There's a whole strain of argument that economics had nothing to do with Trump's victory, that it was all racism. Certainly the racists are there. But also, the Obama administration had no jobs program, no relief for embattled homeowners, no prosecutions for mortgage fraud or servicing abuse. I do not think there is one of us who does not know someone who has lost their home, or spent years out of work. That's the sort of economic pain that people don't forget, and it affected the election.
I have a friend who is represented by Senator Patricia Murray (D-WA.) Senator Murray made the budget deal with Paul Ryan that cut off my friend’s
unemployment benefits on my friend’s birthday. Now (says my friend) my
friend voted for Senator Murray during the last election with
difficulty. And yet my friend is an educated activist who will
determinedly vote for the lesser evil. Someone who had lost their house
or had years of unemployment and is not ideological? Why would they vote
Democratic? Why would their family, friends, and neighbors? The amazing
thing, perhaps, is that the Presidential election was as close as it was.
I'm not going to say that economics was the whole story of that election; many factors came together to bring the Republicans to power. Sexism was a part of it, racism was a part of it, and bad press was a part of it. So was treason. But those memories of long times out of work and losing homes were also part of it.
Jobs matter. Homes matter.