Donald Trump's core constituency in the Republican primary is the white working class, but in general elections Republicans traditionally also rely on affluent white people. Can Trump win them over?
This hilariously poorly argued Financial Times letter to the editor suggests yes. In it, Jon and Elsa Sands describe themselves as "affluent Americans with postgraduate degrees" who nonetheless are leaning toward voting Trump. Why? Tax reform.
Electing the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party seems purposeless. The neanderthal Republicans barely respected the legitimacy of Bill Clinton’s or Barack Obama’s election, let alone that of Hillary who would arrive tainted with scandal and the email lapses hanging over her head. We would get four years of gridlock and "hearings". The Republican tribunes, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, are backward, foolish and inexperienced. John Kasich, a moderate with extensive governmental experience and a willingness to compromise, is an also-ran. That leaves The Donald, really a moderate in wolf’s garb, who would owe nothing to either party and might strike deals, for instance on tax reform.
The best part, though, is the kicker:
Yes, we could be like the good citizens who voted for a "tameable" Hitler in 1933 to get things back on track. But the alternatives look worse.
Are four years of gridlock and hearings really worse than Hitler? I am skeptical. But such are the mysteries of the human mind.
I've written before that despite his feud with the Bush family, Trump is George W. Bush's ideological heir. Nationalism was the key to Bush's mass politics, just as it is for Trump. But Bush also won over economic elites with gigantic tax cuts. In a primary campaign against Marco Rubio, Trump's tax cuts don't really help him win people over. But once it comes down to Clinton or Trump, a lot of rich people are going to look at Trump's distasteful statements, hate-mongering, shady career, and questionable foreign policy and decide that what they really want in life is to pay less in taxes.