“How Donald Trump Filled the Dignity Deficit”

That is a great headline.

It definitely caught my attention.

How many people, even those who voted for him, associate the word “dignity” with Donald Trump?

But the article does not discuss the dignity of Donald Trump; instead, the article’s theme is hinted at by its sub-headline:  “Over the past half century, the percentage of working-age men outside the workforce doubled.”

As I listened to the current edition of The Economist during my workout this morning, I heard concepts similar to those put forth in the Wall Street Journal article:  “Start with the observation that America has voted not for a change of party so much as a change of regime. Mr Trump was carried to office on a tide of popular rage (see article). This is powered partly by the fact that ordinary Americans have not shared in their country’s prosperity. In real terms median male earnings are still lower than they were in the 1970s. In the past 50 years, barring the expansion of the 1990s, middle-ranking households have taken longer to claw back lost income with each recession. Social mobility is too low to hold out the promise of something better. The resulting loss of self-respect is not neutralised by a few quarters of rising wages.” (emphasis added)

Excerpt from the Wall Street Journal article:

The U.S. is bifurcating into a nation of economic winners and losers, and this distinction is seeping into American culture. The dignity gap grows every time those who lose out start hearing, “We don’t need you anymore.”

. . . But where [experts] heard incoherent specifics [from Donald Trump], many voters heard a consistent deeper theme: A promise to work hard at restoring left-behind Americans’ dignity by bringing back jobs and striking back at the cultural elites who disdain them.

This story is not merely crucial for understanding this extraordinary election. It is also the lodestar for cultural renewal and better politics, no matter one’s place on the ideological spectrum. Leaders on both sides will likely take issue with some parts of Mr. Trump’s agenda. But all must contend with the central reality he has unearthed—the hunger for dignity in communities where it is most absent.

One Response to “ “How Donald Trump Filled the Dignity Deficit””

  1. “Over 20 years, 80 percent of the work force will be replaced [by Artificial Intelligence].” – – Vinod Khosla | The Greg Jones Blog Says:

    […] read this and think of other articles I wrote about in another blogpost, and another one as […]

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