Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hate Mail - No, Trumpism Isn't A Product Of "Ignorant Trailer Trash"

For crying out loud.  The American post-war intelligentsia has been glorying in and wallowing in and promoting the lowest of vulgarity, the culture of porn and stupidty as the equivalent of high culture for decade upon decade and now that we have a big fat, gross example of that elected to the presidency, NOW, NOW YOU'RE WHINING ABOUT HOW VULGAR IT IS?  

Through RMJ and rustypickup this morning, I got to this great article by Kathryn Lofton which has this observation:

To begin, the work of explaining Trump has already been done. The sheer tonnage of analysis on Trump outpaces any other modern presidential candidate, not merely because of his own peculiarity but also because of the seizing algorithmic enormity of the internet, where the long-form essay on Trump has become a rite of passage for anyone with a byline. Nearly every account of Trump’s success works economics into their explanation, arguing that those who favor him are those who have experienced the negative effects of globalization, and the corresponding economic anxiety and stagnant median wages of 21st-century life. Oh, yes: and those refugee flows from the Middle East, bringing with them the toxic two-step of potential terrorist cells and low-wage competition for jobs. (It is unclear which is worse: the immigrant as cheap labor or the immigrant as suicide bomber.)

The problem with this economic theory of Trumpism is that no evidence supports it. Hard numbers complicate the argument that income or education levels predict Trump support, or that working-class whites support him disproportionately. The results of 87,000 interviews conducted by Gallup showed that those who liked Trump were under no more economic distress or immigration-related anxiety than those who opposed him. Moreover, Trump supporters don’t have lower incomes or higher unemployment levels than other Americans.

The religionists are nodding. Not because we necessarily knew those statistics, but because we’ve been through this before. There is no religious movement in human history that has not been explained by outsiders to it through recourse to economics. People are always assuming that if you believe in Marian apparitions, throw yourself on a funeral pyre, pray five times a day, or speak in tongues, you do so because you’re poor and hungry for epic consequence, or because you’re poor and want to pay obeisance to omnipotent powers who could make you otherwise. Such observers think religious activities are done by the desperate to compensate through immaterial means for material lack. Many of them, using Marx weakly, often dragoon him to their case.

It just isn’t so. Earlier this year, primary exit polls revealed that Trump voters were, in fact, more affluent than most Americans, with a median household income of $72,000—higher than that of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders supporters. Forty-four percent of them had college degrees, well above the national average of 33 percent among whites or 29 percent overall. These facts haven’t stopped pundits and journalists from pushing story after story about the white working class’s giddy embrace of Trump. We like that story, because it comforts us into believing that a liberal education begets liberal political thinking, and that a living wage could soothe the vulnerable. It’s harder to understand why the world-class physicist is also an evangelical, or why the college-educated Army officer is voting for Trump.

And that is worth reading more than anything I've written on the subject and almost everything else I've read this past year. It is better than everything I've read from Thomas Frank or any of the other secular lefty analysts.  

The fault isn't with poor white people, the problem is greedy people and they abound among the clean, well-dressed, manicured elite.  Though it certainly doesn't incline people to vote for people who they know look down on them.  If there is one group I would like to purge from the public conception of the left, of liberals it is the kind of people who think of poor people as "trailer trash".  You're not liberals, you're a tool of the fascist elite.  You love to wallow in low brow vulgarity and then you turn around and declare your superiority to it.   College- trained and credentialed trash is what got us here, not people without power.  

1 comment:

  1. Don't you remember it was the poor people who caused the housing crisis which caused the Great Recession?

    Same as it ever was.....