Totally Fair Unfairness

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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85 Responses

  1. Avatar Aaron David says:

    For the most part, I agree with you Andrew, but there is one nagging thing. And that is the DNC, and Democrats as a whole, have a perception of not giving a rats… about the center of the country. And this doesn’t help.Report

    • Avatar J_A in reply to Aaron David says:

      DNC, and Democrats as a whole, have a perception of not giving a rats… about the center of the country. And this doesn’t help.

      I think you mean “both parties, as a whole, have a perception …”

      Because, me, at least, I don’t get the feeling the GOP cares at all about me, and about the 52% of the country that doesn’t vote Republican.Report

    • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Aaron David says:

      I take it you mean that someone other than the DNC and Democrats as a whole “have a perception” that the DNC and Democrats as a whole don’t care about what is probably more accurately described as the rural sections of the country, because the DNC and Democrats as a whole don’t have that perception about themselves — though they could be wrong. That “someone other than” is white rural Republicans. It is certainly a fact that white rural Republicans have that perception, and I know that a widely-shared perception is itself a political fact needing to be dealt with, but I get tired of hearing about what people “perceive,” and would love to see the discussion turn toward what is so. What is it that white rural Republicans want or need that they think they are getting, or will get, from Republicans, and that Democrats are unable or unwilling to give them. And if it turns out that the Democrats can actually offer a better deal, will it matter?Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to CJColucci says:

        The assertion that Democrats” don’t care about flyover country” is not meant to be taken as a literal statment.
        Instead, it is an expression of ressentiment, an expression of a loss of status and privilege.

        No one can actually point to any actual evidence of rural people being slighted, and Lord knows they are on the receiving end of massive subsidy and support.

        But it doesn’t matter because that isn’t what they are talking about in the first place.Report

        • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          I suspect that you are right, but I’d like to hear how the ressentient themselves, or their apologists, articulate their grievances, if for no other reason than to verify our suspicions.Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to CJColucci says:

            If urban coastal Democrats know any rural Democrats in flyover country, they might consider asking them to fill out a survey or something. Perhaps they could even dispatch a few anthropologists to go there, interface with the natives, and write up a paper.Report

            • Avatar CJColucci in reply to George Turner says:

              Sure beats taking responsibility for articulating your own grievances and risking having them exposed.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to CJColucci says:

                Rural Democrat politicians were screaming at the top of their lungs in 2016, telling the urban coastal Democrat politicians that the stances the party was taking “were killing us”. They were articulating a tremendous number of grievances in great detail.

                Unfortunately, the party is completely deaf, and it seems that many of its members are unaware there are millions and millions of rural Democrats in middle America who’ve ever said a peep.

                No wonder they feel so powerless, and no wonder so many decided to vote for Trump. He’s not only aware they exist, he drags them up on stage and has them tell their stories.

                Much the same thing has been happening in Europe, where right-wing populists have been surging, primarily because voters are realizing that the establishment left and center parties don’t listen to them and don’t care about their concerns.

                One recent paper dug down and said that most of the current Western political shift is due to open borders, not trade globalization. Waves of undocumented migrants make most people very uncomfortable, even if most are reluctant to admit it. If their concerns are not addressed, they’re going to vote out the people in charge and replace them with people who will address it, whoever those people might be.

                I would point out that this discomfort with migrants and refugees might be especially true in rural areas, because unlike folks who love the exotic feel of a large and diverse city, rural folks tend to like their hometowns exactly as they are, where everybody knows each other’s families going back several generations, with just a small dash of newcomers to add a bit of interest.

                To support their broader thesis (migration vs international trade), the authors pointed to Asia, where there is massive international trade but virtually no migration allowed. Sure enough, those countries have had no rightward or populist political shift corresponding to what’s happening in the US and Europe.

                Denmark’s recent election would provide another data point backing that up. The anti-immigrant Danish People’s party lost a huge number of seats in the 2019 elections because the Social Democrat party stole the far-right’s anti-migrant anti-refugee positions, even mandating handshakes and putting asylum seekers on an isolated island used for animal disease research. It seems that everyone who’d supported to the People’s Party out of migration frustrations switched right back to the Social Democrats as soon as they slammed the door on migrants.

                So if the authors are correct, the Democrats are making a huge mistake in maintaining the current border crisis. It may make the elite coastal Democrats happy to know they’ll have a continual supply of underpaid Guatemalan gardeners, but it might really gut the party across vast regions of the interior, as people who would support Democrats on almost every other issue jump ship.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to George Turner says:

                How’s that explain the 2018 results?Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to North says:

                Do my standard split of the states — 25 states in the West plus NE urban corridor, 25 states in the Rest. The West-plus-NE has about 45% of the US population.

                In the 2018 elections, more than two-thirds of the Democratic House gains came from the West-plus-NE. In Senate seats, the West-plus-NE was +2 for the Dems, the Rest was -4 (and w/o those two flipped seats in the West, there’s not a chance in hell the Dems could capture the Senate in 2020). Five of the six state legislative chambers the Dems flipped were in the West-plus-NE.

                Dem gains in 2018 were predominantly in the two regions where they are already strong. Clinton got 202 EC votes in the West-plus-NE , 30 in the Rest (104 in the NE, 98 in the West).

                I am fond of saying that the West has been getting bluer despite the DNC, not because of them.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to North says:

                Recall that just prior to the 2018 election, the Republicans in the House and Senate absolutely failed to do anything about the border or about a broken immigration and asylum system (catch and release, etc). The held both houses and couldn’t produce diddly squat.

                Whereas the DNC is for open borders, the GOP is only for complaining about open borders.

                Trump and a small smattering of Republicans from safe districts are just about the only ones who want to do something about the problem. But Trump wasn’t on the ballot, Republicans who’ve done nothing about the border crisis were. And of course the Democrats had their voters convinced that Trump was a Russian intelligence operative who had to be removed right now.

                As the article I mentioned pointed out, with no existing parties opposing the waves of migration into Europe, entirely new anti-migrant populist parties arose to fill the vacuum.

                The left and right not only weren’t solving the problem, they weren’t even acknowledging that there was a problem to be solved. So large numbers of frustrated and angry people who saw the waves of migration as a disaster were willing to vote for anyone else.

                That can be dangerous because all sorts of bad things can happen when desperate people feel their best alternative is to support potentially quite radical politicians.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to George Turner says:

                I didn’t ask for the take of people who already vote for Democrats, but the articulated views of the people who don’t.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to CJColucci says:

                Many of the people who don’t vote for Democrats used to to vote for them in the recent past.

                For the views of those who have always been voting for the GOP, they talk about their views all the time. Unfortunately the mainstream media won’t air hardly any of it and nobody can even voice it on a college campus, which is probably why you’re stuck with having no idea what these views might be.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to George Turner says:

                So enlighten us.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                So enlighten us.

                In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the top levels are Self-esteem and then Self-actualization.

                So I’d have to say that the main thing they want is probably that.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                “So sorry to herd you and your children into concentration camps to sleep in open dog kennels, but we have our Self Esteem to consider.”Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the top levels are Self-esteem and then Self-actualization.

                So I’d have to say that the main thing they want is probably that.

                Operationalize that.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to CJColucci says:

                That may take years. How much do you know so far?

                Where the Democrats are losing former supporters is by going further left than most of middle America would support, which is how the Democrats lost the South in the 90’s and 2000’s. New York City, LA, and Berkeley are the edge of the party, where all the cultural taboos get broken, not the mainstream.

                Or just take a microcosm like California. The rich people living on the beaches of Malibu can vote for much higher electricity prices to save the planet, but it’s the laboring class in the broiling inland areas that gets driven into poverty by the electric bill.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

                How does the fear of brown immigrants have anything to do with electricity rates?Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Victor Davis Hanson writes whole books on that subject. In fact, he writes about it quite a lot.

                Just today he penned an article about California titled “America’s First Third-World StateReport

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

                Everything he writes about California, just sounds like what leftists say about Texas, or Kansas.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner says:

                So, it really does all come down to white ethnic fear and resentment?Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Yes, that’s why the entire world is against open borders. They don’t want to be overrun with white people.Report

              • George, you need to step back from this thread. Citing VDH on these matters is at best unhelpful, and this one takes us further down that road than I want us to go.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to George Turner says:

                I would point out that this discomfort with migrants and refugees might be especially true in rural areas, because unlike folks who love the exotic feel of a large and diverse city, rural folks tend to like their hometowns exactly as they are, where everybody knows each other’s families going back several generations, with just a small dash of newcomers to add a bit of interest.

                The problem we have is that rural areas are changing, and changing really fast, before you count the effect of the first newcomer.

                Industrialization and consolidation of agriculture are doing away with most small farms, particularly single crop farms. Automation and consolidation is doing away with the small, local factories.

                tl/dr, small rural communities are dying because of a dearth of economic activity. As much as we tell stories of those that stay in these communities (and most aren’t pretty stories), barely a word is written about those that actually have left their rural communities behind and are now dispersed all over the USA.

                You might want for your hometown to stay just the way it always was. But it’s not going to. No matter how many times you click your heels together, there’s no way back home.

                Question is, what can we do (in real life, not in demagogic lies) to help those communities, and whether the communities themselves are willing to accept that change has already happened?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to J_A says:

                Maybe you’ll have more luck getting someone to answer that than I have had. But I doubt it.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to J_A says:

                You fellas are in a fight with a straw man of your own making. There aren’t enough rural people to amount to much, maybe 2% or less, which means you are not seeing a hell of a lot of people much closer to your geography.

                Your missing the political geography as seen on the political compass.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to JoeSal says:

                (approx. 2% or so in agriculture)Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to JoeSal says:

                The Census Bureau defines it as everyone who isn’t in an urban area, and says it’s currently 19% of the population. Their definition of urban areas was expanded about a century ago to mean cities of 50,000 or more, on top of a definition of an urbanized area with a population of 2,500 to 50,000.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to George Turner says:

                “consolidation of agriculture are doing away with most small farms, particularly single crop farms.”

                This particular part of the comment above has to do with a very small fraction of the population. Maybe if the added Industrialization mentioned, but most of both have already happened.Report

              • The Census Bureau defines it…

                Yeah, and about every other census — sometimes more often — they change their definition. The numbers from the 1990 census, the 2000 census, and the 2010 census can’t be accurately compared because all three have a different definition.

                And they don’t even attempt to separate urban and suburban, just lump ’em both together.

                OTOH, in 2010 they finally got urbanized area right, and we discovered that a lot of the historical density numbers for the West were wildly wrong.Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          If you want someone to feel like they’re taken seriously, DON’T tell them that their desire to be taken seriously shouldn’t be taken seriously.Report

          • Avatar veronica d in reply to Pinky says:

            Fine, but what precisely do they want, on a policy level? What are their political wants? Can we meet them?

            This conversation is vague, and that’s not accidental.Report

            • Avatar CJColucci in reply to veronica d says:

              This conversation is vague, and that’s not accidental.

              Nor is it surprising.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to CJColucci says:

                To get specific would make people uncomfortable. What is gained in answering, what would be the payoff?

                “Can we meet them”, above is a very pretentious statement.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to JoeSal says:

                Whom would it make uncomfortable? The people who want to hear? Unlikely, we’ve heard lots of pretty raw s**t without getting the vapors over it. The people who would have to say? Now maybe we’re getting somewhere.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to CJColucci says:

                Is your goal to listen, or to punish?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to JoeSal says:

                Judging by past performance, it wouldn’t matter what I said — even though I obviously have no ability to “punish” anyone. Maybe if you answer the question, you can find out.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                To rephrase, If I collaborate with you, will you collaborate back or will you defect?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                It’s amazing the effort people make not to answer a straightforward question. I guess that’s a kind of answer.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to CJColucci says:

                Here’s an easy peasy way Trump wins over rural people, and even quite a few urban and suburban people who enjoy the outdoors.

                Trump opens 1.4 million federal acres to hunters and anglers.

                He also cut 7,500 regulations that made it hard for people to even figure out if they can hunt or fish on a piece of federal land.

                Now the area involved is trivially small, about 46 miles on a side, compared to the truly massive areas that Obama was placing off limits to rural people.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                Avoiding saying “I will collaborate” is, indeed, an answer. Even something as simple as saying “I will not defect against you first” can feel like a pair of handcuffs.

                You should always be suspicious of people who refuse to answer whether or not they’d be willing to collaborate (or, at least, not defect).Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                “You should always be suspicious of people who refuse to answer…”

                Indeed.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Or people who truncate quotations!Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                CJ and Veronica asked a very simple question, yet even after a dozen or more posts, no one can summon up an answer, instead dancing away into ever more abstract and meta distractions.

                George came close by saying it was fear of immigrants.

                Which gives away the game entirely.

                If one’s existence itself is the problem, there is no compromise or collaboration possible.

                Conservatives cannot be made satisfied until immigrants no longer exist.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Well, people make distinctions between “illegal immigrants” and “immigrants”.

                Is this a fair distinction to make?

                If so, can we discuss the difference? (If not, could we hammer out why it’s not a fair distinction?)

                Because if people are communicating “I am afraid to answer because I suspect I’ll be attacked for giving an honest opinion”, I suppose it’s fair to communicate that they’ll be attacked anyway…

                But that very dynamic might do a good deal to explain why they don’t trust you to be fair in the conversation.

                (Another fun question: Do you understand why union workers dislike people who cross picket lines?)Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Why would rural people find an illegal immigrant threatening, yet the moment he gets his papers, he’s totes cool?

                Even at face value, it makes no sense.

                And no one is even alleging labor competition. Its not like rural people are clamoring to be allowed to pick lettuce.

                And if people are certain that their position is morally upright, why the fear of expressing it?

                Lord knows they never tire of telling us about their moral rectitude in other departments.

                What. Is. Their. Beef. With. Democrats?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Why would rural people find an illegal immigrant threatening, yet the moment he gets his papers, he’s totes cool?

                “Threatening”.

                Interesting word choice. Is that the word they use to describe their own feelings? If it’s your word to describe their feelings in a thread trying to understand how/why they feel the way they feel, that’s something that might feel unfair to them.

                Do union members find people who cross picket lines “threatening” or are there other, more accurate words, to describe the dynamic that exists between them?

                “Even at face value, it makes no sense.”

                Oh, you seem to have noticed that your term for how they feel doesn’t accurately describe the situation.

                And no one is even alleging labor competition. Its not like rural people are clamoring to be allowed to pick lettuce.

                If I can find you a government report alleging labor competition, would that change your mind on anything?

                And if people are certain that their position is morally upright, why the fear of expressing it?

                Because being attacked is unpleasant.

                Democrats?

                Some of them used to be. They’re not now. Do you want to know *WHY* or are you interested in attacking?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                You’re the one struggling very hard to avoid answering the question of WHY.

                After all these comments, it is still posed as some deep mystery which no one can name.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                It’s not a particularly deep mystery.

                If you can comprehend why a union worker would feel resentment toward someone crossing a picket line, I think that you will be able to comprehend why workers in flyover resent illegal immigration.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Is that the goalpost you want to stick with, then?

                Economic competition?

                Seriously, that’s the reason rural white people vote Republican over Democrats?

                Because I got about 5 solutions for that which don’t involve concentration camps.

                But first lets make sure those goalposts are good and fixed, ok?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                It’s not just economic competition.

                It’s also resentment related to solidarity.

                Let me give an example: Back in the 80’s, my family moved from Michigan to New York. Periodically, we’d fly back to visit the grandparents. When we’d fly back, we usually rented a car. At first, we rented what the rental place gave us.

                This generally didn’t create a problem because we regularly got a Pontiac Grand Am. But one visit, I remember, they had a Toyota and we shrugged and drove off in that.

                We had complete strangers yell at us. “BUY AMERICAN NEXT TIME!” was the general attitude. Sometimes it had swearwords in there, sometimes it didn’t, but it always involved a guy yelling at us. (After that trip, we always asked for an American car. Until the most recent one last year which *ONLY* had Toyotas available for rent.)

                Now, here’s my question: do you understand why he was yelling at complete strangers in a parking lot?

                My understanding of his yelling at us was that he had solidarity with his union brethren and was engaging in some light altruistic punishment.

                If the only reason that you can possibly understand for these guys yelling at us was “racism”, you probably won’t understand what I mean when I say “solidarity”.

                But my answer to you is not merely “economic competition”. It’s also solidarity… and who you are showing solidarity with and who Trump is showing solidarity with.

                (And if you can’t grasp the distinction I’m making, you’re going to think that I’m moving goal posts because, at first, I was just talking about why a union man would resent someone crossing a picket line and now I’m talking about solidarity.)Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                See, even by its own terms, this doesn’t explain why they vote Republican instead of Democrat.

                Why does this solidarity somehow only affect white rural people?

                Black and Hispanic rural folks don’t seem to have any problem voting Democrat. Victor Davis Hanson will tell you that.

                So who are the rural Trump people “in solidarity” with, which causes them to vote against Democrats?

                They certainly are not solidarity with their black and Hispanic neighbors.

                So how is this”solidarity” different than “white tribalism”?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Why does this solidarity somehow only affect white rural people?

                It doesn’t.

                Black and Hispanic rural folks don’t seem to have any problem voting Democrat. Victor Davis Hanson will tell you that.

                Yes. That has to do with solidarity too. Specifically, who shows solidarity to them and who does not.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                So after all these comments, all this evasion and coyness, it really is just white racial ressentiment.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                So after all these comments, all this evasion and coyness, it really is just white racial ressentiment.

                And now you know why nobody answered you.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird says:

                Well, people make distinctions between “illegal immigrants” and “immigrants”.

                Is this a fair distinction to make?

                In certain contexts, like, for instance, delivery of public services, it is a fair distinction, and needs to be considered (like, illegal immigrants’s children attend schools but their parents rarely pay school taxes). In other contexts, it is irrelevant. I suspect that the rural person complaining that McDonalds closed but two New Mexican restaurants opened on Main St. is complaining about the existence of the Mexican restaurants, not the Immigration status of the owners.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A says:

                In other contexts, it is irrelevant.

                How irrelevant is “irrelevant” here? Like, “you shouldn’t feel the way you feel” irrelevant or “I understand why you feel the way you feel but you need to look at how much better *MY* life is because of these immigrants even if it lowers your own perceived quality of your own life” irrelevant?Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird says:

                It is irrelevant in the sense of

                “I understand what you feel, but nothing you, or I, or President Trump, can do will ever get you your hometown the way it was before. And because the way your hometown has changed has little to do with Immigrants, legal or illegal, getting every single one out won’t bring you your hometown back, either. I do have some proposals about ways I can actually help you mitigate your current, problems, if you want to hear them, but those also won’t bring your hometown back. But they might make your current situation better, just a thought” irrelevant

                Is that accurate enough?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A says:

                For that to work, I think it’d have to involve a restatement of the problem from their point of view a couple of times with an acknowledgment that the people who benefitted the most from trade liberalization and globalization are not the same people who paid the most costs for it.

                If saying “yeah, you guys got screwed over” is a bridge too far, saying something like “yeah, I understand why you guys feel like you got screwed over” is probably the bare minimum necessary to start the process of reconciliation.

                (With the end goal of getting the communities to reliably be 50/50 Republican/Democrat again.)

                (And, for the record, I think that the failure of Republicans to say so much as “yeah, I understand why you guys feel like you got screwed over” is one of the main reasons that Romney got 4% of the ADOS vote.)Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird says:

                For that to work, I think it’d have to involve a restatement of the problem from their point of view a couple of times with an acknowledgment that the people who benefitted the most from trade liberalization and globalization are not the same people who paid the most costs for it

                Who are those who benefited the most? The millions whose income raised from 1 to 2 dollars a day? The Vietnamese and Cambodians stealing jobs from the Chinese? The janitors cleaning offices at night in Manhattan that can buy cheaper goods in Walmart?

                As they say, everyone is the protagonist of their own telenovela. The person on whose behalf you are asking someone to acknowledge something before this person would accept actual help with his actual situation might be a net winner in this 10 billion people globalization game.

                No one actively picked this person to screw him or her up, like no one invented cars out of hatred for buggy whip makers.

                I understand how they feel. I can understand they they might feel they have been personally wronged. But they weren’t wronged. They might be victims of societal changes that are happening too fast.

                But there’s no way they can go back. Not even if I wanted to take them back.

                Tl/dr. I already said I understand what they are feeling, and i am willing to help them. Im not going to feed the idea that they are intentional targets in a zero-sum game to improve my life, and the life of Vietnamese factory workers, Manhattan janitors, and people making now two dollars a day.

                I don’t plan to lie to these people. I won’t lie about mines opening or factories returning, and I won’t lie about how they were purposely screwed up.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A says:

                Who are those who benefited the most? The millions whose income raised from 1 to 2 dollars a day? The Vietnamese and Cambodians stealing jobs from the Chinese? The janitors cleaning offices at night in Manhattan that can buy cheaper goods in Walmart?

                While the benefits globally cannot be overstated, I am wondering what the problem is here.

                Is it understanding the rubes in flyover?

                Because if you and I know that the utility overall increased and we get to eat at much better restaurants than our grandparents did, then easy peasy.

                Those people will be dead in a few generations anyway and their grandkids will be conservative for believing the progressive things that you and I believe today.

                I don’t plan to lie to these people. I won’t lie about mines opening or factories returning, and I won’t lie about how they were purposely screwed up.

                You might have to deal with a 2nd Trump term. (Then again, we might not. I have no idea whether he was good at it and Clinton was unlucky or whether he was bad at it and Clinton was historically bad and relitigating 2016 doesn’t illuminate anything at all.)Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird says:

                Me: ” I don’t plan to lie to these people. I won’t lie about mines opening or factories returning, and I won’t lie about how they were purposely screwed up.”

                @jaybird: “You might have to deal with a 2nd Trump term.”

                Is your argument that these voters can only be reached by lying to them? That the only thing that will get their vote is to tell them exactly what they want to hear. no matter how unrealistic it is?

                So the only options open are to tell them lies, get their votes, and, either do something different to what you promised to do that might help them, or do nothing to help, and repeat the same lies in the next election cycle.

                Somehow, i can see crowds screaming : “You promised to open the mines again, and instead opened coding schools” I don’t think the next cycle will go well for the coding school openers.

                Maybe the greater good for the ten billion, or for the 327 billion in the USA, goes through lying to these voters, and then, effectively, abandoning them again. At least you’ll have a chance to again lie to them, and get their votes, in the future.

                But I’d like for someone to recommend a way to help them without lying to them. I’m full empathy “I understand why you feel this way, etc., etc.”. I am not going to pander to them “Immigrants/coastal elites/the Chinese/LGBT and SJW activists DID THIS TO YOU BECAUSE THEY HATE YOU, and we will reopen the mines!!!”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A says:

                Is your argument that these voters can only be reached by lying to them? That the only thing that will get their vote is to tell them exactly what they want to hear. no matter how unrealistic it is?

                No. My argument that you need to give… here, I’ll copy and paste it:

                an acknowledgment that the people who benefitted the most from trade liberalization and globalization are not the same people who paid the most costs for it.

                If saying “yeah, you guys got screwed over” is a bridge too far, saying something like “yeah, I understand why you guys feel like you got screwed over” is probably the bare minimum necessary to start the process of reconciliation.

                Is that unrealistic? Would that feel like lying, if you said that?

                Pandering?Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird says:

                It is fine to say this, and I am perfectly willing to say it, but I want to point out that your first paragraph is as true as it is irrelevant. We don’t know who paid the most costs for it, and who gained most from it. But rural people in the midwest are not part of any of those groups (*)

                Adding the first paragraph is a way to subtly imply the audience is indeed included in the “most cost paying” column, with enough plausible deniability to be able to say at some other occasion: “well, when i talk about the people that paid the most costs from trade globalization, I actually was thinking about subsistence farmers in the Guatemalan mountains. Man, those people were really screwed”

                (*) For some reason, when we talk about trade liberalization winners, we forget US agricultural producers, who export massive amounts of wheat, corn, soybeans, pork and chicken products, etc., out of those same rural regions that we need to appease.

                Trade liberalization and globalization did not close the mines – US domestic oil & gas industry did that.

                Trade liberalization and globalization did not close the factories. US industrial output is higher than any country except China, and as high as it has ever been. The factories are open and humming- and empty. Automation killed the factory jobs.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A says:

                I was asked what I think they want and what I think would help them feel differently than they feel.

                As I told Chip, I think that the problem is one of (a lack of) solidarity. Communicating solidarity is an important first step. Demonstrating solidarity is an important second one (and this is where we can get into schools that can teach them how to code or whatever).

                For what it’s worth, I used to agree with the point of view you’re arguing here. (Here‘s an essay I wrote for our inequality series.)

                Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time meditating on this video:

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meiU6TxysCg

                As such, I think that communicating solidarity is more important than I used to.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Again, this theory doesn’t make sense even within its own logic.

                Various Democrats have been saying those exact things for years, and Warren and Bernie are saying them today.

                Yet the Trump voters hate those two with a passion.

                The theory as put forward has no explanation for this.

                You’re trying to mount a defense of these people which asks us to ignore everything they themselves say.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Democrats can say what they want, but they created a separate interest, and in making that separate interest they by default made a ‘them’.

                Warren and Bernie are very vocal about a us/them divide. Pretty much all the Social Supremacists are by default producing a us/them divide in this moment in time.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird says:

                As such, I think that communicating solidarity is more important than I used to.

                On that, I am 100% in agreementReport

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to J_A says:

                Trade liberalization and globalization did not close the factories. US industrial output is higher than any country except China, and as high as it has ever been. The factories are open and humming- and empty. Automation killed the factory jobs.

                You did something (A) they were nervous about because of fear of job losses(B). As feared, those job losses happened. Claiming (A) and (B) aren’t connected despite those warnings is a bit of a leap. It’s especially a leap when you’re in bed with the Greens, who expressly want to destroy those jobs, and others who pretty openly have contempt for them.

                I’m not saying you’re wrong on the facts, but the perception was predictable.Report

              • Avatar cjcolucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                You wanted to show off your knowledge of game theory jargon, and I saw no reason to reward you for that. If anyone made any sort of attempt to answer my question, I’d respond to it. That’s just normal human nature. But that’s not the game you or George want to play. I’m not interested in the game you do want to play. I’ll leave to the readers whether they think it a good use of their time.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to cjcolucci says:

                Well defected, then.

                I’ll let you get back to wondering aloud why they don’t want to collaborate with you.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to CJColucci says:

                What if the democrats views on social objectivity are incorrect? Specifically on diversity and voting in self-interests.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to JoeSal says:

                So on the topic of lies, would there even be a immigration thing going on if there was never a minimum wage formed, and a open basket of social goods placed out on the front yard, not even chained to the front porch?

                I think the the people who proposed both of those ideas should be looked upon with great contempt, along with a great deal of distrust.

                Both from the perspective of making the wage rates in the country non-competitive on a global scale and selling out a accumulated social wealth that it was their responsibility to ensure. Doubly distrusted for the selling out on the basis of gaining votes in the pursuit of power and control.

                They have lied to these people but worse, they have lied to themselves.
                I have seen what was a pretty tolerable people being punished with ‘social truths’ that were mostly fabricated by one faction as a means to punish those that disagree.

                The escalation is under way, the tolerable people of the past are no longer tolerable. The true horridness of this is that 58 million will perish in the struggle for power, yet a great many of the survivors will have never paid the cost of truth and will continue with the lies, both to these people and to themselves once again.

                Truth is the devil in the Church of Needs, lies are it’s savior, mass graves it’s manna.Report

    • It’s not like South Bend, Indiana is in an urban corridor.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    I’m looking forward to the debates, just to see if anyone starts to stand out from the crowd, but I would be waaaaay more interested if someone with a healthy and non-partisan YouTube channel hosted a series of conversations between 2-4 of the candidates, pairing them up specifically based on their contrary views on certain issues and deep-diving a bit. I’m a big fan of Michele Caroll (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZznSVNyGeIwflbVBi4eK7g/videos) and Dave Rubin (https://www.youtube.com/user/RubinReport).Report

  3. Avatar North says:

    Yeah I’m beginning to feel that calling this first run through a debate is almost a misnomer. It’s more like the pre-debate screening where virtually all the candidates get together and demonstrate they can present well on national television and not crap all over the stage. Maybe there’ll be some narrow opportunities to knife a fellow candidate (not literally) but mostly this whole exercise is just an exorcism of the 2016 canard that the DNC put their thumb on the scale too heavily.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to North says:

      I think so too, and the huge field does have to make people realize what an aberration 2016 really was, where only one major Democrat threw her hat in the ring. Biden and Warren, both already quite old, declined to run against her, as did everyone in the Obama Administration. She and Debbie Wasserman Schultz had already rigged the primaries a year before they even started.

      Margot Kidder (famous as Louis Lane) wrote an article on it in CounterPunch, which is quite interesting reading.

      I don’t think any of the rank-and-file or up-and-comers in the party will ever allow things like that to happen again.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to George Turner says:

        I’m generally in agreement except where you lump the DNC in with Hillary herself. She did the preemptive field clearing all on her own though I’d allege that the term “rigging” is stealing a base. Hillary was a unique case. Her history and her background is not something anyone could chose to easily imitate and thus the strategies she used to clear the field aren’t open to most people. The problem, such as it was, basically began and ended with her.Report

  4. Given the number of sitting US Senators that are able to campaign all over the country on a regular basis — seven, I believe — we are not getting enough work out of them. I’d be inclined to require them to stay in Washington and stay off of TV each year at least until they’ve finished funding the next fiscal year. We are more than half-way through June and neither the House nor the Senate has passed a budget resolution, let alone appropriations in any form, for the fiscal year starting Oct 1.

    Most sitting governors are at a disadvantage in that they have to stay home for much of the legislative session arguing with their legislature over both supplemental budget bills for the current year as well as the budget for the coming fiscal year.Report

  5. Avatar pillsy says:

    @Pinky:

    If you want someone to feel like they’re taken seriously, DON’T tell them that their desire to be taken seriously shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    My concern, based on past conversations and observations of what Rightward commentators say, is that the “taken seriously” in this context doesn’t have a clear expression as public policy preferences. Since the OT comment section in particular has a strong local norm [1] against discussing anything but policy, there’s a bit of an impedance mismatch that aggravates existing partisan and regional tensions.

    @Jaybird:

    Avoiding saying “I will collaborate” is, indeed, an answer. Even something as simple as saying “I will not defect against you first” can feel like a pair of handcuffs.

    I can promise not to defect against them first, but given that we suffer from what appears to be a mutual disagreement about what norms we’re supposed to be following, how will they be able to tell if I have defected first, or if I am defecting in retaliation?

    This isn’t a matter of telling the truth (I will not defect first) but a matter of not even having enough existing agreement and trust for either one of us to know whether the other person defected first after the fact.

    [1] Which I find extraordinarily frustrating, as many of you may have noticed.Report

  6. Bullock from Montana? Whoever’s running the simulation isn’t even trying any more.Report

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