The con and its cast

“In the case, a truck driver named Alphonse Maddin discovered on the highway that the brakes on his trailer had frozen. He pulled off the side of the road and called for help, which never came. The heater in his cab failed, and Maddin soon began exhibiting the symptoms of hypothermia. His bosses told him to wait with his crippled trailer which, even if Maddin were capable of driving safely, which he wasn’t, would have been a hazard to his fellow motorists because the frozen brakes on the trailer would have held his speed down to 15 miles per hour. The company fired Maddin. He sued, and won, but Gorsuch dissented.”

Surrounded by business executives in the White House before he signed the order, Trump claimed “excessive regulation is killing jobs” and “driving companies out of our country like never before.” He said the measure is “one of the many ways that we’re going to get real results” in scaling back regulations.

Pictures of Elsea in her mother’s home in Valley, Ala.

“After several minutes, [Regina] Elsea entered the screened-off area around the robot to clear the fault herself. Whatever she did to Robot 23, it surged back to life, crushing Elsea against a steel dashboard frame and impaling her upper body with a pair of welding tips. A co-worker hit the line’s emergency shut-off. Elsea was trapped in the machine — hunched over, eyes open, conscious but speechless. No one knew how to make the robot release her. The team leader jumped on a forklift and raced across the factory floor to the break room, where he grabbed a maintenance man and drove him back on his lap. The technician, from a different part of the plant, had no idea what to do. Tempers erupted as Elsea’s co-workers shoved the frightened man, who was Korean and barely spoke English, toward the robot, demanding he make it retract. He fought them off and ran away, Meadows says. When emergency crews arrived several minutes later, Elsea was still stuck. The rescue workers finally did what Elsea had failed to do: locked out the machine’s emergency power switch so it couldn’t reenergize again — a basic precaution that all factory workers are supposed to take before troubleshooting any industrial robot. Ajin, according to OSHA, had never given the workers their own safety locks and training on how to use them, as required by federal law. Ajin is contesting that finding. An ambulance took Elsea to a nearby hospital; from there she was flown by helicopter to a trauma center in Birmingham. She died the next day. Her mom still hasn’t heard a word from Ajin’s owners or senior executives.

“They sent a single artificial flower to her funeral.”

This is the narrative the Trump Apologists never told you about. His supporters were merely hardworking Americans, not racists or nativists, just struggling and angry about standing in line and watching others jump the queue for the country’s services and largesse, frustrated because they didn’t recognize their country any longer now that betrothed lesbians could demand Bundt cakes at their weddings and militant transgenders could pee in the public restrooms of their new found sex, and infuriated that mobs of marauding illegal Mexicans were stealing their jobs and hope and crowding their kids’ classrooms.

They were getting screwed, Trump told them, by regulations, by immigrants, by trade deals, by others. 
 
It was the wrong enemy. 
 
His supporters were more like Alphonse Maddin, stranded on the side of the road, alone, freezing, ignored by Trans-Am, or like Regina Elsea, smothered by (and dying inside) a machine Ajin never trained her to operate. They were screwed over not by elitists and feminists and gays and South American roofers and ACA premiums and OSHA, but by their companies, by corporate America, and by their candidate, now their president who invites corporate America into the Oval Office for a smile and a Thumbs Up. 
 
 Gorsuch won’t help them, neither will HHS Secretary Tom Price, nor EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, nor HUD Secretary Ben Carson, nor Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Oh, they’ll get slogans and rhetorical red meat and tweets, but then their workplace protections will be defanged and their pensions will disappear, leaving them, like Madden and Elsie, on the side of the road and pinned against walls by machines. 
 
 Trump convinced his supporters to punch down, that Washington was evil, that the Mexicans and Muslims were coming, and that they were better off being screwed by business than helped by government.
 
 And now he’s abandoned them.

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