Dawn J. Bennett Breaks Down ‘Forgotten Citizens’ And Trump’s Election, Future

Hand of a person casting a vote into the ballot box during elections

During a recent interview, Dawn J. Bennett discussed with Dr. Herb London how the so-called “forgotten citizens” of this country came to elect Donald Trump. Essentially, a perfect storm of economic woes, misplaced societal priorities and an “uncouth” candidate came to ensure that the Trump mystique would inherit the presidency.


In their discussion, Bennett and London — a veteran national journalist and published author who currently leads a conservative think tank, London Center For Policy Research — touched on topics ranging from the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and taxes to jobs and international relations.


“Well, I think that Trump has the right idea. I mean, look, the Trump campaign was based on the proposition that these forgotten Americans need a voice. He became the embodiment of that voice. I don’t know if he’s the right person to play that sort of role, but there is no question that history has imposed this on him. That is his role. So this billionaire is now the spokesman for the forgotten American. Very odd, very strange,” London said.


In the wake of the November election, London penned, “Why the Forgotten Citizen Elected Donald Trump.” In his article, he says such “forgotten citizens” are facing fewer employment opportunities and sensing the collapse of traditional American culture while facing a Washington that’s more concerned with “Black Lives Matter” and the LGBT community than their own.


A few such factors that likely led to Trump’s current and continued appeal according to London are as follows:


Factor No. 1: Mass appeal. Trump made no attempt to hide his true colors or personality. As London puts it, the man’s “boorish” and “uncouth” populist persona during the campaign season was unapologetic, but it resonated among voters – especially the “average guy.” Further, he has thus far lived up to promises made during his run for leader of the free world.


Factor No. 2: Unflinching abroad. Trump’s first meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May was, in London’s eyes, a symbolic gesture toward creating a cross-Atlantic Ocean trade agreement. It comes at a good time for the United Kingdom as the Brexit process for the country to leave the European Union is to start in earnest soon. While questions linger over Russia’s involvement with Trump’s campaign, London said he expects this country’s relations with Mexico to “survive” as talks of a southern border wall continue.


Factor No. 3: Time will tell if history repeats. In March, Trump laid a wreath at the tomb of late President Andrew Jackson. Trump is reportedly a fan of the outspoken and maneuvering man who now graces our $20 bill.


“Well, the one thing you can predict, which was true of both Andrew Jackson and Donald Trump is that they’re both populists. They both reach out to the average guy. Neither of them was actually an ‘average guy,’ though. Jackson was an elitist. Trump is a billionaire. It’s very interesting and unusual, for anyone in American history, for someone with the kind of background that Donald Trump has to be the voice, as I said before, of the forgotten American. He has capitalized on that very effectively,” London surmised.


Factor No. 4: The high court calling.    Trump’s pick of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is, on its face, a choice that Democrats can’t contest. Already confirmed to the federal bench in 2005, the “originalist” is a Harvard Law School graduate who will likely replace Antonin Scalia.

“So now, what has happened in the last couple of years to make Gorsuch unacceptable to the Democratic Party? Nothing, except that he’s a Trump nominee. He’s the same guy,” London said, adding that Gorsuch has “wrote very Scalia-like opinions, the same guy who was an originalist then and is an originalist now. It’s absurd for the Democrats to say he’s unacceptable.”

Dawn J. Bennett Interviews Dr. Herb London

Dawn J. Bennett recently interviewed Dr. Herb London, president of the London Center for Policy Research and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, on her nationally syndicated radio show, Financial Myth Busting with Dawn J. Bennett.  Dr. London is also an acclaimed social critic whose work has been featured in major newspapers and journals nationwide, including The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Washington Times, New York Magazine, The New York Times, American Spectator, and National Review.

A recent article from Dr. London called “Why The Forgotten Citizen Elected Donald Trump” is the basis of his interview on Financial Myth Busting with Dawn J. Bennett. In his article, Dr. London explains that these forgotten citizens are experiencing declining employment opportunities, sensing the deterioration of traditional culture, and are understandably resentful and angry.

According to Bennett, there’s a lot of economic despair in the United States, and it is like there are two Americas. One is the happiness and prosperity portrayed by the media, and the second is the vast number of forgotten citizens. She says what’s fascinating to her is that despite the millions of people suffering, they are doing so it solitude and are not the ones marching in the streets.

Dr. London says they aren’t marching in the streets partially because of their despair.

“One of the things that you have to understand is that the level of labor participation in the United States circa 2017 is roughly the same as it was in 1936,” he says. “That means that there are more than 50 million Americans who are idle, who are not in the labor markets. They don’t count in unemployment statistics–they are no longer counted at all.”

He continues, “And they recognize the fact that they aren’t counted economically, and they don’t count socially. These are Americans who are left out of the equation. They are not variables in the American equation, and that is one of the reasons there’s resentment.”

Dr. London explains that they are angry because those who march and are in office don’t concern themselves with the people who are not in their labor market and who no longer count. Everyone is “lost in the swell of interests that are obviously far more important from the standpoint of the New York Times than these people who have forgotten Americans.”

Dr. London says he thinks Trump has the right idea. The proposition of his campaign was that these forgotten Americans need a voice. However, he is unsure whether he is the right person to be the embodiment of that voice, considering his billionaire status.

“We find ourselves in the position where many of the things that Trump was saying, including the infrastructure development that is necessary for America, with the creation of jobs that comes along with it, very, very sound thinking,” he says.

He continues, “There is no doubt that he is thinking about lowering the tax rates so that we get not only simple taxes but so that the rates are lower so that there’s greater incentives for involvement in the economy. And we’ll see economic growth at the three and a half to four percent level. We get up to four percent growth in the United States and many of the problems we have had in the past are largely mitigated. I think that he’s moving in the right direction. Can he sustain that? Hard to say.”