The Left and Blue Collar Voters

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Mike Dwyer

Mike Dwyer is a former writer and contributor at Ordinary Times.

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  1. Avatar Lyle
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    One of the problems of the left is they have allied themselves with the New Urbanists, resulting in high housing prices where they control with urban growth boundries and the like As this line points out:http://www.newgeography.com/content/005461-removing-american-dream-boundaries-an-imperative
    most folks at at least the stage where they become parents want the suburban life style and the progressives/new urbanists look down on that lifestyle preferring the tenement life style (slight exaggeration but definitely close living with the neighbors.) Note that states that are growing rapidly have not put urban growth boundaries in. Note that in suburbs bicycling typically extends ones range for a couple of miles compared to walking and with panniers on the bike a good bit of groceries can be carried for example), so suburban lifestyles do not necessarily mean auto only (or add an electric bike to the mix).

    This is one reason folks flee the coasts for the center of the country a place to raise children with some space for them and better schools.

    Another alternative is small towns of 20k or less which are definitely bicycle able also, kids do it all the time, so adults can also.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Lyle
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      says:

      Nobody is politically aligned with the New Urbanists and urban growth boundaries are only a thing in Oregon. Many but not all liberals might certainly prefer if Americans lived in more dense and mixed used environments with more public transportation but so do many libertarians.Report

  2. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    says:

    There has been a lot of ink and pixels spilled over the disconnect between Dems and “blue collar” or “working class” voters.
    There are two issues I see missing in all this.

    One, mostly these analyses are just talking about the white portion of the working class.
    Have the Dems lost the votes of the Hispanic and black working class, the guys washing dishes and manning trash trucks? The hotel maids? The farmworkers, meat processing plant workers, the home health care workers, the construction workers?

    This last term, construction workers, leads to the second issue.

    The “working class” in America is highly disaggregated.

    Some of the working class is actually quite affluent. For example, a unionized structural ironworker or heavy equipment operator can make six figures when you add up overtime and benefits (Thanks AFL-CIO!). Whereas at the other end a nonunion drywall worker might be a pieceworker, and make barely above the poverty wage.

    In addition to wage disparities, the economy has shifted what counts as “working”. It used to be that clerical and office work was smaller part of the economy, either professionals who enjoyed affluence, or at least status.
    Now the office worker is a much larger segment, and in a lot of cases has fallen behind manual labor in terms of pay.
    I don’t think I’ve heard anyone profile a software coder as a member of the “working class”. Yet many of them work longer and harder than a bricklayer for less pay.

    Yet when we hear the voice of “the working class” its more likely the white unionized guy wearing a Carhartt jacket that the drywall or dishwasher could never afford, whose economic and cultural interests are wildly divergent.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    I am going to chime in with what Chip Daniels here says.

    When the media talks about the Democrats and “blue-collar” voters or “working class”, they generally seem to mean a specific kind of working class. They mean white men, without a college degree, usually unskilled or semi-skilled labor, usually in a very old economic sector. They don’t mean black women who work as nurses’ aides or home health aides, they don’t mean black men who drive buses, they don’t mean Hispanic men who work in restaurants, or Hispanic women who work in hotels as cleaning staff, they don’t mean Asian immigrants who clean offices at night. They might not even mean white women who wait tables.

    This is wrong and should stop. It probably won’t stop but there you go.

    The Democratic Party does really well with huge sections of the working class. Those working class voters gave HRC one of the biggest margins of victories in a popular vote They even usually do well with the white, working class in areas outside of the deep South.

    Another fact of places that went Trump this time around.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/11/red-nation-pink-economics/508445/

    It is too early to say with any certainty whether these men will get what they want from the Trump presidency. But there are some good reasons to think that, even as Trump’s victory represents the triumph of an old-fashioned male perspective, the future of U.S. work still belongs to women, at least in one sense.

    There are seven occupations that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted will add more than 250,000 new jobs in the next decade: personal-care aides, registered nurses, home-health aides, combined food prep and serving workers (including fast food), retail salespeople, nursing assistants, and customer service representatives. Women account for more than 85 percent of most of these jobs, including personal-care aides (85 percent), registered nurses (89 percent), home health aides (90 percent), and nursing assistants (90 percent). In other words, the fastest growing jobs in America are about as dominated by women as an occupation like building-inspection or computer-repair is dominated by men.

    Even more inevitable than the march of technology is the march of time. In the 1950s, less than 10 percent of the country was older than 65. That share will double to 20 percent by 2050. A significantly older population will require more health assistance, which is why the BLS is confident that the three jobs projected to add the most workers in the next decade are all in health care and personal assistance to the old, sick, and infirm.

    It’s not like men can’t do this work; tens of thousands of men are already nurses and home-health aides. But many men don’t appear interested in these jobs, at least at these wages. To them, they are a downshifting of status, which is one reason why they are more likely to be done by minority women (and indeed, the fact that minority and immigrant female workers fill these jobs may also contribute to their perception as low-status). “Some of the decline in work among young men is a mismatch between aspirations and identity,” Lawrence Katz, a professor of economics at Harvard University, has told me. “The growth has been in jobs that have been considered women’s jobs—education, health, [and] government.”

    The Harvard Business Review article on what liberals/the left/Democrats don’t get about working class men said that working-class guys like straight talk. They have been getting the straight talk for decades about how the factory jobs are not coming back. It seems to me that they decided their answer is going to be to listen to the con man who tells them what they want to hear.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      It seems to me that they decided their answer is going to be to listen to the con man who tells them what they want to hear.

      Idiots following an idiot. If only those stupid pissed off jobless folks would listen to us….Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Stillwater
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        says:

        Do you have anything constructive to say? Since when did straight talk have to be pleasant? There are problems that don’t necessarily have great or even any solutions and I think the death of low-skilled but high-paying manufacturing is one of these problems.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw
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          says:

          Saul,

          Sure it has a solution: high tariffs on imports, reduced regulation, and bilateral trade deals.

          Oooohhhh. You’re one of those folks who think the neoliberal trade regime is logically impossible to counter. We’ll see, I guess.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Stillwater
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            says:

            @stillwater

            A high tarriff on imports leads to higher prices. Benjamin Harrison tried high tarriffs and it lasted a term. There is a lot of stuff that people like that is just not manufactured in the United States and it will take a long time before it is manufactured here if ever. You don’t build a TV or Laptop or Computer or Videogame system factory overnight.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw
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              says:

              A high tarriff on imports leads to higher prices.

              Check.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                This is basically why I’m saying, “Go ahead and do the experiment. Here are the keys. Let’s see that job creating tariff in action.” It’s going to be a rough ride, but I’m told that people have different learning styles. Some are visual, some like to hear a good lecture, and some people need to stick a fork in an electrical socket to really feel what’s going on.Report

            • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Saul Degraw
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              says:

              Benjamin Harrison tried high tarriffs and it lasted a term.

              Nope. It lasted in some form or another until after WWII. The Wilson-Groman Tariff edged toward freer trade…..but with so many exceptions that Cleveland let it become law without his signature. And it was replaced very soon by the Dingley Tariff, which raised rates again. The Underwood Tariff under Wilson….well, frankly, I don’t know much about it and for all I know it did liberalize trade, but the Fordney-McCumber Tariff in the early 1920s and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff in the early 1930s kept them high and moved them higher.

              That’s not to deny that tariffs raise prices. But it is to say that they are VERY popular with the beneficiaries and with those who think they benefit from them (but may not benefit in the long term) and not very visible to those hurt by them.Report

              • Avatar Lyle in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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                says:

                In general during the period after the Civil War the US was very protectionist, primarily against British goods. As an example rails on railroads build with help had to be made in the US. Lincoln was in favor of a protective tariff for example. The tariff on steel was essentially 50% for most of the late 19th century.
                It is my contention that this period of protectionism enabled the US to grow its steel industry and overtake the leaders of 1865 the British. Of course Carnige by strongly encouraging innovation so that he could still make money during a downturn by shaving costs helped a lot. In fact he hurt competitors so badly that JP Morgan decided to buy him out to lessen the competition (US Steel)Report

              • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Lyle
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                says:

                I’m skeptical as to how necessary US protectionism was for the American steel industry, but I don’t have the chops to prove it (and if I did the chops, I might find I’m wrong).

                I do agree, though, that from 1819(?) to the end of WWII, the US was a protectionist country.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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                says:

                U.S. steel was the best in the world because of the large anthracite deposits.
                Ukranian steel isn’t far behind these days.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw
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          says:

          Also, I have to say this again, but when did Dem voting liberals become such yuuge advocates of neoliberalism?

          Seems like not all that long ago the same newly minted advocates were vehemently opposed to outsourcing labor to countries without OSHA regs.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater
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            says:

            the same newly minted advocates were vehemently opposed to outsourcing labor to countries without OSHA regs.

            My ears were burning.

            I am not a fan of neoliberalism (meaning the current structure of trade agreements) but I also am convinced that just erecting tariff barriers probably won’t work either.

            Don’t get me wrong, I wish they did; I just don’t see any respected economists of any political stripe proposing them.

            The current structure of trade agreements DOES need serious pushback. But what it needs is a serious alternative proposal from a group of people who know what they are talking about, not a former reality tv star.Report

  4. Avatar Kazzy
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    says:

    I think we need to define what “working class” is.

    I have two degrees and a base salary of about $70K a year; the people at the top of my field probably only make $80-85K without assuming greater responsibilities or other roles.

    This is less than what my friend who didn’t go to college and lays concrete makes.

    Which of us is “working class”?Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Kazzy
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      says:

      You are both well above the median income in the United States but perhaps not in your relative areas.

      Unofficially/culturally, having a college degree or a graduate degree takes you out of the working class even if you are working as a restaurant server it seems. Working in a trade gives one a presumption of being working class even if one makes bank it seems.

      Americans seem to follow a sort of “I know it when I see it” rubic when it comes to who and who is not part of the working class as Chip mentions above. We seem to form an image of burly dudes with handlebar moustaches and Harleys.Report

      • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        I haven’t noticed the view that merely having a college degree or even a graduate degree takes one out of the running. I’m sure some have that view, but I’m not convinced it’s pervasive.

        I have, however, noticed the other phenomenon you describe in regard to “the trades” supposedly being real working class fields but not service work. That view, at least in my anecdotal experience, tends to be exercised by tradespersons against service workers and by certain politicians when they talk about the “working class,” assuming they do talk about the “working class” at all and not some monolithic thing called the “middle class.”Report

    • Avatar Maribou in reply to Kazzy
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      says:

      @kazzy what are your individual non-base salaries, including benefits? how much risk of disabling (like, can’t work anymore disabling) injury are you each under? what are your actuarial likelihoods of being able to continue in your respective fields without extremely expensive surgery, etc? how dissimilar are your 25-year career projections, statistically?

      the list goes on.

      it’s not and arguably has never been about base salary.

      insofar as it’s a purely financial question (very arguably not), it’s about long-term financial security, including stuff like how well off your support networks are.

      (I’m all for the working class and the middle class joining forces, incidentally, but I think that false comparisons based only on base salary of edge cases are not particularly useful to this task.)

      I mean, I have two degrees and I make $30 grand a year. But there’s a difference between my situation and that of someone on a fishing boat (an example I pick for familial reasons), nonetheless, and that difference is security / stability of income. There’s also a difference between me and Jaybird – we’re a mixed class marriage – and that difference is security / stability of our relatives’ income.

      If the worst came to the worst, I have a lot more options than my relative on the fishing boat did. And that’s not to say he didn’t have options, he did, and he made the best of them, and he and his wife have a lot more dough than I and my husband do, these days. (It helps that they live in Canada, where the social safety net is relatively mighty.) But denying my own increased number of options is a false claim of scarcity on my part, nonetheless.

      Part of the reason I’m so in favor of a universal base income is that I think it would erase these differences and allow those of us who aren’t rich to make common cause more easily. Right now the difference between working and middle class is still sharp-edged.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Maribou
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        says:

        Happy to accept a definition of working class that goes (well) beyond salary and economics. But then we need solutions beyond infrastructure and tax reform (which, by the way, will screw me as a single parent… recent analysis pegs the hit at $200/month… Thanks, Trump!).Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
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          says:

          What if it’s cultural?

          Like, people remember when television commercials said “Merry Christmas” and not “Happy Holidays” and wish that they could, once again, be part of a culture that celebrated them, instead of celebrating everything *BUT* them.Report

          • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Jaybird
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            says:

            As Oscar said a few days ago, conservatism is about holding back the pace of progress so that it doesn’t move too fast to give people time to adjust. It isn’t about making things so that people don’t have to adjust at all, ever.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to El Muneco
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              says:

              @el-muneco

              Except that a large portion of the conservative movement wants it to be about just that. Never having to adjust, ever again.

              Which is surprising because so many conservatives are guys and guys adjust themselves all the time.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Saul Degraw
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                says:

                Well, yeah. But that’s my answer to the whole thing – I don’t have much patience for honest, principled conservatives (but I can work with them). I have zero patience for “conservatives” who are doing it all wrong, and faux-nostalgic paeans like this just result in my getting out my WSV. And considering how crap I was when I studied violin in grade school, that might be covered under the 2A.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to El Muneco
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                says:

                I think we’re going to be saying that the “conservatives” are doing it all wrong a lot in the coming months.

                but I can work with them

                I also suspect that you’re going to be wishing that the “conservatives” were more willing to work with you. Or saw that as something worth considering in the first place.

                Don’t worry, the pendulum will swing back. Quickly, probably.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Well, the moving goalposts is an explanation for why so many extra points were missed last week, apparently it’s an epidemic.
                As you know, Bob – I was on the train that the economic recovery had left quite a few people, primarily in the old industrial areas, behind, well before the election. I’m on record multiple times saying that Democrats in power should be doing something to help that, since it was in large part their policies that greased the skids – even if no votes would be the reward.
                But this isn’t about actual harm, it’s not about economics, it’s about feels.
                And I’m steadfast about this. If you feel like mass culture isn’t attuned to you the way it used to be – well, fine. That’s what everyone else was feeling all along. You don’t get to be a special snowflake – no one does. That’s the whole point. Deal with it like everyone else.
                So if they don’t see working with the rest of us as “something worth considering in the first place”, well, fish them.
                And if you (general you, not specific you) are offended by being wished “Happy Holidays”, I hope your New Years’ celebration is crap.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to El Muneco
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                says:

                But this isn’t about actual harm, it’s not about economics, it’s about feels.

                Yes.
                Absolutely.

                I tried to resist this conclusion for a while, but I now see it for what it is and I’m trying to take it seriously and, holy crap, are we in trouble.

                We probably should have done a better job of counter-arguing against feels-based arguments over the last however many years.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                When Obama tried to create jobs with a stimulus package, libertarians and economic conservatives had no problem dismissing it as feel-good nonsense that would wind up hurting the economy through misallocation, distortion, and deadweight loss.

                Now that Trump wants to do the same thing, the problem is that we didn’t listen to the people who needed help.

                Uh-huh.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling
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                says:

                How did libertarians and economic conservatives do among the people we’re talking about?

                From what I recollect from the election, most of those people were #nevertrump.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Agreed. But they’re not the ones being told they have to change everything they believe in because they’re smug.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling
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                says:

                So don’t change. It’s no skin off my nose.

                Your team will have political power again soon enough.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                @jaybird

                @mike-schilling

                How did libertarians and economic conservatives do among the people we’re talking about?

                From what I recollect from the election, most of those people were #nevertrump.

                They might have been #nevertrump, then, but it’s their policies that’s going to be implemented now.

                Because Trump voters voted feelings, and not policies, because they voted for a candidate without any real life policies (fantasy walls don’t count), Trump votes don’t have a say about what policies happen next.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to J_A
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                says:

                Well yes, one would think that. Though the reason Ryan’s grin was so fixed when Trump won was because of the uncertainty. The Republicans won, for sure, but only behind a candidate who literally shoved all of Republican economic orthodoxy into a wood chipper. All he kept was the tax cuts.

                So we know for sure that there’s going to be a big deficit financed tax cut but otherwise? It’s all very muddled. Right after the liberals the republitarian policy menu was the elections biggest loser. If Trump just rubber stamps Ryan’s policies I am trying to imagine what his supporters will think after Trump explicitly swore medicare, social security and the like won’t be touched.Report

              • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Mike Schilling
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                says:

                When Obama tried to create jobs with a stimulus package, libertarians and economic conservatives had no problem dismissing it as feel-good nonsense that would wind up hurting the economy through misallocation, distortion, and deadweight loss.

                Now that Trump wants to do the same thing, the problem is that we didn’t listen to the people who needed help.

                The problem with comments like this is, it’s possible for another person to retort with something like the following:

                When Obama passed his stimulus package liberals and Democrats thought it was the greatest thing ever and anyone who questioned it were reactionary racists.

                But now that Trump wants to do the same thing, the problem is that it is feel-good nonsense (for WWC racists) that would wind up hurting the economy through misallocation, distortion, and deadweight loss.

                And so goes the “discussion.”

                For the record, I don’t agree with either view, and personally I think Trump is just saying what he wants others to hear and he and the Republicans won’t do anything like what Obama tried, except for maybe a temporary “refund” like the Bushes did.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Mike Schilling
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                says:

                Mike Schilling: Now that Trump wants to do the same thing, the problem is that we didn’t listen to the people who needed help.

                Or maybe not ‘we’, but Clinton and her team?

                Obama got himself re-elected on his economic policies; whatever we think about them, the people in the Midwest liked them well enough.

                But while they voted for Obama, often twice, they didn’t vote for Clinton.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Kolohe
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                says:

                The question is would they have voted for Obama if the option was anti free trader Donald Trump (or some other populist who really railed on free trade agreements), not “actual guy who shut down actual factories and got rich off it” Mitt Romney.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jesse Ewiak
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                I don’t think it’s possible to overestimate the electorate’s dislike of HRC. That’s true factually as well as counterfactually*.

                *Her disapprovals transcend counterfactuals!Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Stillwater
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                There’s no denying that. As close as Hillary came to winning? There’s no way a different normal candidate, especially Obama, would have gotten the tiny margin he’d have needed to win.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I don’t think we disagree as much as the (admittedly not excessive, for the site) level of heat might imply.
                I’m just further along on the Kubler-Ross scale. I’ve been fighting economic battles and social battles completely separately for years, and watched as inevitably the social would – dammit, there’s a word for it, comes from bridge, where the card you play just automatically wins the trick for you, damn, I forget, mind like a sieve – the social would always win out regardless of how good the economic arguments were.
                And there never were any good arguments for the social, because at that level arguments don’t work. And you can’t even do the “establish common ground” thing, because resisting common ground is the entire basis of the divide in the first place.
                I’m further along on the Kubler-Ross scale, I’ve given up.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to El Muneco
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                says:

                I kinda think that Federalism Only This Time For Real might actually work.

                But that’s one of those things that only can be negotiated from a position of strength. (And if you’re in a position of strength, why in the hell would you ever settle for Federalism?)

                Don’t give up. Keep going.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I have a bridge in Brooklyn that you might be interested in.

                Federalism does not work and never worked. Give me an example of when it worked. Conservatives were up in arms when Massachusetts legalized SSM a decade ago. Where were the conservatives discussing the importance of federalism and how Massachusetts should be allowed to determine what is good for Massachusetts.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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                says:

                If I were going to be arguing for central control, I’d like to think that I’d at least turn it down to a ‘3’ when someone like Trump gets elected.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Some of us have principles – such as the Senate should be destroyed and states should have as little power as possible.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse Ewiak
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                says:

                If you don’t like the system, maybe you should move to Somalia.Report

              • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Saul Degraw
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                I’m not saying federalism is always good or desirable or that it always works.

                But you asked for one example, and I’ll offer your own, ssm and Massachusetts. The Massachusetts court ruling opened the door for ssm to spread over much of the country and probably brought along enough people to make the scotus rulings possible.Report

              • Avatar Dave in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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                says:

                @gabriel-conroy

                The first consequence of Goodridge was full scale push for a marriage amendment to the US Constitution taking SSM off the table for good.

                But it was for the children…Report

              • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Dave
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                I frankly didn’t know about that amendment proposal, and it does put a little chink in my argument.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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                says:

                @gabriel-conroy

                [Seriously you didn’t know, or is it tongue in cheek? Or were you abducted by space aliens and have a couple of years of lost time?]Report

              • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to J_A
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                says:

                @j_a

                Seriously, I forgot. I should’ve known andI dropped the ball. If someone had asked, I probably would have said knew that some people supported such an amendment, but didn’t know it was the “first consequence” to the Massachusetts decision. Now that I’m reminded, all I can say is “my bad.”

                On the larger issue, I fail to see how a movement to adopt an amendment to change the rules of federalism represents federalism “never” working. It seems that an amendment like that is an example of federalism working so well that someone is trying to end it as it concerns that particular policy. And the amendment still hasn’t been adopted.Report

              • Avatar Dave in reply to Saul Degraw
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                says:

                Saul Degraw:
                I have a bridge in Brooklyn that you might be interested in.

                Federalism does not work and never worked. Give me an example of when it worked. Conservatives were up in arms when Massachusetts legalized SSM a decade ago. Where were the conservatives discussing the importance of federalism and how Massachusetts should be allowed to determine what is good for Massachusetts.

                Cough…people of the northern states refusing to cooperate with federal officials trying to enforce Fugitive Slave Laws…cough…

                Cough…states passing medical marijuana laws in direct violation of the Controlled Substances Act…

                Cough…assuming it happens…state and local law enforcement officials refusing to cooperating with ICE agents seeking to deport illegal immigrants.

                Come on Saul. Don’t throw me a softball.

                How’s that whole nationalism/centralized power thing working out for you?

                I kid…kind of…I already know the answer.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I kinda think that Federalism Only This Time For Real might actually work.

                That would require secession, no? Secession followed by a new charter followed by votes on a new set of rules, and so on, right?Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Secession, charter, votes, rules? Man you are such an optimist.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
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                It wouldn’t necessarily have to require secession, I wouldn’t have thought.

                But after having a conversation over whether the “Bake the Cake!” thing might have been an overreach, I’m beginning to suspect that the level of cooperation required to allow for FOTTFR does not exist.

                Which points in some pretty awful directions.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to El Muneco
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              says:

              Well, how much progress have we had in the last generation or so?

              If we’re shipping manufacturing overseas, changing demographics, redefining marriage and whatnot, maybe we could put the crèche back in front of City Hall for a few more years? Soften the blow?

              And if the answer is “no, hell with them” (because, hey, hell with them, right?), then I suspect that I’ve found another reason (for the pile!) that the blue collar voters don’t think that the élite are the ones they oughta be voting for.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Back atcha – what if the creche depicts Mary and Joseph as actual Middle Easterners of the period and not extras from Baywatch?
                There’ll be a get-out-the-vote drive excoriating the liberal elite pushing political correctness in our public celebrations.
                There will always be a get-out-the-vote drive excoriating the liberal elite as long as our culture is what it is today and not what it was on the Donna Reed show. There will always be an excuse to fuel the rage.
                And you’re right – if they really feel that getting a 15-yard celebration penalty for synchronized taunting in the end zone after winning the culture war is the only possible acceptable endgame, they shouldn’t be voting for the liberal elite. They should be voting for William Jennings Bryan.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to El Muneco
                Ignored
                says:

                And you’re right – if they really feel that getting a 15-yard celebration penalty for synchronized taunting in the end zone after winning the culture war is the only possible acceptable endgame, they shouldn’t be voting for the liberal elite. They should be voting for William Jennings Bryan.

                Well, we hammered out why Trump won, I guess.

                Now what?Report

              • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                As much as I’d like to claim sole credit for Trump’s victory – to riff on James Cagney in “Ragtime”, I’d like to claim sole credit for anything – Kennedy was wrong(*), it’s often defeat that has a thousand fathers, while victory is an orphan.
                And frankly, I don’t think there’s a good solution. The culture war isn’t going away, although it will look a lot different in 2040 than now. I’m actually coming to the opposite position than you seem to be – that reaching that particular hand out right here right now is a bridge too far. You end up compromising your base principles to get a Venn diagram that stretches, and even then your new allies are about as reliable as the Axis minors in Barbarossa, much less the Italians.

                (*) He had an excuse, as his brains were no longer contained in his head…Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to El Muneco
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m actually coming to the opposite position than you seem to be – that reaching that particular hand out right here right now is a bridge too far.

                Well, I was kind of trying to demonstrate that all is lost because the only stuff that we have the power to do is stuff that we will never, ever, agree to do.

                A crèche in front of the town hall? SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE! SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!!! IT’S IN THE CONSTITUTION!

                We can’t bring the factories back.
                We can’t make new jobs.
                I think that gay marriage was inevitable the second we normalized 99.9% effective birth control and there ain’t no freaking way we’re ever going to abandon *THAT*.
                The only stuff in our (theoretical) power to do is stuff that we are prevented from various mental and emotional blocks from doing.

                So we go on to lose the culture war on our side, because we look and see that we haven’t won it. And they go on to lose the culture war on their side.

                And we’re all losers.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “A crèche in front of the town hall? SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE! SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!!! IT’S IN THE CONSTITUTION!”

                Yep. Then you play the “ceremonial deism” card. And then “open to all, no religion is favored”. Then you get demonstrations because the Satanists put up an altar.
                There is literally no “town hall” display that will satisfy everyone. You can get most of the way by screwing over the atheists again – fish them, only 3% and mostly already in blue states – so it’s still possible to get something that won’t be picketed. Which is – a victory – yay?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to El Muneco
                Ignored
                says:

                “There is literally no “town hall” display that will satisfy everyone.”

                And if only, if only “i’m sad” was not considered an actionable harm that required government action to redress.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Does that apply to everyone, or just the liberals? If it applies to everyone, who has standing to challenge anything the government prohibits. After all, they are just ‘sad’ because the government wouldn’t let them do something.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird

                “If we’re shipping manufacturing overseas, changing demographics, redefining marriage and whatnot, maybe we could put the crèche back in front of City Hall for a few more years?”

                This is kind of what we’re getting at.

                If you tell me, “It’s about the economy, stupid,” and I say, “Well, HRC and the Dems had a far better economic plan for people in your situation than Trump did,” and you vote for Trump anyway because of the creche… did I really fail to listen?

                A conversation takes two parties engage genuinely. I submit that both sides have failed thus far.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s about the culture. It’s always about the culture.

                The only time it’s not about the culture is when the economy is doing well enough that people don’t have to rely on each other for strength.

                If they can’t do that last one? You’re going to find that they’re going to vote for the guy who promises to bring back commercials in which people say “Merry Christmas” to each other rather than “Happy Holidays”.

                It’s the economy… but if those jobs aren’t coming back, maybe we’d better look at the culture. If we aren’t willing to look at the culture, we’re going to find ourselves asking why the people in the Rust Belt went for Trump even though Hillary’s plan for retraining was so much better (it existed!) than Trump’s “we’ll bring jobs back, it’ll be great, believe me” plan.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird

                But I cannot “solve” the culture. Neither can Trump, btw.

                I can solve inflation, I can solve deflation, I can solve unemployment, I can solve high taxes, I can solve crippling entitlements. I can even solve immigration and global warming. All these things are “solvable”. There are actions that can be taken that will change these issues into a more optimal maximin state, in which we minimize the negative impacts for the most people, even if not everybody will be a winner after it’s solved.

                But I cannot solve “there’s a crèche in Town Hall/there’s not a crèche in Town Hall”. I can’t solve “people are wishing me Happy Holidays”.

                Yes, you can pick winners and losers, you can ban gay marriage or enact gay marriage, but you haven’t “solved” gay marriage. Gay marriage won’t be solved while there are gay people on one side and people who think gay people are immoral sinners on the other.

                The only way to solve gay marriage is not to care about gay marriage. The only way to solve the crèche in Town Hall issue is not to care about crèches, menorahs or banners wishing you Happy Eid. (*)

                But you have to do the not caring yourself, I cannot do it for you.

                (*) For the record, I’m perfectly fine with a crèche in a Town Hall. I’d be perfectly fine with a Happy Eid banner in a Town Hall too. I’m all for Town Halls to respect and support some or others of their constituents celebrating their traditions. Key words here: respect, support, and some or others of their constituents.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                Pretty much this.
                The American culture is changing, the global economy is changing, and no one can stop that.

                For all the people wishing that we could live in the 1965 culture (like Trump), and people who wish we could live in the 1965 economy (like me), we can either rage impotently or find a way to make our peace with the present.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                I kind of care about the creche and the banner. I do because at some point it stops being an accommodation for particular segments of a community and starts being an instruction or an incentive by the government to behave in a particular way, a way that is inappropriate for the government to behave. When that point is reached is not always easy to define, but the truth that such a line is fuzzy upon close examination does not mean it does not exist.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                @burt-likko

                I agree with you. A crèche without a banner is an impermissible nudge. A banner without a crèche is another impermissible nudge.

                You either have to have both, or you go the Reindeer Doctrine route that Town Halls can only celebrate the general “Holidays” with (a preponderance of) secular motifs. (*)

                (*) which discriminates against those in the community who do not associate their sacred traditions with the Northern Hemisphere winterReport

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                So we can’t even give the ‘kickers and ‘necks a crèche in front of the town hall in the town that we don’t even live in.

                Come back next week for our series of essays in which we speculate why those people don’t trust us and won’t work with us.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                If we give them a crèche the then don’t we also have to give the Moooslims some equivalent, and then they don’t trust us because now were collaborating with imposing Sharia law.

                The republic for which the flag stands promises liberty and justice for all, and “all” means “all,” not just the majority. For that matter, “liberty and justice” does not always mean “my side wins.”

                In other words: Group A’s lack of trust in the system precedes the result that the system produces. This problem is not solved by changing the system such that Group A wins more often. That only creates distrust from Group B.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                Great. We agree that this is something that we would never, ever do because it does not comport with our values.

                Hey, wanna read my essay about why it made so much sense for us to move the canning factory to Mexico?Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                We are evidently speaking past one another, @jaybird . Can you state your point in a different way?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                Our values are such that we agree that we could never allow for a small town to put a religious crèche in front of their town hall because of Muslims, Jews, Zoroastrians, etc.

                I mean, we’re not going to be bringing jobs back. We’re not going to be able to change anything with regards to economics at all. That ship has sailed.

                When it comes to economics, the only thing that we can really do to improve their lives is retrain them and make them move.

                When we start discussing things that are in our theoretical power that we could, theoretically, offer on a culture war level, our values prevent us from making concessions there as well.

                We, honestly, have nothing at all to offer them and, honestly, they look at us as if the only thing that we have done to them is take things away. Culture, economics, whatever.

                We have nothing to give them. We have nothing to offer them.

                Even when we discuss small and silly concessions that might be made that we could give these people, we hammer out that our values prevent us from making these small and silly concessions.

                Hell, we may have so many principles that we are offended by even the suggestion that these concessions are either “small” or “silly”.

                We’re going to be wondering, more and more, why these people won’t work with us in the coming months and years.

                Why they don’t trust us. Why they won’t collaborate with us.

                It’s because they have had much taken from them while we explain “well, you have to understand” and, in exchange, given them nothing they wanted and, when they complained that they didn’t want what they were being given, they were mocked for not having sufficient taste.

                This is why they will not trust us. This is why they will not collaborate with us.

                “But they should want different things.”

                Yeah, okay.Report

              • Avatar Mark Boggs in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                It sounds like you’re saying that “the rubes” need appeasement by giving them certain preference on “innocuous” cultural markers that they themselves would deny others. That’s the only way to guarantee their “cooperation”?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Mark Boggs
                Ignored
                says:

                No. I’m saying “we have nothing to offer them”.

                We have no way to reach a compromise with them because we have nothing that we are willing to compromise on.

                There’s an implied “you realize that they just won a fairly important election, right?” as an undercurrent, but it’s mostly “we have nothing to offer them… not even in theory”.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird
                We, honestly, have nothing at all to offer them and, honestly, they look at us as if the only thing that we have done to them is take things away. Culture, economics, whatever.

                The policies of the left, for example, are *stopping them and their parents from starving in old age*. And the left just *tried* to give everyone, them included, health insurance.

                The problem there, Jaybird, is not so much that this is completely wrong , but it’s *deliberately* wrong.

                And the policies of the left have nothing to do with factory jobs leaving. Those left due to automation, and, frankly, to *conservatives* and neoliberals. Some of them had a D after their name, yes, but the vast majority were Rs. The Ds are trying to give them unemployment and food stamps to deal with that, and there *used* to be a program called ‘welfare’, but, uh…

                The problem is not that the left keeps taking everything away. The problem is that the right has constructed a giant media empire to *convince* these people that everything they lost is due to the left.

                Including nonsense like Happy Holidays or Christmas displays, which no person would actually care about if not egged on by the media. Hell, they wouldn’t even *know* about it, because the media shouldn’t even be reporting it, because it’s literally completely unimportant what words people are saying to each other in December.

                It’s really easy to sit here and discussion ‘how these people think’ (WWC, or whatever we want to call them) and say that’s why liberals lose…but don’t skip over the fact that how these people think has been *carefully constructed over the last two decades* by conservative news into thinking that way.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                The policies of the left, for example, are *stopping them and their parents from starving in old age*. And the left just *tried* to give everyone, them included, health insurance.

                Followed by:

                The Ds are trying to give them unemployment and food stamps to deal with that, and there *used* to be a program called ‘welfare’, but, uh…

                And they aren’t particularly grateful.

                The opposite, really.

                The only thing we have to offer them is stuff that they don’t want.

                Which brings me back to this:

                I’m saying “we have nothing to offer them”.

                We have no way to reach a compromise with them because we have nothing that we are willing to compromise on.

                There’s an implied “you realize that they just won a fairly important election, right?” as an undercurrent, but it’s mostly “we have nothing to offer them… not even in theory”.

                Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Trump talked plenty about making sure old people and his people had medical care. The R’s keep saying they are for making sure people can get HI and have SS in their old age. Everybody is for all that good stuff, at least that is what they say.

                At that point what people will actually do to deliver and how it works, policy, actually matters.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                I hope he has good technocrats running things while he’s off playing golf, holding impromptu political rallies all over the country, and making money.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Because technocrats are bad at ring kissing, the likelihood is very small.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m saying “we have nothing to offer them”.
                We have no way to reach a compromise with them because we have nothing that we are willing to compromise on.

                What are “they” offering as a compromise, the compromise that we are rejecting?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                They’re the ones who won the election, Chip.

                Their proxy, anyway.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So what would be an example of compromise?
                What could “we” offer?
                Have they asked for something?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, we suffer from the problem of stuff like “how do we, as a society, offer X?”

                So knowing that I fully acknowledge that we, as a society, cannot offer anything, really, I will say that there are a handful of things that, if it were possible for us, as a society, to offer, that we might want to be able to offer. (Though, granted, it’s not possible.)

                Foremost is probably something like “sorry about the wedding cake thing, that was a mistake. We shouldn’t have jumped all over that bakery, we should have just said that they were jerks who had the right to be jerks and then, as a society, moved on instead of the whole running them out of business thing and making them pay six-figures’ worth of fines.”

                Now if we, as a society, could say “that was a bit of overreach that resulted in a lot of deplorable-types not trusting coastal élite types and that was a place where we probably ought to have compromised… especially because Gresham, Oregon has a lot of bakeries and not merely one bakery who was the only game in town, that was a place where we could have compromised.”

                Where to go from here?
                Is that someplace where a compromise would have been possible?
                Is that someplace where only a homophobe would see a compromise as being possible?

                Quite honestly, I imagine that the response will be insinuations that I must hate gays if not more jokes that center around you shooting me, but I guess we’ll see.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Ok, ok, great.

                So we establish clearly that bakeries, caterers, pharmacies, grocery stores, restaurants, or really, any sort of business don’t need to serve gay customers, as y’know, a compromise.

                What do gay people get out of this deal?Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                We are not mad that they get to marry any more.

                And we won’t object to them being in silly Campbell soup commercials.

                It’s a good deal, we should take itReport

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                That wasn’t what I was suggesting the deal would be.

                As such, I’ll assume that even in a situation where a deal such as the one I suggested could be made, that it wouldn’t be accepted.

                Fair enough. It’s kind of unseemly for me to offer something that isn’t mine to give anyway.

                So how’s this for a counter-offer:

                President Trump.

                We good?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Compromise is probably not the right thing to be casting about for here.
                Compromise in the sense that each side gains something they might not have won outright, but avoids a loss they couldn’t tolerate.

                I compared Trump’s supporters to Occupy, because they both had a furious but unfocused rage against things they couldn’t possibly change, things that no compromise can give them.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                If we can’t have a compromise, we’re going to have war or divorce.

                And it looks like we agree that compromise is impossible.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The culture war apparently can’t have compromise, only terms of surrender.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Half a gay marriage?

                Civil Unions?

                Oh, but Civil Unions were also banned by most DOMAs (*). Some even banned private contractual agreements that tried to replicate marriage elements.

                ((*) yes, I know that the CA Supreme Court ruled that Prop 8 did not ban Civil Unions, but it did so *over the objections of Prop 8 proponents*, who argued that the intent was to ban marriage and Civil Unions.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                I get your point in that compromise is not always possible, nor am I suggesting that the pro-ssm side was eagerly dancing in the blood of the fallen*. The socons did offer a compromise that was, unfortunately, fatally flawed, and the only way past that flaw was to muck it all up for everyone.

                Sometimes, you just lose all the way.

                The thing to watch out for is when no compromise is offered by anyone.

                *Although thanks to the internet, it’s just so easy to find that handful of people who just can’t be good winners, and then magnify that to further the culture war.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Sometimes the compromise was all that was ever asked for in the first place.

                I mean, no one was demanding that Rick Santorum marry a man; No one was demanding that churches change their doctrines to accept it. They were only asking that he not interfere with two men who wanted to do so and that businesses serve all customers equally.

                Thats the compromise.

                I am old enough to remember when issues like divorce and living together before marriage were flashpoints for the cultural right, things which were so heretical they could never be accepted, ever ever ever.

                Until they were.
                Go to any evangelical mega church and see what percentage of the congregation are married and remarried, or living together or have lived together, and what a nonissue it is.

                As much as the cultural right likes to strike a pose of eternal truth and adherence to tradition, they are actually amazingly flexible and adaptive.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                @chip-daniels

                That was the thing, though, wasn’t it. When it really came down to it, what to socons wanted was, in effect, exclusive right to the term “marriage”, which was a right they had given up long ago when they insisted a secular, civil government get involved in the institution.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                what to socons wanted was, in effect, exclusive right to the term “marriage”, which was a right they had given up long ago when they insisted a secular, civil government get involved in the institution.

                I am in too much of a hurry to get into this now, but it’s actually *never* a right they had. It’s never been a right *anyone* had.

                Marriages were always private affairs, conducted between two people, or between the families of two people. It never, at any point, was a sacrament, or any sort of religious thing, except to the point that religions *assigned* some meaning to it. (Sorta like death.)

                Churches *eventually* managed to wedge themselves into being *informed* of marriage (Secret marriages had become a real problem.), and managed to make that into religious law, where they said if you didn’t tell the church, the church wouldn’t consider you married.

                This, incidentally, is the reason you have to currently tell the *government* you’re married.

                But that is as far as they have *ever* gotten. The Christian church has never, at any point in time, even in actual church-and-state-tied-together Christendom, been in charge of who can and cannot get married. Neither has the state!

                Marriage, again, is a private contract between two individuals, and I’m not speaking in any sort of metaphorical or ideal sense, I mean that *literally* is what it is. It is an agreement between two people. That is what the term ‘marriage’ means.

                All the government stuff is just the state *recognizing* two people are married. Same with the Church stuff.

                It’s why people are ‘pronounced’ married. They say their vows to each other, which means they *are* married at that point, and the officiant then *publicly confirms* (Aka, pronounces) to everyone that he just saw them get married, and signs a document to that effect.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Fun fact: Decades before SSM became legal in the US, some very liberal churches would happily marry gays.

                It wouldn’t be legally binding, but the Churches in question felt it was theologically binding.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Fun fact: Decades before SSM became legal in the US, some very liberal churches would happily marry gays.

                Yes and no. Liberal churches would happily have *weddings* for gays for decades before SSM.

                But technically speaking, churches do not marry people. Neither do pastors or priests or justices of the peace, or anyone else.

                People marry *each other*. That’s it. No third party makes anyone else married, or keeps them from being married. The third party is just a witness.

                That was sorta my point, and that technicality is where a lot of the confusion comes from.

                This fact, incidentally, is why *we don’t have a separate word* for what we think the person MCing the wedding is doing. There is no verb in English for the hypothetical action of ‘causing two other people to be married’, because that action literally is not possible, and has never been possible. And, until very recently, we knew that, so we never invented a verb for that imaginary action.

                But because we now *mistakenly* think that how it works, yet don’t have a word for it, we have to awkwardly talk about a priest ‘marrying’ someone, and when we have to clarify by saying whether or not they were entering the state of marriage with someone else or (in our minds) causing two other people to be married.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                There’s plenty of things that can be compromised – I mean, for all the talk about how left the Democrat’s have moved, the argument about tax rates is still basically about fiddling around the edges of things. Or in a more sane world, Paul Ryan and Hillary Clinton could make a deal on entitlement reform that both I and Grover Norquist would be upset about.

                But, on the other hand, when it comes to things like gun control, it’s two completely different realities – one where any sort of limits of gun control is a compromise and frankly, one where allowing any sort of private ownership of handguns is a compromise.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Compromise is probably not the right thing to be casting about for here.

                I agree that a compromise along ideological lines, right now, is well nigh impossible. The GOP is like a racehorse hopped up on adrenaline just itching to stretch its legs.

                But as I said before, a bunch of what happens moving forward will depend on how badly the Trump GOP fishes things up over the next few years. And along those lines, to a point TFrog made up thread, part of achieving a compromise may very well depend on letting the Trumped up GOPers have a go at making policy and owning the results rather than merely obstructing Dems.

                Personally, I think if they were to move on the policies being floated there’s a high likelihood of catastrophic failures, which us more liberalish types can very well view as our concession to compromise. Eg., “OK, you had your shot at it, and it turned out badly. So what do you say we move in some directions we can ALL agree on.”

                And if they don’t seriously fuck things up then things by definition won’t be that bad, and maybe liberals learn to advance the ball in that new political reality.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird @stillwater
                We keep speaking of Trump and his coalition like it is a coherent political entity that has goals and ideas. It isn’t.

                How badly does the Trump coalition want this GOP racehorse to stretch its legs?

                How many Trump voters are going to vote GOP in 2018 in the wake of a Medicare fight?

                How many of them are going to like Trump when they get their health insurance cancellations?

                Or will this coalition splinter and come unglued?

                I keep comparing it to Occupy, which was also a coalition of people united by nothing more than rage against unseen tectonic forces.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                We keep speaking of Trump and his coalition like it is a coherent political entity that has goals and ideas. It isn’t.

                Totally agree. Eg, the Trump coalition rejected the GOP, yet Ryan and McConnell act like Trump’s victory constitutes some sort of mandate to repeal Medicare and obstruct Trump’s stimulus infrastracture bill, and so on. Ideological inconsistencies galore. Policywise they’re a mess right now without any real identity.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I gotta admit, its a weird sensation to cruise rightwing blogs like Gateway Pundit and Powerline and see commenters talking like disciples of Noam Chomsky, what with all the “crony capitalism” and “proles” and “elites”.

                I’m getting more and more convinced that a massive new government program like farm subsidies, except targeted at blue collar workers would find a receptive audience, if it were dressed up as the Entrepreneurial Investment Capital Bureau that just worked by cutting millions of modest checks to hard workin Murkins throughout the country.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Sort of like some hybrid between a new CCC and a massive Etsy subsidy?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                Hah!
                Wouldn’t that be something?

                Since we already have tech investors shelling out billions of dollars keeping people employed making software that doesn’t do anything or turn a profit, we already have the “makework” part of the equation in place.

                Now all we need is the government to turn the firehose of cash to more deserving recipients, rural blue collar folks who may end up actually making something useful. Like the Makerspaces all the kids are talking about nowadays.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I think a best-case scenario is that the deep state keeps on doing what the deep state does, Trump gives speeches all over the country to thunderous applause (he can lean close into the mic during the pledge of allegiance and say in a deep voice “under God” and blow off the roof), the left screams as if they have been shot, and everybody’s happy and gets most of what they want.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                But occupy didn’t help elect a president did they? Who knows if folks like me will get the some or any of the change we want but we are already several steps ahead of occupy.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                @chip-daniels
                I compared Trump’s supporters to Occupy, because they both had a furious but unfocused rage against things they couldn’t possibly change, things that no compromise can give them.

                That analogy doesn’t really work. Occupy demanded many things, all of them technically within the political realm. Some of them were extremely unlikely (breaking up the large banks), some of them were merely a little unlikely (Regulating bad behavior), but all of them could have been done if Occupy had been President and Congress. (Note whether or not these would be *good* things is entirely beside the point.)

                Some of those latter things actually did happen, sorta. To some level. Not directly because of Occupy, but Occupy certainly provided some political cover to the Democrats.

                The desire of Trump’s supporters, OTOH, seem not only to include the extremely unlikely (Barring a specific religion from immigrating, Congress going along with trade tariffs) but also the impossible. Not politically impossible, but just plain impossible.

                Or at least not possible in any way that would be acceptable to said supporters. I mean, yes, in theory, the ‘jobs could come back’ if the US government just…bought some factories and hired people to run them. Just straight up socialism, have the US government making TV or whatever and eating the loss. That could ‘bring jobs back’. But Trump’s supporters are probably not going to go for that.

                And I’m choosing to be charitable and *pretend* their anger at the demographics of the US changing does not have a political solution. There are indeed political ‘solutions’ to that, final solutions even, but I’m refusing to believe that is actually what anyone wants to happen. Other than *that*, this also appears impossible to solve.

                And at lot of their desires are just plain incoherent. They have anger, and they’re not entirely sure who should be the target of it, or what those people did, or how to fix it.

                I mean, yes, Occupy was unfocused in that it tried to do too much, but they had some pretty clear ideas where the main problems were and a bunch of ways (Probably too many) to solve the problems, even if they were so politically naive they had no way to make those changes.

                Unfocused and incoherent aren’t really the same thing. Someone saying ‘We should do this, this, this, and this’ and responding with blank stares when asked how they intend to make any of that happen or if they even know how banking regulation works…is not the same as someone shaking their fist at liberals and everything liberals like and why aren’t there any jobs and why do they have to press 1 for English?Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Foremost is probably something like “sorry about the wedding cake thing, that was a mistake. We shouldn’t have jumped all over that bakery, we should have just said that they were jerks who had the right to be jerks and then, as a society, moved on instead of the whole running them out of business thing and making them pay six-figures’ worth of fines.”

                The news media was the entity that made that case important.

                I really wish you’d stop pretending that people just…happen, for some completely random reason, to believe they are all under attack by the left.

                The problem is that there are certain entities that *benefit* from that belief, and until that *stops*, the left will *always* been seen as ‘attacking’ the WWC. Always. Doesn’t matter a damn what they do.

                About half the information the WWC have about being ‘attacked’ is *factually incorrect* anyway. It’s amazing how often I see assertions about prayer in school being illegal. And remember how gay marriage was going to force churches to perform gay weddings?

                And the left never gets any credit for compromises. Take the Hobby Lobby thing…how much did the media bother to mention that the ACA exempted *actual churches* from providing contraceptives in their insurance plan. How often does the media, in discussions about Planned Parenthood, mention that no Federal funds can be used for abortions, not just there, but anywhere?

                The right-wing media does not bother to mention actual compromises, in addition to often literally just *making up* attacks from the left.

                If the left actually *does* make ‘compromises’ (Preemptively moving closer to the other position is not ‘compromising’), all that’s actually going to do is mean the WWC will be pumped with *more* disinformation.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                About half the information the WWC have about being ‘attacked’ is *factually incorrect* anyway. It’s amazing how often I see assertions about prayer in school being illegal. And remember how gay marriage was going to force churches to perform gay weddings?

                What about the case that I specifically mentioned?

                Here’s a fun tidbit: Brad Avakian ran for election in Oregon this last election day. He was running for the position of Oregon’s Secretary of State. He lost to Dennis Richardson, a Republican.

                This is in a state that Clinton won by 10 points. The Democratic senator beat the Republican challenger by more than 20 points. The Democratic Governor won by 7 points. Out of the five Congressional elections, Democrats won four of them.

                Richardson will become the first Republican to win an Oregon statewide office in 14 years.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                What about the case that I specifically mentioned?

                Let’s assume the premise that that was somehow ‘the left’ because an individual sued them under the laws the left wanted, and the left cheered.

                Two. Words: Trayvon. Martin.

                Note there are a *lot* of things I could put there.

                See, this entire thing is nonsense. The right is *objectively* causing more harm to the left via their bullshit ‘cultural issues’ than the left is causing to the right. The left sometimes make a town take down Christmas decorations, or sues someone who is openly discrimination, as their ‘cultural issue’. The right bars people from getting married and encourages bullshit vigilantism and cowboy cop nonsense as *their* ‘cultural issue’.

                The left has caused a few bigots to pay fines. The right has, you know, actually killed some innocent people.

                Or is the second amendment a *real* civil right, whereas is equal protection not?

                And you completely missed my point that, if the premise is ‘How the right will perceive the behavior of the left’, you cannot ignore the fact that there is *ample* evidence that the right-wing media will literally just *make things up*, resulting in exactly the same outcome.

                Even if the left did *exactly what the right wanted*, the right would complain. The right exists in a world where their media tells them the left is trying to destroy them, the Real Americans.

                This is not something the left can fix by being ‘nicer’. This is not even something the left started. This is something that was quite deliberately started by the right-wing media. A deliberate building of victim culture.(1) There is nothing at all behind it.

                1) There is one lesson I somehow keep being startled to relearn: It is always, always, *ALWAYS* projection. Every single goddamn thing that right claims about the left. Everything, from top to bottom. Every tiny little bit.Report

              • Avatar Mark Boggs in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m as interested as the next guy to see if the folks who won the election, and with it, most of the branches of government, can deliver something that “those” people want. Because if corporations aren’t coming back due to automation, labor issues, regulations, etc., the only entity large enough to do large scale employment is the government. And that seems to run counter to every urge from conservative legislators to do.

                Maybe they’ll continue to insist that the reason the world sucks is because our founders insisted on equal access and accommodation in the public square for holiday displays. But at what point do we actually get to discuss the absolute lack of correlation between that and economic stagnation without being mean?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Mark Boggs
                Ignored
                says:

                I think that, economically, we’ll continue to muddle ahead the way we always have and, socially, Trump will visit flyover states and hold rallies and say stuff like “Merry Christmas!” in Iowa and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and Michigan and the deplorable types will feel good even though they ended up with the short end of the stick due to automation, labor issues, regulations, etc.

                Because maybe their job sucks. Maybe their life sucks.

                But, god damn it, they have a president who came to their town and said “Merry Christmas” and not “Happy Seasonally Appropriate Greeting”.

                With the added bonus of their perceived adversaries in the culture going on news shows and being visibly upset.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                David,
                Can you, for once in your life, understand the definition of Astroturf and realize it’s being done to both sides?

                The left’s ability to think for themselves is being eroded just as much as the right’s.

                I posted on a different thread about someone blatantly lying on leftist TV (TYT, to be exact.) Doesn’t expect to be excoriated, doesn’t expect a single factchecking person to do the damn homework. When you let liars on television and don’t call them out, well, who is telling you what to think?Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                This is why I’m at least a little bit sanguine: four years of getting exactly what they’re asking for may make the next election about something other than the creche. A lot of our problems with a divided electorate seem to stem from some form of nirvana fallacy, and our appetite for having things exactly the way we want them is sometimes only satisfied by giving it a try and comparing it to the alternative.

                If it’s really only about the creche because we’re going through the stages of grief over the loss of good blue collar jobs, I’m not sure what stage “electing Donald Trump” is, but I’m willing to believe it might be a necessary one.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                If it’s a creche they want, they can’t have it on the lawn of the City Hall. Not without making the available lawn to groups that will use the lawn to disseminate messages that this sub-tribe won’t like, at the very least. But if this tribe wants to put a creche out on the front lawn of their church, I’ll fight like the dickens to stop the city from ordering them to take that creche down. I wish that were worth something. I guess it isn’t, though.

                As for economics — you and I can’t bring their coal mining or textile manufacturing or steel milling jobs back, any more than we could stop them (or us) from growing older. No one can. They will have to discover for themselves that the people who promised them those things were lying or at best dreadfully misinformed. Economic hope necessarily is going to lie elsewhere. Maybe “elsewhere” as in a different kind of industry, maybe “elsewhere” as in at a different place. But that’s a hard, inescapable fact — like aging.

                So I can offer the reality.

                The reality is economic times have changed and you need to keep up with them to keep up economically: this is what the free market is. Maybe they don’t really like free markets after all.

                The reality is the system of government they claim to like demands that they tolerate certain cultural things they dislike and not enlist the government’s help with other certain cultural things they do like. This is what a constitutional republic is. Maybe they don’t really like that, either.

                If you don’t like reality, non-reality may very well be pleasant. Ignore reality for too long, and it will bite you in the ass.Report

              • Avatar Mark Boggs in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                I thought this piece was informative in that it seemed to indicate that, for many Trump supporters, it wasn’t so much about government doing what it shouldn’t but more about doing for people who didn’t deserve it what it should have been doing for them.

                https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/11/08/a-new-theory-for-why-trump-voters-are-so-angry-that-actually-makes-sense/“>

                “Cramer argues that this “rural consciousness” is key to understanding which political arguments ring true to her subjects. For instance, she says, most rural Wisconsinites supported the tea party’s quest to shrink government not out of any belief in the virtues of small government but because they did not trust the government to help “people like them.””Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe they don’t really like free markets after all.

                No. They don’t.

                Free markets are dynamic. They want something that doesn’t change too much. Doesn’t outsource jobs. Something where everybody is part of a functioning community.

                Something homogenous. Where it wouldn’t even occur to someone to complain about the crèche in front of the town hall to get one of the bigwig lawyers from California to come in and get the government to take it down, lest Muslims be offended.

                If you don’t like reality, non-reality may very well be pleasant. Ignore reality for too long, and it will bite you in the ass.

                Yeah, you might end up with a President Trump.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird

                Something homogenous. Where it wouldn’t even occur to someone to complain about the crèche in front of the town hall to get one of the bigwig lawyers from California to come in and get the government to take it down, lest Muslims be offended.

                I notice you keep coming back to the crèche but decline to mention the Happy Eid banner.

                Is Not Putting Happy Eid banners in front of City Hall also part of the deal? Will No Happy Eid Banners spare us President Trump or Secession?

                What about cemeteries? Can I have a Muslim cemetery or is that too much change too? Perhaps no Muslims banners, no Muslim cemeteries, or Muslim people at all.

                Once I finish throwing Muslims under the bus, who is next? What other change should I avoid? Synagogues? Canadians?

                That’s why I say that what they want is not possible, because it means trading other people’s dignity to restore theirs.

                I’m not the one opposing the crèche. Pray start a conversation with the ones opposing the Muslim cemetery, and tell us how it went.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m doing a google search on Eid banners being forbidden and I can’t find anything.

                Can you link to an example?

                When it came to Muslim cemeteries being forbidden, the stuff I’m finding talks about biohazards. Apparently, Muslims don’t wish to bury their dead in sealed containers and local politicians are apparently talking about well water?

                I suppose we can argue over whether that’s particularly reasonable but the articles I seem to be seeing talk about how these regulations are in accordance with State Law (see here).

                Oh, there’s also a *BIG* case in Massachusetts and it’s apparently in the Republican part of the state, wouldn’t you know. Well, there’s all kinds of dynamics with that.

                What should be my response to it? “We shouldn’t have religiously segregated cemeteries”? Is that the enlightened position or is it more of a “if they buy the land, they should be able to bury bodies on it” position that is the enlightened one here?

                I lean toward the latter but I still haven’t shaken all of my old libertarian views yet.

                I mean, of course, assuming that they’re not inadvertently tainting ground water or whatever.

                The examples I was using were examples that I know I’ve seen in recent memory.

                Now if you’re not willing to compromise on the crèche thing, and I can see why you wouldn’t be, I’ll make you the same “if you don’t want that, how about this?” offer I made Chip:

                How’s about a President Trump? You good with that instead as a compromise?Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                How about protests at the building of Mosques?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                I think we allow protests, just not government interference with the actual mosque purchasing/building itself.

                Is it the new enlightenment position that protests are bad?

                That sounds like something we would have done back when we were still certain Clinton would get elected.

                We probably should have thought that one through just a little bit more.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Is allowing Mosques part of the deal you think someone can offer to allow something or other? Are protesting Mosques about economic insecurity or something else? In you federalism can Muslims build Mosques where ever they want as long as they follow the same rules as others?

                Who are the people invited to the negotiations? Who is the designated Liberal Negotiator?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                From what I understand, the mosque wasn’t built because of a lack of funds, not because of a lack of permits granted.

                Now if we’re complaining that the people protesting weren’t being sufficiently Liberal and thus ought to be protested against, I suppose that’s a road I wouldn’t mind starting to wander down if you are. It might take us to some weird places, though.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird

                You won’t find the Happy Eid case because it’s a made-up example. No one has put one because under current Supreme Court precedents, a Happy Eid banner in front of a townhall is against the Establishment Clause.

                As are crèches.

                Reindeer, candy poles and Santa are allowed. Maybe a star if not prominent. That’s the Three Reindeer Rule, which, name notwithstanding, is a real thing (http://attorney-myers.com/2013/12/three-reindeer-rule/)

                Muslim cemeteries, alas, are also a real issue

                From earlier this year

                http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/08/23/planned-muslim-cemetery-mosque-face-opposition-in-georgia-community.html

                From last year

                https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farmersville_Islamic_cemetery

                Russel Moore (that Baptist Russel Moore) has been repeatedly under fire for supporting the right of Muslims to have mosques and cemeteries

                http://www.onenewsnow.com/church/2016/06/19/russell-moore-defends-building-mosque-to-sbc-critics

                And no, the opposition is not based on sanitary concernsReport

              • Avatar Kim in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                Excuse me? You’re allowed to put up Menorahs too.
                The whole deal is you have to make it a public square to put up whatever you feel like.
                Like Satanic shit too.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                You are correct

                Again, the issue is that those that want a crèche don’t want a menorah atop the crèche, and Reindeer grazing in the snow in front of it.

                Which is why those that fought to have a Ten Commandments monument fought as hard not to have a Baphomet StatueReport

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                “no creche” is as much of an instruction as “creche”.

                Particularly if “no creche” is the instruction.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                No. No crèche is not the instruction

                It is the law. As interpreted by the zsupreme Court decades ago. See Three Reindeer Rule

                No Happy Eid banner is also the lawReport

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                You have this idea that “the law” is not an instruction.

                “the law as interpreted” oh, so something did change after all.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                But I cannot “solve” the culture. Neither can Trump, btw.

                I am not suggesting that he can.

                If anything, I’m suggesting that these problems are intractable.

                But you have to do the not caring yourself, I cannot do it for you.

                We have an entire swatch that cares about things that I think that they should not care about.

                They care about these things anyway.

                Perhaps we agree that they shouldn’t care about these things. Wonderful.

                They care about these things anyway.

                And given that, so far, our solutions for inflation, deflation, unemployment, high taxes, crippling entitlements, immigration, and global warming have left these people feeling like they’re holding the bag (even if, overall, everything is a lot better than it would have been otherwise), they’re not particularly inclined to listen to our explanations about how they really ought to care about the things that we think they should care about.

                We are pointed in a bad direction that is fixing to get worse.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                But honestly, I cannot fix culture. I can as much make Ramadan and Eid go away than I can reopen the mines.

                I am fine with the crèche. Really, I am. I think it’s cute.

                I am fine with a Happy Ramadan or a Happy Eid banner, too

                I think most of those that want to put a Happy Eid banner will be fine with a crèche too. They might even donate money to the crèche committee, or help put it up.

                Those that really, really want he crèche will cry bloody murder if anyone wants to put a Happy Eid banner on top of Town Hall.

                Because they don’t want the crèche. They don’t care for the crèche. They want the culture. They are the same as those that suggested they’d rather have the state stop giving marriage licenses to opposite sex couples than accepting gay marriage.

                So, honest to God, @jaybird , what can I give to them that they really want, without hurting other people? I’m all ears, because you are right. But I am running out of things to offer to assuage them.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                So, honest to God, Jaybird, what can I give to them that they really want, without hurting other people?

                I’m pretty sure that you have nothing to offer them.

                Pity that they appear to have won.

                Something to offer might have come in handy.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m pretty sure that you have nothing to offer them.

                It’s not me, personal J_A, that is running out of things to offer. I’m afraid it’s all us us, all of WE, that are running out of things to offer them.

                Yes, there are things THEY want, but we either CANNOT (as in it’s physically impossible to) offer them (open the mines), or we SHOULD NOT offer them, because it can tear off the fabric of society

                Pity that they appear to have won

                Appear is the correct word. Because they can’t get what they want, so it’s a very hollow victory.

                Plus, without rehashing the electoral versus popular vote vagaries debate, a majority of the people are the ones that “appear” to have lost. This losing majority is not going anyway either, and their culture also needs to be accommodated. Should we offer them something too?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                So the pendulum will swing back and we can double down on neoliberalism good and hard.

                Eff those people. They don’t even have passports.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe we could dress it up a bit first. “Here’s some free food and free health care. We want your children to move to our cities to become knowledge workers. You can see them on Thanksgiving.”Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe we could dress it up a bit first. “Here’s some free food and free health care. We want your children to move to our cities to become knowledge workers. You can see them on Thanksgiving.”

                Would “Your children can move to our cities to become knowledge workers, but it’s not mandatory, and you (and your children, if they want) can stay here and starve because the mines will not reopen, but we won’t insult your dignity by offering you free food and free healthcare” be any better?Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird Because I know you are intelligent, I know you know I didn’t say anything like “Fish them”, “Yay neoliberalism” or”they will have it coming”.

                I’m saying that I can (and want to) offer them what it’s feasible, both physically feasible and politically feasible. But I need them to move away from “I want unicorns”.

                P.S. If anyone is all “Fish them” and “They will have it coming”, is the apparent winners. Not the apparent losers. If anything your argument seems to be that the winners are owed a new reality, and because those of us still bound to the millennia old real reality are not delivering, it’s all our fault of something.

                I’m still curious what you think can be done, besides putting up crèches but banning Happy Eid banners, and not enforcing sexual orientation discrimination ordinances against bakers.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m saying that I can (and want to) offer them what it’s feasible, both physically feasible and politically feasible. But I need them to move away from “I want unicorns”.

                I think everyone here is overthinking it.

                Jaybird’s wrong, and is in his own way doing exactly what the liberals he’s taking aim at in these threads are doing: I don’t like this, therefore other people don’t (or shouldn’t) either. Blue collar people do want social security, and they do want medicare, not only for themselves but for their loved ones. Those aren’t things that have been forced on them against them their will.

                If the left/urban liberals really want to reach out to the working class and blue color types, try treating them (and speaking of them) with respect.

                That won’t get you all of them, but it will build a hell of a lot of bridges.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                The overthinking is the result of reading into the election results a clear and coherent message.

                Trump won by casting out a wild inchoate primal scream, a lot like Occupy, where it can’t translate into a coherent policy because it can’t differentiate between things that are national policy choices and things that are global and tectonic.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Tod Kelly
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                says:

                Blue collar people do want social security, and they do want medicare, not only for themselves but for their loved ones.

                And yet, they have voted for years, particularly down-ballot, for the party that openly says they want to make those programs much riskier, and reduce the amount of money laid out for them.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                And yet, they have voted for years, particularly down-ballot, for the party that openly says they want to make those programs much riskier, and reduce the amount of money laid out for them.

                Are you assuming that they voted for members of that party for these reasons, @michael-cain ? I suspect that a) they disagree that these assumptions about the riskiness of certain economic policies are true, and b) they had other reasons to vote this way unrelated to those economic risks, because our political system demands that politicians offer a palette of seemingly oppositional policies on a variety of fronts and no one can tell an individual voter how to prioritize them.

                One thing I find myself doing on this thread is distinguishing between “they” and “we.” “They” are Americans, just like you and me and nearly everyone else participating in this thread. The differentiation is in location — “they” are somewhat more rural and rust-belty, where I am an exurban Californian — and education — “they” average out to a high school diploma and a year or so of community college, where I enjoy a graduate-level education. So it’s not surprising that in an economically rich and heterogenous environment I would enjoy more opportunities and likelihood of economic success than “they.”

                So in trying to tease out why this segment of our population behaved politically the way they did, we are finding all sorts of reasons why they are somehow different.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, this, the rural contingent has always had that dichotomy for the GOP: Culturally they’ve always loved the GOP’s positions but the GOP’s economic positions have always been at least partially an anathema to ruralia. Trump squared that circle: he jettisoned the GOP’s economic positions wholesale and replaced them with a laundry list of impossible promises.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                Are you assuming that they voted for members of that party for these reasons…?

                No, they voted on the assumption that the party wouldn’t really do it. Speculating, the large majority of both “they” and “we” refuse to believe that the Republicans would actually cut/dismantle what are arguably the two most successful social insurance programs implemented in the US, one 80 years old and the other 50.

                I am reminded of a number of studies where younger adults were polled about Social Security. When the subject was approached from the direction of the national deficit/debt, a substantial majority agreed with the statement “I’ll never get a dime from SS.” When approached from the direction of financial and retirement planning on a different day, a substantial majority of the same group picked the retirement plan that said “First there will be the check from SS…”

                Some years back, when Ryan was running the House Budget committee, he wrote a budget package that privatized SS for everyone younger than 55 and sent it home with his caucus during one of the long recesses. Upon returning, the caucus said that if they voted for the bill with the SS provision in it, they would be voted out of office at the next election. Myself, I speculate that Speaker Ryan has proposed cutting Medicare so he can then drop that plan and substitute block-granting Medicaid and everyone will think how much more reasonable that looks by comparison.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                Well it looks to me like one of the, if not THE main reason for Trumps first victory and his second are because he broke with republican orthodoxy in throwing all the republitarianism right into the wood chipper while keeping everything else.

                As in the reason the GOP won is because their chosen nominee said “Yeah forget all that program cutting the GOP talks about, but all the cultural signalling they do? That’s what we’ll be about this time.”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                I agree, which is why it is going to be a very interesting 2017.
                2016 Trump could tap dance around Medicare and working class populism.

                But 2017 Trump will have a Medicare bill land on his desk, Obamacare repeal to either veto or sign, and a budget that may delete a lot of the transfer goodies that working class people like the EITC.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                For sure! But if you read what the GOP is saying the frantic back peddling signals are YUGE. Suddenly the filibuster, for instance, is sacrosanct. Uh oh, looks like those mean Dems could block all our big reforms in the Senate. They can’t block our tax cuts, of course, horray for reconciliation but the ACA repeal, the Medicare repeal, the SS privatization? Filibustered. Damn, shucks.

                So we could discover a lot fewer of the GOP’s supposed republitarian goals are suddenly getting forgotten.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Michael Cain
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                says:

                Yes, they have, despite their wanting to keep these things. My own theory is that one party talks about them as the people that make America a great nation, and one party makes them the butt of jokes.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                My own theory is that one party talks about them as the people that make America a great nation, and one party makes them the butt of jokes.

                Well, maybe, since the post-Trump elevation of smugness to a central principle defining effective political economic theory…

                I’d go the other way: conservatives who love those programs have been indoctrinated into a) believing that Dems are fucking Socialists and b) hating anything that Dems support.

                Same with the ACA, actually. Folks love guarantee issue, community rating, no lifetime caps, etc and so on. But that mandate? Fucking Dem SOCIALISM!!!!Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, maybe, since the post-Trump elevation of smugness to a central principle defining effective political economic theory…

                I don’t think it’s “smugness,” exactly. I think “smugness” is the word that liberals have largely glommed onto in an attempt to create a narrative that requires them to do zero self-examination.

                I’d put it differently:

                One of the 21st-century’s version of liberalism’s inherent strengths is its tacit understanding of what it does to powerless/power-light groups when those in power treat said groups with no respect. It can have a huge damaging effect to that group — not just in terms of psyche, but also more tangible things such economic effects. Liberals have done a good job in recognizing these effects on certain groups (e.g.: LGBTQ, African Americans, latinos, American Muslims) — even if they aren’t yet particularly good at addressing those effects.

                It seems to me that it takes little imagination to take that same way of viewing social lack of respect to the powerless and focusing it on white segments of society that are lack power and are hurting.

                But I don’t really see that happening at the moment.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, agreed. I’d also add that the demise of unions, accelerated by the Democratic Party’s relatively quick abandoning of them, was also a pretty big deal. For decades, the Democratic party was identified with and fundamentally committed to the interests of labor (contra the GOPs identity as the party of business), and it ain’t anymore.

                Add: Which is why NAFTA is such a big deal, especially for Dems. Or Ex-Dems. Or the Ex-Dem curious…Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                The liberal version of this story is that during the 1950s and 1960s, we were trying to expand to African-Americans and other minorities the same thing we won for Whites earlier but White middle and working class people preferred America’s tradition of racial prejudice. Many but not all of the unions fought hard against racial integration.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to LeeEsq
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s an excellent point, Lee. Really.

                {{US Racism runs deep… I’m thinking Reagan Democrats here, acourse}}Report

              • Avatar Freeman in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                If the left/urban liberals really want to reach out to the working class and blue color types, try treating them (and speaking of them) with respect.

                This.

                I’ve been making this same argument on lefty sites, and I’ve met nothing but resistance to the idea. Getting a lot of responses like this one (in response to my objection that referring to Midwestern rurals as “a bunch of racist suckers” just because the majority voted for Trump is itself a form of bigotry):

                Look, even if the Clintons had been videoed selling the names of CIA agents to the ayatollahs in exchange for suitcases of cocaine and planeloads of underage Somali slave girls, it would still have been no contest against giving a spoiled rich brat with the moral compass and policy knowledge of a delinquent eight-year-old the keys to 4,500 nuclear warheads. The idea that the unconsidered feelings of white Midwesterners should count for more than the justified fears of American DREAMers and black teenagers is itself a form of racial bias.

                Totally over their heads when I suggest that what they vehemently argue should have been a blowout even with a hyperbolically worse candidate was lost in part because their feelings of smug superiority count for more. Totally miss the point when I suggest that there were far more than enough rust belt voters who refused to vote for Trump to tip the balance, and maybe they should stop telling those people not to vote for liberals by screaming RACIST at them all the time.Report

              • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Freeman
                Ignored
                says:

                I pretty much agree. And it’s also not as if every voter in each red state actually voted for Trump. The popular vote majority that Clinton received came thanks to votes in those states as much as thanks to votes in blue states.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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                says:

                Nearly no one in my camp voted Trump. The county was blue, even though the average income for women is $17,200 a year.

                The big shift hasn’t happened yet.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Freeman
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think many people in this particular forum screamed Racist (I know of many forums where it did happen -I stay away of those, but I also stay away of National Review).

                The focus of the debates, at least since the election, is how to understand, and, if possible, accommodate a significacant group of people that are driven mostly by nostalgia and fear of change, whose preferred policies are, for many reasons, not possible to enact, and who seem to reject that reality is here to stay.

                For historical reasons that we discussed in previous posts, most of the people that have been displaced by the loss of the good old jobs are white. Thus the bulk of those that we have to “accommodate”, or to convince that the world has really changed and there’s no way back, are white. For historical reasons, too, most minorities now stand among those that haven’t suffered an equivalent loss (not that they are objectively better, they might be still in a worse absolute position, just that they haven’t gone downwards from the starting point as much). So the relatively dispossessed whites look around and feel that only them are being singled for pain, and react accordingly. In their eyes anti-white racism is real, because the pain the economic disruption brought has been concentrated on whites (*)

                All very rational, but still we can’t make it up to them the way they want. I can understand them till the cows come home. But they have to understand too that the old world is gone. It’s not a matter of revenge for the previous privilege (which was also real). It’s just that stuff happens

                (*) Understandably, they don’t want to hear that they were born in third base just by being white babies in the 1950s and 1960s. They didn’t build that system. That system was formally gone by the time they graduated from high school, even if the effects lingered for decades. Just like we can’t do much for them now, there wasn’t that much more we could have done for the previous victims of the system except let the effects flush themselves.Report

              • Avatar Freeman in reply to J_A
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                says:

                Oh no I wasn’t talking about this forum, by far the most rational somewhat-left-leaning blog I read. There is genuine effort to consider various viewpoints and recruit participants whose viewpoints are rare here, I’ve seen lots of it. Nonetheless, I note that Jaybird has encountered firm resistance here in his efforts to encourage others to dial back the rhetoric a bit.

                As a life-long Midwestern independent voter with lots of friends in rural areas, I want to address the “what they want” assumptions I’m seeing here. Yeah, they’d like their old jobs back but they know they’re gone for good. For the most part, they also understand that it’s the normal churn, businesses start up, grow, and eventually fade to be replaced by other kinds of business.

                What they don’t want:
                Handouts, whether money or temporary make-work jobs for the sake of providing money. They’re not so much jealous of benefits offered to city-dwelling minorities as they are unwilling to pay for it with their tax dollars as they have little to spare.

                What they do want: Removal of barriers impeding those new start-up businesses they need to replace the old ones.
                Respect as equals.
                Representation.

                A party that almost universally insists on disparaging my friends and neighbors does not represent or respect me, and won’t get my vote.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Freeman
                Ignored
                says:

                @freeman

                What they do want: Removal of barriers impeding those new start-up businesses they need to replace the old ones.
                Respect as equals.
                Representation.

                Can you flesh up those three a bit, please

                I don’t know of any particular regulations against start-up businesses – at least regulations that are coming from the liberal side, unless we are taking environmental and OSHA regulations (to remind you, my day job is in the power generation business, and I’m perfectly fine with enviroand OSHA regulations). However, many of the start up jobs might not (likely won’t) pay the same as the old jobs, or hire the same amount of people.

                Representation? Through the constitutional structure of both the federal government (and also the vast majority of states), rural voters are overrepresented in both chambers and in the Electoral College, compared to urban voters. Are we talking representation in the media or what?

                I will skip, for the time being, the Respect as Equals bit, because it mirrors the complaint that (let’s call then the Trump voters, though many might not have voted for Trump, amd many Trump voters do not belong this group) the Trump voters are voting against the demographic changes in the USA, so, the argument goes, they want to retain the position of superiority that they had historically.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                You mean, like this?

                “Louisiana law purports to require that anyone who is going to sell a casket has to jump through all same regulatory hoops as a full-fledged mortuary operation that embalms bodies. “Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                @damon

                Insofar as that is true (and since Rod Dreher has ranted about it too, I’ll stipulate that it is true) is a stupid regulation, just like the stupid Texas hair dresser regulations.

                Might I respectfully point out that both TX and LA are states almost completely controlled by the “right”, at the legislative, executive (Edwards notwithstanding), and independent agencies levels. So, insofar as those regulations were not implemented from the right (which they likely were), the right has not deemed necessary to “remove those barriers”, as @freeman said.

                We might go a gotcha and no-true-Scotsman route here, but the argument was that Blue Collar voters rejected the Dems because of the Dems enactment of barriers to new businesses. I concede that Dems like environmental and OSHA regulations, and I won’t let those go easily, but, besides those, I do t think Dems have a policy of regulations against start ups. After the casket example, I still don’t.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t see the relevancy of the state being “red” or “blue”. I think it’s a good example of gov’t, of any kind, interfering needlessly.

                Also, consider hair braiding
                Consider regs against jitney cabs, etc.
                I’d also throw out “day care centers”.

                Both of those would impact you more leftish locales. I’m sure we could come up with dozens more-regardless of the state.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                “Give me one single example of a stupid regulation!”
                “Casket licensing.”
                “Okay fine well that’s ONE, and we’ll just FIX IT, god why is everything so hard with you? We just fix the problems!
                “The point is not playing whack-a-mole, the point is how there got to be so many moles in the first place.”
                “Whatever, racist.”Report

              • Avatar Francis in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                This comment might have a little more bite, if not for the broader problem that everyone talks about federal regulation, but ends up complaining about state and local regulation.

                Seriously, unless your start-up business is a bank, or a power plant, or a manufacturing facility discharging pollutants into the nearest river, or involves paving over endangered species habitat, the federal government really isn’t your problem.

                Yes, many Democrats are way too quick to pull the race card. But defining your political opposition by the worst of them means, then, that Democrats are correct; there are plenty of vocal racist Republicans out there.

                What I object to is the selection bias. Each side promotes its own moderates (when appropriate), but selects the most outrageous representatives as characteristic of the opposition (when convenient). (See, again, R. Dreher.)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Francis
                Ignored
                says:

                Marijuana dispensaries.Report

              • Avatar Francis in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You will get no complaint from me that the CSA is a terrible law.

                Do you expect the Trump admin to do anything about it? Damon’s and Freeman’s point is that the federal government is stifling new business development, therefore vote Trump.

                Mostly I disagree on the first point, but as to the dispensary example I don’t see the action (voting Trump) leading to the expected result (easier to open that business).Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Francis
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                says:

                No, I was just pointing out yet another Scotsman who wasn’t true.Report

              • Avatar Freeman in reply to Francis
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                says:

                My point is the opposite of “therefore vote Trump”. My point is to describe how parties that don’t nominate Trump can attract more voters in rural areas where the majority vote for parties that do.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Francis
                Ignored
                says:

                @francis
                This comment might have a little more bite, if not for the broader problem that everyone talks about federal regulation, but ends up complaining about state and local regulation.

                And on top of that, *red states* are much more prone to regulatory capture intent on keeping competitors out. See the aforementioned casket thing. That’s not the only one…the Tea Party in my state was startled to learn that Republicans didn’t seem to be on their side at all when trying to push for solar power, and instead sided with the regulated monopolies that are Georgia power companies.

                Now, admittedly, there is some regulations intent on keeping people out of markets that helps groups that traditionally support Democrats, but it’s the sort of regulations that no one has a problem with…no one wants unregulated entrepreneurial *doctors* and *lawyers* springing up. (I say this as someone who thinks the medical establishment should be roundly condemned for their unwillingness to actually train more doctors, and that perhaps some of their monopoly *should* be loosened, somehow. But this is not normal political thought.)

                And in general, most of the time, the regulations are mostly the same from state to state, making it somewhat dubious to blame the left for them. For a random example of something that’s often mentioned, we can look at these:
                http://www.beautyschoolsdirectory.com/faq/license_ca.php
                http://www.beautyschoolsdirectory.com/faq/license_ga.php

                Georgia, and California, have basically the same requirements for Cosmetology licenses. In fact, in a few notable ways, California has less requirements…they don’t require a lot of the apprenticeships.

                In the end, the question is why the hell all the red states aren’t angry *at their own state government* which are the people doing the regulating…oh, wait, their state governments are operated by Republicans. Of course the people directing their anger wouldn’t direct it *there*, the entire point is to be angry at the left who is ruining their life.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                I can feel your dripping disdain for the real Americans, those red working class voters.

                All that logic, and taking what they say at face value and doing research and investigation, and trying to solve problems.

                It’s so disgustingly….liberal.Report

              • Avatar Freeman in reply to J_A
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                says:

                In farm country, we’re always running afoul of this sort of nonsense. There’s trade restrictions in unpasteurized eggs, unpasteurized whole (and I do mean whole, with a thick layer of cream rising to the top when it settles – yum!) milk, any number of things common to rural America that makes city folk think they need to pass a law to protect ignorant racist hillbillies from themselves.

                Representation. I can’t say it any clearer than the closing paragraph of the post you responded to:

                A party that almost universally insists on disparaging my friends and neighbors does not represent or respect me, and won’t get my vote.

                We can elect official representatives, but that doesn’t mean they’ll represent us. The Democratic party absolutely refuses to represent rural middle America. They’ve written us off as a “tiny sliver” as I’ve seen us described in this very thread, that they can afford to write off (even after the recent devastating loss). All-righty then. Here’s your red carpet, President Trump.

                And yeah, everyone wants to skip the Respect as Equals bit. That’s the problem.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Freeman
                Ignored
                says:

                I can’t speak to the specifics but lots of trade restrictions are at the behest of big businesses and trade groups. They aren’t about protecting you from yourself, they are business deals.

                I live in a red state and one thing i’ve seen for years is that many rural folk blame city folk for everything. Meanwhile the city folk didn’t know or care or have anything to do with the thing the rural folk were hating at them about.Report

              • Avatar Freeman in reply to greginak
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                says:

                Well the raisin thing certainly fits the profile but the pasteurization thing seems more nannying. What difference does it make?

                Rural folk blame city folk because that’s where the laws get passed. City folk don’t know or care or have anything to do with the thing the affecting the rural folk, you said so yourself, yet they make rules for rural folk to follow that don’t make sense in a rural setting because they didn’t know or care or have anything to do with the thing the rural folk are hating them about. When rurals complain about it they’re brushed off as ignorant racist hillbillies and so they hate them some more.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Freeman
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve seen it more often in environmental debates but industry will use hating city enviro folk as the scapegoat for the things the industry is doing. It’s been a harsh wake up for some conservative rural people to see that it was their own employer who sporked them over while blaming dirty hippies.

                I’m against hating on any people based on where they come from. Some rural folk just hate city folk and vice versa. Some of that is just irrational hatred of people who are different. When someone only points out one side of that sad equation, well they are missing something.

                Rural people can often have more pull then they understand. Or at least its often far more complex. Here in Alaska some of rural areas have no pull mostly because of their tiny population but also because they are Alaska Native ( read as Native American). Other rural area, far more white, have significant pull. Certainly the senate at the federal level over represents low population states.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Freeman
                Ignored
                says:

                But rural folks have actually more representatives in Congress than city folk have. It’s baked in the system. They do have more.

                So why aren’t these milk, etc regulations not addressed by the representatives of the rural folk? (*)

                Have you thought that, perhaps, the big agriculture businesses, the ones that, for instance, industrialize chicken raising (*, again), and collect the lion’s share of the subsidies, and fund the campaigns of the rural districts representatives, that perhaps they are the ones behind the regulations you (rightly) dislike, and that the more you vote for representatives funded by Big Ag. money, the more entrenched those regulations will be.

                (*) I have the feeling that, being all about being organic and farm to market, urban Park Slope SJWs would be your allies against these regulations, but since they don’t like to be mocked and be called elitist crybabies SJWs, they might not. Red carpet for milk regulations.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to J_A
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                says:

                Here again you run up against how rural people get information.

                So sure, big Dairy doesn’t want people selling raw milk because it takes big Dairy out of the supply chain. But they are smart enough to know that openly going to the statehouse and asking the reps to require them to be in the supply chain is going to go over like a fart in a crowded bus. So they mask the move in food safety, maybe getting a useful liberal academic type to publicly decry (on the evening news, or NPR, etc.) the practice of drinking raw milk as horribly unsafe, etc.

                And now the culture war is on, because the talk radio types will run with that all day long about how the urban types can’t just be happy with their milk being pasteurized, they have to ruin it for everyone because liberals think rural folks are too dumb for their own good, yadda yadda.

                The urban legislators are in the clear to vote for it, as are suburban reps. Rural legislators might vote against, but might also carve out some limited exception that allows for the consumption of raw milk, and perhaps some sales, but never to the point that it would be anything but a tiny cottage industry serving a niche market. They then vote for it after using that exception to show that they tried, they really tried, to protect this important bit of rural farm life, but the urban liberals were just too strong, but s/he’ll continue to keep working to protect their interests.

                PS There is an element of truth in all this, in that at the core, it was urban elites driving this, because Big Ag is urban elite, no matter how many times they try to wear the OshKosh B’gosh overalls and John Deere ball cap.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                But if anyone will be willing to carve out raw milk sales in small volumes, it is the urban, organic, environmentally friendly, liberal crowd.

                But the idea to reach to liberal effete urban dwellers would never cross the rural small milk producer, because, for goodness sake, they are effete, they are urban, and they are liberal. So they vote for the Big Ag guy that is seriously conservative and that takes them to the cleaners.

                But it is the fault of urban effete liberal regulations. Their Big Ag representative told them so in his stump speech.

                I cannot solve the culture, while culture remains more important than practical stuff. I cannot bridge the chasm to reach people that don’t like my culture. And I might be a bad representative, or be bad at introspection, but I have the feeling I’m more willing to accommodate their culture than they are willing to accommodate mine. But then I’m not a real ‘Murican. I wasn’t even born here.

                Go back to Europe, you effete urban liberal raw milk cheese lover.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                We aren’t arguing, you get that, right?

                My point is that information consumption is driving culture, or at least culture war.

                No, it drives culture too. Rural communities are being told, by media, by pundits, by political & religious leaders, what they are supposed to care about & who is “on their side”. This happens in urban and suburban communities as well, but they have more access and exposure to other voices, so it’s tougher to build a monoculture. Rural areas are remarkably isolated, information wise, and that isolation serves those who want the power those places represent.

                The thing is, most of those rural people don’t honestly care about the things they are told to care about. They care about their little corner of the world and being able to live in it. Most are quite happy to live & let live, and can be very generous with the little they have. Expose them (respectfully) to an alternate POV and they’ll listen, maybe even come around, but doing that requires getting boots on the ground, in those places, and doing the hard work of winning hearts and minds.

                It can’t be done with op-eds in papers or on websites they don’t read, or memes on social media, you gotta get out of the urban comfort zone and get in there, like the old union organizers used to, back in the day.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                I could not agree more if I had written this myselfReport

              • Avatar Francis in reply to Freeman
                Ignored
                says:

                As to restrictions on unpasteurized milk,

                older cemeteries are chalk full of children who died of listeriosis. Long supply chains and mega-dairies only make the issue more critical.

                If you want legislative exemptions to pasteurization requirements, go to your STATE, not federal, legislator. Try bringing on an effete liberal or two who wants to buy unpasteurized, unhomogenized (different things, of course) milk at her local farmers’ market.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Freeman
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                says:

                Respectfully-
                I have never met a middle class person of conservative disposition who didn’t love them some government assistance.

                Seriously, has there ever been a person who declined the mortgage interest exemption, a FEMA grant after a hurricane, a Pell Grant, a FHA/ VA loan, the EITC, or any of the other hundreds of little goodies that most middle class folks enjoy?

                How many military family are on food stamps, yet are not seen as welfare queens?

                How many ranchers and farmers proudly decline agricultural subsidies because they are independent rugged individualists who just want to be left alone?

                For that matter, how many of the people who work in aerospace or the various defense industries consider themselves beneficiaries of government benefits?
                Yet it could be argued programs like the F-35 are nothing more than a Works Progress Administration makework program in another guise.

                None of these things are ever viewed as “welfare” because they are given to people who work, who have jobs and pay taxes.

                But they are forms of government assistance, a handout if you will, nonetheless.

                The point here isn’t to j’accuse, to hurl an insult at anyone.

                Its to point out that (IMO) no one likes the Free Market.
                Period, full stop, no one anywhere ever.

                Most people like the way government distorts the free market and boosts the income of people who work, the way it sands off the sharp edges of the business cycle.

                The only reason they complain about things like TANF and SNAP is a) it benefits people other than themselves and b) it explicitly is aimed at people who don’t work.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Yeah, @chip-daniels, I look forward to all those Trump voters pushing him to get rid of the mortgage interest deduction. Oh right, that’s the good kind of welfare.Report

              • Avatar Freeman in reply to Jesse Ewiak
                Ignored
                says:

                Rural voters tend to like flat taxes. Get rid of ALL the deductions and rich elite billionaires don’t get to skip taxes for a decade.

                Not that Trump is going to do that.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Yet it could be argued programs like the F-35 are nothing more than a Works Progress Administration makework program in another guise.

                For all we spent on that to date, we could probably have a space elevator in place by now, or at least under construction.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                It was Barney Frank who laughed about how all these fiscally conservative Congressmen would defend Pentagon pork on the basis of its marvelous stimulative effects.

                And it was an old leftist from the 60’s who recalled how you could get nearly any left wing welfare program funded, if you could convince them it was a National Security need, like National Security school lunches, National Security medical clinic, and so on.

                And I can’t forget how we (literally) bombed Iraq with pallet loads of hundred dollar bills.

                I have a fantasy where the B-2s somehow got terribly off course and accidentally dropped billions of dollars in cash over Compton and East LA.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                As much as I love cool new military technology, and as much as I think the work DARPA or the NRL can often lead to exciting peacetime technology, the latest trend of spending trillions for a single weapons system…Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Eh, there’s some engineering roadblocks there that haven’t been solved.

                The materials stuff is close (they have a material that will work, although it — as yet — can’t be made to the minimum length required), but there’s a significant engineering challenge I’ve yet to see any progress on (there is a lengthy period where the ribbon becomes wide enough that micro-meteor hits are very likely over the vulnerable time frame, but the ribbon itself is not yet wide enough to take the hits without failing. After that critical period, it will hold until it’s repaired by the next vehicle crawling up).Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Morat20
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                says:

                Oh, sure, and how much you want to bet that if we kicked $1.4 Trillion at those problems, we’d have them all licked with plenty left over for actual construction?

                ETA And have more than a handful of useful civilian technology to boot.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                “Seriously, has there ever been a person who declined the mortgage interest exemption, a FEMA grant after a hurricane, a Pell Grant, a FHA/ VA loan, the EITC, or any of the other hundreds of little goodies that most middle class folks enjoy?”

                You forgot to say “strapping young bucks”, bro. You say it so damn much, I mean; you sure do seem to love talking about strapping young bucks. Just sayin’.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Chip,
                Me. Okay?
                Since you asked.
                Do you have any IDEA how much of a shitstorm buying an older house is with an FHA loan? (My real estate agent had stories, and then more stories.)Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, I WAS, a long time ago, a “a middle class person of conservative disposition” who never saw a entitlement program he loved. I watched the farmers and ranchers bitch about gov’t spending while depositing those ag set aside checks and noted the hypocrisy. But I also realized that NOT taking the mortgage interest deduction was only screwing myself and wasn’t fixing the problem. So, yeah, I’m going to take ever deduction and benefit the law allows because I can. That doesn’t mean I’d prefer to change things so I didn’t NEED to take them…say by lowering the overall tax rate, but I’m not going to screw myself financially by not doing it first.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Freeman
                Ignored
                says:

                freeman,
                What ever happened to the Tea Party?
                Same thing will happen to the SJW.
                Story has reached peak metabolism,
                and it’s allllll downhill from here.Report

              • Avatar Freeman in reply to Kim
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                says:

                What ever happened to the Tea Party? Well they just helped elect a new president. Not seeing any decline in these parts.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Freeman
                Ignored
                says:

                If the left/urban liberals really want to reach out to the working class and blue color types, try treating them (and speaking of them) with respect.

                This.

                Personally, I don’t think that’ll work. Urban smugness isn’t the issue here, in my view. It’s the increasingly obvious tendency of urban, educated, relatively high-income liberals to adopt very narrow, usually identity-based, special interests as a litmus test of being on the “right side of history”. And the reality is that not only are ruralites and working class folks hit over the head with that on a cultural level, the policies and interests devolving from that set of issues doesn’t positively affect the quality of their lives. So it skips right over them.

                Given that, (if it’s correct :), how can an urban liberal, with his/her already well-formed beliefs, show respect to a person whose rank ordering of priorities is radically different without it coming off as obviously condescending?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Or shorter: Dems/liberals showing respect for working class/rural folks will require a pretty radical shift in Dem/liberal priorities.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                how can an urban liberal, with his/her already well-formed beliefs, show respect to a person whose rank ordering of priorities is radically different without it coming off as obviously condescending?

                Well…once again-

                The working class Latinos seem to have no problem with our smugness.
                The working class black folks seem to have no problem with our smugness.
                The working class gay folks seem to have no problem with our smugness.
                In fact, plenty of white working class folks seem to have no problem with our smugness.

                There is just one narrow sliver of the working class that seems to be troubled by our latte sipping arugula eating smugness.

                Look- I get that country people resent city slickers looking down their nose at the bumpkins.
                But this is not new, or unique to America or liberalism, its kind of the norm throughout history.

                And yeah, we could do a lot better at communicating to that narrow sliver.

                But this emerging idea that somehow the broad swath of working class people are hating on Dems just doesn’t seem to hold up.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                @chip-daniels, how many times do I have to tell you – single working mothers who have a union casino job in Nevada are part of the elite now.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Look- I get that country people resent city slickers looking down their nose at the bumpkins.

                I believe that you have pointed out, and certainly myself, Will, and Burt have pointed out, that those country folks don’t win the state-wide elections unless enough of the suburbs are going along with them. I know it’s going to be difficult to find the data, but I really want to see how the suburbs voted in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania this time compared to the Obama elections.

                As you say, sneering at the country folk is nothing new. The national Dem party also sneers at the suburbs. The West Coast has locally managed to overcome that, and it’s been happening in Colorado and Nevada over the last 10-15 years. If the Dems want to make inroads into the vast swath of the country from the Great Plains to the Appalachians, they need to win the ‘burbs.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                @michael-cain, what you see as sneering toward the suburbs, I as a liberal elitist (with my $35k annual salary and student loans) see as Democrat’s caring about more than appealing to just the needs and wants of suburban voters, as the Republican’s have largely done.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                The working class black folks seem to have no problem with our smugness.

                That is mighty white of you, but maybe you should speak for yourself.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                If the conversations on this site lately are indicative of reality, the problem is less of respect and more a collective resignation that those who lean right are not necessary to advance a social policy agenda, and are so far gone to the right wing demagogues as to not be worth the effort to win the cooperation of.

                How many times has someone said, “why should we consider their concerns when they aren’t listening to ours?”. Whch is fine, if you are very confident that liberal concerns are being accurately expressed to those populations, or if you’re sure you have the votes to safely ignore them.

                The right wing has dug itself in to those populations, and the left just doesn’t seem interested in the work it would take to dig them out. Which strikes me as being either very short sighted, or okay with playing a very long game.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                There are two basic responses to your points here. First is that there are some people who will never agree so trying to convert them is a waste of time. As an example some people will always think gays are sicko perverts and nothing is going to change that. Thinking they can be converted is sort of condescending to them since it suggests they are strong in their beliefs.

                Second is that the rights of oppressed minorities shouldn’t be dependent on waiting for people who hate them to stop hating them. Why should gays be denied the right to marry until people who hate them give in.

                FWIW i think your original point is solid as is both of the responses i described. Lots of people can’t be swayed but people should try to. Oppressed people should fight for their rights and it is wrong for them to have to wait until the haters just stop hating. But change is hard.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Here’s the thing, @oscar-gordon, I’m probably the resident “we don’t need to appeal to the crazies” wacko liberal here with Chip and Morat.

                The thing is, I’m not against being more economically populist core to a charismatic candidate to shave off Obama/Trump voters who had taken in 25 years of anti-Hillary propaganda, then got Trump as a possible choice instead of Mitt “I might have actually shut your, yes, your factory down” Romney.

                But that takes care of 1-3% of the vote. To get any part of the rest of the 45% of the vote would require hard concessions that will hurt illegal immigrants, women who want easy access to an abortion, LGBT citizens, African-Americans, and so on, and so forth.

                So yes, I’m not willing to do that “work.” We’re never going to win South Dakota, Nebraska, or Wyoming in the neat future. I’m OK with that.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jesse Ewiak
                Ignored
                says:

                3% of the vote would be a really really good thing. I’d say it could go up to 5%. What would the congress look like with a 3-5% increase in D vote?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                According to Nate, only a 1% swing in three states woulda made Hillary Preznit….

                So close, yet so far away…Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I written before that I think this is an important thing to understand: it’s a relatively tiny number of votes in a very large election that produced this result.

                That means you can’t read the result of the election as a rejection of Obama and his policies.

                That means you can’t read the result of the election as a mandate for Trump and his platform (whatever you want to read into it).

                That means we have a system, and it gave us this result that some people like and some other people don’t. North of 30% of Trump voters actively dislike him — they voted Trump because they disliked Clinton more. And some other people who would otherwise have voted for a generic Democrat stayed home. There are a lot of reasons for that, some of them earned by Clinton, some of them not.

                Again, the point is well-taken that there are a segment of voters the Democrats stopped speaking to, stopped having anything to offer. Those some people felt ignored and even slighted by things some Democrats have said. Democrats ought to change that about their platform and their presentation.

                But they shouldn’t feel like they’ve been crushed. They lost a squeaker. They should fight like hell to keep as much of what we’ve got as they can, and find as many good candidates as they can, because it is only a matter of time until a recession hits and Trumpian protectionism fails to deliver a return of manufacturing jobs and Trump gets stuck holding the bag of unwon desultory foreign wars in which he promised easy and decisive victory.Report

              • Avatar Freeman in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                Hear hear! My point about the abandoned segment of voters is all about how to win them back. The only thing Republicans are doing for them that Democrats aren’t is treating them with respect.Report

              • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Burt Likko
                Ignored
                says:

                because it is only a matter of time until a recession hits and Trumpian protectionism fails to deliver a return of manufacturing jobs and Trump gets stuck holding the bag of unwon desultory foreign wars in which he promised easy and decisive victory.

                Sadly, to a protectionist mind, recessions can be a justification for more protectionism. I don’t think that’s a good thing, but that’s what can happen. As for unwon wars of the sort you’re describing, I sure hope it doesn’t come to that.

                I singled that quote out for quibbling because I heartily agree (or want to agree) with the rest of what you say here.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jesse Ewiak
                Ignored
                says:

                I’d want to see some hard evidence that the 45% is so far to the right that the required concessions are that harmful. I’d say 10%, maybe 20% is beyond reach, and the rest can be swayed with relatively minor, and ultimately temporary*, concessions.

                Obama did win 2 terms, after all.

                * In the long run, things bend toward progressive goals. As I said before, people need time to adjust, and they won’t agree with your opinion as to how much time is needed to accept the new reality.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                The right wing has dug itself in to those populations,

                Ehhh, maybe. Or maybe not so much.

                I mean, thinking about Joe Blue Collar in Michigan.

                How important are transgender bathrooms to him, really?
                How does that become the hill he wants to die on?

                Or rather, do issues like that loom larger when other, unspoken, unarticulated issues are whats really eating at him?
                Like when the wife says you leave the seat down when what she means is you don’t kiss her with passion anymore?

                I’m starting to land on the position that the Dems need to go big on economic populism, like really big, a New Deal for the 21st century where it isn’t some small bore stuff that nobody notices but something that can capture peoples imagination and be an exciting vision of future prosperity.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                You’re feeling the Bern. I’m feelin it too. And for my part I don’t look at it like economic populism (tho it is that). I look at it more like our inevitable economic reality. Unless we reconsider debtors prisons and the gulags to maintain the wealth imbalances anyway.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Right wing demagogues have dug themselves in.

                As for the policy, that might work, but they would really have to deliver.Report

              • Avatar Freeman in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                how can an urban liberal, with his/her already well-formed beliefs, show respect to a person whose rank ordering of priorities is radically different without it coming off as obviously condescending?

                Why on earth should that be so hard? You just treat them as equals. I’m a white farmboy living in an 80% black Midwestern suburban neighborhood, I have friends across the spectrum from soft-core socialists to tea-party rednecks and we all get along fine because we know and treat each other as humans and equals. Now if I referred to my neighbors as stupid n’s or my tea party buddies as ignorant racist hillbillies, I would imagine the relationships would be quite different.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Freeman
                Ignored
                says:

                Cool, @freeman, would you be so comfortable with your future if the incoming Democratic President was say, a rich black businessmen with a checkered financial background, multiple wives, bragging about with odd closeness to African strongmen who named as his Chief of Staff a guy who previously ran a Nation of Islam news website and named as his possible NSA a guy who was the honored guest for a anti-American propaganda channel funded by those African strongmen?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Freeman
                Ignored
                says:

                You just treat them as equals.

                Heh. Jesse beat me too it. I was gonna go with “so, you’re OK with Trump and the accompanying agenda then, seeing as we’re all equals?”Report

              • Avatar Freeman in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                See, here’s the part you’re not getting. It’s actually possible to disagree with people while still respecting them as equal. Trust me on this, I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I have several very close friends who are rabid Trump supporters, went to rallies, put up yard signs, and enthusiastically voted for him. I’m certainly not OK with Trump or his agenda but that doesn’t mean I have to hate my friends for voting for him. They have as much right to vote for their preference as I do and it would be just as (not more) unfair for them to condemn me for my choice. When we disagree we respectfully disagree and then move on to more pleasant topics and more common ground, which you might be surprised at how much there is.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Freeman
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure, let’s just have a nice conversation about the Cowboys game while I know you’d like to block my friends from having access to an abortion, would’ve blocked my co-workers from staying in the country because of who their parents are, and would like to require the girl I dated in college to register because of her religion.

                Yes, it’s easy to talk to Trump supporters, if you don’t know anybody well who will be affected by Trump’s policy choices.

                (Oh, and BTW, if somebody would prefer not to be my friend because I support baby killing, that’s perfectly within their right and I won’t judge them for that.)Report

              • Avatar Freeman in reply to Jesse Ewiak
                Ignored
                says:

                The difference is that I can respectfully disagree with you about baby killing OR abortion restricting and STILL BE YOUR FRIEND. I have many friends of both persuasions. We don’t spend very much time killing babies and restricting abortions when we’re together, so why dwell on it to the point of tossing away friendships?

                I know plenty of people well who will be adversely affected by Trump’s stated policies. Hell, I’m one of them. My brother who lost his tenured full-benefits job as a college professor when his school closed and now does free-lance work is going to have a much more difficult time getting health insurance if ACA is overturned. It’s STILL easy for me to talk to Trump supporters with respect, because they are human too, flaws and all just like me, with the same rights to their goofy opinion as I have to mine.

                But that doesn’t mean I’m OK with Trump. I didn’t want him to win, but the Dems blew it big time. My autopsy is that the Pied Piper stragedy backfired on them in two ways: 1) They weren’t concerned enough with “what if he wins”. 2) The Reps turned their strategy back on them and beat them at their own game, whipping up outrage with their antics and getting the Dems to respond with insults to the contested demographic that would decide the outcome. It was brilliant, actually, and practically guaranteed to work. Better be watching out for that one in the future. One other unrelated factor is that the Dems over-indoctrinated academic youths to the point where they won’t even vote for a mainstream Dem candidate, they all want a Bernie or a Stein.

                Now I could go over to Rep websites and warn them that they just won a squeaker and they should tone down their rhetoric if they want to avoid alienating voters so that they can continue to win elections (which I firmly believe), but 1) I don’t necessarily want them to continue winning elections, and more importantly 2) why would they listen?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird is always wrong.

                The funny part is to see how the things that make him wrong on Tuesday are things that would have made him right on Monday, and vice versa.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Once I realized that I was always wrong, I started wondering whether it was possible to use always being wrong to my advantage.

                I’m guessing that it can’t be…Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Once I realized that I was always wrong,

                Right from the get-go I knew you were always wrong, but as time’s moved along and our political-cultural reality has changed I noticed that you were still consistently wrong, of course, but in a right sorta way.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                1. Jaybird isn’t always wrong.

                2. Can you give an example of what you’re talking about that isn’t in the form of “b-b-b-ut… RACISM?!?!”Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                You want an example? See every single comment on this post by Jaybird.

                I think I’m the only one here who’s actually agreed with him about anything.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                I know you know I didn’t say anything like “Fish them”, “Yay neoliberalism” or”they will have it coming”.

                Do they know that their opponents aren’t (and would never) say anything like that?

                Did they instead soften it up first? “Hey, new economy and all, and if you don’t want to change, here’s some free food and free health care and free education for your children that we’re going to want to move away from you and next to us if they want a bite at the apple. Oh, and if you decline, your kids will live in the squalor that you currently find yourself in. Only worse.”

                If anything your argument seems to be that the winners are owed a new reality, and because those of us still bound to the millennia old real reality are not delivering, it’s all our fault of something.

                No. I’m not saying that people are owed, deserve, or should have happen. I’m trying to avoid “ought”.

                Well, except for stuff like “if P->Q is true, and if P is true, then you ought to understand that Q is going to be true”.

                And, instead, people are arguing that Q can’t be true because of a handful of reasons that have nothing to do with either P being true or P->Q.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “Did they instead soften it up first? “Hey, new economy and all, and if you don’t want to change, here’s some free food and free health care and free education for your children that we’re going to want to move away from you and next to us if they want a bite at the apple. Oh, and if you decline, your kids will live in the squalor that you currently find yourself in. Only worse.””

                I mean, yes. Towns and cities die all the time. There’s abandoned ghost towns in the US and we’re not even all that old a country.

                It’s weird that now, liberals are supposed to wastefully spend money. I guess it’s OK to do that if it’s white people with no future that we’re giving a handout too.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jesse Ewiak
                Ignored
                says:

                “Towns and cities die all the time.”

                Haw. Says someone whose town or city is not, presumably, going to die anytime soon.

                I’m old enough to remember when “FYIGM” was used to denote the glibly casual libertarian attitude towards economic downturns.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m originally from a Rust Belt city that was slowly dying and is only slightly coming back due to shifting from manufacturing to service/tourism.

                I’m all for helping people in those communities. But, I mean to actually help them, which isn’t lying to them about the possibility of bringing the jobs back, but frankly, shipping the young people out to places that have a future and subsidizing the lives of older people who have deep connections there.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird

                I fully understand that their anger not being accommodated does not bear good things for the country (or the world in general).

                The problem is that their anger can’t be accommodated.

                When (not if) Trump fails to deliver, that’s when I will be really scared.

                Which means that I am really scared already.

                If I could open the mines, I would, to stop P-> Q. (Plus I really am NOT anti coal fired power)

                But I can’t.

                So my very slim hope is that somehow we can reach to them to understand the real issue before they kick the table.

                And saying that we are refusing to understand them is not helping to stop P->Q.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                The problem is that their anger can’t be accommodated.

                Have we, as a society, done anything with regards to explanations regarding the importance of understanding, listening, and helping redress “anger” over the last 8 years or so?

                Or, more to the point, have we done a good job of communicating to Trumpy types that anger is, in itself, something that is an indicator of problems that deserve recognition?

                There has been a lot of talk of “normalization” over the last few days. I don’t think that we, as a society, appreciate how much normalization of Trump has been going on for the last decade or more.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird

                Have we, as a society, done anything with regards to explanations regarding the importance of understanding, listening, and helping redress “anger” over the last 8 years or so?

                Or, more to the point, have we done a good job of communicating to Trumpy types that anger is, in itself, something that is an indicator of problems that deserve recognition?

                We, as a society? No, we haven’t done a good job

                But do not take out of the equation the fact that a significant part of the recipients of the message are absolutely convinced that there is a conspiracy that includes all media (except Fox News and Talk Radio) and that whatever they are told by the MSM are lies.

                Dude, is not all the fault of liberals. We really try. We could try better, perhaps, but we do try. Epistemic Closure is a cute female dog.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                except Fox News and Talk Radio)

                A complete side note

                Am I the only person surprised that Fox News viewers are not scandalized by the fact that Fox-the-network is the most gay friendly, sex friendly, nudity friendly, racy stories friendly, not Christian friendly of all the networks?Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                But do not take out of the equation the fact that a significant part of the recipients of the message are absolutely convinced that there is a conspiracy that includes all media (except Fox News and Talk Radio) and that whatever they are told by the MSM are lies.

                Also do not take out of the equation that the entire premise of their beliefs, that the left is actively trying to harm them and mocks them continually, is bullshit just made up by Fox News and Talk Radio *in the first place*, done by taking things out of context and hyper-focusing on anything that could be possibly be interpreted that way.

                Throughout this discussion, everyone seems to think the WWC being angry is natural. Now, I guess it is *possible* their anger is sorta natural, as their power in society decreases. Okay.

                What *isn’t* natural is them aiming it at the left, which…isn’t really to do with any of that. That was a *deliberate* plan by the rich to undercut the populist revolt they saw coming after the 80s, with Clinton.

                In reality, the WWC lost their jobs because of automation, which no one caused and no one can do anything about, and globalization, which has always been pushed more by the right than the left. Admittedly, the left has *gone along* with it, but it isn’t something the left just invented.

                In reality, the country *idealizes* rural life. It always has, to the extent of overlooking a lot of flaws.

                In reality, the left has been behind a lot of the structures that have resulted in the WWC not being as bad off as they could have been, and it made (and had dismantled) and tried to make, structures that would have helped *even more*.

                The left cannot extend a hand to the WWC, because the left has been doing that the entire time, and the WWC have been *specifically manipulated* to not see it.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Seconded in fullReport

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “Sorry, your kids are going to have to go to school and learn skills that people are willing to pay them for, and maybe move to find jobs. But it’s only because you’re white working class — everyone else gets a much better deal.”Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                “Sorry, your kids are going to have to go to school and learn skills that people are willing to pay them for”

                It’s funny how you say this like you aren’t advocating the destruction of a culture and life-path that you find disasteful and inconvenient.

                Like, I’m sure you have the best of intentions and are doing it for good and kind reasons, but do you honestly expect “your way of life will be erased within your generation just as it deserves to be” to be a message that will be received enthusiastically?

                But maybe you don’t care, because, y’know, fuckin’ racist rednecks.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                @densityduck

                just as it deserves to be

                That bit, of course, is not in what @morat20 wrote, not in what Hillary said. You just added it yourself.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s the same deal my kids got.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                The thought that maybe, just maybe, the free market in all it’s glory has rendered their lifestyle…difficult to maintain…is not one they wish to consider. (And let’s face it, who would? There’s plenty of careers, rural or urban or suburban, that have gone the way of the dodo and none of them took it gracefully).

                So when faced with “We can’t make it like it was, but here’s what we can do” and “We’ll make it just like it was ONLY BETTER” (and with a nice side of “and liberals are to blame!”), can you blame them for going with the con-man? Besides, what have they got to lose?

                Of course telling them that no, the world is passing them by and life’s gonna change — that’s been a smug liberal elitist who clearly hates them.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Ya know, I just can’t get the image of all those Venezuelan folks marching out of town away from their lifestyle and careers, because……..foodReport

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Joe Sal
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m sure, in your head, that’s a relevant comment.

                You might want to expand on it — because it’s relevance isn’t obvious at all. Farming in America is big business — it’s industrialized, and no individual can do more than (at best) get by. And mostly by going into debt.

                The plight of the “American family farm” isn’t exactly shrouded in mystery — it’s death has been underway for decades, and it’s cause ain’t liberals, or regulations, or smugness — it’s the free market, red in tooth and claw.

                And for that matter, most of the rural folks I know don’t want to be farmers — and are less interested in growing their own food than half the suburban folks I know.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                It is just a example of how people can think their career and life path is disconnected from so many other factors.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Joe Sal
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s got jack-all to do with the slow, multi-generational death of the rural working class.

                I mean that remains the problem, yes? The mines are closing down — and those that remain open use fewer people to dig out more. The free market insists.

                The farms are taking over by industrialization, becoming large corporate entities — again, the free market.

                What can be automated away is automated away. Much of what’s left runs into problems of too low a population density, or simply not enough money in the local economy. (Not that that’s new. Subsidizing the rural life has been going on for generations now. Just getting electrical and phone out there required intervention).

                If you love the country life, that’s a hard truth to face. That maybe it’s not like it was, can’t be like it was.

                And it’s doubly hard to accept that it’s not the fault of someone you can argue with or change — it’s not a politician, or the EPA, or some political ideology.

                It’s that free market. Who wants to admit they can’t compete anymore?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                “It’s that free market. Who wants to admit they can’t compete anymore?”

                Dude, Steinbeck did this first and did it better.Report

            • Avatar Lyle in reply to El Muneco
              Ignored
              says:

              Well said: Consider the 1920s when there were protests against new cultures entering the US by immigration and changing things. Further about the same time the small town folks felt that city folks did evil things like drink, so they push prohibition thru. Or the 1850s and the Irish.
              Or the stealth story: The Germans are the largest group of immigrants in American history, but in 1917 a wave of hysteria about germans ran thru the country. A large number of German Language papers ceased publishing, churches changed from most German Language services to mostly english language services, lists of folks from Germany who had not gotten citizenship were published in papers. In fact Prohibition had an element of this stopping the Germans from going to their beer halls on sunday pm.

              Interestingly only in the 1980s did German heritage come back in general. (After the WWI generation had mostly left the scene.)Report

          • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            @jaybird

            It may very well be cultural. But then we need terms other than “blue collar” and “working class”. Because those terms mean something else. And muddying the language isn’t helping.

            Who are we *really* talking about? What culture are we describing? Nail that down and I’m ready to talk.

            But don’t say we’re talking about the middle class and say I’m not included.
            Don’t say we’re talking about non-economic elites and say I’m not included.
            Don’t say we’re talking about people who worry about finances and say I’m not included.

            Because I am all those things by any reasonable definition of those terms.

            My hunch is “blue collar voters” and the “working class” really mean white social conservatives in fields that have been “disrupted” or are very “disruptable”. Which means we are looking at both culture and economics. And I think there is a real conversation that needs to be had about people who look at two areas of our society which feel as if they are moving away from them — as if they are being left behind and left out by the changes in both areas. But that conversation isn’t really about taxes or infrastructure programs so we need to stop pretending that it is.Report

  5. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    says:

    In answer to the question on the other thread, I have in fact spoken to my Trump and Trump-curious friends and relatives. Not about the election itself, but about politics in general.

    The Trump group is made up of 3 or 4 older Boomers, who are one truck contractors homeowners making a comfortable but not affluent middle class income; A few younger couples who are blue collar, rural, renters and likely to remain so forever. And an older pre-Boomer era couple.

    What I have learned is that the high level esoteric abstractions that people toss out to pollsters like “fiscal conservatism” and “draining the swamp” and “restoring American / family values” can’t be taken at face value.

    Usually they are the totems that stand in for things that people feel intuitively but can’t articulate, or cultural issues that don’t have a specific policy locus.

    (Actual conversations:
    “You know that if Obamacare is repealed you will lose your coverage because you are 58, in bad health and self employed, right?”
    “No, they can’t drop us- we have a PPO!”

    And:
    “The government should stop interfering in the free market, stop picking winners and losers!
    So open borders and free trade?
    No, we should limit imports and deport all the illegals!”
    }

    It isn’t that they are particularly ignorant; most people of any political persuasion are ignorant of how policy actually works- ts that the specific facts don’t really matter because thats not what animates or agitates them.
    Like we saw in the gun thread, the difference is one of perception about what society is, where its headed, and who is to blame and who can be trusted.

    What angers and frustrates them is the new image of America where the “Working Class” is a woman who cleans bedpans, not a heroic muscular steelworker, where their boss is likely to be an Asian office worker in Shanghai, where the “regular Joe” is actually a regular Jose.

    It isn’t even race per se, so much as that race becomes a stand in, a visible outcropping of the underlying tectonic strata that’s rising to the surface.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      @chip-daniels
      What I have learned is that the high level esoteric abstractions that people toss out to pollsters like “fiscal conservatism” and “draining the swamp” and “restoring American / family values” can’t be taken at face value.

      Yup.

      We just had an election based on no actual policy at all. Yes, some policy got *stated*, very stupid policies that make so little sense that no one can take them seriously, but they didn’t appear to have actually mattered in any way as *policy*, and were instead general *shaking fist at sky*.

      I feel like we sorta just glossed over that in the general stupidity of the election, but it probably is pretty important. The word of the year is supposedly post-truth, but I think post-policy is pretty important.

      Usually they are the totems that stand in for things that people feel intuitively but can’t articulate, or cultural issues that don’t have a specific policy locus.

      I think it’s becoming increasingly clear that ‘cultural issues’ is, a lot of times, a polite way to say ‘racial animus’.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        I think it’s becoming increasingly clear that ‘cultural issues’ is, a lot of times, a polite way to say ‘racial animus’.

        According to Nate Silver, exit polls had 29% of Hispanics voting for Trump.

        Are those folks racist?Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
          Ignored
          says:

          Here’s the linky.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
          Ignored
          says:

          Against whites? Not for a second.

          Against African-Americans? Probably.

          Against other Hispanics, presumably undocumented dreamers? Everybody wants to pull the ladder up after them.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Stillwater
          Ignored
          says:

          @stillwater

          As I understand it with immigrant cultures, the earlier arrivals tend to look down upon the later arrivals.

          This happened with Jews. The first Jews to come to the United States were Sephardic refugees who left Spain and Portugal for Amsterdam and London and then came to the US. They were pretty assimilated (if small in number) by the time the second wave occurred with German Jewish immigrants in the early and mid 1800s and they looked down on the German Jews as backwater provincials. The German Jews did the same when the Eastern European Jews came over in the late 1800s/early 1900s with the bears and Hassidic traditions.

          The Hispanic community is vast and can include people whose families lived in the Southwest or California when those were still parts of Mexico. I’ve heard anecdotal stories about older Hispanics making disparaging and racially tinged remarks against the newer immigrants of Hispanic origin, “why do they keep to the old ways?”etc.

          So it is complicated.Report

          • Avatar Lyle in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            As I understand it this situtation holds in New Mexico. A lot of folks around Santa Fe have been there since the time it was Spanish (before it was Mexican). They tend to look down their nose at folks in the southern part of the state who have come from Mexico.Report

  6. Avatar Mike Dwyer
    Ignored
    says:

    Just to chime in regarding terminology…

    Wikipedia defines ‘working class’ as:

    The working class (also labouring class and proletariat) are the people employed for wages, especially in manual-labour occupations and in skilled, industrial work.[1] Working-class occupations include blue-collar jobs, some white-collar jobs, and most service-work jobs. The working class only rely upon their earnings from wage labour, thereby, the category includes most of the working population of industrialized economies, of the urban areas (cities, towns, villages) of non-industrialized economies, and of the rural workforce.

    It defines ‘blue collar as:

    …a working class person who performs non-agricultural manual labour. Blue-collar work may involve skilled or unskilled manufacturing, mining, sanitation, custodial work, oil field work, construction, mechanical maintenance, warehousing, firefighting, technical installation and many other types of physical work. Often something is physically being built or maintained.

    To be more accurate, working class would probably be the correct terminology for this discussion, thus the post title itself is a fail on my part.Report

  7. Avatar Doctor Jay
    Ignored
    says:

    Your assertion about skilled trades caught my eye, so I did a bit of looking and sure enough:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/emsi/2013/03/07/americas-skilled-trades-dilemma-shortages-loom-as-most-in-demand-group-of-workers-ages/#1924e9d84545

    I have a friend that runs a model shop – they make prototypes for a instrumentation company here in Silicon Valley. (It was once part of Hewlett-Packard, but has spun off multiple times.) My friend has not hired a new machinist since 2000. He knows his group is on borrowed time. He wants to hire new, younger workers to get them up to speed, but management has not allowed him to. They have never seen the sort of growth period where they are worried more about keeping up, and less about missing their numbers.

    I wish I knew a policy that could turn this around. I don’t think restricting trade will do this. I note that the people making these decisions are predominantly Republican.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Doctor Jay
      Ignored
      says:

      @doctor-jay

      In my purely anecdotal experience, Millennials have little interest in most skilled trades, which is a damn shame because the job opportunities would be great. Someone needs to find out a way to engage hipsters on that front.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Mike Dwyer
        Ignored
        says:

        I don’t know how it works down there anymore. My father was a lineman and he got the job right out of college and was trained in-house. His degree was in psychology.

        But I would love to learn a trade since our university can replace the cleaners a lot easier than they can replace the electricians and plumbers. My understanding of it here is you either have to be apprenticed in or go to school and I haven’t the money or the connections to do either.

        This seems like an obvious area where the Democrats could make in-roads with out-of-work factory workers who would love to be trained for a stable, high-paying labor job.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Rufus F.
          Ignored
          says:

          @rufus-f

          Because you have mentioned where you live, get down to the local pipefitters union. Talk to the guys at the hall, see what is going on, get on with a pre-apprenticeship. Let me know if you want more info.Report

          • Avatar Will H. in reply to Aaron David
            Ignored
            says:

            The pipefitters are awful difficult to get into. The easiest way to do it is to be related to someone.
            I was rejected myself, but organized in later, as there was a local looking to regain the service work they had lost.
            It’s typical that a person would be rejected at least once (but most often twice) before being accepted for an apprenticeship.

            Besides, fitters are assholes. They even hate their own kind.

            Better off a tin-knocker.Report

            • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Will H.
              Ignored
              says:

              Quite true Will, but I was mostly using that as a way to show what is out there and how to get involved in the trades. Pipefitters is tangential to what I went to trade school for, and they do talk about pre-apprenticeships, which is quite important in getting lined up for the trades.

              Tin-knocker is also good, as is IBEW, CWA etc.Report

  8. Avatar Francis
    Ignored
    says:

    “I also understand why progressives’ obsession with prioritizing cultural issues infuriates many Americans whose chief concerns are economic.”

    Well, since all these posts presuppose the existence of a single unified progressive force, I guess I’m as qualified a spokesperson as anyone else (despite being cis, white, male, married, employed and with a post-graduate education.)

    We’re not actually so obsessed. It just happens that that’s where our wins have been the last 8 years.

    We wanted a huge infrastructure plan. It was blocked in Congress. Many of us wanted wage and environmental concerns to be part of a re-analysis of our trade position. That went nowhere in Congress (with the assistance of many in our own party). We wanted a public option for Obamacare, but ran into Joe Lieberman. We desperately wanted an energy bill that transitions the US away from fossil fuels. It went nowhere in Congress. Etc.

    So many of our most notable wins were in (or started in) the judicial sphere. And to return to my first point, there actually isn’t a single unified progressive force. There are tens of millions of “us”, and anyone with a good argument and a large enough bankroll can file a lawsuit.

    “We” didn’t prioritize cultural issues. Individuals who cared about certain issues pursued them and won them.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Francis
      Ignored
      says:

      A most excellent recapitulation of the cover argument distributed in September’s bulletin, Comrade. Well-calculated to appeal to the Running Dogs’ own ideology of individualism! I look forward to working with you again at the next Intersectional Conference.Report

      • Avatar Francis in reply to Burt Likko
        Ignored
        says:

        You really need to join the commenting crew at Dreher’s blog.Report

        • Avatar J_A in reply to Francis
          Ignored
          says:

          @francis @burt-likko

          No snark, glib, smugness, sarcasm, implied

          I used to be a faithful reader of Rod Dreher through his several iterations for the last ten years. I’m dropping on now.

          He used to put out his (not unreasonable) social conservative ideas. You could see that he was sometimes conflicted that his ideas, if implemented, were a burden on some minorities. There were some thoughtful liberal commenters that respectfully engaged and pushed back there were some respectful conservative commenters that respectfully defended Rod’s ideas while acknowledging the cost they might have.

          That’s all going down the drain now. The His comments threads are becoming unbearable. A continuous disparaging of all things liberal. The liberal commenters have been mostly pushed away. The reasonable conservatives apparently too, and He have now armies of commenters egging Rod further and further into crazy uncle territory.

          It’s a sad thing.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Francis
      Ignored
      says:

      @francis

      There are also the issues that “culture war” is a phrase that is overly broad and void for vagueness, can be a polite way of saying “why can’t we show hostility towards minorities?”, and the fact that minorities are people too who deserve rights.

      There is the fact that some kind of protest (usually kind of silly) on certain campuses tends to put the right-wing into a tizzy with their underwear getting all bunched up. This is stuff like the Oberlin Dining Services fight which should be just shrugged off as college kids being college kids. This is a burden on the right.

      But a culture war issue can be criminal justice/police reform because black people have a right to be out in public without being pulled over by the police at random or shot and killed. Mike has shown himself to be highly defensive when this subject comes up in the past.

      Culture War issues can also be SSM and equal rights for LBGT people.

      So it seems like this is just a round-about way of “Please ignore stuff that leaves my white guyness feeling vaguely threatened for reasons I can’t fully articulate.”Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        And why do those white guys feel so threatened by Amy Schumer, anyway?Report

        • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Because 10 years ago they could’ve called her fat and got away with it in the office. Twenty years ago they could’ve called her a bitch and gotten away with it. And forty years ago, she’d just be a secretary they’d slap on the ass for getting too mouthy and gotten away with it.

          For perhaps the 1st time in history, voices that aren’t white dudes are actually getting some kind of recognition because there are no more gatekeepers thanks to the Internet and some people are upset that it turns out not everybody was laughing with them at their racist, sexist, or homophobic jokes.

          Look at the reaction from some older comics in response to college kids no longer finding what they’re saying funny. When in reality, the gay guy probably didn’t find Jerry Seinfeld’s kind of lame gay guy joke all that funny in 1995 either. Their just wan’t Twitter or other social media platforms back then.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jesse Ewiak
            Ignored
            says:

            “For perhaps the 1st time in history, voices that aren’t white dudes are actually getting some kind of recognition because there are no more gatekeepers thanks to the Internet and some people are upset that it turns out not everybody was laughing with them at their racist, sexist, or homophobic jokes.”

            Bigots getting called out on their bigotry is always amusing because they honestly seemed shocked that people disagree with them.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw
              Ignored
              says:

              They don’t think they are bigots because their whiteness and Christianity is like water for fish, the invisible thing that surrounds and sustains them.

              My Trump friends posted a meme that showed Trump sitting behind a desk in the Oval Office, and Jesus and Santa Claus standing on either side. Trump says, “Gentlemen, welcome back”.

              As an argument it is bizarre and nonsensical, but it demonstrates the cultural war aspect, that the (white) Jesus and Christian dominance is what Obama’s ascendancy represents. And that is very true, that white Christian culture is receding.

              But for them, this isn’t bigotry or cultural chauvinism, its just The Way Things Oughta Be, the natural normal workings of the America they live in.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I get that part and that part seems to be human nature. The more shocking things are the really overt bigots who seem shocked when pushed back for their “race realism” or “anti-Semitism”

                But more and more I think this election was about that cartoon and fears of being a cultural minority more than economics. So this is 1920 and 1928 repeating itself against social change.Report

          • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jesse Ewiak
            Ignored
            says:

            Jesse Ewiak: For perhaps the 1st time in history, voices that aren’t white dudes are actually getting some kind of recognition because there are no more gatekeepers

            TIL Ghenghis Khan is a white dude. As is Sun Tzu. And Jesus, Mohammed, and Budda.Report

          • Avatar j r in reply to Jesse Ewiak
            Ignored
            says:

            Because 10 years ago they could’ve called her fat and got away with it in the office. Twenty years ago they could’ve called her a bitch and gotten away with it. And forty years ago, she’d just be a secretary they’d slap on the ass for getting too mouthy and gotten away with it.

            For perhaps the 1st time in history, voices that aren’t white dudes are actually getting some kind of recognition because there are no more gatekeepers thanks to the Internet and some people are upset that it turns out not everybody was laughing with them at their racist, sexist, or homophobic jokes.

            Look at the reaction from some older comics in response to college kids no longer finding what they’re saying funny.

            This is one possible interpretation of what is happening, but it has a couple of problems. For instance, what are we to make of the fact that Amy Schumer herself ends up getting called out by the internet hive mind for “problematic” material? Or what happens when it’s not just Jerry Seinfeld who is wary of playing college campuses, but Chris Rock as well?

            If you want to pretend that political correctness is a myth and that all it is is angry white guys mad that they cannot be openly racist/sexist/homophobic/etc., that’s fine. But then you’re just going to keep shrugging your shoulders and wondering why fewer and fewer people take this kind of thing seriously.

            I’m not sure why it is so hard to come to terms with the fact that the contemporary left is full of circular firing squads and that makes people nervous. Most people don’t want to hang out with a crowd that may, at any moment, turn on them for some perceived slight. Personally, I prefer to be around people who disagree me and will challenge me on my beliefs, but if those people are perpetually incapable of original thought or of tolerating dissent then I’m turning around and walking out of that room faster than that Abe Simpson gif.Report

            • Avatar J_A in reply to j r
              Ignored
              says:

              I’m not sure why it is so hard to come to terms with the fact that the contemporary left is full of circular firing squads and that makes people nervous. Most people don’t want to hang out with a crowd that may, at any moment, turn on them for some perceived slight.

              I know this happens because Rod Dreher provides me a couple of examples a day. But I would say that it happens (almost) only inside the institutes of higher education. Which is not nothing, but not much.

              I’m old enough to remember being too young to see The Strawberry Statement (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Strawberry_Statement_(film) ) but I know that reflects a version of being SJW that was as real then that people being aggressive towards Chris Rock in campus is real today.

              And yet the real Strawberry Statement people (the vast majority) ended being regular people. Most of my bosses and mentors went to college in those days. So either the phenomenon was even more localized that you would think (and that Dreher believes) or it wears away after once your brain finishes maturing in your mid twenties.

              So I refuse to be too concerned about the college campuses passions. In the meantime I like the non discrimination policies AND I will eat sushi in a culturally appropriating wayReport

              • Avatar j r in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                @j_a

                OK. Let’s decide what conversation we are having. Are we having the “political correctness has run amok and you can’t even be a white male anymore without…” conversation? I am equally unconcerned about that conversation. In fact, I will go so far as to say that the folks who’ve adopted the pose of anti-PC and “Eff your feelings!” have also adopted an awful lot of their own political correctness and seem to spend an awful lot of time in their own feelings. This is a very emo moment in American politics and culture.

                But if we are having the “how the heck did Hillary Clinton just lose the presidential election to Donald Effing! Trump” conversation, then we ought to say something about the role that these culture war issues play.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to j r
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m definitely not having the first conversation, neither part A nor part B.

                So I’m sort of having the second conversation. I agree political correctness “running amok” (scare quotes are important) is a big part of the issue.

                My point is that it shouldn’t be a big part of the issue, and that being a big part is a problem (which sort of drifts into Part B of the first conversation). My preferred solution, stated otherwhere in these comboxes, is that you can’t solve culture, and you shouldn’t try to. This means you don’t care about gays marrying and you don’t care (within reason) about not baking cakes for gay weddings

                But that also doesn’t mean that not baking bakers can’t be shunned by polite society, if polite society so decides. You can’t not bake the cake and eat it too.Report

            • Avatar Damon in reply to j r
              Ignored
              says:

              “but if those people are perpetually incapable of original thought or of tolerating dissent then I’m turning around and walking out of that room faster than that Abe Simpson gif.”

              Welcome to the majority view of people in my state and what I have to live with each day.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Because it is stuff that is not explicitly aimed at them and they are seeing that stuff can be highly profitable but not pitched at white guys of a nominally Christian background. Even though, they often preach Capitalism and the joys of market choice, the natural product seems to enrage them.

          White guys are no longer the default in many ways. You can pitch a product or TV show or a game or a comic book to other groups and have it make money.

          I don’t really get Amy Schumer or Lena Dunaham’s stuff personally. I am a bit too old and find neither that funny but I don’t lose sleep over it and I don’t go crazy over the fact that they made an all-female Ghostbusters.

          A lot of white guys seem to want to be the permanent market share.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            “White guys are no longer the default in many ways. ”

            Sure!

            How important is it, to you, that white guys be made aware of this?Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to DensityDuck
              Ignored
              says:

              dd,
              I care more about having other peole realize that white men aren’t the default.
              and yes, I can quantify the effects.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck
              Ignored
              says:

              I think the problem is there’s no hiding this fact from them. You can tiptoe around it all you want, try to avoid hurting people’s feelings, but daily life is gonna rub their nose in it more and more.

              Not SJW’s with axes to grind, but just…what makes money on TV and in the movies.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                “daily life is gonna rub their nose in it more and more. ”

                Is it, though?

                Is it gonna do it enough?

                I mean, sure, maybe there’ll be fewer dumb comedies and two-bit procedurals with all-white casts, maybe there’ll be more dumb comedies and two-bit procedurals with nonwhite nonmen in leading roles. Maybe the news talking heads will be a Latina in the anchor role with a black guy playing the color man, as it were. But will that drive home the point strongly enough? I mean, isn’t there more we could be doing to rub white men’s noses in the fact that they Are Not Going To Get Their Way anymore?Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                You seem strangely angry.

                And also projecting a great deal, as you seem to feel I’m happiest rubbing people’s faces in the death of the white American male. (Which would be odd, seeing as I am one after all).

                So maybe reel it back a little there, sparky. Or if you’re gonna vent your spleen, pick whomever actually annoyed you. I’m not your proxy punching bag, and you’re more than capable of making your points without bile.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                There’s “this will happen”, and then there’s foregrounding it and making sure it gets seen and telling people that they’re wrong and bad and dumb to have feelings about it.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                None of which I did, so please leave me out of it.

                Whatever is causing you to need to vent bile, I had jack to do with it. I’m not your convenient chew toy.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                uhhhhh you replied to the comment, ace, so, presumably, you should have expected futher discussion? I dunno, maybe that’s not how it works for you.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                You seem strangely angry.

                Quick! We need to address this! Oh, wait, it’s a white guy. Hell with him.

                We won’t need people like him in our coalition after Clinton gets elected.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Ah, I see.

                I should take the abuse for the good of the country, right?

                I should let him vent about things I have never said or done, ascribe to me beliefs and motives I don’t have, and take it gracefully no matter how nasty his rhetoric. I should be his punching bag, his strawman for…

                Why again, exactly? I’m neither a politician nor pundit, I am not advocating the things he’s screaming against, merely asking him not to use me as his verbal chewtoy over beliefs I don’t ascribe.

                You’re so quick to defend his right to nasty rhetoric, but strangely slow to defend mine to be free of it.

                Why is that?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                What abuse? If you win, you *WON*. You won’t have to put up with his pathetic mewlings. You’ll be able to wield the somewhat considerable power of the bully pulpit (the phone, the pen) and with a 50/50 senate, you’d effectively have that as well, given the VP being the senate’s president. You might have to abandon the filibuster, but it’s not like you’ll need that again.

                The House might pose a bit of a problem, but if you position yourself right with the bully pulpit, the media will help scare the most vulnerable representatives in the house and you’ll be able to push through enough stuff to be effective.

                YOU DON’T NEED PEOPLE LIKE HIM.
                LET HIM VENT.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                “merely asking him not to use me as his verbal chewtoy over beliefs I don’t ascribe.”

                Interesting. Please quote some of this “verbal chewtoy” stuff, here, maybe? I mean, just for the record books so we know what the awful thing was that I did and I can make sure to do/not-do it again next time.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, I’ll make one last try — for Jaybird’s high-trust society’s sake.

                I stated a fact: Even with the best of intentions, even if everyone tries as hard as they possibly can to hide it, the white working class male would be aware of their vanishing position or privilege in America. It’s not something they can fail to notice. It’s a fact, and not a deniable one, no matter which side you’re on.

                Which you interpreted as, apparently, me saying they need their noses rubbed in it harder until they understand.

                Since I didn’t say that, didn’t imply it, have never said that, have never implied it, I am a bit miffed you’d do so. It appears that either you read me so uncharitably as to make up a position for me, or you’re using me as a proxy for someone who does hold that position, so you can go off on a rant about it.

                So I’d prefer you NOT to rant at me over positions I don’t hold. It’s a waste of everyone’s time. And it’s certainly something I’ll hold in mind whenever your comments come up going forward.

                I have no desire to volunteer to be target liberal for you to vent your anger of the day at, and refuse to play the part.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                “Which you interpreted as, apparently, me saying they need their noses rubbed in it harder until they understand. ”

                And you aren’t rubbing anyone’s nose in anything.

                You’re simply…y’know, discussing the new reality. No rubbing, no noses, just…pointing out that things are different now, and giving examples.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Heck, let me be shorter: “Why do you make me hit you” is not a compelling argument, no matter how many times you make it.

                And that is, in fact, the argument you keep making to liberals. “Why do you make the GOP so mad! Don’t you know what they’ll do to you? Why don’t you shut up and do it their way, and maybe they won’t be so nasty”.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                At this point, Morat, we’re not in “why don’t you shut up and do it their way” territory.

                We’re in “why don’t you shut up and run with the whole ‘we’re going to be more attractive to swing voters because we have so little power that we’ll be able to say everything wasn’t our fault’ tactic for 2020?” territory.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I had a longer response, but I’m gonna simplify it:

                I’m not the Left. I’m not the Democratic Party. I’m not Hillary Clinton. I’m certainly not your student, desperate to interpret your bizarre semi-Socratic rantings into wisdom.

                So please stop generalizing from me to the Democratic party, or vice versa.

                My freaking conversation with DD over whether or not he was strawmanning my statement into something he could play up righteous indignation over has jack to do with the elections. Neither of us are anywhere near proxies for either party or candidate, nor — at least speaking for myself — do I pretend to be or want to be.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Neither of us are anywhere near proxies for either party or candidate, nor — at least speaking for myself — do I pretend to be or want to be.

                A fine point. One I should do better to internalize.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Bluntly, I just made a simple statement of fact (that rubbing the noses of certain people into their vanishing positions wasn’t necessary*, because they couldn’t help but notice it on their own) and got barked at like I was endorsing said nose-rubbing.

                I’m not. In fact, it was a statement of empathy — that even absent any bad intentions or deliberate provocations, the loss of privilege will often feel like society is rubbing their nose in their circumstances.

                I am a white, middle class, male after all. I’m upper middle class, I admit, but I wasn’t always — and most of my relatives are not.

                So I’m a little…unhappy…at the accusation that I’m happily rubbing my brother’s, my uncles, my cousin’s, and my nephew’s faces in their relative loss of prestige.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, I’d just like you to consider your various responses to discussions that pointed out that African-Americans in the inner city weren’t doing very well due to crime (and associated law-enforcement), bastardry, and a lack of educational opportunity.

                Because, seriously, inner city African-Americans aren’t doing very well due to crime (and associated law enforcement), bastardry, and lack of educational opportunity.

                Is your immediate emotional response closer to “okay, there are a handful of ways to address these problems” or is it some variant of “you aren’t exactly on the right team to be saying the things that you’re saying”?

                Because my immediate intuition is that this would be a good example to use because you would see me making a completely different argument than the rather banal observation of a handful of various things that are doing a number on inner city African-Americans.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                And, yeah, that sort of thing is unfair.

                The attitude that you need to demonstrate the following list of things before making the criticisms you’re making is one that plagues all of us.

                In the absence of actual, workable solutions to intractable problems (or, at least, insurmountable coordination problems), it’s very easy for people to just start, for lack of a better word, signalling instead of looking at whether there are any engineering solutions at all.

                For what it’s worth, it seems to me that this problem is an intractable coordination problem.

                And a lot of the signalling that people do in the face of a lack of engineering solutions makes the coordination even more distasteful.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The question is whether we’re here to Solve Problems, or to be Good People.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Efficient Solution Hypothesis: All of the solvable problems have already been solved and the only problems left are unsolvable.

                The only way to solve problems henceforth is to increase technology, efficiency, and so on. Once created, the technological and efficiency solutions need to be distributed out, but then a new equilibrium is reached and we’re stuck being unable to solve any problems until new tech is discovered/created.

                Which means that the only remaining option is the “be a Good Person” one. And without engineering solutions to apply, that results primarily in giving the equivalent of professional wrestling promos.Report

              • Avatar Francis in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “inner city African-Americans aren’t doing very well due to ..”

                stop. right. there. (may I suggest) There are many who would argue that crime, bastardy and lack of educational opportunity are not necessarily the causes of the lack of progress but are instead consequences of more deeply rooted and complex issues.

                (and people complain about liberals being smug towards rural conservatives. who’s being smug now?)Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Francis
                Ignored
                says:

                As I’ve stated before, rural disdain for effete urban liberals (or their terror of the criminal urban ghettos, or generally both) is honest American feelings that cannot be questioned like the effete urban liberals disdain for rurals.

                That’s the water we’re swimming in — rurals are are the ideal. Calling them hicks is an insult to the American dream, but them sneering at urban liberals is understandable (those folks are rejecting real America) and being afraid of the crime-ridden ghettos similarly.

                Which is why the burden remains on the un-American urban Democrat to understand his rural, real American, Republican brother.

                If you can’t tell, I find the “smugness” argument pants-on-head stupid. Both sides look down on each other, so anyone coming wandering in with a one-sided solution either has an agenda or is completely blind to half the problem.Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Francis
      Ignored
      says:

      Another thing is gerrymandering. When successful Democratic politicians are isolated in urban areas, they haven’t the voter base to focus on agricultural policy, for example.Report

  9. Avatar Will H.
    Ignored
    says:

    @mike-dwyer :
    I take this thread as proof positive of your central thesis, though I differ on specifics of your second point.

    That such effort should be expended into defining what is or isn’t “blue collar-y” to be “blue collar” is proof enough.
    Service and domestic work is typically rendered as something significantly different than Joe Lunchbox.
    But there seems to be quite an effort to shoehorn as many into that lunchbox* as possible.

    There is the simple act of missing the point, and then there is this thread, which elevates it to a whole new art form.
    Sad, that.

    * Mine’s an Igloo, says the ex-pipefitter.Report

  10. Avatar Gabriel Conroy
    Ignored
    says:

    Part of what’s being lost in this discussion (by me as much as anyone) is two points that Mike Dwyer is making. First, he’s much more critical of the Republicans than he is of “liberals” or of the Democratic party. Second, he is offering a positive example, Mark Warner, along with an admonition that more focus on the local could do the liberal cause well. I think those are very good points.Report

    • Avatar Will H. in reply to Gabriel Conroy
      Ignored
      says:

      I think there was too much emphasis placed on the education aspect of the second point, when its jobs that are the important point.
      People will drive an hour every day for a job.
      They won’t even open the window to hear how ignorant they are.Report

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