Monday, May 20

‘Cheers’ star declares why he thinks working-class Americans support Trump: ‘He knows how to build things’

“Cheers” star and voice actor in the “Toy Story” franchise, John Ratzenberger, spoke to Fox News Digital about his support for former President Donald Trump, stating that the president is a builder who knows how important it is for America to have a resurgence in manufacturing and skilled labor jobs.

Ratzenberger, who made a living from carpentry in between acting gigs over the years, also explained why he believes the 2024 presidential candidate has a lot of support among American manufacturers and blue-collar workers – or as Ratzenberger likes to call them, “essential workers.”

“Because he knows how to build things,” Ratzenberger declared.

“Don’t forget what he did before he was on television and ran for president. He built buildings, so he was in charge of, ‘We need more glaziers or brick workers or carpenters, electricians.’ And that’s what he dealt with all his life,” he said.

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The actor added, “And so he knows probably better than anybody – one of the reasons that I’m a fan of his – that we’re running out of those people, and it’s jeopardizing our civilization.”

As Ratzneberger noted, both he and Trump value skilled laborers and see the current shortage of workers with manufacturing skills. He went so far as to say that the general inexperience among younger generations of being able to build and fix things is a serious problem for the future of the country.

“For the last 20 years. I’ve been going around the country giving speeches and talks to anybody that’ll listen: really big organizations, I’ve gone to Congress twice, you know, to blow my clarion call, to say, ‘Folks, we’ve got to wake up,’” he declared.

The current lack of manufacturing and skilled labor jobs in America has reached a critical point, especially in the years post-COVID-19. 

According to a 2024 report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute (MI), as many as 3.8 million additional employees will be needed in the manufacturing sector between 2024 and 2033 as current workers retire or change careers and new roles in the industry are created. However, only a fraction of that need may be met.

The report predicts that as many as half, or 1.9 million jobs, could remain unfilled if manufacturers aren’t able to address the skills and applicant gaps. Failing to fill those jobs could dim the prospects for companies to achieve future growth plans and hurt the U.S. manufacturing industry’s global competitiveness.

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“But that, that’s my fear, that the civilization will grind again, and can grind to a halt, because we’ve neglected to teach our children how to use tools,” Ratzenberger added, noting how he has been shocked to see people “who are 30, 40 years old who don’t know how to hang a picture on a wall. I’ve seen it.”

The actor explained his view that this has happened because Americans “started looking down our nose at people who worked with their hands.”

Much of this cultural shift, he said, came with life being “easier.” 

“So, the easier things got, and the less people need to do those things, the less things we learned,” he explained, adding that “there’s certainly a lot of helpless people wandering around today.”

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The actor stressed that the country needs to improve its perception of skilled laborers, something he does personally in the way he refers to them. 

“I avoid the term blue collar worker and just use essential worker,” Ratzenberger said, adding, “They’re essential… All the upper echelon elites couldn’t function without the essential workers.”

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