‘He Played Me for a Fool’: Kentucky Trump Supporter Laments He Should Have Voted for Hillary
In a heartbreaking interview, one Kentucky voter for President Donald Trump revealed that he believed it when Trump told voters he would fight for them. Now, however, Trump is cutting programs that help people like him survive while jobs are scarce.
Wesley Easterling noted that Trump had a kind of “charisma about him, something different.” The county he lives in typically goes for Democrats but in 2016 it went for Trump, despite having one of the highest poverty rates in the country.
Easterling is on food stamps and Medicaid and he believed Trump when the then-candidate swore he’d never touch Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Trump lied and Easterling and his family are fearful they’re going to lose critical benefits they need to stay afloat.
“I mean, I felt just like I was — just like he played me for a fool,” he said with a look of sadness in his eyes. “I mean, I kind of took it personal.”
Easterling does have one light at the end of the tunnel, he recently graduated from a pipe welding program at a local community college. He’s trying to get a job at a local refinery so he can get off of federal assistance.
He admitted if he could vote again he’d cast his ballot for former Secretary Hillary Clinton “without a doubt.”
When asking Easterling’s neighbors about Trump cutting federal programs that help him while he’s getting back on his feet, one man had just two words: “Tough luck.”
Easterling isn’t alone, Trump’s recently announced cuts hit rural communities the hardest. Already, many were struggling to keep schools open and farmers and ranchers continue to struggle after drought. Even conservative Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) isn’t happy with Trump.
“I won’t say it’s not going to happen, but remember that I don’t think Congress has paid much attention to the president’s budget ever since Reagan, and they usually come in the transom and we simply throw ’em back out,” Roberts said. “Those programs have been very good programs. We’re going to keep those.”
“I’m not saying not to be concerned, but I’m saying, ‘Hey, be a partner, and if there are some kind of savings you can come up with, let us know,” he continued. “We’ll protect the program, but let us know (how you can help).’”
Cuts also will go to water and wastewater plants that help provide clean water to communities. The White House claims it’s because the private sector can do a better job at cleaning water than the municipal infrastructure can. That’s exactly what happened to Flint, Michigan when Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) replaced a system with a private sector solution to a non-existent problem.
Trump promised Flint he would help them. Instead, he cut their funding and is working to replicate the problem nationwide.
“This budget seems to really go after the people that got the president elected,” said Zack Clark of the National Farmers Union.
You can watch Easterling’s story here.