Written Feb 10 2017
One year in the 1970s, a poor harvest in Brazil led to a shortage of coffee beans and soaring coffee prices in the United States. It also led to an inventive scam beginning with teeny-tiny classified ads in the back pages of magazines. The ads purported to sell coffee trees. Why (they asked) should you depend on those inept Brazilian farmers for one of life’s necessities when you can buy coffee trees, plant them in your own yard, and voila! you’ll have fresh coffee every single day?
Anyone who bought coffee saplings and faced the inevitable disappointment was incapable of grasping the obvious: the United States is a nation of coffee drinkers. So if coffee trees could grow in the U.S. climate, why were we buying coffee from Brazil? Why hadn’t American farmers been raising coffee trees all along? I don’t drink coffee, but even I figured that out.
Trump voters remind me of the Americans who were gullible enough to fall for the coffee-tree scam. Because he has a bottomless need for adoration, Trump told them everything they wanted to hear. That is, taxes will go way down, Hillary will go to jail, high-paying factory jobs will come back to the United States, immigrants will be rounded up and expelled, “radical Islamic terrorism” will never threaten America again, we can be as politically incorrect as we want to be, and “we’re gonna win so much, you’re gonna get tired of winning.”
They lapped it all up because they have a desperate need to believe in magic. Apparently they’ve never asked themselves why, if this wish list is so easy to enact, it hasn’t all been done long, long ago; or if it hasn’t been done, who is responsible and what is their motive in not doing it; and can someone who offers absolutely no specifics really have a plan.
Eight years ago some of the people who eventually voted for Trump were sneering at Democrats, accusing them of regarding Barack Obama as their Messiah. That they have placed the exact same or stronger faith in Trump has escaped them completely.
Written by Angela Stockton