Notes from “In America” by Caitriona Perry

I received this book for Christmas ,it was an interesting read on the current political situation in the United States, as well as some parallels with the UK. Below are the key notes I took from the book:

The book opens by summarising who did not vote for Donald Trump: 58% of women did not vote for Donald Trump, 92% of black people didn’t, 71% of Hispanic people didn’t, 42% of white people didn’t, 55% of those who were college educated didn’t.  The author then explains why despite his flaws why people did vote for Donald Trump.

Although Donald Trump grew up in a wealthy household, went to good schools, went to work with his farther earning a good salary and has never had to worry about where his next meal is coming from or if he has a warm coat and boots for winter, he connects with people who have none of his privilege and all of those worries. He is straight talking. He doesn’t use fancy words. He speaks in simple language. His election slogans were straightforward and memorable. He uses simple language. His election slogans were straightforward and memorable. He uses slang and common parlance. He talks ‘dirty’ on occasion – remember the Access Hollywood ‘grabbing’ tape? He talks ‘mean’ on occasion – as evidenced in the election-campaign debates: the tone was lowered there like never before in an election cycle. He wears a baseball cap with an ill-fitting suit and a wind-defying comb-over. There is nothing ‘fancy’ in his appearance. He, in many ways, is the everyman – and yet in no way is he the everyman.

It’s starting how many times people mention Donald Trump’s children as a qualification that he will make a good president. It’s regularly the response to question on how voters can agree with his- at times – racist, sexist, xenophobic comments. ‘I don’t like that,’ they’ll say, ‘but he’s reared fantastic children, so he can’t be all that bad.’ I’ve learned America is still quite a conservative place at heart. ‘For all the bling and swagger, the American Dram, for many, means creating a good life for their children, getting them an education and a good start in life. The Trump children embody that legacy.

Of the thirteen counties in Texas that have a border with Mexico, Trump only secured a victory in three, which is a stark statement on the desire for a border wall among those who will actually have to live with it.

The book profiles voters who did vote for Trump. Nancy was afraid that if Hilary Clinton had been elected that she would have put ‘liberal judges’ on the Supreme Court bench. That she said, would have meant the US was headed ‘down the drain’. She shakes her head and gets as agitated as a genteel older lady can when she says she can’t believe that Christians would vote for ‘people like her, that believes in gay rights, abortion and everything that’s sinful, when God calls it “abomination”.

I’m a 100 percent Trump man. What is it about him that makes me excited? I guess, in a word, it would be sovereignty. The same reasons that my grandparents left Ireland at the time of the civil war – Donald Trump wants to make sure that America has security. A secure border, a secure economy and people are secure in their homes and in their persons.

In Pike County, Ohio – 66.1 percent of voter picked Donald Trump, compared with 49.3 percent who voted for Republican Mitt Romney in 2012. Ohio is a true swing state: it flips and flops between Republicans and Democrats. Only once since 1944 have Ohioans not voted for the person who ultimately became president. That was in 1960 when they voted for Richard Nixon over John F. Kennedy.

Almost three out of every five American households are in the same income bracket as they were in 2008. That’s nearly a decade without financial improvements. A sense of failure causes a feeling of anger, not just a financially driven anger but also a cultural and demographic anger, a thought process along the lines of ‘I’m not doing as well as I had hoped to do, but not only that, others are doing between than I am’. And by those ‘others’, they often mean newcomers.

Categories: Book Notes, Politics