November 3, 2016

Word; Trump and class

Nancy Isenberg, NY Daily News - Disgust with Donald Trump’s misogynistic statements and actions reflects a modern sensitivity to both sexual harassment and the unfair and unequal treatment women face in the workplace. But Americans do not yet feel comparable regret about the persistence of inequality in our class system, which an honest democracy would not stand for.

And Trump, who in his rhetoric promises to fight for long-forgotten working-class Americans and to rebalance broken scales, in fact would perpetuate the class system that he rails against.

Almost from the beginning, school textbooks have taught each rising generation that a democratic ethos early on liberated the United States from the British-style social structure. This remains today a pants-on-fire lie...

The Confederacy abhorred democracy. Delegates to state secession conventions debated restrictions on the voting rights of nonslaveholders, and only reconsidered owing to the cynical fear that nonvoting whites would refuse to fight to protect their slave-owning social betters.

After the Civil War, poll taxes disenfranchised not just blacks but poor whites, too...

In real terms, voting remains a class privilege. Sociologists find that the best predictor of whether a person will become a member of the middle or upper-middle class is whether wealth and privilege are passed down from parents or ancestors.

Thus, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are correct to say that the class system in this country is rigged. For them, it’s Wall Street.

For Trump, who resorts to the same complaint, “rigged” has a different basis. He blames the liberal media and pollsters and an undefined “establishment.” ....

Trump’s voters don’t want government to change the rules on them and open national borders to immigrant laborers. They feel they’ll lose out in a transnational marketplace with fluid boundaries. They want to pay less in taxes. They think: If you work hard, you should reap rewards; if you’re of the freeloading poor, you deserve to suffer.

By sending a disrupter to Washington, they believe power will shift from the Beltway back to the heartland, and that the authentic (white) American will stop losing out. That’s what “Make America Great Again” and “Take Our Country Back” mean to them. They see themselves as America’s vast disinherited.

The truth, of course, is that Trump dooms them to even greater irrelevance. His wall won’t be built; his deportation force won’t be breaking down doors.


Anonymous said...

Funny you should bring up the issue of class. Glen Ford over at Black Agenda Report has some relevant thoughts on that very topic:
"Barack Obama tried to woo Republicans into a “Grand Bargain” that would have gutted Social Security. Bill Clinton let loose the banks. But Donald Trump’s destruction of the Republican Party will allow Hillary Clinton to “gather the whole of the ruling class under the same party banner, in one Big Tent, where the grandest of bargains can be conceived and achieved without crossing an aisle.” The rich are about to get their best deal yet."

"Clinton’s Big Tent is not a temporary, election season dwelling. It is how she plans to govern. The exodus from the GOP has suddenly transformed the Democratic Party into the primary political instrument of the ruling class, while at the same time the party nominally represents most of the folks who are abused and misused by that ruling class. It is an inherently unstable arrangement, and will soon be wracked by splits, as a post-Trump GOP attempts to lure its fat cats back and the darker and poorer constituencies consigned to the latrine area of Hillary’s high class tent break to the Left for air.

But in the interim, Clinton will have a unique opportunity to cut grand austerity deals with all the “big elements” of Simpson-Bowles, to renege on her corporate trade promises, and to wage war with great gusto in the name of a “united” country. Ever since the Democratic National Convention it has been clear that the Clintonites are encouraged to consider everyone outside of their grand circle to be suspect, subversive, or depraved. Their inclusive rhetoric is really an invocation of a ruling class consensus, now that Trump has supposedly brought the ruling class together under one banner. In Hillary’s tent, the boardrooms are always in session."

Glen Ford's analysis has proven most insightful, his track record excellent. Down the line when folks start to say things like who could have guessed, how were we to know, why didn't somebody say something, when that happens try to remember what Glen Ford had to say today.
Sam, doesn't it rouse your curiosity when so many of the smart writers of the authentic left seem to be in similar accord as to the prospects of the impending Clinton presidency?
What's it mean when intellectual elements of both the right and left appear to be arriving at the same conclusions? Other than a fractional core of stalwart Democrat loyalists, nobody is really seeing much good coming from a third round of Clintons. For all of the reasons that Glen Ford eloquently points out, her's will be the more effective evil.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I see or hear “Make America Great Again” all I can think is, "you mean like it was back in 1491?"

Jerry S said...

History of the last 16 years.

Bush Cheney steals 2000 election, Bush Cheney ignores warnings, 911, Bush Cheney goes to war in Middle East stirring up conflagration, Bush Cheney declares victory, Bush Cheney war turns into an occupation and a war of attrition with resistance fighters, Bush Cheney reelected to continue his policies, Bush Cheney economy of trickle down trickles into worst recession since the great depression, Budget deficit explodes under Bush Cheney, Republicans in Congress push Austerity when Obama takes over, Republicans try to sabotage economy to make Obama "one term president". Obama budget passes in spite of obstruction from Republicans, Obama wants bigger government spending to counter recession and is stymied by Congressional Republicans, Obama policy saves banks and auto industry, Economy recovers under Obama pushed policies, dragging obstructionist Republicans along, Republicans complain that economy hasn't improved fast enough as they tried to sabotage it whenever possible, at the end of a successful second term Republicans try to replace Obama with a perverted authoritarian megalomaniac whose policies would increase the deficit, increase income inequality, encourage racists, bigots and misogynists, ignore the poor while increasing their numbers. Republicans have forgotten all of this and more. I await the replies of the Arrogant Ignorant among us.

Anonymous said...

This woman writes in Martian. Anthropologists have long instructed their students to use this method to gain more objectivity in reviewing their subject matter, ie ancient civilizations.

She truly has no connection or iota of anything like the lives and struggles of most Americans. And clearly doesn't give a rip - just like most of the indoctrinated media. And like most of the Clueless Class, she falls right into the elite's trap of orthodoxy - or the future pre-arranged as Neil Peart wrote. Complete subservience to authority and rules - and no imagination. It's like the Trilateral Commission never existed - these are 50 year old plus policies!

She is just like so many of those who cannot comprehend Trump and what his rise portends. There will be much wringing of hands come Wednesday Morning in "newsrooms" across the land...