"Me and Bobby McGee" is a song written by American singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson and originally performed by Roger Miller. Fred Foster shares the writing credit, as Kristofferson intended. A posthumously released version by Janis Joplin topped the U.S. singles chart in 1971, making the song the second posthumously released No. 1 single in U.S. chart history after "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding. Jerry Lee Lewis also released a version reaching number 1 on the country charts in 1971. Billboard ranked Joplin's version as the No. 11 song for 1971.
To a large degree, this song helps to explain Trump supporters, and here is why:
Trump managed to capture a large percentage of the evangelical vote by convincing them that he was a holy man, but there is another group that voted heavily for Trump: white people without a college degree.
- Almost two-thirds of whites without a college degree voted for Trump in 2016, and they are still among the largest voting blocs in the country. But the gap between them and other more Democratic-leaning groups is shrinking.
This group's precarious financial position caused them to switch sides in 2016. Trump picked up 13% of the people who had voted for Obama in 2012, but Hillary only picked up 4% of the people who had voted for Romney.
Donald Trump and white men over 40 without a college degree share a common belief: Something is wrong in America, and others are to blame.
Many of these men feel angry and defiant, believing that there are serious, unjust disparities in wealth and power in the U.S. They are correct about the income disparities, with 40 percent of American wealth owned by 1% of the population. Unhappy with their status in life, including their economic situation and social standing, these men blame liberals and minorities for the injustices negatively affecting their lives.
And here is where Bobby McGee comes in:
"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose
Nothing, I mean nothing, honey if it isn't free, no no
Yeah feeling good was easy Lord, when he sang the blues
You know feeling good was good enough for me
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee"
The poor and uneducated are not more likely to join extremist movements, according to experts. Two professors a couple of years ago found the opposite in one example: an unexpectedly high number of engineers who became Islamist radicals.
In the Capitol attack, business owners and white-collar workers made up 40 percent of the people accused of taking part, according to a study by the Chicago Project on Security and Threats at the University of Chicago. Only 9 percent appeared to be unemployed.
Nearly 60 percent of the people facing charges related to the Capitol riot showed signs of prior money troubles, including bankruptcies, notices of eviction or foreclosure, bad debts, or unpaid taxes over the past two decades, according to a Washington Post analysis of public records for 125 defendants with sufficient information to detail their financial histories.
Even the lady who flew in on her private jet (Jenna Ryan) is in dire straits. Despite her outward signs of success, Ryan had struggled financially for years. She was still paying off a $37,000 lien for unpaid federal taxes when she was arrested. She’d nearly lost her home to foreclosure before that. She filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and faced another IRS tax lien in 2010.
Ryan had nearly lost everything. And the stakes seemed similarly high to her when she came to Washington in early January. She fully believed Trump’s false claims that the election was stolen and that he was going to save the country, she said in an interview with The Post.
Trump’s lie that the election was stolen has cost $519 million (and counting). But now — facing federal charges and abandoned by people she considered “fellow patriots” — she said she feels betrayed.
“I bought into a lie, and the lie is the lie, and it’s embarrassing,” she said. “I regret everything.”
The group’s bankruptcy rate — 18 percent — was nearly twice as high as that of the American public, The Post found. A quarter of them had been sued for money owed to a creditor. And 1 in 5 of them faced losing their home at one point, according to court filings.
“I think what you’re finding is more than just economic insecurity but a deep-seated feeling of precarity about their personal situation,” said Cynthia Miller-Idriss, a political science professor who helps run the Polarization and Extremism Research Innovation Lab at American University, reacting to The Post’s findings. “And that precarity — combined with a sense of betrayal or anger that someone is taking something away — mobilized a lot of people that day.”
The face of the crowd, Jake Agelli, is 33 years old and still lives with his mother because he does not make enough money to live on his own.