The Poor Need Not Apply

On Wednesday, Donald Trump, at a 2020 election campaign rally in Iowa … STOP. Reread that, please. Yes, in office only five months, Trump already is campaigning for reelection. Compelling case for term limits, yet this is not the point of my essay.

Nor is it the point of my essay that while at this event, Trump defended his Cabinet appointments—a bunch of billionaires, like former Goldman Sachs president and chief operating officer from 2006 to 2017, Gary Cohn, who now is Trump’s economic adviser. (You know, same Goldman Sachs that Trump condemned, during that other campaign, for controlling Hillary Clinton. Same Goldman Sachs Trump used to underscore Clinton’s alliance with Wall Street.)
Here’s what Trump said to his Cedar Rapids audience: “In those particular positions I just don’t want a poor person. Does that make sense?”


…this is the President of Goldman Sachs! Smart! Having him represent us, he went from massive paydays to peanuts. The peanuts, the little tiny…These are people that are great, brilliant business minds.

It is also not my point to emphasize that Cohn can well afford “peanuts” now, since he left Goldman Sachs in January with a $285 million payout. Or that he can well afford “peanuts” now, since his net worth is $600 million.
Trump also said this, and I’m nearing my point: “In those particular positions and I just don’t want a poor person. Does that make sense?”

He then stressed that his appointees don’t want the money. “…they’re representing the country. And they had to give up a lot to take these jobs. They gave up a lot.” Isn’t Trump failing to acknowledge that the economic group most representative of this country is not the billionaire class?

Um, and they, the uber-wealthy appointees, actually didn’t give up a lot. They left with a lot. And when they leave D.C. they leave with a lot.

Back to Trump’s not wanting a poor person. Is a poor person someone who’s made peanuts, or less, all his or her life? Most American workers will never see the peanuts these appointees among Trump’s Cabinet and other posts are making now. These appointees who “gave up a lot” to take these jobs for, well, peanuts.

Reflect on what Trump is saying to his supporters, the many who voted for him because they believed he listened to them, listened to them and then gave voice to their urgent needs. He wasn’t just going to make America great again; he was going to make them great again. But essentially he equates poverty with lack of intelligence. Again, “In those particular positions I just don’t want a poor person.” Can you imagine Trump’s wanting a poor person in any influential position? Only wealthy people deserve a seat at his table. The poor are nothing, but … poor.

These are the people Hillary Clinton called Deplorables.

The irony, and my point here, is that Trump also believes they are Deplorables.

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

March 21, 2018
Paul Street
Time is Running Out: Who Will Protect Our Wrecked Democracy from the American Oligarchy?
Mel Goodman
The Great Myth of the So-Called “Adults in the Room”
Chris Floyd
Stumbling Blocks: Tim Kaine and the Bipartisan Abettors of Atrocity
Eric Draitser
The Political Repression of the Radical Left in Crimea
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Threatens Wider War Against the Kurds
John Steppling
It is Us
Thomas Knapp
Death Penalty for Drug Dealers? Be Careful What You Wish for, President Trump
Manuel García, Jr.
Why I Am Leftist (Vietnam War)
Isaac Christiansen
A Left Critique of Russiagate
Howard Gregory
The Unemployment Rate is an Inadequate Reporter of U.S. Economic Health
Ramzy Baroud
Who Wants to Kill Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah?
Roy Morrison
Trouble Ahead: The Trump Administration at Home and Abroad
Roger Hayden
Too Many Dead Grizzlies
George Wuerthner
The Lessons of the Battle to Save the Ancient Forests of French Pete
Binoy Kampmark
Fictional Free Trade and Permanent Protectionism: Donald Trump’s Economic Orthodoxy
Rivera Sun
Think Outside the Protest Box
March 20, 2018
Jonathan Cook
US Smooths Israel’s Path to Annexing West Bank
Jeffrey St. Clair
How They Sold the Iraq War
Chris Busby
Cancer, George Monbiot and Nuclear Weapons Test Fallout
Nick Alexandrov
Washington’s Invasion of Iraq at Fifteen
David Mattson
Wyoming Plans to Slaughter Grizzly Bears
Paul Edwards
My Lai and the Bad Apples Scam
Julian Vigo
The Privatization of Water and the Impoverishment of the Global South
Mir Alikhan
Trump and Pompeo on Three Issues: Paris, Iran and North Korea
Seiji Yamada
Preparing For Nuclear War is Useless
Gary Leupp
Brennan, Venality and Turpitude
Martha Rosenberg
Why There’s a Boycott of Ben & Jerry’s on World Water Day, March 22
John Pilger
Skripal Case: a Carefully-Constructed Drama?
March 19, 2018
Henry Heller
The Moment of Trump
John Davis
Pristine Buildings, Tarnished Architect
Uri Avnery
The Fake Enemy
Patrick Cockburn
The Fall of Afrin and the Next Phase of the Syrian War
Nick Pemberton
The Democrats Can’t Save Us
Nomi Prins 
Jared Kushner, RIP: a Political Obituary for the President’s Son-in-Law
Georgina Downs
The Double Standards and Hypocrisy of the UK Government Over the ‘Nerve Agent’ Spy Poisoning
Dean Baker
Trump and the Federal Reserve
Colin Todhunter
The Strategy of Tension Towards Russia and the Push to Nuclear War
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
US Empire on Decline
Ralph Nader
Ahoy America, Give Trump a Taste of His Own Medicine Starting on Trump Imitation Day
Robert Dodge
Eliminate Nuclear Weapons by Divesting from Them
Laura Finley
Shame on You, Katy Perry
Weekend Edition
March 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Michael Uhl
The Tip of the Iceberg: My Lai Fifty Years On
Bruce E. Levine
School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks
Mel Goodman
Caveat Emptor: MSNBC and CNN Use CIA Apologists for False Commentary
Paul Street
The Obama Presidency Gets Some Early High Historiography