Friday, August 05, 2016


I have noticed a new school of Trump apologist -- we might call them "Trump whisperers." These are conservatives who tell us that they have listened to white working class people, and discovered they have something to say, and that we liberals have not been sufficiently respectful of their needs, and now that these salt-of-the-earth are all backing Trump, that is not the fault of conservatives (who have filled their ears for decades with the poisonous anger they still read back, though in earthier language) nor Republicans (who actually, with their votes, chose Trump), but ours, because we sat in our Ivory Towers eating Brie and Arugula and reading Alinsky instead of attending their plaintive cries. Sometimes their stories come in fictionalized form, as imagined by such as David Frum:
Tom Kean/Tim Kaine? So, so sorry we got the name of your latest precious progressive New South governor a little mixed up. Just kidding: not even a little bit sorry. What you need to take on board is how profoundly so many Americans do not give a … oh yeah, you still live in a country where people don’t use language like that when they talk about politics. Come visit Reddit sometime and see how the other half lives. But I’ll spare your feelings. They like that Donald doesn’t know any of that sh …. Oops. Sorry again.
Apparently Frum thinks it's words like "shit" and "fuck" that the folks back home say to be Politically Incorrect, rather than "nigger" and "fag." Some Trump whisperers like David Blankenhorn of The American Interest actually go among the Trumpists in a sort of Listening Tour (who knew TAI had such a generous budget?) and bring back their pithy assessments, such as this:
I swear I’m not racist. I swear on the Bible, I am not a racist person. But when you go to the VA, it’s nothing but black people working there and they don’t give two shits about you. I went to the triage and there’s two black ladies back there just jabbering about home and stuff, and nothing about work, and I’m just sitting there, I’ve got shingles . . . I’m dying, I’m just waiting, and they’re doing their bullshit and they got an attitude...

I’m willing to take a chance on Trump because I’ve been lied to by the rest of them. What’s the worst thing that can happen? He doesn’t do what he says he’s going to do? I’ve seen that for the last thirty years.
See, you libtards? You got these black people jobs at the VA and they're jabbering while a white man dies of shingles. Had you only understood this man, you might have done something to at least make him feel better -- like go after those jabbering blacks. (Bill Clinton threw a bunch of them off welfare, true, but apparently that wasn't good enough, and now all the Trumpists Blankenhorn talks to hate Hillary Clinton.)

I get the emotional effect these guys are going for, but honestly it comes down to this: liberals have repeatedly diagnosed the problems that keep the working class down and prescribed remedies like taxing the rich, breaking down barriers between all working people, and universal health care. Conservatives, on the other hand, have prescribed tax breaks for the rich, immiserating minorities, and universal gun suffrage. (Also, they focus on the white working class for obvious reasons.)

Liberals have peddled their solutions to the white working class, and to all comers -- but the Trump voters, like pretty much all Republicans from the Nixon Administration to the present, have opted to stick with the latter, in fact, have doubled down on it. Well, we tried; horse to water, and all that.

You'd think Republicans would be happy about this. But some of them consider Trump a liability -- either due to social anxiety or (more likely) a sense that Trump is cutting his and their throats with moderates -- and, as is their wont, seek someone else to blame. So they've settled on the Arugula Eaters -- hell, it's something they know, and if they manage to turn this thing around the Trumpists may remember that when the chips were down, the conservative establishment may not have supported their candidate but they damn sure hated the same people they did -- and hasn't that always counted for something?

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