Sunday, April 10, 2016

Las Vegas Democrat Joe Cervantes, Two-Time Obama Voter, Backs Donald Trump in 2016


I'm getting a kick out of this.

At LAT, "'We need an outsider like Trump,' says this two-time Obama voter":
On the vacant, sun-blasted streets southwest of the Strip, Joe Cervantes sees an America on the decline.

Sporting a fedora and a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt as he walks his chow chow, the 67-year-old retired car salesman grumbles when he passes a neighbor’s house with weeds in the rocks. Three cars with no license plates are parked outside.

Asians bought the place in foreclosure and didn’t care who they rented to, he says. Next door to him, he adds, low-income black renters tore up the place so badly the tile floors needed to be replaced. At a house around the corner, he says he’s noticed a Middle Eastern man always outside talking on his cellphone in a foreign language: Cervantes wonders whether he should call the police.

For Cervantes, life in these sand-blown suburbs has come to look like much that has gone wrong with the rest of the country. The homes are cheap and falling apart, he says, because “illegals” did the work and contractors were able to bribe the building inspectors. Foreclosures swept through the neighborhood and he almost lost his own home in the Great Recession because politicians stopped protecting the interests of regular Americans. He blames the same politicians for letting his factory job back in Wisconsin go to Mexico in 1982.

The way Cervantes sees it, the government is a high-stakes card game at which he and most Americans never get a seat. He voted for President Obama but has twice been disappointed. This election, the name he is betting on is emblazoned in gold on the Vegas skyline: Trump.

“The middle class is done in this country. I think we need an outsider like [Donald] Trump to come in and upset the establishment and make them help the middle class,” Cervantes says.

In some ways, Cervantes is like many Americans, of different stripes and widely varying locales, who have found themselves unexpectedly drawn to the real estate tycoon. The retiree lost his factory job to the pitfalls of free trade; he gets angry about illegal immigration; he resents having worked his whole life when others got a free ride.

Conversely, though, Trump's talk about closing the border and keeping out Muslim immigrants doesn't ring true with Cervantes, who is Latino and counts blacks and Arabs among his close friends. He looks forward to one friend’s annual Ramadan feast. And he is disturbed by Trump’s belligerent talk about pummeling protesters. Cervantes won’t swat a spider he finds in his house — he takes them outside — much less a person.

Nevada has always been a state of people who resist easy categorization — people who moved here, in some cases, to escape the categories they were born with elsewhere. As a lot, Nevada Republicans are less religious, less educated and less bound by tradition. They don’t care deeply about issues like abortion or gay marriage. Many own small businesses, often in construction or catering to the gaming industry. They have strong libertarian and anti-establishment streaks, with little tolerance for Washington politics.

Many other Western states have tended to support U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a strong social conservative from Texas. But Republicans here are planting a solid flag that says Trump country...

Notice how Cervantes isn't too pleased with Trump's comments on Latinos and Muslism, but is still going to vote for him nevertheless.

Give you an idea just how bad things are in this country, and about the paucity of attractive alternatives in either party. Says a lot.

Keep reading.