MANSPLAINER: Where Has All The Winning Gone?
It wasn't supposed to be like this. For Trump-Voter Dolores Hutchinson of Alabama, when Donald Trump won the election it was a joyous moment.
"I felt the country was finally going to come 'round," she said. "It was like the people's voice had finally been heard." However, now, 99 days into the Trump presidency, she says that things haven't gone like she had hoped.
"Oh, I give the president an A," she told RealTrueNews. "He hit the ground from day-one and has been working harder than anyone--any president ever--to deliver on his promises. It's just--I think--the government is broken. We've still got the Obamacare. We still have high taxes. Jobs have been going up--I see that on the news--but around here? Coal miners still don't have work."
She shook her head.
"I think it's Obama. I think he left pockets in the government that are sabotaging our country. I think it's his army that's marching in the streets and burning our cities. Hunting police officers. I really think that [ N-word ] wants a war."
For her part, Dolores is prepared to give it to him. A RealTrueNews focus-group leader met with several Trump-Voters who rate the president a "B+" or better on his first 100 days to find out what questions they had--and what they believed. Here is our report.
Why Can't We Repeal Obamacare?
The most common point of bafflement among Trump-voters was why former-president Obama's signature achievement was still in place. Obamacare, despite the target of 60-House votes to repeal and a 2010 wave-election for Republicans based on its passage--has yet to be removed despite Republican control of all three houses.
Focus Groups Believe
RealTrueNews found that focus groups understood the surprising longevity of Obamacare as one of the following:
Cowardly Republicans - Republicans are afraid of The Press and their media profiles when it comes to repealing the healthcare bill of a black president.
Turn-Coat Republicans - Many so-called moderate Republicans in congress are actually crypto-Democrats who ideologically support universal healthcare.
Obama-Democrats in the Senate - The Democrats are preventing passage of the repeal bill by [ some undisclosed method ].
Research by RealTrueNews into the persistence of the ACA found that the reason for its continuation rests on two factors: Support for Pre-Existing Conditions and Allowing Children To Stay on their Parent's Health Care until age 26. Both of these provisions (as well as others) enjoy broad support by the American public.
What the American public does not, in general understand is that to achieve them, massive buy-in as attempted by the Individual Mandate (the by-far least popular condition of the ACA) is required to mitigate the cost (the ACA was attempted to be budget-neutral).
Matt Longinton, a Health Care industry expert explained "The ACA either has a huge customer base or blows a massive hole in the Federal budget. Republicans have convinced their voters that the mandate is extraneous and is just done for ideological purposes. The problem for lawmakers is that when they look at the facts, they realize they can't repeal the mandate and keep the popular parts. Essentially the base has been lied to--successfully."
Where Is The Wall?
The second largest question was why the president is having such a hard time getting his southern-border defense wall constructed. Trump-voters felt that with a National Security argument, problems such as imminent domain could be solved easily (many recognized that much of the border-land is private property but felt that the government could appropriate it in the name of national security). They also wondered why the Republican congress could not simply use its "Power of the Purse" to fund one of the major promises of Trump's campaign.
Focus Groups Believe
RealTrueNews found that focus groups believed that the lack of progress on the wall was due to:
Squeamish Republicans - Republicans have the votes to fund a border wall but are afraid to 'stand up' to Democrats who oppose it.
Fear of a Government Shutdown - Democrats have promised to refuse funding for the government if it includes a border wall.
NAFTA - Some focus voters understood that if not for the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico would be "forced to pay for the wall" as Trump had indicated.
While the Democrat's threat to oppose a spending bill is real and could lead to a government shutdown, the primary reasons the wall has not been started are:
National Security concerns cannot solve the private-ownership problem - The government will have to navigate hundreds or thousands of individual court-cases to take control of privately owned land along the border.
Terrain - The Rio Grande, in many places twists and turns making any kind of conventional barrier wall nearly impossible to build. It provides two alternatives: cede land to Mexico or try to take over Mexican land.
No representative of a border state wants the wall.
Bryant Schiffold, a national security and immigration expert said: "The wall was always more of a symbolic gesture than a practical reality. Trump-supporters generally have no idea the relative size of the Texas-Mexico border or the amount of trade that crosses it compared to, say Israel. This was a lie that was sold to the American electorate--but even if built, it would not keep drugs or illegal immigrants out of the country to any great extent."
Why Can't The President Make Policy?
Despite control of the presidency and both houses of congress, the president has passed none of his signature legislation--relying instead on numerous executive orders in his first 100-days. Aside from issues around the border wall or Obamacare, what about the president's signature actions on Tax Reform, Defunding Planned Parenthood, re-negotiating trade deals with partners or addressing trade imbalances with China?
Focus Groups Believe
Focus groups believe that, by and large, the president IS performing on his agenda. They claim that his Muslim-ban has made America safer (even though it was blocked, twice, by the courts). They believe jobs are increasing due to the president's policies while that is not born out by reality. There has been a major change in Republicans who believe, for example, that the unchanged Iran deal is okay--or that trade has improved--even when nothing has been renegotiated.
The Trump administration's wounds are largely self-inflicted. From underestimating the complexity of health care, trade, and tax-reform--to undisciplined communications, a fixation on the past election, and rapid shifts in policy and staff--the main reason why the president has not been able to enact his policies is that, even when they were potentially realistic, the team around Mr. Trump is inexperienced, rife with internal strife, and generally unable to execute.
Where Is All The Winning?
Our in-depth look is that the "winning" that Mr. Trump spoke of was mainly contained in a set of misleading promises by the candidate and the gullibility of his voting base. In other words: the Winning was in The Lies.