the gardens of nearby developments.
None of these women have become passionate about the Democratic Party but they are clear that “anyone is better than Trump.” They are all part of a new universe that is eating up Abraham Lincoln’s party. They are known as Republican Voters against Trump.
This rejection did not exist in 2016, when polls at the ballot box indicated that 52% of white women had given their blessing to the New York tycoon against 4% of the female black vote or 25% of Latino women. It was the residential areas that propelled Trump’s victory, with polls claiming he won in those areas by a four-point margin. Today, in the so-called pentadulating states, polls suggest that the representative has lost the support of these voters. Biden outpertches his rival in supporting women in the outlying developments in those states by 23 points, according to a recent poll from The New York Times and Siena College.
Among men, the race is almost evenly matched. There is only one female vote that seems unconditional to President Trump, the phenomenon known as the Karens. It is a term that has become popular to refer to a very specific type of middle-class white woman who believes that her privileges in life entitle her to behave in a very determined way, with an attitude of superiority. An example might be the woman who a few months ago called the police in New York because a black man criticized her for not taking the dog tied up in Central Park and that made her feel threatened. Or the woman who doesn’t hesitate to call the restaurant manager to denigrate the waiter.
Trump’s comments about women have often been rated vulgar and sexist. That’s how it was in 2016 and it is now, although none of these four women from the outsider mention it. Women who criticize him or have different positions as political rivals are considered to be “unpleasant” in their eyes. And after getting coronavirus, the Republican returned to the campaign offering “kisses to beautiful women.” It does play against it, however, pandemic management, which has caused women’s participation in the labour market to fall, has forced many of them to deal with medical bills and cope with their children’s distance education.
“I tell women on the periphery that I know they like the politics I do, but not my personality,” the president repeated at a rally in Georgia. “And I tell them not to worry about my character and keep in mind that I’ve made them safe.” That’s Trump’s mantra: a message of law and order that guarantees those privileged women that their houses with perfect white fences are not going to be raided by Antifa anti-system activists or protesters who cry out for black rights.
A great farce
“I don’t know how I didn’t realize it before, ” laments Miller. “Everything is a great farce,” he continues as he walks through the Lancaster countryside, which always surprises with the pictorial touch brought by the great Amish community living in that part of Pennsylvania. “I wish these four years hadn’t happened,” Nguyen confesses. Each of these women hit rock bottom with the Trump Administration at a different time. Although once listed, they are all accepted as their own. For one, it was how Trump reacted to the death of Republican Sen. John McCain, refusing to put the nation’s flags on the stock. For Miller, no doubt, it has been the management of the pandemic, with more than 217,000 dead, and his refusal to listen to the experts. “Somehow,” Miller says, “it’s like those dead people are on our consciences.”
Moore lived a point of no return with the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in May in Minneapolis. “Those 8 minutes and 46 seconds of ‘I can’t breathe’ are our shame as a society.” They all agree that Trump has turned out to be a pathological liar who will not hesitate to manipulate the system to get re-elected. “He doesn’t believe in democracy, he’s a dictator who wants to be in the White House for life.”
“My pastor was telling me that Trump had been sent by God to save us,” Miller explains. “He’s not my shepherd anymore,” he confesses. “My God would not send a despot, a dictator, to save anyone.”