My Class, Their Class, Our Class

Starla Jackson

Starla Jackson

Starla studies chemicals.

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153 Responses

  1. Avatar Mike Dwyer
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    Interesting post Starla…

    This is somewhat ancillary but I have been watching some more detailed interviews with Kamala Harris recently and I was actually impressed that when the interviewers kept trying to get her to focus on race she kept circling back to poverty. She specifically said she wasn’t interested in tailoring policies specifically to help black people because she said that addressing poverty would help them by default.

    Anyway, it made me soften towards her a bit and aligned with my thinking on this topic for roughly the last 15 years. I also think that socio-economic status is a lot easier to address with policy than some vague ideas about race.Report

  2. Avatar JoeSal
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    The social constructs of government, mercantilism protection, and finance are never far apart, and often interfaced so closely that the boundaries are questionable.

    Since the wage rates in your town are non-competitive with pretty much the rest of the world, there is a dependence on the social constructs for the town to survive. Some may frame this as elitist, I often just consider it economically despicable.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    The Republicans have been using variants of accusing Democrats/liberals of being cheese and wine elites for at least as long as I have been alive. Potentially longer. George I used it in 1988 of all people. Sometimes these attacks are successful, sometimes not. Romney kind of tried to do it against Obama but he looks and sounds like a country club Republican out of central casting that it failed.

    The problem with combining the financial elite with people with social/cultural knowledge is that it is often absurd. There are lots of well-to-do liberals. There are plenty of really rich people that like all the “elite” stuff and basically fund the Republican party. When GOPers refer to the elite, they are making a special and wrong claim that they represent the real Americans.

    The charge is simply a charge against anyone who is liberal, anyone who prefers to live in or near cities, anyone who would rather go to Sunday brunch instead of the megachurch, anyone who uses a Strand totebag as a purse, etc. It is absurd to college a third-grade public school teacher an elite just because she goes to see dance performances at ODC every now and then. It is absurd to say she belongs to the same class as a woman who works as an associate at a consulting firm that makes over 100K or someone on Wall Street that can expect a 500K bonus.

    And as you noted, a lot of GOP politicians are elite themselves so it is absurd that they use it. Hawley went to Stanford and Yale Law. Matt Bevin made a fortune in finance. I’m sure they know plenty of (((cosmopolitan elites))) from their younger days and now.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Saul Degraw
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      It is absurd to college a third-grade public school teacher an elite just because she goes to see dance performances at ODC every now and then. It is absurd to say she belongs to the same class as a woman who works as an associate at a consulting firm that makes over 100K or someone on Wall Street that can expect a 500K bonus.

      It’s absurd, but it’s necessary to the basic project, because they want create ambiguity around whether they’re talking about consumerism and economic pain caused by de-industrialization, or insisting gays aren’t icky, or not being Christian.Report

  4. Avatar Kristin Devine
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    Great piece, Starla. I really enjoyed it.Report

  5. Avatar LeeEsq
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    It should be noted that cosmopolitan is a code word that anti-Semites like to use for Jew. Stalin was a pioneer in this but it goes way back to the emergence of racial anti-Semitism during the late 19th century. The accusation is that since Jews are dispersed among the nations, we have no loyalty to the countries where we reside but only to trans-national Jewry. When a white Republican refers to cosmopolitan elites, they might also be expressing frustration at Jews for not voting Republican like other white people. Since Americans equal whites in their cosmology, this is seen as betrayal to the United States and white people.Report

    • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to LeeEsq
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      This was debated when the speech first came out. I accept that there are quite a few folks who honestly didn’t know “rootless cosmopolitian” as a anti-Semitic term. But it was used 11 times in that speech, so if Hawley didn’t know it he should have said something about it in the aftermath. To me, IMO, using “cosmopolitan” in that context was deliberate as evidenced by it’s usage.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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        Did he use rootless cosmopolitan? Or just cosmopolitan? As one of (((them))) who is very sensitive to racism on both the left and right, using it without that qualifier is not a party foul. It is still just a word, and trying to pin any and all uses of it as anti-Semitic is childish.

        It’s akin to saying the word black. Outside of using it very specifically, it just isn’t racist.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Aaron David
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          Whether he used rootless cosmopolitan or cosmopolitan elite is a distinction without a difference in my view.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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            Below, Chip mentions that he’s seen the term used to indicate liberal Gentiles.

            Now, I don’t think that Chip is lying, necessarily, so it leads me to wonder whether Chip has seen something like this and been mistaken as to whether it also applies to liberal Gentiles *OR* whether he was right about what he saw.

            Is he right about what he saw?Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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              On of the recurring themes in conservative critiques is that we don’t understand heritage and place.
              Whether it is Confederate statues or hookup culture or immigration or Sharia law or kneeling duri g the anthem we are accused of impermanence, without loyalty or respect for the correct tribal totems.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                If we swap out judgmental words for non-judgmental ones, does the phenomenon exist?

                Is there a group that cares little (if anything) for “heritage” and less for geographical location? Is there one that sees more virtue in impermanence and fluidity and progress than in tradition and loyalty to the imagined habits of dead ancestors?Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird
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                I don’t know if I’m part of a group, but when you trace back the “Cain” part of my lineage, you see each generation (with one exception) growing up further west by a few/several hundred miles: Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa (two generations), Nebraska, Colorado.

                (We’ve never spent the money to look farther back than Solomon Cain in Kentucky, but it seems likely that there was at least one generation farther east.)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain
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                So there does seem to be a there there with regards to this phenomenon that is independent of Jewishness?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Michael Cain
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                Trace it far enough back, you come from East of Eden.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Michael Cain
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                Bound to be some farther east because Kentucky has no indigenous population. Not even Indians would winter here. But there’s also a possibility that he came directly from Ireland, which wasn’t that uncommon either, depending on year.

                There was a “house flipping” settlement pattern that was common back then, developing a new farm on the frontier, letting civilization catch up, selling it at a huge profit, and then moving a bit west and doing it again.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to George Turner
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                “…Kentucky has no indigenous population.”

                Ahem. That is not exactly accurate. There were no permanent settlements at the time of European contact but Kentucky had plenty of permanent settlements during earlier periods.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                True, but those Indians left long before contact. Unless the state was very much different back then, that was probably because the mound-builder’s pension system was underfunded and tribes to the south didn’t have an income tax.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to George Turner
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                Yeah, but you’re forgetting about the Vikings man.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                The thing is, most racism/ anti-Semitism has always been spoken about in code words. Words which change their meaning only by context and usage.

                For instance, when a Frenchman says “Pierre is very cosmopolitan” it is a compliment. It means Pierre speaks multiple languages, is worldly, well traveled.

                When he says “Hyman is cosmopolitan” it means Hyman is from an Other Tribe, alien and suspect.

                Most racist words are like that- where “natural rhythm” means one thing when applied to Fred Astaire, but another when applied to a black athlete.

                Because racism itself has a bizarre illogic to it, that would become embarrassingly obvious if people spoke plainly.

                Why are Jews bad? Any attempt to answer plainly would sound foolish, like phrenology or religious zealotry.

                So they have to speak in coded words which need no explanation, shibboleths that acknowledge the shared understanding.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                I agree that it’s talked about in code words!

                But if there is a phenomenon that describes a particular thing that exists independently of Jewishness, can we name that and criticize *THAT*?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                Uh, avocado toast?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                So… “Stuff White People Like Kinda White People”?Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Chip Daniels
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                Did that critique start about the same time as the two freedoms problem arose?Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
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              As a “National Conservative” political movement lurches out of Trumpism and the GOP, I have no issues keeping an eye open for how they define and manage their Nationalism… but the animus pre-Trump against Cosmopolitanism was very clearly Davos Cosmopolitanism … that’s literally (I think I’m using that right for once?) the word Davos uses self-referentially in their marketing. Its marketing code alright, but not code in this case for Jewish conspiracies.

              Here are also some fun articles from the heady days when we all knew Trump would lose and we could use Cosmopolitan without tripping over Urban.

              Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Marchmaine
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                Even if I were to believe this is true and I don’t, the big problem is that Hawley’s voting record and educational background do not align with a new anti-Davos stance.

                Hawley voted for Trump’s massive billionaire tax cut. He generally votes to cut safety regulations and consumer oversight.

                I honestly don’t get it except as a con.Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Saul Degraw
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                Just my opinion, but I’m seeing a convergence here of folks like Hawley, properly credentialed by elite standards but highly ambitious, forming what will be the next phase that will follow Trump. They will put a kindly, gentler, more educated spin on the Trumpian populism and this “National Conservatism” is the embryonic stages of that. He’s running.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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                Of course he is running. The problem is that “cosmopolitan elite” is not really that much better than Trump.

                I’m not sure whether Hawley’s polish helps or hurts here. Romney tried to be tough on immigration via “self-deportation” yet it did not work because Romney’s being screams country club Republican from central casting. Trump can get it to work because his demeanor is a cross between a blowhard in a bar and a carnival barker.

                I’m not a Davos guy exactly either but like many on the left, I am not buying this alleged new “national conservatism.” For all the new rhetoric and for Trump allegedly destroying the old GOP of the business classes, there is very little evidence that it is being done. Tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy and cutting safety and consumer protection regulations to the bone is what they are doing. If anything it seems like they figured out it can no longer be lip service to white supremacy, they need to offer the real deal to keep the con going.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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                I think what’s happening is that Republican politicians are trying to understand what Trump tapped into. What did he sense that all the other Republicans on stage in 2016 had been missing, along with most Republican voters, most of whom couldn’t quite put their finger on it until Trump just started proclaiming what they’d been feeling?

                So the non-anti-Trump pundits start digging, the think tanks start thinking, Victor Davis Hanson starts writing, and the inchoate perceptions slowly start to congeal. Of course many of the notions won’t pan out, or don’t dig deep enough, but that’s why thinkers are still thinking, both here and all over Europe and in Australia, because the phenomenon isn’t limited to the US.

                Any smart Republican in Trump country would really want to dig down to the root of it to find out exactly what most of his constituents think, and perhaps more importantly, what they feel but don’t know how to express. Whether his purpose is to lead their cause, advance their cause, hijack their cause, thwart their cause, or head it off before they even become consciously aware of it, he’d better figure out what that cause really is and what he should do about it. The same should ideally be true for Democrats, too.

                Underneath all the analysis, I think part of it is that people who grew up in Bedford Falls don’t want to wake up in Potterville. They were okay with a Potterville existing somewhere else, where anyone could go for booze or floosies, but when they start seeing that culture imposed on them, or the gutting of Bedford Falls by fat cats in Potterville who would sell the mill to the Chinese in the blink of an eye, they get really worried about their future, and where the country is headed.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Saul Degraw
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                I’m not even sure how this could possibly surprise you?

                Rich people espousing populism? Capitalists for a New Deal? Aristocrats for Revolution? Kings making cause with the Bourgeoisie against the Lords? Preposterous.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Marchmaine
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                This seems to require a lot more trust than I’m willing to extend to anybody lurching out of Trumpism. Especially not Hawley given the words he actually said.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to pillsy
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                Fair enough, but its not clear to me yet whether the National Conservative Lurch is a haven for discontents, the next iteration of Trumpism, or an honest attempt to trim the bad and tap the good. Or nothing at all.

                At the moment, it seems to be a bit of everything… even Neo-Cons.

                So I’m not placing any trust in the movement at all, other than to state that the Socio-Economic use of Cosmopolitan is shot through (liberal) academic literature and many, many think pieces that pre-date anything Trump. Ignoring, misreading, or mislabeling the critiques (or any movement that builds competently on them) will go badly for Team Blue (and Team Red for that matter).Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Marchmaine
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                Fair enough, but its not clear to me yet whether the National Conservative Lurch is a haven for discontents, the next iteration of Trumpism, or an honest attempt to trim the bad and tap the good.

                Like as a whole? Perhaps not.

                Yuval Levin’s speech was (perhaps tautologically) refreshingly anodyne.

                But in the case of Hawley it wasn’t just that he kept using the word “cosmopolitan”. Agree or don’t with my take on his speech, but there’s more than just the one word there.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
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                Remember when “Urban” was racist because it meant “Black”?

                Good times.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
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                Like it was yesterday.Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
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              Comment in moderation for too many links.Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to Saul Degraw
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            I could see it making a difference in some contexts, but this speech really isn’t one of them.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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        The problem with plausible deniability is the plausible part and bad faith playing dumb. Lots of people will go nitpicking for the exact exchange. It is hard to know who and who doesn’t know the phrase rootless cosmopolitan or cosmopolitan elite. There are plenty of people who know and believe the broad stereotype it conveys about Jews. As you note, he used it 11 times. I believe the phrase was intended. I expect millions of mental backflips in deniability.Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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        I’m with Andrew on this one.

        Either Hawley knew better, or he should have known better. Also, his speech was very clearly not just about economic damage done to middle America, but also blamed the same cosmopolitan elite for undermining their culture.

        In either case, obviously, neither has happened, and he doubled down, and his defenses are weak.[1]

        If he didn’t want to come off as an anti-semitic crank, maybe he shouldn’t have so strongly implied the “rootless” part of “rootless cosmopolitan”, by saying shit like this:

        But the reigning political consensus shows little interest in our shared way of life. Worse than that, it denigrates the common affections and common loves that make our way of life possible. It undermines the kind of labor and economy on which our way of life depends.

        For all intents and purposes, it abandons the idea of the republic altogether.

        In its place, the leadership class have tried to build a new state in their own image, one that exists cut off from our history, separate from our shared beliefs—beyond borders and beyond belonging.

        Or this:

        And they subscribe to a set of values held by similar elites in other places: things like the importance of global integration and the danger of national loyalties; the priority of social change over tradition, career over community, and achievement and merit and progress.

        And this:

        But it’s about more than economics. According to the cosmopolitan consensus, globalization is a moral imperative. That’s because our elites distrust patriotism and dislike the common culture left to us by our forbearers.

        Emphasis mine, in all three passages. Both the “rootless” part and the “cultural Marxist subversive” parts are quite clear to me. Also, three of the four academics he singles out as advocates of “cosmopolitanism” are Jewish (the fourth is dead).

        As for the analogy with Omar, I think Hawley’s comments track anti-semitic tropes at least as well, and he’s doubled and tripled down in ways that Omar hasn’t, IMO.

        Now am I 100% sure this was his intent? Perhaps not, but if it wasn’t he should be taking a long, hard look at his staff, given the Far Right entryist project to fill the ranks of young Republicans with their own, and not angrily doubling down.

        [1] He supports Israel, which means very little, and the same Israeli Jew who organized the conference is buddies with Viktor Orbán, so that affiliation means even less.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
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          “I’m with Andrew on this one.”

          that’s not surprising considering how hard you rode for “THE OK SIGN IS A RACIST CODE AND IT ALWAYS WAS AND EVERYONE ALWAYS KNEW IT”Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
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            Your “Can you believe he said this shit?!” act is always entertaining, but it would be even more entertaining if it were paired with even a scintilla of reading comprehension.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to DensityDuck
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            This is exactly what I mean by bad-faith mental gymnastics. You have Jewish members of OT discussing the phrase. You have non-Jewish members noting it wasn’t a coincidence that Hawley used the phrase 11 times. One of these people is a self-described conservative.

            And here you are trying to do everything you can to say just because something quacks like a duck, doesn’t mean it is a duck because doing otherwise means agreeing with liberals and this is eww…icky.Report

        • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to pillsy
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          On other thing I would add to this, and Saul and others maybe have thoughts as well, but there was this line in the Hawley speech that stood out to me immediately.

          “We are a unique nation with a unique history and a unique purpose in the world.
          That history began 2000 years ago, when the proud traditions of the self-governing city-states met the radical claims of a Jewish rabbi, who taught that the call of God comes to every person, and the power of God can work through each, so that every human being has dignity, and standing, and can change the world.
          And so the idea of the individual was born.”

          Such a obvious callout to Christian Zionism, in the same speech that “Cosmopolitan” is used 11 times in various ways, all under the banner of “nationalism” being molded into a new, acceptable packaging, is something to see unfold in real time from a sitting US Senator. What we mocked as Tucker Carlson monologue lunacy is now, (and Carlson was there at same conference) being formed into political ideology ready to be presented to the masses as talking points. Dark stuff will come from these developments, both intentional and otherwise. These folks are telling you what they are thinking, planning, and what they will be doing next. We should listen.Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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            That’s a really good speech and you’re right to keep an eye on it.

            It reminds me of a great article in City Journal about similar shifts in France, where the cosmopolitan elite have become entirely disconnected from the working class, and indeed replaced much of the working class with non-European immigrants. After decades of this, the French populace started waking up, voting populist, and they’ve been protesting in the streets.

            The faster the bleeding is stopped, the less traumatic the required surgery is going to be. Worst case, nothing is done until suddenly the elites all getting guillotined.

            As for the whole “cosmopolitan” dust up, I don’t in any way mentally associate the world with anything Jewish except in old Nazi propaganda archives. To me, “cosmopolitan” refers to characters on Sex in the City, Paris Hilton, and Kim Kardashian, Ivy League day traders, and hipsters with man buns.

            I’d venture that the Senator is using the term in the same way. If his audience is similar to me, our preferred Presidential candidate would be Benjamin Netanyahu, but sadly, unlike Boris Johnson, he’ll never be eligible to hold the office because he wasn’t born here.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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            yes it was definitely antisemitic dogwhistling to suggest that the concept of individual freedom and responsibility was inspired by the teachings of a Jewish rabbiReport

            • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to DensityDuck
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              Cleary, I missed the teachings of Christ on the necessity of Athenian Democracy in a city-state model for cultural cohesion of American Evangelicals somewhere in my 20 odd years of studying theology. My bad.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to DensityDuck
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              Would you answer my comment above or do you just prefer to troll?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Saul Degraw
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                yes it was definitely antisemitic dogwhistling to suggest that the concept of individual freedom and responsibility was inspired by the teachings of a Jewish rabbi

                (it’s also funny to watch people tell us how secret coded antisemitism is horrible and wrong BUT criticizing Ilhan Omar for yelling about the Jews who control Israel is *also* wrong BUT it’s racist bigotry to talk about “shithole countries” because that’s definitely coded speech that secretly refers to race and not government)Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to LeeEsq
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      I’m even seeing it spread to mean liberal Gentiles.

      In the same context as Sarah Palin’s Real America usage, where liberals are by definition rootless, untethered to place and heritage.

      Because as the word “conservative” increasingly becomes engulfed in blood and soil nativism, by definition their opponents are those who are not tied to the tribe of ethnicity.Report

  6. Avatar George Turner
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    Great post. 🙂

    The other day the UK Guardian reported some interesting research results about perceptions of Republicans and Democrats regarding each other.

    A new survey found Democrats live with less political diversity despite being more tolerant of it – with startling results

    [skipping on down…]

    This much we might guess. But what’s startling is the further finding that higher education does not improve a person’s perceptions – and sometimes even hurts it. In their survey answers, highly educated Republicans were no more accurate in their ideas about Democratic opinion than poorly educated Republicans. For Democrats, the education effect was even worse: the more educated a Democrat is, according to the study, the less he or she understands the Republican worldview.

    “This effect,” the report says, “is so strong that Democrats without a high school diploma are three times more accurate than those with a postgraduate degree.” And the more politically engaged a person is, the greater the distortion.

    What could be going on? Bubble-ism, the report suggests. Even more than their Republican counterparts, highly educated Democrats tend to live in exclusively Democratic enclaves. The more they report “almost all my friends hold the same political views”, the worse their guesses on what Republicans think.

    I would venture that if there’s a vast gulf between the scores of highly educated Democrats versus non-highly educated Democrats, it’s not unlikely that the highly educated Democrats might also not know how the non-highly educated Democrats would answer. Basically, they likely don’t understand Republicans or regular Democrats who aren’t in their social bubble. It could be that elites seem disconnected because they are.

    I’d also note that many upper-middle-class Republicans might be less likely to be in a bubble because they have jobs like being a chemical engineer or factory manager in a small town, and have to interact with ordinary everybody people all day long. Their kids plays with their employees kids, etc. This may not be at all true for tech workers in Silicon Valley or Seattle, who interact only with their other tech workers, or with those living in the heart of big financial capitals, Hollywood, etc, where virtually the entire community is either elite or aspiring to be.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
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      Why should anyone believe that the author of the piece understands conservatives any better than anyone else?

      I mean, its not like the average Joe is unaware of what conservatives think. We are exposed to conservative voices 24/7 from Fox News or even CNN.
      And right here on this blog us liberals are treated to long detailed explanations of what conservatives think.

      Maybe its less that we don’t understand what they think, so much as we observe what they do, where they place their priorities.

      Like I mentioned in the other thread, the readers of Redstate can tell you all day long they are fiscal conservative, but their actions and priorities say otherwise.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels
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        “Maybe it’s less that we don’t understand what they think, so much as we observe what they do, where they place their priorities.”

        I like this. Can we apply it to both sides of the aisle?Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer
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          Please do!
          Because criticism of the ” you aren’t living your principles” only makes us stronger.

          E.g. what would have been a devastating retort to my Redstate challenge would have been for a conservative to actually create a fiscally conservative budget.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels
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            I was thinking more along the lines of something like gun control i.e. assault weapons bans vs. handgun bans.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels
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            We liberals definitely don’t live our principles when it comes to housing or schooling. Liberals are as prone, if not more prone, to NIMBYism and parochial protection of their neighborhoods and exclusive schools than conservatives; probably more so since liberals live in places where they have more opportunity and personal cause to do so.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to North
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              Agreed, 100%.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to North
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              Yeah, but you do that because you value the social bonds of your artistic and uniquely ironic community. We do it because we’re racist xenophobes.

              *goes off to double check with our PR department about this mornings talking points memo, just in case it was actually supposed to be sarcastic*Report

              • Avatar North in reply to George Turner
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                Ehh… more like ideologies are nice and all but money talks and when it comes to children? That’s probably the only thing people* may value more than their money.

                *Most people, hopefully, maybe.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to North
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                The amount of money any wealthy parents will spend to make sure they’re in a gated neighborhood with the best schools is astounding. Some do stand on principles, letting their kid go to a random public school, but they’re often eaten up with guilt that they might be failing their child.

                And we all know that Obama or Biden would jump at a Palm Beach estate wedged between Rush Limbaugh’s and Sean Hannity’s, while Rush would snap up a House next to the Clinton’s on Martha’s Vineyard.

                I recall one hilarious skit from I think Eddie Murphy about his house in an upscale New Jersey neighborhood. Someone like Michael Jordan also lived there. His neighbor turned out to be a dentist.
                He commented that the place was so selective that to get in, you have to be one of the most famous black people in America, or if you’re white, just a dentist. 🙂

                I guess the subtext is that when you’ve succeeded, whatever your ideology or background, you move to the most elite neighborhood you can and then you defend that place’s selectivity and status for all you’re worth.

                Hollywood mansions are an obvious example of that. What’s the point of becoming an elite if you’re still living with the riff raff?

                It’s also much more comfortable for wealthy people to live next to other wealthy people, just as it’s more comfortable for famous people to live next to other famous people. When you’re going out in your bathrobe to pick up the paper, “Mornin’ Tom” is a lot easier to take than “OMG YOU’RE TOM CRUISE!”

                But this brings up an issue for both parties, because both span the full range of income and status. There are Democrats living in Hollywood estates, Democrats in factory towns, and Democrats living in ghettos. Correspondingly, there are country club Republicans, farm country Republicans, and trailer park Republicans.

                The class and populism issue can perhaps best be summed up as all the people who are looking at the Hollywood Democrats and country club Republicans and thinking “Hey, maybe it’s really them two against all of us?”

                Historically, the dark parallels would be to social revolutions where the people looked at the landed, titled aristocracy and the up-and-coming, brash, capitalist merchant class (which often behaved far worse than the aristocrats), and figured the two opposed sides were part of the same problem, and then overturned the existing order.

                Such revolutions are part of the history of liberalism, but the question is whether the liberals living in the elite bubbles realize that they’re no longer part of the oppressed masses trying to get a boot off their necks, they are the boot. The behavior of the giant tech firms just reinforces that notion.

                Is it true? Maybe. But regardless, it’s certainly a supportable perspective, and one that may be growing.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                If the remnants of the Tea Party want to raise taxes on all millionaires including Hollywood celebrities, this left wing agitator will raise my cement milkshake in solidarity.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah you’re pretty right on that in general. Ideology is ideology but everyone looks out for #1.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                If people could figure out a way to be really, really tribal for their own Stuff White People Like tribe while saying things that makes them overlooked by the Tribalism Police, that’d be one hell of an advantage.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                NIMBY’s square that circle by conning poor people; with arguments like gentrification and changing character of neighborhoods; into fighting development for them.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You don’t support shade-grown fair-trade organic coffee because you’re a racist colonialist who rapes the environment and exploits indigenous Amerindian communities a people of color.

                *knocks your cup of cheap McDonald’s coffee into the air*

                *pumps fist to celebrate whatever ethnic heritage month it is*

                *continues sipping on a wildly overpriced effete Mocha Grande whose description took up half the menu*

                Yeah, that could possibly work.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                It was Chris Rock, but what the hell, they all look alike.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Chris Rock? Well no wonder he’s living next to a dentist! 🙂

                It was indeed simpler when everyone was either Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx, or a Wayans brother.

                But honestly, I was thinking “It wasn’t Kevin Hart, it wasn’t Dave Chapelle… Eddie Murphy?”

                It was a hilarious routine.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                “It was Chris Rock, but what the hell, they all look alike.”

                https://tenor.com/view/sick-burn-omg-owned-ooooo-gif-5565292

                (seriously, that was GREAT)Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        The authors don’t have to understand how conservatives think. Their test was like “Family Feud” where you see how well a contestant can match the audience’s answers on a survey. Can group A guess how group B would answer and can group B guess how group A would answer? College-educated Democrats bombed it, and Richard Dawson doesn’t need to know anything to figure out who’s winning.

        It could be that too many college-educated Democrats were all thinking back to their sociology or political science classes and thinking “Okay. I know that Republicans are driven entirely by racism, sexism, greed, and a burning desire to invade and conquer Canada, so they would have answered…”Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Someone suggested “liberaltarian” for the very particular group of yuppies who are college-educated, congregate in cities, follow political fashion, and, on a social level, have high status (this is not necessarily high economic status… there are a handful who work not-particularly profitable non-profits or only make as much as a college professor… but they have high social status).

    While I already had a handful of definitions for “liberaltarian”, I’d be okay with repurposing that word for the phenomenon. It exists, after all. If all of the previous terms have unpleasant baggage, we should probably come up with a new term for the phenomenon that doesn’t have that baggage.Yet.Report

  8. Avatar DensityDuck
    Ignored
    says:

    side note: it’s amusing to me that some people can’t just say “he’s wrong” but have to go into conspiracy theorizing about how he’s actually blaming the J-E-W-S for all the problems, because he used the word “cosmopolitan”, which (as everybody knows) is code for “rich Jew bankers in New York City”Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    J_A wrote this awesome comment a couple of years ago. I think it’s worth revisiting.

    How much are you willing to give up to collaborate with them?

    I’m willing to do a lot to collaborate with them. I’ve strongly proposed to get any displaced miner above [35] years old of age (i don’t care about the age, it won’t make a difference) the ability to start collecting social security and Medicare.

    I can offer many solutions to mitigate their problems. But they don’t want my solutions. My solutions rob them of their dignity, and their sense of self worth. They reek of charity. My solutions will embarras them. I get all that. They don’t want new solutions. They want that they had before.

    But as much as I want, I cannot give them what they want. I cannot reopen the mines. The-mines-are-not-coming-back for reasons that have nothing to do with me being a smug urban liberal, and lots to do with energy prices and energy markets of a world scale level.

    I’m talking about possible solutions. They are talking about impossible solutions. We cannot move on on solving their problems unless they agree to move from the impossible realm into the possible one.

    I can help their material lives. I regretfully cannot help their pride. If I could I would do both. The self worth of an Appalachian miner is not worthy of less consideration than that of a Latino fruit picker.

    But the mines will not reopen.

    Only when we all agree on that, we can do something.

    And is not the smug liberal elitist energy and utilities xecutive the one standing in the way of an improvement, even if not The Solution.

    I was not the one that backstabbed them. The ones that lie to them, telling them that the mines will reopen if only the R’s are in power, are the ones backstabbing them. They are the ones robbing them of agency and solutions.

    But a case of IPA says four years from now, the Appalachian miners will still blame the smug liberal elititists for their plight. Because we are not buying coal out of sheer spite.

    Report

    • Avatar Fish in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Huh. Social Security…or perhaps UBI? How many people would choose to move to (or back to) those small rural communities–maybe the communities they grew up in–if money were not an obstacle? #Yang2020Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      That discussion was really good, lots of great comments.

      Sometimes I wonder if many of our political difficulties aren’t a direct result of our hard dying belief in a class free society. It’s hard to talk about these issues in America without sounding like a Marxist even if you aren’t anywhere close to one. Instead we have these clumsy fights around class proxies that fail to account for the fact that the world has changed and we need to be open minded about how to approach that. All assuming we think liberal democracy is worth saving of course.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      This is a good comment.

      But beyond that I just sort of thing… doesn’t really seem like a thing that the government can solve. And frankly it’s a bit weird seeing conservatives start edging towards saying that the government can solve that problem because they used to insist to us liberals stuff like, “The government can’t give you dignity!” all the time and, really, they had a pretty good point on that score.

      I mean the best I can think is like Fish says where we go for a UBI. That at least means addressing a problem we have some hope of addressing and giving them some quantum of flexibility and power to find their own way.

      It also has the advantage of setting up a system that will also help the next bunch of workers from a sector of the economy that goes away because capitalism does that sometimes, instead of us having to react after the fact in an ad hoc manner (which has problems) or letting the government make policy based on a prediction of where the economy will go next (which has more problems).Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Well, the main thing that I saw in this comment was that even if solidarity was not 100% perfectly communicated, it was lightly communicated.

      And anti-solidarity was *NOT* communicated.

      Re-reading this and thinking about this for the last two freaking years, the problem with Clinton’s “we’re gonna put a lot of these coal mines and miners outta business!” statement was that she was taking credit for it. This is anti-solidarity.

      If someone came in and said “look, the world has changed and will continue to change and there isn’t anything that anybody could do to make us go back and the mine is going to close and nobody can stop that even if they wanted to”, that’d be one thing.

      Coming in and saying “we’re going to close it!” took credit for a bad thing that was going to happen anyway. Maybe one of her mentors told her something like “if something is going to happen anyway, say that you will institute a policy that will cause it! That makes you look like you’re the one who is driving change!” and she ran with that but… man. It was a bad time to run with that.

      And if it’s possible to communicate “we know that this situation sucks and it can’t be changed but it can be mitigated” then that’s a hell of a lot better than “look at the big picture!”

      I’m vaguely surprised that this is vaguely controversial.Report

      • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        What neither Trump or H. woman, (or even J_A) voiced was the current US wage rates cannot compete in the global production world. If a workforce needs work, they have to offer a competitive wage. Whether it’s coal or something else, that’s the reality of it.

        People can go stick their head up the backside of some social construct and hope it rains hundred dollar bills for as long as they wish, but it doesn’t change the situation.Report

      • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        And if it’s possible to communicate “we know that this situation sucks and it can’t be changed but it can be mitigated” then that’s a hell of a lot better than “look at the big picture!”

        I’m vaguely surprised that this is vaguely controversial.

        That’s not what’s controversial. What’s controversial is whether it means a damn when the reality being communicated is bleak and the hearer is, for various reasons, predisposed to reject, or even refuse to hear, what certain kinds of people say because of who is saying it rather than what they are saying or how they’re saying it.

        I spent several years doing hard, manly physical work, alongside men who had far less chance than I of getting out of it. (I’m glad I did; otherwise I’d be a wreck, if not dead, now.) Even now, and largely as a result, I spend a fair amount of my working time figuring out how to pitch my clients’ interests to people like those I worked with. If I must say so myself, I’m pretty good at projecting solidarity with working class jurors. But there are limits to what I, or anyone else, can sell them. It isn’t just marketing failures.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
          Ignored
          says:

          What’s controversial is whether it means a damn when the reality being communicated is bleak and the hearer is, for various reasons, predisposed to reject, or even refuse to hear, what certain kinds of people say because of who is saying it rather than what they are saying or how they’re saying it.

          Well, first I ask the question, “do I hope these people will show solidarity with me?”

          If the answer is “no”, then I agree with you 100%.

          If the answer is “kinda, yeah”, then I am back to “does it cost me a single penny to communicate solidarity” (and I define “communicate solidarity” as something in the ballpark of the speech you asked me to write or the comment from J_A posted above) and if the answer is “no”, I’m wondering why in the hell it’s controversial to try to communicate solidarity.

          Because you don’t want to lie to people? Was I lying to them? Was J_A?

          But there are limits to what I, or anyone else, can sell them. It isn’t just marketing failures.

          Are there marketing failures that are so freaking obvious that it uncontroversial to say “maybe we should avoid that sort of thing” or will we, eternally, find ourselves in thrall to forces beyond our control to the point where we need not even bother trying to communicate solidarity?Report

          • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            People have tried. They have said, in substance, pretty much what you and JA said. They will do it again, because, as you say, it is low cost and easy. Most professional politicians know how to do it. I’m pretty sure I could do it. Still, the people who have, supposedly, heard these things have insisted they were being told something else. Or they have rejected what they have been told. Or they have rejected the teller. For reasons that may or may not withstand examination.
            To say that we should try to show solidarity is certainly “uncontroversial.” It is also useless. There is more going on.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
              Ignored
              says:

              Well, the last time that *I* remember is when Clinton stood before everybody and said “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business”. (Sometimes I even have video!)

              And instead of acknowledging this as a mistake that was avoidable, I keep being told of all of the times the miners were shown full solidarity when they were told the truth, without citation, and how there are other things going on.

              Sure there are.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                If the question is whether Hillary was inept, I don’t think anyone disputes that. I certainly don’t. But you might want to watch your own video. Some of us watched it at the time.
                Do you really think that any actually existing Democrat could go to West Virginia, make the very minor tweaks that would transform Hillary’s comments into AJ’s speech or yours, and be better received?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Better received than “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners out of work”?

                Yes. Yes, I do.

                At the very least, I could get people to discuss how what was said was true rather than discussing how, in theory, what was said might have been inept and nobody disputes that, but it was also true (and besides, the way it should have been said has been said in the past in other, undocumented, speeches).Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                At the very least, I could get people to discuss how what was said was true
                Which “people” are you talking about? Lots of folks here have been talking at length about what’s true and what’s false about what can be done about the coal miners. Lots of people in the real world have discussed it as well. Nobody here, or, as far as I can tell, anywhere else, has suggested anything that would have been both true and substantively satisfactory to the coal miners, even if better phrased. Not to mention that no Democrat could have won West Virginia, no matter how they phrased the unpalatable truth.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Which “people” are you talking about? Lots of folks here have been talking at length about what’s true and what’s false about what can be done about the coal miners.

                This is the wacky thing about solidarity and communicating it.

                If I say “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners out of business”, that not only gets the coal miners upset at me, but people who like the coal miners upset at me. If said poorly enough, it can get people who like the people who like the coal miners to be upset at me.

                If, however, I say “the world has changed, it’s never again going to be like it was, and there’s nobody who can make it be like it was, but I want us all to move forward together”, this might get the coal miners upset at me… and it might get some of the people who like the coal miners upset at me… but it’ll also get some of them to say “you know, looking at this rationally without a whole lot of romanticism, as unpleasant a truth as that is…”, and the people who like those people will look at the truth value.

                The way Clinton said it not only poisoned the miners, it poisoned the debate.

                It was so very bad that Clinton herself acknowledged that she could have phrased it better and wished that they didn’t misunderstand her as badly as they did.

                Nobody here, or, as far as I can tell, anywhere else, has suggested anything that would have been both true and substantively satisfactory to the coal miners, even if better phrased. Not to mention that no Democrat could have won West Virginia, no matter how they phrased the unpalatable truth.

                If you define substantively satisfactory as “agreeing to vote for Clinton”, probably not.

                Clinton messed that up really, really, really badly.

                As for whether it’s possible to get WV to vote for a democrat… well, they voted for Clinton. The other one, I mean.

                He was *REALLY* good at communicating solidarity.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                When you live in a world ruled entirely by sophistry and aesthetic criticism, then naturally it must appear phrasing and optics are the miracle potions that change reality.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Chip, I don’t understand your criticism.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                What I’m saying is that you are trying to discuss the entire Trump era with the vocabulary of gamesmanship.

                Your stance of indifference isn’t even a “pox on both houses” because there isn’t any underlying suggestion of why any of what is going on might be ethically wrong or unjust.

                Instead, all your criticisms are on this Beltway media gamesmanship level of what looks good, what wins the most clicks, like we are discussing a hot tag line for a commercial or something.

                In this specific subthread, what would or wouldn’t be a good outcome for WV or America seems wholly irrelevant.
                Instead, you are searching for some clever tagline or quip, or Frank Luntz style wordsmithing that would get West Virginians to press the red button instead of the blue one.

                You seem to speak with a tone of amused indifference like none of this is real, where there is no difference between truth and lies, justice and injustice.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Chip, in this case, I’m talking about “how politicians can get people in communities that are going to be changing to get on board with your particular program”.

                Yes, trying to appeal to them through such bullshit as “feelings” is important for as long as we live in a democracy.

                I find it difficult to believe that this is controversial.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Appeal to them to…do what?

                Press the button to approve the genuine, bona fide
                Electrified, six-car monorail?

                When you say that 90% of the opposition to Trump is aesthetic or partisan, it indicates that there isn’t ever any There, There.

                That all the fury and conflict is just trivial and petty, without any important consequence. Like the kingdoms in Gulliver’s Travels who went to war over which end of the egg to crack.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Appeal to them to…do what?

                To trust you enough to have them sign onto your plan for what happens after the mines close.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Is this different than “searching for some clever tagline or quip, or Frank Luntz style wordsmithing that would get West Virginians to press the red button instead of the blue one”?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                It might involve something as simple as “not shitting the bed on national television”.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Why should anyone care if the bed gets shat?

                It sounds like there are no consequences of shitting bed, other than Hillary doesn’t get to sit in the big chair and Donald does.

                As if West Virginians, and Americans, are just viewers with their hands on the remote instead of engaged citizens in control of their own republic.Report

              • Avatar cjcolucci in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I respect the intelligence and, I think, understand the fears of the coal miners. Granted that Hillary wasn’t the generational political talent and world-class bullshitter that Bill was, the substantive message in Hillary’s speech, no different, except aesthetically, from the hypothetical AJ or Jaybird speech, or the one I would have given myself, was a predictable No Sale to fearful, desperate men watching their jobs disappear (and what they care about, George, is employment, not production) as their industry dies because of forces beyond anyone’s control. They want their remembered way of life and the realistic alternatives do not appeal to them. They cannot be bullshat. Some of the miners know their bleak long-term future, and have said as much, but many of them ran to a transparent charlatan in the hope that he might cobble together some short-term expedient, kick the can down the road, and maybe stall the inevitable until they can retire, if they live that long. Sad and desperate, but sad and desperate men often prefer false hope to unpalatable reality. That is a much bigger issue than aesthetics.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I guess it depends on whether you have solidarity with these people.

                If you don’t, you probably wouldn’t care.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You’re using solidarity as a buzzword, meant to deceive and manipulate.

                Is there any actual idea underlying this, an affirmative statement of what would be a good outcome for WV and America?

                In the absence of any actual concept or vision, Using the word solidarity is just sophistry, trying to persuade with wordplay rather than genuine reason.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Thanks for the free psychoanalysis.

                I’m using it as a way to communicate the idea that people think “hey, they’re on our side” versus “hey, they’re not on our side”.

                I could also use terms like “members of our tribe” for another concept.

                I use “solidarity” because I prefer compression and want to use as few words as possible to talk about as many concepts as I can.

                If you don’t like the word “solidarity”, tell me what term you want me to use that encompasses the whole “they’re on my side” thing that voters feel toward the people they enthusiastically vote for and the thing that politicians want to communicate in order to get voters to vote enthusiastically for them.

                If you think that “solidarity” is a word that deceives and manipulates you, okay fine.

                Please give me the word that you would prefer I use and maybe we could agree on it.

                I would *SERIOUSLY* like to try to persuade you that Hillary Clinton should not have said “I’m going to put a lot of coal miners out of work!” to the people whose votes she wanted using genuine reason.

                Please let me know what words might be useful for unlocking that particular latch.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Also, lemme tell you this as a former really, really religious person: one of the things that I thought was me being deceived by sophistry and trickery was really me being persuaded by seeing the truth in front of me and the truth in front of me being different from the beliefs that I held dear deep in my heart. Me saying “THAT’S SOPHISTRY!” was a defensive mechanism.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Dialectic. I think that is the word that we have been searching for in this entire post/thread.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                If you tell people you are on their side, but you yourself don’t have any idea of what that means then yes, it is empty deception.

                What does it mean to be “on their side”?

                Does it envision a world that celebrates multiculture and communitarian altruism?

                Or does it mean bitter ethnic rivalry and a cruel hierarchy of class?

                Words have meaning and lead to consequences.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                What does it mean to be “on their side”?

                In this case, it means to understand where they are coming from, understand that they have ties to their culture and their community, understand that it sucks when these things change, and understand that there is reason to distrust people who will benefit from the coming changes.

                Does it envision a world that celebrates multiculture and communitarian altruism?

                Surely you have enough self-knowledge to realize that you just got finished accusing me of using deceptive buzzwords, right?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Chip, you’re wasting your time. Our mutual error was to assume that there was some there there, some proposition sufficiently definite and meaningful that it could be grappled with.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                You asked for a speech and I wrote it. I talked about Clinton’s speech and what was wrong with it. I talked about making an attempt to make a connection with the people with whom you are hoping to build a coalition.

                And while I guess I’m glad that this is no longer seen as controversial, I’m now somewhat baffled that it’s seen as insufficiently meaningful.

                If I wanted to talk about why the African-American vote goes north of 90% for Democrats and talked about displays of solidarity (or whatever term isn’t considered manipulative) from the Dems and talked about active displays of hostility from the Republicans, would you see *THAT* as having a there there?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                It would depend on what you said about it. The proof will be in the pudding.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Really, because it seems like me saying “Democrats do a better job of communicating solidarity to the AA community and Republicans do an amazing job of communicating hostility to the AA community” would be obviously true to the point of banality.

                Maybe we could get someone on the right to jump in with FBI stats for crime right after I brought it up.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, it would. And your point is?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Eh, I guess I consider it made.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                “It would depend on what you said about it. The proof will be in the pudding.”

                Man, this is a really hard class… Prof just keeps assigning essay after essay.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                See here’s the dispute:

                I consider “understand where you come from” to have all the depth of a Hallmark card, while “multiculture” has a specific meaning and leads to actual changes in the world.

                Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t “have ties to their culture and their community, understand that it sucks when these things change, and understand that there is reason to distrust people who will benefit from the coming changes”?

                And when you assert that the difference between Clinton and Trump is just aesthetic stylings, what is the point of “understanding” anyone, since our differences are just Team Red and Team Blue, Coke and Pepsi?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I consider “understand where you come from” to have all the depth of a Hallmark card, while “multiculture” has a specific meaning and leads to actual changes in the world.

                Well, if you want to complain about “understand where you come from” being all touchy-feely, let me say for the record: I am indeed talking about touchy-feely bullshit like feelings.

                As for “multiculture” having a specific meaning… I’m not sure. It’s a term that strikes me as needing to be unpacked.

                For example… according to your definition of “multiculture”, is The World Pavilion at EPCOT multicultural?

                According to my definition, it is not. It is Unicultural.

                Is it multicultural according to your definition?

                Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t “have ties to their culture and their community, understand that it sucks when these things change, and understand that there is reason to distrust people who will benefit from the coming changes”?

                If I gave an example of a politician going to coal country and talking about how her policies were going to put a lot of coal companies and coal miners out of work, would that be an example of someone who is communicating that it doesn’t suck?

                And when you assert that the difference between Clinton and Trump is just aesthetic stylings, what is the point of “understanding” anyone, since our differences are just Team Red and Team Blue, Coke and Pepsi?

                What is the point of understanding anyone? Well, my assumption is that you want to win elections and get people to purchase your product instead of the product of your competitor and not be left explaining how those grapes were probably sour anyway as you walk away without them.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, apparently all it took to get them to press the red button instead of the blue button that they’d always been pressing was Trump showing up and saying “You folks are great. I love ya!”

                Unasked is if Democrats ever wondered why there was an entire state full of Democrats who were mining coal for several generations.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Do you really think that any actually existing Democrat could go to West Virginia, make the very minor tweaks that would transform Hillary’s comments into AJ’s speech or yours, and be better received?

                Democrats had been doing it for eighty years or more, so I don’t see why they failed to keep doing what had worked for them in the past.

                From 2016 to 2017, West Virginia’s coal production went up 18%, and US production went up 6%. Last year the US produced just as much coal as it did in 1978, when coal mining was booming.Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Hillary did a citation herself; that event and her apology trip to WV trying to mitigate the damage from it was an entire chapter in her “What Happened” book. And it is illuminating.Report

  10. Avatar Jesse
    Ignored
    says:

    The thing is, a correctly aligned ‘national conservatism’ in theory, could work.

    After all, the last time the Republican Party actually won 50%+ of the vote was when it was running on basically a national conservative platform. During his initial first term, Bush increased social spending, was friendly to immigrants, did massive tax cuts, but in a way that normal people actually felt like they were actually getting a tax cut, and pushed socially conservative policies that actually had majority support (ie. gay marriage bans, partial birth abortion bans).

    The usual attacks that the GOP only stands for rich people was lessened because Bush could point to Medicare Part D, NCLB, broad based tax cutsetc. as positive things.

    Then, after running for re-election, he tried to privatize Social Security, Iraq fell apart, and Katrina happened.

    But, in theory, somebody running on a non-racist, socially moderate to conservative, economically populist platform could totally win an election, with strong majority cross racial support.

    The problem is two folk –

    1.) The money people don’t want the economic populism, or frankly, even the Bushian compassionate conservatism. They want Paul Ryanism.

    2.) The social conservatives want total pushback.

    3.) Many of the white economic populists who support Trump think of national conservatism as being a whites-only proposition, for the most part.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jesse
      Ignored
      says:

      “somebody running on a non-racist, socially moderate to conservative, economically populist platform could totally win an election, with strong majority cross racial support.”

      That somebody was Barack Obama, who won two terms.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jesse
      Ignored
      says:

      I’m looking forward to 2032 when Democrats are saying “you know, Trump did a lot of good things actually, not like the CURRENT asshole who’s just the WORST”Report

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