Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Trump-mania: The anger is real

I've been struck by the level of bitterness, vitriol and sometimes even profanity being bandied about by supporters of Donald Trump when they comment on the political establishment.  Here are three articles that caught my eye during the past week or so.  Click the link above each excerpt to read the whole article (which I do recommend).

1.  An Open Letter to the Conservative Media Explaining Why I Have Left the Movement
... it doesn’t appear to me that conservatives calling on people to reject Trump have any idea what it actually means to be a “conservative.” The word seems to have become a brand that some people attach to a set of partisan policy preferences, rather than the set of underlying principles about government and society it once was. Conservatism has become a dog’s breakfast of Wilsonian internationalism brought over from the Democratic Party after the New Left took it over, coupled with fanatical libertarian economics and religiously-driven positions on various culture war issues. No one seems to have any idea or concern for how these positions are consistent or reflect anything other than a general hatred for Democrats and the Left.

Lost in all of this is the older strain of conservatism. The one I grew up with and thought was reflective of the movement. This strain of conservatism believed in the free market and capitalism but did not fetishize them the way so many libertarians do. This strain understood that a situation where every country in the world but the US acts in its own interests on matters of international trade and engages in all kinds of skulduggery in support of their interests is not free trade by any rational definition. This strain understood that a government’s first loyalty was to its citizens and the national interest. And also understood that the preservation of our culture and our civil institutions was a necessity.

All of this seems to have been lost. Conservatives have become some sort of schizophrenic sect of libertarians who love freedom (but hate potheads and abortion) and feel the US should be the policeman of the world. The same people who daily fret over the effects of leaving our society to the mercy of Hollywood and the mass culture have somehow decided leaving it to the mercies of the international markets is required.

2.  Why Trump?
We used to think the conservative machine had our back, that you would protect us from political correctness and left-wing pogroms. We working-to-middle class white men are your base, we thought you’d fight for us us. Maybe you’d let a nazi or two twist in the wind, but you’d at least have our backs. But now we’re the nazis for simply advocating what the people who beat the nazis did.

You don’t have our backs. Instead, you sneer at working-class whites. You call us, your ******* base, illiterate, crazy, and stupid. You attack us, the people you supposedly represent, as racist, the same slur leftists use against us to destroy our lives (and against you to score political points, but your heads are too far up your own asses to see the irony of that). You deride us and sneer at us at every turn.

But you aren’t even content to sneer at us. Instead, you traitorous bastards attack and mock us as cowards for writing anonymously because we don’t want to lose our jobs and be the subject of a national two minute hate. Not once did any of you even wonder why your base, the people you supposedly represent, have to hide behind pseudonyms and proxies simply to talk openly about politics. Instead, you insulted us for not wanting to lose our jobs.

We support Trump because we now know that you’re just like the leftists. You have shown repeatedly you do not have our backs, you hate us just as much as the progressives. You will run us out of jobs, you will engage in the public shaming, and when the time comes, you will happily march us to reeducation camps.

3.  The Hollow State Politics: The Left Behinds vs. Technorati
The forces hollowing us out have enabled the development of a unified ruling class. A class united by global outlook, education, financial success, status, and technological adoption.

This milestone became crystal clear after Super Tuesday, when everyone in the establishment, from the Democratic and Republican party regulars to the media elites to academic policy wonks to senior government employees to the heads of large corporations and financial firms, banded together to denounce Trump.

In that moment, connected as they were on social networks to confront their existential enemy, America's technorati was born.

. . .

The left behinds are the supermajority of Americans getting creamed by the hollowing out of America. 

Americans who lose more good good jobs, benefits, and status with each passing year. Americans who went deep into debt for college (in order to ascend to a slot in the technorati) but are perpetually underemployed. Americans who work all day but can only make enough to buy food with the money they earn.  Americans now adrift in an America so culturally unmoored, it makes the “people of walmart” not only possible, but common.

The problem for the technorati is that the left behinds are starting to realize they've been conned.

All the articles are well worth reading.  One wonders whether anyone in the establishment is listening . . . and if so, whether they'll be willing to do anything constructive about it.



LastRedoubt said...

One wonders whether anyone in the establishment is listening . . . and if so, whether they'll be willing to do anything constructive about it.



LastRedoubt said...

Oh - and that second link, at FreeNortherner? A longer and more profane version of how I feel.

Peter B said...

And then there's the public vilification of Trump – often by respected members of the Republican establishment.

Diana West has details. Here are samples:

The donor class "are still going to have to go out and put a bullet in Donald Trump. And that’s a fact.”

-- Republican consultant Rick Wilson on MSNBC; Wilson has "informal ties" to Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, and is a frequent guest on other cable news nets as well. Wilson is on Twitter asking Ann Coulter "Does Trump pay you more for anal?"

LL said...

The elites don't own Trump. I've heard them say on TV many times that they'd prefer Hillary to Trump. She's buy-able. She's reliably corrupt.

To be fair, they hate Cruz just as much. The focus is on Trump because he's in the lead. In any case, they'd be much more comfortable with Romney.

lee n. field said...

I feel the rage against the R. establishment. I just don't think Turnip (another arrogant NYC billionaire) is anything but a disaster.

Just because there's a problem, doesn't mean there's necessarily a solution.

Gail said...

L.L.: I'm from Arkansas and never voted for the Clintons. They are scary and have their own rules.

I like that Trump has stirred things up. I like most of what he says far more than what others have said. I like that he has inspired people to come out and vote.

Javahead said...

I intensely dislike Trump, and think he'd be worse-than-average President. Though I have issues with *all* the remaining Republican contenders, I'll vote for Cruz in the primary.

That being said, I think Trump would be considerably less bad as a president than either Clinton or Sanders. And if he's the party's candidate, I'll vote for him just because I believe that he's less bad than the alternative (and, I'll admit, there'd be a certain amount of Schadenfreude in sticking it to both the GOPe AND the Democrats).

Despite the appeal of moral posturing (I worked with a fellow, 30+ years back, who loudly proclaimed his higher purity because he *never* voted, since all the candidates had flaws and he refused compromise. Pfui.) I'm a rationalist - usually, there's at least one candidate in each election that I view as worse than the alternative.

And this election we have a bumper crop of candidates I'll be quite happy to vote against.

Mike said...

I absolutely understand and share in the anger at the useless Republican party hacks. Take a look at what they did here in the Colorado caucus if you want to see just how much they want to represent us - they canceled the poll that would direct the state Republican party on how to vote so they could act as free agents and vote for whoever they like. They explicitly said they canceled the poll so they wouldn't have to be constrained but what we, the voters, actually want.

However, I don't understand why so many of those who share my anger and frustration think Trump is going to be any better. Instead of voting for the RINO the donor class picked for us to support, we will be voting for a member of the donor class directly? We are frustrated with politicians who tell us what they think we want to hear, then do whatever they want anyway, so we will instead vote for a man who has said he's telling us what we want to hear, refuses to release the tapes of his conversation with the NYT editorial board where he told them that, and wrote a book where he espouses telling us what we want to hear so he can close the deal? How is this an outsider or someone bringing change? Are we so lacking in common sense and critical thinking skills that we can't connect the dots between his sudden about-face on most issues just as he became a candidate, his complete lack of detail on any policies, his numbers that don't add up when he does give some detail (indicating either lies or a lack of thought and research), and his signalling to the powers that be that he's "flexible" on these issues?

LCB said...

I think a Trump presidency would be a disaster. The question, though, is will he be a worse disaster than the other Rebus??? And the fact that either Donkey will be cataclysmic for the country goes without saying.

All you have to do to understand my disgust with all of them is look at Rubio. There is NO WAY on God's little green earth that he can get the nomination. If he was truly for the county, he'd step aside and give Cruz a strong shot at Trump. Cruz "might" be better than Trump...but again, I don't get the sense that the country is his primary concern. They'll all narcissists that don't care that we KNOW they're narcissists!!! At least in days past the pols did a decent job hiding from us noobs...

No...really, I think there have been a few Presidents that cared about the country more than themselves. Carter, although his dream was to make us a socialist country...certainly Regan...Eisenhower...Coolidge...further back than that I just don't know. Maybe, maybe Lincoln. But even he admitted that ambition was the little engine that drove him...