After his Nevada win, Donald Trump preened and affectionately recounted the numbers that added up to his huge victory. “We won with young. We won with old. We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated," he said.
My Twitter timeline was splattered as suddenly and thoroughly as a windshield in a Florida downpour. That last sentence was repeated in laughing disbelief.
What does Trump think about the poorly educated?
A man who might be President just said “I love the poorly educated.”
“I love the poorly educated” is the drop-the-mic ending to America's superpower status.
I grew up in New York, and have been unhappily acquainted with Trump’s brand of glitzy racist megalomania for decades. This campaign has distilled and revealed him: liar, misogynist, ableist, xenophobe, wannabe war-mongerer. As the man himself might say, Trump is a terrible candidate and person! Sad!
But please, stop the titters and eyerolls about his “poorly educated” line.
First, his fans - the Trumpkins - already believe Democrats and journalists are snotty elitists. In this case, the cut-ups are proving the Trumpkins right.
What is funny about saying “I love the poorly educated”? Of course Trump loves poorly educated voters. Who else would be asinine enough to buy his tripe?
But some of the same people who have been laughing because he said he loves the poorly educated also denounce voter ID laws. Why? They disenfranchise Americans who are disproportionately lower-income workers, minorities — and poorly educated.
They denounce the laws because they believe — rightly — that an education is neither necessary nor sufficient for thoughtful democratic participation.
Of course, “I love the poorly educated” is ostensibly funny because what politician actually says something like that? Any politician who thought for half a second before speaking would say, “I’m grateful for the support of working class Americans.”
But Trump does not tiptoe. That is at least partly because, unlike many of the candidates and most of the media, he actually loves the poorly educated.
He is not laughing at them or ignoring them or wishing them away or informing them that they are wrong about what is really best for them.
Trumpkins say they love how Trump speaks his mind. Maybe some admire his outspoken bigotry. But maybe others also like the way he talks about them. Straightforwardly. Acceptingly.
As a friend tweet-stormed, “If you self-identify as undereducated and feel bad about it...the guy ‘loves’ you (after a fashion) and wants to be greedy for you.”
A February 24th poll shows Trump beating Hillary Clinton by 46 to 40 among voters without college degrees in the must-win state of Ohio.
Meanwhile, the highly educated scratch their heads and cannot understand why he is not imploding like they keep predicting.