Friday, 9 November 2018

Trump: The White, Male, Losers’ Liberator Wins Again.

Tin Drummers: Things have changed for the white, male, American loser. Now he understands the reasons why he failed. Now he knows that it wasn’t his fault. Donald Trump told him that the game was rigged from the start: designed to make losers out of people exactly like himself.

VERY LITTLE on this earth can match the agony of being trapped inside your own skin. To be aware that you are not what those whose opinions you respect wanted you to be. Your parents, your family, your pastor, your teachers, your boss, your friends: all of them at one time or another believed in you; thought you had what it took to succeed. Except you didn’t succeed, you failed. You are not a winner, you’re a loser. A loser trapped inside his own skin.

America is full of losers trapped in their own skins. Angry, lonely, unwell, poor, white and male: and many of them beholden to people they despise. Like the petite, close-cropped, college-educated public servant whose good opinion the unemployed, former-warehouse-worker who never graduated from high-school has to retain in order to remain fed and housed. Like the overweight black woman at the second-hand clothing store who gives him “that look” whenever he enters the building wearing his coat with the confederate shoulder patches. Like the Latino dispenser of the pure “black tar” heroin he’s become addicted to ever since the supply of prescription opioids dried up. These are the people who make up the loser’s cast of “Them”. Until recently, there had been no “Us”.

But things have changed for this American loser. Now he understands the reasons why he failed. Now he knows that it wasn’t his fault. The game was rigged from the start: designed to make losers out of people exactly like himself.

Was it his fault the factories and warehouses either moved offshore or got automated? Was it his fault the badly-assembled scaffolding on the building site failed to prevent him falling and wrecking his back? Was it his fault the big pharmaceutical companies convinced so many doctors that opioid painkillers like Oxycontin were non-addictive? Nothing he did caused any of these things to happen, but he’s the one who was left to pay the price. He lost – but he’s not a loser. Thanks to Donald Trump he’s become something much more acceptable – a victim.

It’s why he loves Trump. It’s why he’s willing to forgive his President just about anything. Because Trump has made him feel free in his own skin. His own male skin. His own white skin. His own straight skin. His own “poorly educated” skin.

What’s more – much more – the President has alerted this guy to the way in which the system has been rigged to the advantage of just about everyone except him. Look at how much help has gone to women and minorities. Look at the way the college-educated have grabbed all the best jobs for themselves and their kids. Look at the faces of these “professionals” whenever you step into one of their bright, airy offices. How do they make you feel? Like you belong to a whole different species – an inferior species? Just think of the way the media makes all this seem right and proper. Think of how the hero of just about every TV series is a woman, or a black, or a gay, or all three at once! And how the bad guys in all these dramas tend to be white, working-class males: rednecks, trailer-trash, deplorables. People just like himself.

That’s why the media hate the President and are always telling lies about him. Because he’s seen through their game. He knows whose interests they serve. He knows who’s picking up the tab. He knows how far they’re willing to go prevent him from telling the Americans they’ve branded losers that they and their country can be great again. When he calls them “enemies of the people”, the people know exactly what he’s talking about.

Making America great again: that’s what its all about. Except Trump has done much more than that. Not only has he transformed the losers into victims, but he has also turned them into Americans again. Real Americans: small-town Americans who live in the states that the privileged fly over on the way to the “left coasts”. Americans who can strip a car engine down to its component parts, figure out what’s wrong, and reassemble it again all on their own, or with the help of a couple of buddies. Americans who can track a buck through the woods and fell it with a single shot from their daddy’s deer rifle. Americans who still know all the words of the Lord’s Prayer. Americans who served their country in Afghanistan and Iraq. Who looked their country’s enemies in the eye – and pulled the trigger.

In short, what Trump has done is create for the angry, the lonely, the unwell, the poor, the white and the male the “Us” that had been missing from their lives. Not forgetting the “Them” they had always known to be out there but who, until Trump, had been little more than the vague and indistinct shapes featured in Republican Party attack ads. By bringing the losers back into the “Us” and by bringing the “Them” into much sharper focus, Trump has created an extremely powerful political force.

Oh sure, it is possible to defeat Trump’s candidates at the district level and reclaim control of the House of Representatives. But, as progressive America discovered to its horror on 6 November 2018, the real power lies not in the districts but with the states. It is the state which is entitled to two senators – regardless of whether it contains four or forty million voters. And, in 2020, it will be the states dispatching their electors to the Electoral College – which chooses the President of the United States of America.

Trump’s “Us” may not be as numerous as the “Them” he has created for his followers to hate, but, as he demonstrated in 2016, they don’t have to be. What counts is where your supporters are located and how determined they are to cast their votes. Having freed so many white, poorly-educated American males from the agony of perceived personal failure: having cleared their consciences; restored their pride; and stoked their fears; Donald Trump has the American Republic exactly where he wants it – and needs it – to be.

This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Thursday, 8 November 2018.

21 comments:

Nick J said...

Nice analysis Chris. I'd contend that this is where the identity politics of sacred victimhood end up, there's no more possible identities left to be new victims. Masterstroke from Trump.

I have called endlessly since Trump was elected for a clean out of the Democrats and for broad based non identity politics. Seems they have learned nothing as the mid terms indicate.

Tom Hunter said...

You'll both probably enjoy reading this then. Marxists against Wokeness.

The start of the article may have you wondering about the title, as it reviews a review from the The New Yorker of a recent horror movie, but you'll soon see the point of that, what with the focus on the movie's white, rural family dealing with "dark monsters" and all.

From there on it focuses mainly on CLR James. But let's face it, comments like this...

‘In my youth we lived according to the tenets of Matthew Arnold… we studied the best that there was in literature in order to transmit it to the people — as we thought, the poor, backward West Indian people… I didn’t learn literature… bathing on the shore and getting the sun of the colonial countries; I set out to master the literature, philosophy, and ideas of Western civilisation. That is where I have came from, and I would not pretend to be anything else.’

... would see him destroyed in the Left's modern Struggle Sessions, and his black, Trinadadian skin would not save him.

pat said...

So close and yet so far

3 Links to ponder

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/equality

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elite

https://braveneweurope.com/mark-blyth-why-people-vote-for-those-who-work-against-their-best-interests

Guerilla Surgeon said...

" Seems they have learned nothing as the mid terms indicate."
Considering that this is the biggest Democratic party gain since Nixon was impeached, I think that that statement leaves a lot to be desired. Particularly as there are still a few undecided seats. Looks like the Republicans will only gain one Senate seat instead of the three to six they were expecting. Looks like the Democrats will get 37 seats in the house, and all this in spite of a shitload of Republican gerrymandering which was meant to make this all impossible. Not to mention voter turnout, although meager by New Zealand standards was some of the highest in years, particularly for a mid term. Personally I still think they need a shake up the Democrats, but let's not pretend they haven't done something pretty respectable here. They were never going to win the Senate anyway, and they've made a lot of gains at the state level – winning back 300 of the thousand seats that were lost under Obama.

I'm not sure that the "look" directed at someone with Confederate flag patches on their jacket by a black woman actually passes muster either. I somehow don't think too many black people these days care to give white people of whatever status a "look" they may well be shot for looking while black. On the other hand, black people routinely have the police called on them for simply being black.

I'll hold off on the sarcastic remarks about "identity politics" yet again, I'm in a good mood. I will say this though, demographics being as they are, identity politics are going to work for the Democrats. And the object is to win right?

Kat said...

NZ is no different, we had eight years of one John Key, the weasel of weasels. But now we have the polar opposite in Jacinda Ardern and my friends in the USA are jealous. Same in Australia. Life is on track again in Aotearoa and the years of tears between Big Norm and Kind Jacinda are rapidly receding.

sumsuch said...

Good point. Sales over unpleasant reality. America is sales.

Finally, the White Republican males have gouged a better deal for themselves from the leaders of their party. Logical. Why didn't anyone predict their voters wouldn't sit still forever while the rich gave themselves humungous tax cuts and nowt else? Their reward must come from somewhere. The poor, weak and sick suggests.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Forgot. Nixon resigned under threat of impeachment. :)

Tom Hunter said...

Considering that this is the biggest Democratic party gain since Nixon was impeached,

But unlike 1974 where the Democrats already held the house, this time the GOP were already in charge of the House with a majority, so the turnaround by the Democrats will yield them little. Since most of the House seats are now at 100% votes counted, it seems that the Democrats will control 229 seats, a net gain of 36, compared with 206 for Republicans, giving them a majority of 11 seats.

The smallest Democrat majority since the session of 1943-45. Good luck getting much done with that.

And a quick point: that 1974 result came after the Democrats had controlled the House for twenty years. They would go on to control it for another twenty years until the wave election of 1994 saw them finally turfed from power. Talk about a One Party State - but I never heard any Democrat complain about that.

Tom Hunter said...

I will say this though, demographics being as they are, identity politics are going to work for the Democrats. And the object is to win right?

Chuckle. I hope Democrats keep telling themselves that. They ignored the Tea Party Surprise in 2010. Demographics were on their side, they told themselves after Barack win in 2008. Soon, white people would be a plurality in the United States.

What they overlooked is that won't happen for another 30 years. That's a long time to be out of power.

And of course that assumes that African-Americans will continue to vote 95% for Democrats, even as they live on Democrat plantations in shitholes like Baltimore, West-side Chicago, Philadelphia, Compton and a hundred other ghettos, dependent on welfare.

And it also assumes that Latinos will automatically jump to the "racist" taunt - except they voted for Trump in proportions not far short of GW Bush (who got some 40%), despite all the supposed "racism". Perhaps, like the Latino unions of the early 1960's who publically opposed illegal immigration, they're not keen on being displaced or having their wages screwed down by such "workers". Not to mention that they're a lot more supportive of the military than most Democrat activists, and a lot more socially conservative, so there's only so far the Democrat Left can push on those issues.

But the biggest joke about this rainbow coalition nonsense is how dependent the Democrats are on White "Liberals" in their gated communities and schools. It's notable that Occasional Cortex got her highest support from these White Bantustans in her district, while more multicultural parts voted for her old-time Democrat opponent.

Yet these are the same White groups that have developed a full-on hatefest against Major DeBlasio's plans to abolish school entrance tests and thereby get more Black and Latino kids into these largely White and Asian schools. They vote for Democrat policies but practice the opposite in their everyday lives.

The guilt and shaming tactics used to deliver such virtue signalling voting will only work with these Whites up to the point where they begin to feel the effects personally. Push too far and 2010 could come to be regarded as a ripple.

Oh - and on that note I see that the solid Democrat state of Washington - still rejected a Carbon Tax in a referendum buried in this election, the third time they've done that.

John Hurley said...

It sounds like you are blaming low IQ white for their low IQ Chris?
The elephant in the room of Democrat success in the House of Representatives in demographic change (60 million migrants since the 1990's compared to China's < 2000).
The low IQ (lower whites) suffer from a lack of economic confidence and rely on ethnic bonds (as social species do). Think of the English Working Class: they were the bowmen at Agincourt and so were part of the story - since abandoned for "diversity"

Wayne Mapp said...

Chris,

Surely you have painted an extreme picture of the typical Trump supporter, though I guess you are seeking to illustrate the person who has been "flipped' from Democrat to Republican, albeit with a lurid example.

Anyway from what I see when I go to the US, the typical non wealthy supporter of Trump is doing quite a lot better than you indicate. They are more likely to be skilled tradespeople, who probably did serve in the military, are keen on football and NASCAR, and might own a Harley as a personal recreation vehicle.

In Auckland parlance, "Westies", but not the crims portrayed in the Wests (who wouldn't vote anyway).

From my experience as North Shore MP, this group were/are usually reliable National voters. The last ten years has been good for them and their families. Lots of work in construction and related trades. Many of them, once they are 30 or so, are self employed with two or three younger people in their team. I guess incomes of around $150,000 are pretty typical. Little patience for unions and political correctness.

This group is deeply concerned about the quality of healthcare, schools and policing. Government failure there can flip their vote. I was particularly diligent in making sure North Shore schools had plenty of new classrooms and technology. Visited all of them at least twice a year. Also that North Shore hospital got plenty of new investment. I was always petitioning for new police officers by producing lots of stats on police per head of population and crime clearance rates.

Maybe the US is more dysfunctional than NZ (in a social sense) with more drug dependency, poorer education and worse futures. But when I go there it is clear that there is prosperity spread across a lot of people in pretty conventional jobs.

Is the underclass in the US larger than in NZ? Well, the poor do look poorer, reflecting the fact the US has a much worse social safety net than NZ.

greywarbler said...

I looked up your links pat.
Good to think on.
Equality is the same status, rights, and responsibilities for all the members of a society, group, or family. Collins

As an older person who has Gold Card and special rates for movies, transport I don't think it shows equality when young young people, especially young mothers trying to raise children receive little special consideration for their needs. They get no gold card for public transport for themselves and their brood. They don't get help from a service that helps freely and kindly when required, they would enjoy having classes on childraising and managing a house and money, where there was a creche and playground and transport from and back home. Instead they get grudging help, demands, controls and furious contempt when they go outside the set square. Older people may live long with lots of medical help while parents may not get any. Older people may live one-third of their lives on a pension and please themselves what they do, society is solicitous about them. So there is no equality in society while these two groups are treated so unequally. And of course we have managed our society so long like this with the inevitable bad outcomes for us all. Where are our brains, and where our practicality. Auden says it "Those to whom evil is done. Do evil in return." Now that's a sort of equality.

In political and sociological theory, the elite (French élite, from Latin eligere) are a small group of powerful people who hold a disproportionate amount of wealth, privilege, political power, or skill in a society. Defined by the Cambridge Dictionary, the "elite" are "those people or organizations that are considered the best or most powerful compared to others of a similar type." Wikipedia

We have dropped in equality here in NZ in skill training and our general education is poor and not up to the task of understanding modern social and political conditions. It is almost as if the government serves mainly those who already have wealth and privilege. It doesn't want or need a society that is upwardly mobile with higher education and a grasp of philosophy; it wishes to limit its expenditure on humanities subjects and concentrate on vocational and science-ready ends. And then for the vocational side it has left training for jobs and skills to business which is known to be focussed and will organise the supply of training it needs. But business is focussed on efficiency all right; resulting in larger profit and monetary reward for its elite. So business has chosen efficiency for itself and has imported cheaper labour, already educated and trained overseas. Efficiency for the effective running of the country has been abandoned by decades of neo liberal governments, with inequality and poor outcomes for vast numbers of citizens.

KJT said...

Apparently the bulk of Trump supporters, where not the "white working class", but the white middle to upper middle classes. From US exit polls. But don't let the facts, and imagined superiority of the "educated", over working classes, spoil a good story.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Chuckle. "
Chuckle all you like, the Republicans have just had their arses handed to them in the biggest Democratic victory since Nixon. And all this in spite of the desperate efforts the Republicans are made to gerrymander and suppress the vote. And a lot of these victories have been made down ballot where the decisions are made on redistricting. So in the absence of – mostly – a disinterested party setting the electoral boundaries, some of this gerrymandering is going to be reversed.
And you can sneer all you like at the hypocrisy of the middle classes who voted Democrat. Some of them at least do it because they want to see poorer people get some of the advantages they have, particularly medical care. (They can do this because there is simply no left in the US compared to the rest of the world – even New Zealand.) And given that the Republicans want to cut that yet again, because they are blaming it for the budget blowout when they should be blaming their tax cuts, I suspect that's going to have at least some marginal effect on Trump's support. Although I think most of Trump's support by now is not actually based on reason or self interest. Just anger. And these angry people are both in a minority and getting fewer, and may well be persuaded that a vote for Trump is not actually in their interests. I think it will take some sort of shock – like increased premiums or losing their medical coverage to do this. Still, we live in hope.

Tom Hunter said...

some of this gerrymandering is going to be reversed

It certainly is going to be in Maryland after this court order, the best summary of which is this one:

Over the past half century, Democratic governors and legislatures in Annapolis brazenly carved congressional and legislative districts into partisan enclaves, turning what was once an evenly divided eight-member congressional delegation into today’s seven-to-one advantage for Democrats. State legislative districts were manipulated, too, giving Democrats veto-proof supermajorities in both houses of the legislature.

Consider the 2010 redistricting process, managed by former governor O’Malley. Former Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens called the resulting congressional-district map “outrageously unconstitutional.”

Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post ranked Maryland’s third congressional district “the second-most gerrymandered” district in America. A federal judge described the its jagged contours as “a broken-winged pterodactyl, lying prostrate across the center of the state.”

Only when compelled under oath in federal court did O’Malley admit to using the redistricting process for partisan gain at the expense of equal representation.


Given the one-party state that is Illinois, there's probably not much chance of fixing this abortion either, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois%27s_4th_congressional_district#/media/File:Illinois_US_Congressional_District_4_(since_2013).tif>Illinois 4th district</a href>

A broken horseshoe lying prostrate across the city of Chicago.

Good for Democrats though so of no concern to GOP haters.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Over the past half century, Democratic governors and legislatures in Annapolis brazenly carved congressional and legislative districts into partisan enclaves,"
A great bit of whataboutism there. But I think you'll find that in the last decade particularly the Republicans have had far more opportunity to gerrymander than the Democrats. And of course, sometimes they do cooperate to favour incumbents.

"Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania consistently have the most extreme levels of partisan bias. Collectively, the distortion in their maps has accounted for seven to ten extra Republican seats in each of the three elections since the 2011 redistricting, amounting to one-third to one-half of the total partisan bias across the states we analyzed."

"States where Democrats had sole control of redistricting have high partisan bias within state congressional delegations, but the relatively small number of districts in these states creates a much smaller effect on partisan bias in the House overall."

So even though the intention might be the same in both parties, the effects certainly are not.
And I notice you didn't mention voter suppression.

'...officials in Jefferson County last week ordered a group of African-American senior citizens off a bus taking them to an early-voting site, on the ground that the transportation, which had been organized by the nonpartisan group Black Voters Matter, was a “political activity.” '
Republicans are really good at this too.

Good try though.

Tom Hunter said...

A great bit of whataboutism there

It's called the application of consistent standards, which I'm sure discomfits you in your everyday life, where you're far happier with the Leftist world of Rules For Thee, But Not For Me, on any issue one cares to name.

You did not give a source, but Michigan and Pennsylvania have been dominated at the State level - where gerrymandering is done - by the Democrats for the better part of two decades. And they're not exactly powerless in North Carolina either.

No I did not mention "voter suppressson" because it is merely another great hobgoblin: one more angle on the endless Democrat scream that their opponents are "racists", in the hope of keeping Blacks and Latinos trapped on the Democrat plantation. But since you've raised it again, I would point you to a 2016 article by a deeply worried Democrat The God That Failed:

If you look at turnout rates as reported by the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey dating back to 2002, African-American rates have always lagged Republican rates by around five points, give or take (though if you control for socioeconomic status, African-Americans are more likely to vote than whites). This was true in 2010 as well as 2014. The exceptions were 2008 and 2012, when African-American turnout rates exceeded white rates.

Only because Obama was running. So no evidence that the Black vote is actually being suppressed by GOP efforts to clean up electoral roles, Voter-ID, and vote-counting methods. As usual it's down to the candidate. Same with Latino voters, where Trump actually out-performed Romney, not to mention this from that article:

... over the long term, the Hispanic vote has gradually become more Republican (Bill Clinton, Michael Dukakis, Jimmy Carter and George McGovern all won larger shares of the Hispanic vote than Obama did in 2012), and that Hispanics become more Republican as they move from the border to the burbs, and that Hispanic immigration has for now leveled off, it may also be the case that the Republican share of this vote will grow.

The funny thing is that it actually requires a racist belief to assume that people of color will inevitably vote alike. But then that certainly fits with the history of the Democrats.

The good news is that since the GOP has won four out of eight elections since Judis's “The Emerging Democratic Majority” was published - a theory which you clearly have swallowed and never thought about - even Judis has abandoned it.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"The funny thing is that it actually requires a racist belief to assume that people of color will inevitably vote alike. But then that certainly fits with the history of the Democrats."

If they don't think that people of a particular ethnic group although it all the same why are the Republicans trying to stop them voting. There are very few black Republicans, just as there are very few log cabin Republicans, because Republicans consistently legislate in favour of the wealthy whites. And they are decreasing as a proportion of the population. So basically the only way that the Republicans are going to be able to win in the future is by essentially cheating. Which they do much more than the Democrats and much better than the Democrats. I notice you completely ignore the figures I gave which showed this but par for the course.
And it's not just us evil leftists who are looking at this. There are enough Republicans and ex-Republicans – proper Republicans – who are appalled by what is happening. But I guess you're content in your little right wing bubble, where the idea is that government should be small – yet you are happy to have it interfering in the rights of minorities and women. Not to mention Republicans are a hive of political correctness. :)

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Incidentally, whataboutism is not just about applying consistent standards, particularly as I did not deny that the Democrats do it too. It's just about deciding you have no argument, and then shouting "Oh but they do it to!" Perhaps you should concentrate on the war on Christmas, you might have more luck there..

Tom Hunter said...

... the wealthy whites. And they are decreasing as a proportion of the population.

You obviously did not read the article I linked to at all, by a Democrat who has realised that the conclusions drawn by the likes of you have hurt the Democrat Party. Not that I'm complaining about that. I have other more detailed articles too - not from Right-wing sources - but it's probably wasted on you. With Latinos trending more Republican over the decades I don't think the GOP are too concerned about suppressing their vote.

Curtailing classic Democrat cheating like 1960 Chicago and Texas on the other hand, is a ripe target.

I notice you completely ignore the figures I gave which showed this but par for the course.
I don't accept figures without a source so that I can investigate it and look at their assumptions and calculation methods. You provided no such source. But some DuckDuckGo time revealed that your source is The Brennan Center, and what do I see? Ah yes - the "efficiency gap" calculation. That computational junk was shown up with this straight-forward analysis by the Weekly Standard:

Consider the case of Illinois over the last decade. In 2002, Republicans controlled the state senate and governorship while Democrats controlled the state house. Since neither party had full authority, a bipartisan redistricting plan was hatched that protected incumbents of both parties. And yet, according to the efficiency gap, this redistricting was a Republican gerrymander.

Fast forward to 2012. Democrats by that point had taken complete control of the state government and put together one of the most aggressively partisan gerrymanders in the country. And yet, according to the efficiency gap, the map tilted just slightly toward the Democrats.


And with only that "slight tilt" in the bogus "efficiency gap" stat towards the Democrats, they somehow managed to gain and keep overwhelming control of Illinois. That simple observation should have sent the Brennan Center back to their computers, since they're a "non-partisan" group (wink).

Moreover, since gerrymandering is done at the State level after the decadal census, and since it has only been in the last six years that the GOP controlled more state governments than Democrats did for the first time in decades, that too is another of your baseless assertions.

And again I point out that you obviously did not read the article I linked to, which demonstrated that turnout % for Blacks and Lations show that "GOP voter suppression" is also a myth.

Which they do much more than the Democrats and much better than the Democrats.
Of political races in the last thirty years I can think of only two where the GOP candidate made up and then passed the Democrat with post-election counting. In all other cases it's been the opposite, which violates probability and means it's more likely that the Democrats cheated. And don't waste my time trying to argue about Florida 2000: Bush led and the Supreme Court stopped the Democrats from violating Florida law in their "recount" - a stunt we see them trying to pull again in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

and ex-Republicans – proper Republicans...
Of course. To you, the only good Republican is an ex-Republican. Something to remember the next time you think you can lecture somebody on simple-minded, ignorant bigotry. I look forward to it. Tell me about "bubbles" again.

Tom Hunter said...

Oh - and then there's this:

In 2011, an independent redistricting commission drew lines in California and a bipartisan commission with a public interest “swing vote” drew lines in New Jersey.

In 2013, Republican candidates for the New Jersey assembly won 51% of the vote, but only 32 (40%) of 80 seats.

In 2014, Democratic U.S. House candidates won 57% of votes in California’s 53 U.S. House races, but 74% of seats.


In the latter case, by my count, that gives the Democrats an advantage of 9 US House seats in California. Funny how the Brennan Centre missed that in its summary and focused only on supposed GOP advantages from gerrymandering.

And obviously even "independent" and "bipartisan" commissions fail. Yes, both sides do it, but like all Leftists you insist that even if the halo is tarnished it still rightly belongs to the Left, in claiming that the GOP are worse than the Democrats at gerrymandering.

Because of course.