Now that Donald Trump has Won


#1186

I read an enlightening essay that culminated in this very specific explanation of why white voters are so shitty.

…white working-class voters see a zero-sum battle for attention and sympathy in which caring about immigrants’ problems means neglecting their own.


#1187

At least some of it, I think, is desperation and despair. I grew up in a place mired in rural poverty, with one major source of employment - it’s the kind of place with one of Trump’s major demographics. With no way to succeed, you find yourself fighting off depression. You normalize it so that you don’t have to be reminded of it.

And when all of your neighbors are in your same circumstances, you feel a sort of camaraderie. You perpetuate the myth of hard work leading to success, because hard work is your entire life and you can’t admit that you’re failing or you’ll give up.

That’s not all of it. It doesn’t explain the suburban whites, but it’s at least a chunk of the equation.


#1188

Too bad it isn’t a North-South thing. If it were, it’d be a lot easier. Instead, it’s that white supremacist infection we never completely wiped out, back even stronger and resistant to the old remedies.

Because history & culture as taught to the majority of the population via school, media, and society is white-washed and white supremacist, self-perpetuating, and self-validating. Because compassion, empathy, and collectivism are luxuries when you feel under pressure of survival, a situation created by exploitative economic infrastructure.


#1189

Yeah. I characterize it as the Confederacy being alive and well, but now instead of a definitive border it’s tendrils that have spread everywhere.

I have no idea how to affect a separation, but increasingly I can’t see another fix.


#1190

But when talking about the Confederacy, one draws a geographic border around white citizens that completely ignores the black slaves trapped within.

And the modern equivalent of “let’s bust up the US” similarly ignores the descendants of those slaves, the cause of the problem, and other associated problems (incarceration, law enforcement).


#1191

Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh why you gotta go pointing out the deeper complexities of this issue and defeat my overly-simplified privilege-laden approach?


#1192

You are no fun, girl.

Where’d you grow up, toxic whale shark?

I grew up in North Carolina. I went to chruch, drank Bud Light, raised goats, rode in pickup beds to backwoods swimming holes, shot a few guns, bought dirt weed from South Carolina in gas station parking lots, all that stuff. A lot of people that voted for Trump, voted against Hillary, or just didn’t vote are very close friends of mine. I think some of their views are despicable, but they’re close friends all the same. From this perspective I see cerain angles getting missed by left-leaners on the internet. I can’t convey that as cojently as a New York Times piece but I would like to tell y’all about some of the southerners I know.

I’ll get around to that later, but for now I think the thesis statement will end up being something like this: The left-right intellectual disconnect is bigger than we give it credit for, and our communication problems go way beyond echo chambers.

After thought: that said, every point you guys have made is completely valid as far as I understand things. There’s a whole lot of reasons.


#1193

I agree that the Left and the Right are speaking different languages.

But generally speaking, everything I have seen “well-meaning” Right voters say is based on lies, fears, and some degree of bigotry. Therefore, my attempts to listen to their language have felt futile. And I uh…Don’t do it much anymore.

Also, as for the New York Times…It sucks.


#1194

A tiny town in upstate New York - Crown Point. When I lived there, the population was about 1500. I graduated high school in a class of 27. And we weren’t the smallest around, either.

It’s a strange beast, rural New York. It’s largely untouched by state and national politics. Most people don’t even know it exists - when I tell people I grew up a 2.5 hour drive north of Albany, they think I’m talking about Canada. Few people fit very neatly into any political category, because their concerns are largely focused on a lifestyle that exceedingly few people lead, and that involves a lot of isolation.

So, you get into odd political discussions that are very hypothetical because none of the issues out there actually touch this place. The town was full of casual racism and literally 0 black people. I overheard a classmate once complaining about black people taking jobs, and another classmate literally called them out - “what black people?” It was true. Most people develop political affiliations and ideas in a vaccuum, and these ideas are never really tested or challenged.

The vast majority of politics in the town are centered around the town supervisor, and ages-old clan-like family disputes. Some native identity too, which struck me as odd, but there it is.

Poverty was pretty nasty there. Essex county is in the lowest quarter of New York counties in terms of median family household income. About a quarter of Crown Point lives below the poverty line. The only source of significant employment was the International Paper plant in nearby (ish - like 20 miles away) Ticonderoga.

Really, this chunk of New York has more in common with northwestern Vermont and Quebec than it does with the rest of the state. I knew about Bernie Sanders ages ago, because he was actually a relevant figure in regional politics.

That extreme isolation from the consequences of politics, I think, creates a situation where people treat their votes as meaningless. Nothing ever changes for you, so why not toss your vote at something impossible, right? You’re safe, so you can fuck it up for everyone else and just keep on living your hopeless, depressing, poverty-stricken life.

I miss the scenery, but life there was soul-crushing.


#1195

Like I said :slight_smile:

I was born in Japan, but I’ve lived in a lot of places in the south & eastern US… Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island… and visited many other states. I experienced racism in every single place. Different flavors, different intention, different motivation, but still racism.

I’ve sat through more play-throughs of Proud to be an American than compose that circle of hell; people singing along who have never left their hometown, or seen the rest of the world (and probably never will / can’t), whose concept of Asia is primarily informed by Vietnam war movies. But At Least They Know They Are Free. Or wealthy liberal white men with multiple degrees throwing lavish fundraisers for HRC, and a moment later saying that the Greek philosophers, and their lineage of thought as realized through “Western Civilization” and the Enlightenment, were objectively the best in the entire history of the world. Smells like propaganda.

That’s why I vehemently fight the notion that this is a north-south thing, or an intellectual thing (in case my previous statement was misleading – I think intelligentsia is chronically infested with white supremacy, and significantly hampered by inaccessibility and ties to wealth).


#1196

I grew up in a meth heavy county outside STL full of white kids who understood that racism was wrong in 8th grade and then suddenly they all decided they hated black people in 9th. My “peers” can mostly be divided up into some stereotypical slices.

You have those that have absolutely decided that they were “conservative” or “libertarian” because at some point as a kid the rhetoric sounded good. Maybe familial indoctrination. In some cases people that married “up” in terms of wealth and never had to question it. Some of them are really poor and some of them are even pretty wealthy. At this point it’s part of their identity, their team, whatever. And a lot of them are oblivious to any sort of real issues, like they seem to culturally think everyone is in alignment with them more often than not thanks to the lovely nature of media, especially social media.

You have those people that feel disenfranchised somehow and are in it for their “share” of something. Trump does sound appealing to some of them just because he tells them what they want to hear. You know, the kind of people that don’t make second, third, fourth order thoughts about something like re-branding the ACA as Obamacare or Net Neutrality as Obama’s Attack on Internet Freedom. Maybe they’re a single issue gun voter that genuinely believes they’re coming for your guns in like a… the army shows up at your door sense. Maybe they don’t like being called dumb for their mistakes and this is how they “get back at those people”.

Then you have like… cultural hangers on. And watch. If somehow my state ever flips more blue they’ll jump ships just the same. The people that are red to death when they lived in Jeffco, then liberal in college, then they start working for one of the figurative conservative companies. In terms of game theory they were never playing the game, and they won’t miss a beat. And a lot of what would currently be liberal peers of mine seem to fall into this bloc. They’re extremely pro democrat, pro tolerance, etc at the moment because they’re working in a university town. But under more careful examination a lot of them just seem to be playing to a crowd once again.

Exceptionally few people can I look at and say they have a cohesive political bent based on any sort of base. Try to figure out what their base goal really is. I just don’t think there’s that many people that want to delve into complexity. And at the end of the day a whole lot of money is going to be spent to rattle up people on these easy metrics. Even if things flip sides soon I think the money is just going to be spent cutting the pie a different way. Dredge up new manufactured issues and talking points. Maybe we’ll have a constitutional crisis or something that lets us put into place the rules that wall off some of that influence… but I’m not totally sure it’s even possible. You can legislate that money can’t go into politics and political research certain ways, but can you enforce it? Or is someone miles away from the process still going to spend enough on research or marketing outside of the process to just manipulate what they are going for to happen anyway?


#1197

Americans have several commandments ingrained into their skulls marred by decades of bad education and corporate/political abuse:

  • They are taught that all rich people have earned their wealth fairly and through hard work when it’s been proven that it primarily comes down to lucky wealth/inheiritence. My family is filled with stockbrokers and if you achieve a certain amount of money, you can seriously gaming the system so you won’t be poor

  • All forms of freedom are good, even the ones that are made to take advantage of people or cut-corners on safety/legality. It doesn’t matter if Free Speech can be used for evil, the freedom matters more than people’s lives. (We took a major nosedive in news quality if you research what Reagan did to the Fairness Doctrine)

  • Capitalism is good because it offers variety but socialism bad because foreign. That’s why they can hypocritically hate medicare but rely on it or prepare guns to overthrow the government but demand guns be defended.

  • We uphold old laws for the sake of tradition and questioning tradition is considered harmful.

  • Our success has stemmed from the amount of wars we’ve been in and won. Wars where the conflict continued or we lost like Vietnam don’t count cause they didn’t play fair.

  • Military Power is always needed for fear of losing it. They need all that money for…reasons.

  • Anti-Intellectualism is a valid argument, as is racism/sexism/xenophobia.

  • Division is good as long as it allows us to perform better. (Capitalism, Sports, Jingoism)

Right now I think we’re going through a cultural upheaval where people (primarily white people) have to come to grips with the fact that their decisions and participation in democracy fucking matters and can’t be ignored anymore. No more “I have the right to not vote” or “I don’t like thinking about politics.” Well too bad, you have to confront how bad Trump is because our quality of life is officially going down.

I always think of that study where decades ago, people didn’t mind so much if their partner came from different political affiliated families. Now, we’re incredibly conscious to that. I actually don’t know how much our parents generations have judged their fellow Gen Xers or Baby Boomers for elected Nixon, Reagan, Bush W. considering how fucked up they are. (Or maybe how it’s dealt in other countries?) But Trump is so monstrously fucked up that we can’t “live and let live” when it comes to different political ideas.

Life here sucks but that’s why it’s good to talk to people like Front Row Crew. I’m glad I moved to my college city where there’s shit to do and we care about other people. My small town that’s closed down it’s main factories and is now dealing with meth/unemployment crisises is fading because the government realizes that the small town value isn’t as important as corporate value. A lot of my high school friends want to avoid any discussion of politics but this just can’t be ignored anymore when America is so fractured and so doesn’t care about dealing with problems.

Flint, MI is still out of fucking water.


#1198

I believed you missed one: American exceptionalism. The notion that america is good, righteous, “the home of the brave”. That america as a whole and americans on an individual level are better than the rest of the world and by default always are in the right, and that people criticize american policies or want to bring about change to those are bad and must be opposed, particularly if they aren’t american themselves because america doesn’t let itself be told what to do. This is why the right-wing spent so much time trying to brand Obama as un-american (no-flag lapel pin, Dijon mustard, etc.) and why it put out a conspiracy theory of Obama being a muslim, kenyan secret agent or whatever.


#1199

The fact that people bought into the fact that Donald Trump, who at his core is a New York Elite, is somehow a secret genius who cares about rural/country people shows how willing Americans are gullible to buy into a story as long as it’s against someone else.

Also see:


#1200

I swear to everything that if one more privileged-ass person I know pulls out that whole “DONT GET DISTRACTED THIS IS JUST A SMOKESCREEN LOOK FOR WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON” I’m gonna fuckin’ put my fist through their face.

What’s really going on? A fascist takeover of the United States. You see smoke because everything is on fucking fire. Get your head out of your ass.


#1201

I don’t know if if takeover is the right word. It implies that there’s a small group doing the evil and “taking over” against the will of the majority.

I think it’s more accurately stated as. America is growing more fascist, plain and simple. As you said before. The problem is the people. Everything else is a symptom of the problem.


#1202

Trump has signed an executive order ending the child separation policy, which is odd since he claimed for multiple days that it was impossible for him to do so without legislation brought forth by the democrats.

Worse however is that the zero tolerance policy will still continue. The only difference is that instead of children being separated from parents, they will be put into lock-up alongside their parents. This however has already been ruled illegal by the courts before.

Nothing of this of course changes the fact that he started all of this to use the detainment as children as a political bargaining chip. The man (and I use this term loosely) perpetrated crimes against humanity for political gain. That man is a fucking terrorist.


#1203

Should our side of the aisle shoulder any blame for worsening problems on the right? Can we be part of the solution outside of winning a fight?


#1204

#1205

If by this you mean “Your refusal to meet in the middle on social issues and cede power to the Christian Right pushed people further to the Right and to Trump!” then no.

If you mean that the Left’s inability to organize and coordinate and not devolve into bickering and infighting…Then yeah that is a huge fucking problem.