Before I delve into my take-down of the Daily beast, let me just start with some straight up figures. Working class do not vote GOP or Dem. In fact, the majority of the working class just don’t vote. He starts with a lie on working class being wed to the GOP. They are not voting!!!!
One of those things is that working-class voters are motivated to vote for demagogues out of fear for their future. This requires believing that American voters all receive one set of facts, which they are equally adept at processing when of course a sizable minority of voters is undereducated and gets its “facts” from pretend news sources that make things up. But the rules of modern politics, and political reporting, require avoiding words like “undereducated” at all costs, and always underestimating the role that propaganda plays in the consciousness of the electorate. These rules require an assumption that all voters are ultimately making considered choices based on what they think is good for them. Choices we must respect.
The working class do not have time to watch pretend news because the minimum wage is so low, they have to work 3-4 jobs, just to make ends meet. Here is a video no the day in the life of a minimum wage worker:
Except—and here’s the really important part—except when voters are not quite understanding things the way they should. See, the “working-class” voter is the salt of the Earth. He’s a hard-working, lunch pail kinda guy, a decent, honorable relic of another time, who nonetheless might just be a little slow on the uptake when it comes to figurin’ and such. Shut up he’s not a racist. He’s a good man, who’s got plenty o’ smarts, just not the kind city folk might have. All he needs is Chris Hayes or Bernie Sanders to walk him through a few things, do a little wonksplaining about TPP or Dodd-Frank, and then he’ll get it. Then he’ll understand that what he’s actually mad about is late-stage capitalism, not the thugs and leeches next door.
This kind of demonization of the poor worked out very badly for other people in History. See Marie Antoinette. After some more classist demonization of the “untouchable caste”, the write goes off on making up his history.
Weird, I know! Remember the 1950s? The greatest economic boom in history, the time when the white working class had it better than they ever had before? Strangely it did nothing to at all to slow the raging anti-Semitism, homophobia, and fear of “communists” exhibited by the white working class during the McCarthy Era. Just as the widespread, sustained prosperity of the 60s and 70s somehow didn’t keep them from voting for Richard Nixon and George Wallace in huge numbers, or from rioting against school integration in the North. Huh.
Yes. In the 1950s, the white working class had it better than say in the 1900s. But that’s like comparing life under feudalism vs life not under feudalism. LOW HANGING FRUIT!
The second measure of idiocy: McCarthyism was a crackdown on unions that helped the white-working class. Most white working class were very much pro-union, socialists back then!
His contempt for the poor is irritating, and the man has forgotten his lesson from history. Bolsheviks
But it’s not about racism, it’s not about fear of “the other.” Racial animus, you see, is actually misdirected rage at the elites, and the discussion of it is foisted upon the public as a distraction by bourgeois liberals who lack the Real Left’s brave, clear-eyed appreciation for the economic anxiety that fuels it. Or something.
Once again, see life on minimum wage! Ofcourse they have economic anxiety!
This is not only wrong, it’s of course guilty of the very thing it warns against. The same economic determinists who see the calling out of racism as condescending feel no compunction when it comes to lecturing the proles about where their real economic interests lie. They’re forever reframing the debate as a problem of messaging, of getting the right information to voters and helping them understand the sources of their deprivation and potential rescue. More importantly, they are forever centering the “concerns” of the white working class despite their relatively unimportant role in the electorate.
Advocate for separate bathrooms for the poor already. Again, this is a man who is probably very very wealthy who dismisses the concerns of the poor like food, water, and shelter.
White working-class men and their supposed rage at institutions are always the “defining story” of an election. The fact that, in this election season, the economy is doing very well, that it’s been adding jobs for the longest sustained period since World War II, that unemployment is below 5 percent, the deficit has been cut in half in the last seven years, that Obamacare is more successful that we had a right to expect, that the President’s approval ratings are the highest they’ve been since early 2009, and that the presidential candidate representing a continuation of his policies is outpolling her paranoid opponent by large and sometimes huge margins among every demographic group except white men…all these things mean nothing. The real story is now and forever Hard Times in the Heartland, Where They’re Not Racist, But.
For economics-obsessed pundits and political operatives, it’s not just narrow-minded to ignore the realities of the working-class vote, it’s bad punditry and politics. If you think it’s important to avoid “condescending” to white working-class voters in order to persuade them to vote for Hillary Clinton, you are living in a time when Democrats were afraid to say the words “gun control” or “minimum wage.” Those days are over. The voters you romanticize are not persuadable, and they haven’t been for a very long time. The Democrats don’t need them, they shouldn’t want them and they should once and for all stop coddling them.Some things are deserving of contempt and condescension. Racism is one of those things.