I think the deplorables want a participation trophy


Yet again, another major newspaper sends a reporter off on safari to Trump Country, to try and figure out what the heck they were thinking. It turns out that a big part of their grievances is a demand for respect. I’m having flashbacks to when my kids were very little, and would have temper tantrum in the aisles…only they were at least kicking and screaming for a cookie. These guys are being self-destructive, kicking their tiny little feet and shrieking for respect — and if they don’t get it, they’ll elect him again — and not realizing how their own actions undermine their desired reward. There are a lot of imaginary resentments here.

One older white working-class woman recalled that, when she first started voting, “There was so much respect for the president. And I don’t care what he did, or what he said, there was always respect. It was always ‘Mr. President.’” She said she is disgusted by the way people talk about Trump.

There was? I was born under Eisenhower — I don’t remember him — and was a young child under Kennedy and Johnson, but the fourth president, the first one I remember strongly, was Nixon. He was a crook and a liar. People were marching in the streets against him, and I don’t think there was a lot of respect for Tricky Dick. Ford was a bit better, but his only purpose was to hand over a pardon to the prior tenant. Carter was the first president I voted for, and I liked him (still do) and I think he has demonstrated that he was a man of integrity who deserved respect, but maybe also wasn’t quite the right man for the job.

And then Reagan. She’s disgusted by how people talk about Trump? Reagan began the whole Republican dynasty of incompetent turds holding the office by appealing to the South and Midwest with ‘common man’ demagoguery, and was despised while he was in office. Trump is simply getting in line with W and Reagan as examples of how the politics of resentment by the heartland consistently produces the most awful leaders.

Elect a good person to the presidency. Then maybe we can talk about respect.

“We voted for President Obama and still we are ridiculed. Still we are considered racists,” said Cindy Hutchins, a store owner and nurse in Baldwin, Mich. “There is no respect for anyone who is just average and trying to do the right things.”

Was electing a corrupt, racist, sexist fraud the “right thing”? You weren’t even trying to do the right thing. You were trying to lash out by doing the worst thing.

Notably, people in all seven of their categories expressed frustration, even a year after the election, that they are not understood, respected or valued by the powers that be on the East and West coasts. “In the short span of a generation, the face and focus of the Democratic Party nationally has shifted from a glorification of the working-class ethos to multiculturalist militancy pushed by the Far Left of the party,” Zito and Todd argue. “The driving construct of otherness … is at its core driven by perceptions of respect. … The professional Left focuses heavily on race-related questions in analyzing the Trump vote, but race-tinged subjects were rarely cited by Trump voters interviewed for this book.”

There is a difference between “understood” and “respected”. These are people we more or less understand, and we do not respect their bad decisions. Don’t think because we think you were grossly wrong to vote for Trump that that means we fail to understand you. We’re also able to read between the lines here. Notice: they didn’t cite “race-tinged subjects”, but everything they’re talking about is loaded with racial baggage.

I agree that the Democratic party has been doing a lousy job of appealing to the working class — they’d actually be doing things to support labor unions more, if they were trying. I think that’s accurate that the leadership has become detached from lower- and middle-class reality. But I guarantee you that when Midwesterners talk about the “working-class ethos”, all the people they’re imagining in their heads are white. Black and latino workers don’t count. They would be horrified if the Democratic party started helping all those brown immigrants working in the fields or the slaughterhouses to unionize, and when they’re being polite, they’ll refer to black communities as “urbans” and accuse them of living on welfare. Their vision of the working class omits all of the hard-working non-white people who are struggling just as hard as they are.

David Miller, a white 54-year-old, talked with The Post at a polling place in Cleveland last Tuesday as he pulled a Republican primary ballot for the first time he could remember to vote in the governor’s race. Like so many others, he said he came to feel left behind before the 2016 election. “I mainly was a mainstream Democrat,” he told Afi Scruggs. “Every time I turned on the TV, there’s a Democrat calling me a racist and I just got tired of it.”

Oh, really? How often did David Miller’s opinions get cited by name on TV?

I suspect that it’s more that we can’t avoid noticing that white middle-class men voted for a flamingly racist president by a large majority, so as a group there are a lot of deplorable racists among them. Mr Miller is practicing Identity Politics — he is confusing the properties of a class with the properties of the individual, and is aligning himself with the great white granfalloon. I thought these guys hated identity politics?

I am also a white middle class man. When I hear those kinds of accusations levied against my group, I do two things: 1) I recognize that there is considerable truth to the claim, and that I cannot claim perfect flawless innocence, and 2) I try to think of ways that I can change to be less racist, less sexist. I at least aspire to be more conscious of my place in reality, rather than deny it. And denial is all they’ve got.

“I’m far from being a racist,” he said. “I’m far from being a bigot. Not everybody makes the crude comments. Not everybody walks and talks like he’s a big bully, like the president can do sometimes.”

You mean you’re aware that Trump is a crude bullying bigot, and yet you overlooked all that to vote for him? And you still think your choices deserve respect? If you don’t see the problem with letting the racists run the country, then you’re pretty damned close to being a racist yourself. Indistinguishably close.

They want respect. Fine. We all want it. Now earn it. Don’t sit there waiting for the pat on the head and the participation trophy to be handed to you.

Also, if conservatives demand a respect they haven’t earned, maybe they should listen to what their representatives say. Here’s Eric Trump, expressing his father’s views about Democrats very clearly.

I’ve never seen hatred like this. To me, they’re not even people. It’s so, so sad. I mean, morality is just gone. Morals have flown out the window. We deserve so much better than this as a country. You know it’s so sad. You see the Democratic Party. They’re imploding. They’re imploding. They have no message. You see the head of the DNC, who is a total whack job. There’s no leadership there. And so what do they do? They become obstructionists because they have no message of their own. They have no solid candidates of their own. They lost the election that they should have won because they spent seven times the amount of money that my father spent. They have no message, so what do they try and do? They try and obstruct a great man, they try and obstruct his family, they come after us viciously, and it’s truly, truly horrible.

Democrats are not even people, and immigrants are just animals.

We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them — but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before. And because of the weak laws, they come in fast, we get them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It’s crazy.

I don’t respect Republicans and Trump voters at all. But I do recognize their humanity and consider them to be people, at least. If you can’t disavow those comments, if you can’t see what a horrible president Trump is, don’t come begging me to be nice and friendly with you. You’ve earned your reputation.

Comments

  1. birgerjohansson says

    I will show my respect and understanding by donating $$$ to the Ark B mission, so the
    Trump voters can be “saved” from the coming cataclysm.

  2. Saad says

    I’m sick of being called racist so I’m going to respond by doing something racist.

  3. Usernames! 🦑 says

    The DNC is the most worthless group of bootlicks, second only to the cancer that is the GOP. The progressive arm of the Dems is the only arm worth working on, as they are the ones who care about helping (non-rich) people.

    Has there been a country that has successfully transitioned to a minority-majority state? It seems to me that most of this angst (which we’ve already gone through once — see US Civil War/Reconstruction) comes from caucasians losing their privilege and having to adjust to equality.

    I fear it will get worse before it gets better, as we aren’t at the tipping point. Once Latinos wake up in the Southwest (and women, LGBT, etc) and can flex their political muscle to depose the current power establishment, we might see some reality sink in to the David Millers of the world.

  4. astro says

    we could solve the energy crisis x10, if we could just manage to harness power from the spin of people who demand “respect” for trump but justify the lack of respect they showed for obama.

  5. cartomancer says

    Over here in merrie England the hip young things on the internet have started using the term “gammon” as a term of art for the kind of grumpy, middle-aged regressives who turn up in the audience on Question Time with dreary regularity to moan about how wonderful Brexit is going to be and how everyone to the left of Genghis Khan is trying to scupper it. “Gammon”, of course, because they’re inevitably red-faced middle-aged white men with a complexion resembling boiled bacon. It pisses them off royally too – which is why it’s so much fun.

    I doubt we’d mind too much if you borrowed the word for your own equivalent of the bacon-faced Brexiteers.

  6. thirdmill301 says

    People in flyover country deeply resent the negative stereotypes about themselves, but then they confirm all those negative stereotypes by voting for Trump. Sorry, but if you insist on acting like a stereotype, don’t complain when you get stereotyped.

  7. anchor says

    Every time I encounter their ‘reasoning’ (er, excuses) I flash on a bag of pretzels.

  8. Petal to the Medal says

    I remember biblical prophecy enthusiasts who believed JFK was the antichrist. When he was assassinated, some of them expected him to rise from the dead, like the Beast of Revelation.

  9. says

    The first complaint is why I’ll never use Trump’s title under an circumstances. It’s also partially why I will not stand for the anthem/pledge ever again.

    I do’t respect these people. I don’t consider them to be fellow countrymen and I have zero positive duties towards them as a result.

  10. Susan Montgomery says

    A few tips for Democrats

    1) Stop spending more on bike lanes than needed local infrastructure (I’m looking at you, Seattle)

    2) Stop legislating food portions sizes (paging New York City)

    3) Address persistent unemployment in the Rust Belt with something more substantial than “Tough shit, Elliot”. (glowing, vague phrases about the global economy or a bright future do not count as “substantial”)

    4) Stop believing that you have to micromanage the lives of anyone who wouldn’t get the joke in item 3

    5) Actually understand that what you learned about working class people in Sociology 220 may not be entirely complete.

    6) Do not put LGBT voters in a box marked “Break Closet In Case Of Election Emergency”. Treat us like actual people and maybe others might learn from example

    7) If you have to discuss minorities, LGBT people, privilege or related matters, actually have a clue about about what you’re saying so that it won’t sound like you’re just trying to put on a guilt-trip.

    8) Don’t assume someone is a backwards idiot who needs a nanny if they lack an Ivy League degree or don’t drive a Prius. Poor people do have brains. Yes, I’m repeating this but it is rather an important point.

  11. Susan Montgomery says

    And 9) Don’t assume someone without an Ivy League degree wouldn’t get a fancy literary gag.

  12. jrkrideau says

    Eric Trump,’ To me, they’re not even people’.

    Clearly his father’s son. I don’t think Donnie has actually grasped the there are other people in the world.

  13. consciousness razor says

    Will we also get “A few tips for Republicans,” Susan Montgomery? At least a few? Fuck, after you read all of that up there (did you really?), you thought we were the ones who needed the tips?

    Tip #4,568,103,064 for Republicans:
    – Get a fucking sense of perspective. Seriously. Expensive bike lanes in Seattle don’t explain voting for Trump. They really just don’t. Not even in Washington state, where he didn’t win and failed to do so by a fairly large margin. And for anybody else anywhere, no matter which planet you came from: if you thought you were voting on how to do Seattle city infrastructure, you weren’t. That’s not what you were doing. It’s a little late, but … Surprise! We were keeping it a secret from you for so long, but I’m glad I can finally get that off my chest. Now you know.
    Tip #4,568,103,065 for Republicans:
    – We’re hiring people to run the country on election day. Hire the best person for the job, who could at least conceivably do something good for the country. You can work on your surrealist performance art project at some other time, or whatever it is that you thought you were supposed to do instead of hiring the best person for the job. Please at least try to express all of your unhinged burn-the-fucker-down feelings in a somewhat less destructive way, at a more appropriate time, when there’s little or no chance it will actually result in burning the fucker down. Because it’s your fucker that you’re burning down, asshole, not just mine, even if you hate every fucking thing about me. Making patently stupid fucking decisions, based on non-facts that only exist in your own mind (and/or Fox News) and couldn’t have made sense even in there, is not the way to hire the best person for the job. Learn to control those urges somehow, please. But if you can’t bring yourself to do that, at least for a few minutes on one fucking day every four fucking years, then it’s kind of sad but you should not have volunteered for the hiring committee.

  14. Saad says

    A tip for voters*:

    When November rolls around and the presidency is down to a binary choice (i.e. Democrat vs Republican and no third option, including none of the above), choose the much better candidate (i.e. almost always the Democrat).

    * who are not insentient forces of nature like a tornado and are thus accountable for their actions so it’s fucking ridiculous to act like they can’t help how they vote

    The presidential elections is not the time or place to fix or reform or punish the Democratic party. It’s already too late by that time.

  15. philosoraptor says

    > Support identity politics
    > Claim all white people are racist
    > Observe that white people grew sick and tired of identity politics and acted as identity group you claimed they were
    Noo, white people, you shouldn’t actually be what we claimed you are! it isn’t fair! bawww!

  16. HappyNat says

    Susan @18

    8) Don’t assume someone is a backwards idiot who needs a nanny if they lack an Ivy League degree or don’t drive a Prius. Poor people do have brains. Yes, I’m repeating this but it is rather an important point.

    Do the democrats really do this? It’s a favorite talking point of Fox and Rush of course. They say the democrats are just liberal coastal elites that don’t care care about “middle America”, but I don’t hear that tone coming from the left. But I’m in Ohio so what to I know.

  17. thirdmill301 says

    Philosoraptor No. 18, long before there were liberals there was identity politics. It was called Jim Crow, White Citizens Councils, the KKK and an entire legal system structured in such a way as to benefit people with wealth and privilege. The complaints about identity politics only started when people who aren’t white and privileged started doing it.

  18. unclefrogy says

    if you think that this is new that it is some kind of reaction to being “ignored” go do an image search of Boston school integration and you will see the exact people and their children and their reaction then.
    I did because I did not trust my memory. The deplorables are not new nor are they a small subset a fringe group that is only influential because of the internet.
    uncle frogy

  19. vucodlak says

    @ consciousness razor, #16

    We’re hiring people to run the country on election day.

    They’re aware of this. They’re trying to run the government and nation into the ground. This is about hurting people because their lives didn’t turn out the way they wanted.

    Hire the best person for the job, who could at least conceivably do something good for the country.

    They’re voting for someone who will hurt the people they hate, which is “something good for the country” in their eyes. They’ve already done an excellent job of voting for maximum damage, and don’t need more encouragement.

    Because it’s your fucker that you’re burning down, asshole, not just mine, even if you hate every fucking thing about me.

    They’re aware of this, too. As long as the people they hate get hurt as well (and hopefully worse), they’re fine with it. No; gleeful about it would be more accurate.

    So, to go back up to the previous tip…

    Expensive bike lanes in Seattle don’t explain voting for Trump.

    …yes, they do. The Republicans in question largely don’t use them, which makes those bike lanes a personal affront to Republicans. Therefore, burn them down. Burn the people who use them.

    You really think Republicans don’t understand that suffering is the one thing that reliably rolls off the backs of those at the top to land on those at the bottom? They do. They know what they’re doing in their heart of hearts, just as they know it is unambiguous evil that they are doing. So when they’re interviewed, you get some whiny justification that they (almost) believe excuses what they do, rather than the real reasons.

    They know what they’re doing. Of course they complain about the pain it causes them; they’re staggeringly selfish human beings. Avarice is half of what drives them, and cowardice is the other half.

    They know what they’re doing- stop pretending they don’t.

  20. willj says

    The Dems have their faults. But the GOP has coalesced into a hot ball of pure concentrated stupid that’s gonna implode like a black hole, and suck the whole country in along with it. A third of the USA has become too stupid to exist in polite company, and can’t distinguish truth from falsehood anymore, if they ever could. I see it in family and friends. Watch Fox News for a day if you don’t believe me. I hate to bring up the word, but.. idiocracy.

  21. Johnny Vector says

    I was just about to post what abbeycadabra posted at #24. These people feel disrespected because they have been told that for so long that they believe it.

  22. Susan Montgomery says

    “Do the democrats really do this?”

    I don’t think all or even most do, but I think that it’s not an unfair perception. The reason I mention Seattle is that recently there was a story about a bike lane project going into millions in cost overruns. And, in the meantime, there are problems about civic infrastructure and homelessness going unaddressed. I’m sure there’s more to the story but at first glance it looks a hell of a lot like Seattle is putting it’s upper middle-class, first world concerns over those of working class families.

    And then there’s the treatment of the LGBT community (B and T here). That we’re little more than stage props and bargaining chips to the Democrats has become pretty obvious these last few years. I was not at all shy about opposing Hillary in ’16, for example. Her being a DINO was the least of her problems. After careful consideration I believed that supporting someone who was an ethically bankrupt opportunist who had justifiably lost the trust of anyone remotely sympathetic towards LGBT matters was wrong. And I said so. Many times. It turns out that upper-middle class white male hetero liberals (White Heterosexual Affluent Male – WHAM for short) deemed that I “owed” my vote to the Democrats. No persuasion, no reason. Nope, I was Queer and identify as female so I owed my vote to the Democrats. And no, I’m not bitter, why do you ask? I’ve seen it happen to African Americans as well. Any questioning of the Democrats is usually met with similar attitudes – with a convienient blind eye turned towards Democratic strongholds where systemic racism runs deep.

    But apply this attitude to any issue of the day. Better yet, see for yourself and tell me. Go on ThinkProgress, Daily Kos, almost any Patheos atheist blog and say “I’m working class and liberal and disagree with bike paths, fair trade coffee, global warming, obamacare or any other issue and see how people respond to you.

    I’m sorry for rambling! Wish I could be a bit more articulate.

  23. imback says

    @Susan #26, if you say you disagree with global warming, that is equivalent to saying you deny facts, you despise science, and you hate truth. Sorry but I would find your attempt to impose your own destructive fantasy on the world to be intolerable as well, and a very different matter than arguing how a city should spend money on infrastructure.

  24. Saad says

    thirdmill301,

    It looks like that’s just a troll account: the username and the meme format of the post, but more importantly, the fact that nobody can be so ignorant about basic history that they think racism was created by minorities who were free and equal until they said white people are racist.

  25. VolcanoMan says

    @vucodlak

    See, I think you’re right, at least about a substantial portion of people who either reliably vote GOP, or who are usual non-voters who decided Trump was their guy. I’ve seen the hate and anger, the desire to hurt. What I don’t understand is why? What made them this way? All people have hardship in their lives, and yet most don’t respond to it with vitriol and spite. What makes them so vindictive?

    I mean, I get that the right wing media has a role in this, but the media didn’t create people who were primed to respond to their dog-whistles and race-baiting. The vast majority of these people were waiting for authority figures to tell them the things they wanted to hear, to affirm their worldview. And it’s not just tribalism, because Trump couldn’t have won without convincing people who weren’t normal GOP voters, AND some people who actually voted for Obama, that he was better. But even if tribalism is a major factor (and I think it is), the question remains – why do Americans seem so ready to group people by complexional differences that would be meaningless elsewhere, including in other countries that had SLAVERY? Chattel slavery involving people of African origin was practised all over the place, and yet the types of racism we see in Europe and the UK are more nationality-based than skin-tone-based. African Americans have far less trouble in these countries than Nigerian or Haitian-born immigrants. White Americans of basically all persuasions all have this cultural baggage that encourages them to treat anyone without a lily-white complexion like shit – many people can fight this some of the time, if they put in the effort, but nobody is without sin here. It is the ones who make no attempt to work against their bias, the ones who spend every waking moment (practically) doing things that affirm their superiority (actively or passively) while complaining about those who are too stupid to realize how much less important they are than white people and finding ways to rationalize their views that make them sound like reasonable people (because few people are villains in their own story).

    I try to be a realist, but am sometimes guilty of flagrant optimism – here I’d like to think that there is a portion of people who voted Trump who aren’t like that, people who legitimately thought he was a better choice than Hillary Clinton (either because they bought into the rhetoric that basically said that Clinton was a less moral candidate than Trump because emails, or because they responded to how Trump made them feel without thinking about the things he stood for…or both). Not all Trump voters are of the deplorable, entitled, whiny sort. But enough of the country is like this to make me wonder why America followed such a different path than other Western nations with a history of colonialism and/or Empire? Don’t get me wrong – no place is free of racism or right-wing white identity politics – but somehow America’s situation seems to me to be the most intractable. Why do so many people choose to turn away from the reality that skin tone tells you basically nothing about a person and that the actual, genetic diversity within people of a certain complexion (as defined by white, black, latino, asian – American style) is greater than between them (not to mention that we are all individuals with different personalities, talents and preferences irrespective of “race”)?

  26. imback says

    @VolcanoMan,

    White Americans of basically all persuasions all have this cultural baggage that encourages them to treat anyone without a lily-white complexion like shit… somehow America’s situation seems to me to be the most intractable. Why do so many people choose to turn away from the reality that skin tone tells you basically nothing…

    My hypothesis is that racism is culturally self-sustaining, that it is basically hysteresis, so any difference in the past from another culture can result in a far different path. Perhaps all we need is a push or kick (on the decadal scale) to click over to another path.

  27. VolcanoMan says

    @imback

    Ah. Good theory. Still, it is individuals accepting the path of least resistance – the cultural narrative that least challenges the status quo – that leads to the perpetuation of the phenomena (incidentally, I had to look up “hysteresis” – thanks for teaching me a new word!). Some people successfully identify this narrative as based on nothing but the way it was before, and choose a different path. Like I said (and you suggested, indirectly) other cultural forces make it possible, even likely that people choose the easy path over the hard one (tribalism and media being two of the major factors) but plenty of people, even some in rural areas who haven’t been exposed to big city diversity and the reality of our common humanity, even some who have been raised in education systems in less affluent parts of the country (and who therefore didn’t get the grand context of American racism, appropriately placed in history and culture), figure out the lies we all hear whispered and shouted (and many re-whisper and shout) from all corners of society, and choose to fight against the false narratives. These are people who are only hearing from the tribe to which they belong, people who have little or no direct experience with the “other” that is the subject of so much hatred, and yet somehow they break with their peers in “flyover country.” I guess environment, specific environment has a lot to do with the ability to do this, so I figure that there MUST be small changes we can make to people’s environments that would trigger a cascade of change. And I don’t think these changes need to be driven by the Democratic party (or by political leaders in general) – I find politics lags behind a lot in the moral sphere. Grassroots efforts could work much better.

  28. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    vucodlak @22

    “And let’s dispel once and for all with this fiction that [Trump voters don’t] know what [they’re] doing. [They know] exactly what [they’re] doing.”

    To misquote a statement “moderate” Marco Rubio made about how Obama was trying to destroy America.

  29. philosoraptor says

    Saad 28, I’m not trying to troll you. “Meme” form is only used as the quickest way to explain the problem with this logic.
    I am not ignorant about history, nor origins of racism. But racism was wrong then, and is wrong now. There’s no “correct” way to discriminate people based on skin color or ancestry. I realize history tends to oscillate, like a pendulum, and in recent years it swang from “being colored sucks” past the “color doesn’t matter” and towards “being white is morally wrong”. And I realize being non-white still sucks out of historical reasons of past oppression and extant personal prejudices.
    However.
    It doesn’t make perpetuating racism right. In fact, it makes Trumps win. It radicalizes and fractures society.

    Did I just shift blame of Trump’s victory on the democrats’ identity politics?
    No, Hillary was just too weak a candidate.
    Did identity politics have an effect?
    Yes, they dragged the coach potatoes out to vote.

    thirdmill301, they were wrong then and they’re wrong now.

    Oh, and how do I know all that, being white cis male? Oh, being an european jew helps, I guess. And no, this is not an oppression length competition, merely a certificate of competence in this sad subject.

  30. Pierce R. Butler says

    Several commenters above have noted the basic motivation of hostility-to-other-Americans driving much of the Trump Chump voting bloc.

    Michael Moore (as one of the few public figures to forecast a Trump™ win) had this nailed on election night 2016, calling it a big fuck-you from the racists (& etc-ists) to the rest of us.

    For a more detailed examination, I recommend starting with Chauncey de Vega’s interview with Timothy Snyder:

    In “The Road to Unfreedom,” you introduce the concept of “sadopopulism.” I have used a similar concept which I describe as “political sadism” to describe the fact that Trump is not really a populist but rather part of a larger right-wing effort whose goal is to actually hurt their voters and then redirect the rage at nonwhites, Democrats, liberals, progressives or some other designated enemy. …

    Cultivating and harnessing resentment as an electoral motivator goes back at least to 1968 – Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland casts a revealing light on a lifetime practitioner of this dark art.

  31. Susan Montgomery says

    @27

    “…if you say you disagree with global warming, that is equivalent to saying you deny facts, you despise science, and you hate truth. Sorry but I would find your attempt to impose your own destructive fantasy on the world to be intolerable as well, and a very different matter than arguing how a city should spend money on infrastructure.”

    Thanks for that thorough explanation of the science. The respect you have for my intellect also is very clear.

    Seriously, are you trying to help prove my point here? Let me ask you this: Do YOU understand it? In that sense, are familiar with even a fairly shallow understanding of the physics behind it. Or do you agree with it because you heard about on NPR and want to feel smugly superior with people who still want more information?

    And, FWIW, I do think global warming is happening

  32. Akira MacKenzie says

    @Susan

    Tell me, whom do we have to throw under the bus to appease the shitkicking, red neck hicks who only vote Democrat because they’re still upset over the outcome of the civil war, but would otherwise support the racist, sexist, homophobic, theocratic agenda of the GOP? Blacks? Latinos? LGBTQs? Atheists? (We know how much those blue collar folk to mainline the opium of the masses.)

    I’ll be the first to admit I despise the centrism and capitalism of the Clintonistas but I have no love for the bigotry and stupidity of the workin’ class man you want to champion. And before you whine about how I’m stereotyping them, let me point out that I live in among Blue Collar, union-card carrying ‘Muricans, and they are just that: painfully ignorant and gut-churningly religious, hateful toward non-whites, anti-abortion, anti-gay, and filled with hyper-machismo and jingoism.

    Screw the trailer trash! I want to build a secular socialist civilization here and you can’t count on the uneducated deplorables to do that.

  33. chigau (違う) says

    philosoraptor #33
    I I realize history tends to oscillate, like a pendulum, and in recent years it swang from “being colored sucks” past the “color doesn’t matter” and towards “being white is morally wrong”.
    Where did this history occur?

  34. philosoraptor says

    @chigau

    Where did this “history” occur?

    I assume you are asking about the last part.
    In the media. At university campuses. In public discourse. At various rallies. At “PoC only” events and screenings. In South Africa now. I could post a few links if you want, but that’d be off topic.

  35. imback says

    @Susan #35, first you said “disagree with” AGW and then you say “want more information” on AGW. Of course you’d get push back on saying you disagree when in fact you don’t yet have information. This disagreement-before-information stance is typical of climate science deniers. Just look at the recent posting about dull stupid clowns running the congressional science committees.

    You ask my expertise on AGW. In fact, my professional scientific research is quite related to climate research, and hence I have a fairly deep understanding of the physics behind AGW. So if you actually do want more information, please feel free to ask. However you may be better served by browsing the latest IPCC or US NAS reports on climate.

  36. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @philosoraptor:

    this is not an oppression length competition, merely a certificate of competence in this sad subject.

    I’ve examined your credentials. They are insufficient to lend credence to your statements.

  37. VolcanoMan says

    @Pierce R. Butler

    I get it. Vucodlak basically summed it up in his post above. I agree. They’re basically the birthday boy who destroys all of his gifts so his siblings and friends don’t get to play with them. I believe the expression is “cutting off your nose to spite your face.” If they don’t believe that their government is working to give them better lives than the people they feel are less human than them, less worthy of the good life, if they can be convinced that their leaders care more about helping refugees from war-torn countries than people in their tribe, they are willing to break government so that it doesn’t do anything except scapegoat minorities and immigrants. They don’t care about their future anymore – instead they long for a past when people in their tribe were treated like they were special and everyone else was unimportant.

    My question is more fundamental. In order to cultivate racial resentment, the media and other authorities to whom this bloc listens have to have something to work with. In the interview you cite, Snyder says “the dark forces [Trump] is unleashing in people were already there” and he’s absolutely correct. Trump is a symptom of a broader problem, and he brought out actions in certain white Americans when before there were only thoughts…thoughts of superiority…thoughts of resentment. He catered to their existing attitudes. Plenty of countries have a history of slavery, colonialism and/or Empire. Plenty of countries have racism. But I still think the issue in the US goes a lot deeper than it does elsewhere. “The immigrants are taking the jobs” is a refrain that waxes and wanes pretty much everywhere. “These fellow citizens whose skin has more melanin than mine are lazy and impudent and there’s nothing to be done about it”…that’s American (maybe not uniquely American, but it is certainly more fully developed in America than elsewhere).

    The fact that people self-segregate by COLOUR (a feature which, as we know, tells you nothing about a person’s genetics or environment, nothing about what makes them…them) and the hatred towards both non-white people AND white people who care about the problems of non-whites and who are working to change the culture so that it treats all residents of America the same, regardless of their skin colour…it’s highly irrational. Granted, the hatred towards immigrants is also fundamentally irrational, but at least there’s a theory of grievance there that is sort of plausible if you don’t dig too deeply. There are supposedly a finite amount of jobs and government support available at any one time, and people who were born and raised in America, people whose families go back many generations in America, they deserve those opportunities more than people who just moved to America since their forebears helped to build the country. That’s the narrative. It’s wrong and any (legitimate) sociologist will tell you it’s wrong, but it takes some breaking down and analysis to learn WHY it’s wrong. Discrimination against darker-coloured citizens whose forebears also helped to build the country (totally non-voluntarily)…that idea is as nutty as squirrel poo (as the saying goes), and it has faded somewhat elsewhere, even in other former slave societies. In fact, in some majority-white countries with a history of chattel slavery, you are more likely to be discriminated against if you are white, but speak the language poorly and with a foreign accent, than if you are black, but are of the same culture and can interact seamlessly with other people.

    What is it about America that sees a MAJORITY of white people (mostly in the middle and upper-middle classes) want to deny a chance at “The American Dream” to impoverished black people (especially, but also people of other “coloured” “races” who have deep roots in the country) even if it means their own families and the people they care about (and indeed themselves) will have a worse future? I’m a Canadian who has travelled extensively in the US and around the world and who follows the cultural narrative in quite a few countries; America baffles me. Is it the authoritarianism? Is it the fact that unlike other countries, America still has laws and a police state that are overtly discriminatory (plenty of countries still have covertly discriminatory policies – including my own – but Americans are anything but subtle in their discrimination)? And how have some people with the same environment and similar genetic history as the Trumpist bloc, people with racist parents/families, people who live in the South, in rural areas, in affluent suburbs of cities all over the nation, people who are no more or less well-educated than the basest racist, managed to grow up into adults who fight against hatred and discrimination?

    I guess I’m asking why some of these white people end up as liberals who can recognize their own privilege and the barriers their fellow citizens of colour face and decide to try to change their own culture, when every influence is pushing them towards white nationalism and other related ideologies? I believe that it’s essential to find these answers because knowing how this happens can provide ideas about what grassroots efforts could work to steer white citizens away from racial resentment and hostility towards non-whites.

  38. chigau (違う) says

    CD #40

    I’ve examined your credentials. They are insufficient to lend credence to your statements.

    You are a god!
    *ahem*
    Well done, mate.
    I chose to take that as kinda reference to that movie … y’know the one …

  39. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Indeed I do.

  40. Susan Montgomery says

    @imback Actually, I said neither. I was discussing a hypothetical scenario where someone might disagree with it rather than voicing my own views. As for your own stated expertise…I don’t think your unproven assertion justifies your attitude. “Climate Scientist” is pretty much the new Mall Ninja (someone who falsely claims military or police expertise) so I see no reason to consider your rudeness justified.

    @Akira “Screw the trailer trash! I want to build a secular socialist civilization here and you can’t count on the uneducated deplorables to do that.”

    Are they the eggs you’d like to see broken? Or have you internalized the negative stereotypes so completely that you hate them all the more for being among them? Here’s a handy tip, though. Next time you’re tempted to toss a label around, replace that label with “human being” and see if you think the same thing about them.

  41. KG says

    I could post a few links if you want, but that’d be off topic I don’t actually have any that show what I claimed. – philosoraptor@38

    FTFY.

  42. KG says

    I’m sorry for rambling! Wish I could be a bit more articulate. – Susan Montgomery@26

    Oh, you made your point well enough: “It’s all about meeeee. Fuck the millions of people who are suffering because I helped Trump win.”

  43. Susan Montgomery says

    Yes, KG, that’s exactly what I meant. And that’s also why Trump won. It had absolutely nothing to do with the concerns of the working class being ignored in favor of Democratic pandering to the upper and middle class first-world problems. It had nothing to do with the contemptible stereotypes of low-income Americans held by progressives. It had nothing to do with the Obama Administration sitting on the sidelines while minorities were fighting life or death battles. It had nothing to do with the Democrats spending six years doing nothing but pouting that the Republicans weren’t playing fair – or, more likely – using that as their excuse to do little. It’s all the fault of those poors who don’t know their place, right?

  44. consciousness razor says

    vucodlak:

    They’re voting for someone who will hurt the people they hate, which is “something good for the country” in their eyes. They’ve already done an excellent job of voting for maximum damage, and don’t need more encouragement.

    Encouragement? And you’re not kidding? Give me a fucking break. I should tell you to stop pretending like their bullshit perspective ought to be taken seriously. I’ll just keep saying what I actually think. Thanks anyway.

  45. consciousness razor says

    I thought Trump won because the electoral college is a load of garbage. Anti-democratic, elitist garbage at that … you might hate it for the same reasons I do, Susan Montgomery, if you’ve considered the matter at all.

    But then, what would be your explanation for why he lost the popular vote? Do you think that had something to do with (A) how awful Dems are, (B) how awful Reps are, or (C) none of the above?

  46. KG says

    It’s all the fault of those poors who don’t know their place, right?

    I’m not condescending enough to use the term “those poors”, nor to think poor people get a pass if they do something as fucking stupid and selfish as increase the chances of Trump winning.

    It had nothing to do with the Obama Administration sitting on the sidelines while minorities were fighting life or death battles.

    Black people – and particularly black women – voted overwhelmingly for Clinton. But don’t let mere facts get in the way of your self-justification.

  47. KG says

    Sorry – the first line of #51 was a quote from Susan Montgomery@48.

    I will add that, as ever, richer, white and male voters favoured the Republican, while poorer, ethnic minority and female voters favoured the Democrat. I agree that Clinton was an uninspiring candidate, with many bad points. That does not excuse anyone thinking Trump was preferable, or that there was nothing to choose between the two.

  48. Susan Montgomery says

    Well, who were they going to vote for? Condescending tokenism may not be much, but it may have been better than nothing.

    It still remains to be seen how you intend to bring people around by insulting them and trying to shame them into your way of thinking. Like it or not, people don’t work that way. They’re a large enough bloc that you can’t just ignore them, you know.

  49. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    They’re a large enough bloc that you can’t just ignore them, you know.

    Less than 40% of the voters in a year many progressives stayed home out of spite? Don’t make me laugh.
    We need our people to get out a vote. Fuck the Trumpfarts.

  50. consciousness razor says

    Well, who were they going to vote for?

    Since your arguments are evaporating into nothing anyway, do you have any suggestions about how we might try to speed this up a little?

    It still remains to be seen how you intend to bring people around by insulting them and trying to shame them into your way of thinking.

    Tell that to Trump. Not exactly shaming, since he’s too fucking shameless to even understand the concept. But the insults, those never stop. Yeah, they’re stupid and pointless, but he only has insult-mode and stupid-mode. And he forgot how to turn off stupid-mode. It’s embarrassing, but what are you gonna do, eh?

    When you’re done excoriating him for not bringing people around to his side, maybe some of those people will have a reason to think you’re not yet another shameless bullshitter. Or blame liberals for this too. It would make no sense, but that’s apparently your strategy for dealing with all kinds of issues.

  51. Susan Montgomery says

    “When you’re done excoriating him for not bringing people around to his side, maybe some of those people will have a reason to think you’re not yet another shameless bullshitter. Or blame liberals for this too. It would make no sense, but that’s apparently your strategy for dealing with all kinds of issues.”

    Clearly I should have gone to Vassar after all because I need you to unpack this statement of yours for me. The main gist of my comments here has been that progressives often hold and express extremely negative and over-broad views of low-income Americans and remain shocked that low-income voters get turned off to progressivism. If the messenger behaves like a bigot, it doesn’t matter how “right” the message is. And, yes, “trailer trash” is no less bigotry than anything other slur. And it turns people off. It may not be logical or rational, and you may not like it, but it’s there regardless.

    This is a strategy which has failed and will keep failing. Maybe taking a good skeptical view of what progressives are saying and how they’re saying it may yield the insights you require.

  52. says

    Do you have a cite for that? Who are you accusing of using the expression “trailer trash”? Our candidate? Her press secretary? Or is this something somebody said in a comment section on a blog? And if it’s the last-named, was it said by an actual liberal, or was someone else grousing that “that’s what those liberals think about us”?

  53. emergence says

    philosoraptor @38

    You’re just acting defensive and petulant when people rightfully criticize your ideas toward minorities. No one is saying that it’s morally wrong to be a straight white male. We’re criticizing the conduct of a specific subset of entitled, oblivious white people. How exactly do you justify how people like you run your mouths off about how black people are uneducated, live on welfare, etc., and claim you’re not racist because you think black people just need to “start acting white”, but freak out and claim we hate white people when we criticize white people’s attitudes towards black people?

    “Identity politics” is an idiotic slur. You’re shooting the messenger. For your own peace of mind, you’re plugging your ears, squeezing your eyes shut and pretending that discrimination against people of color or women doesn’t exist anymore, and then when someone points out that it does still exist, you accuse them of being divisive.

    I’d also like to point out some of the “identity politics” that white rural conservatives have been engaging in for years:
    – Accusing undocumented immigrants of taking their jobs, dealing drugs, and raping white women.
    – Deciding that only white rural conservatives count as “real Americans”.
    – Thinking that LGBT people gaining acceptance and rights is an attack on cishet people.
    – Any of that red pill horseshit where sexist losers blame their problems on women.
    – Blathering about the supposed superiority of “western culture”.
    – Freaking out over refugees not sharing the exact same cultural values as you.
    – Thinking that all Muslims are out to destroy christianity and the US.

    And then there’s stuff like you hypocritically blaming the economic woes of white rural people on forces outside of their control, while refusing to consider that urban black people’s economic woes might be due to multi-generational poverty, residual redlining in city layouts that keep them ghettoized, or racism against black people still being present in society.

    The reaction of people like you, the people who voted for Trump, and the people who turned to white nationalism after people of color dared to criticize them isn’t rational or understandable. I’m a straight white male. When people of color criticize white people’s attitudes towards them, I tend to listen, consider what they’re saying, and modify my behavior if their criticisms apply to me. The same goes for when women criticize men, or LGBT people criticize cis-het people. I don’t feel attacked, I don’t respond by doubling down on the attitudes that they’re criticizing, and I certainly don’t feel a need to flock to white nationalism. I don’t get why people like you can’t do the same thing. You have nothing to lose. In the end, I think your problem is that you’re far more thin-skinned than the people you like to call snowflakes. It’s easier for you to throw a massive shit fit and claim white people are under attack than it is for you to practice some self-reflection.

  54. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Susan Montgomery:

    The main gist of my comments here has been that progressives often hold and express extremely negative and over-broad views of low-income Americans and remain shocked that low-income voters get turned off to progressivism. If the messenger behaves like a bigot, it doesn’t matter how “right” the message is. And, yes, “trailer trash” is no less bigotry than anything other slur. And it turns people off. It may not be logical or rational, and you may not like it, but it’s there regardless.

    The problem with this hypothesis is that while classist dipsticks exist on the left, they also exist on the right. Your hypothesis does nothing to explain why *more* persons would shift right than left. The classist dipsticks on both sides should reach similar numbers of people, and a similar percentage of people turned off by one side would then be expected to encounter, even if by simple luck, a reasonable voice on the other side.

    I certainly advocate reforming the classist dipsticks of the left – and voting them out of office where they have managed to get themselves elected – but nothing in what you’re saying actually holds any potential to explain a social dynamic that shifts support away from certain political parties and towards others. In order to make that explanation, you’d have to assume that classist dipsticks are a one-sided phenomenon, but THAT premise is contradicted by more than adequate evidence.

    So the real world refutes the simple version of your hypothesis. Unless you can explain not mere individual shifts that happen to exist but also the overall trend in population shifts, then it’s a useless hypothesis that serves only to make liberals seem worse than they are since it appears to hold them responsible for a sin that does not exist amongst the conservatives. The net effect, then, is to hold liberals to a different standard and justify conservative rantings that the liberal elites hate the poor and that the GOP is the only political party in existence willing to stick up for good, common folk.

    So people are pushing back not because there are no people ever who encountered classism amongst liberals and later became conservative. People are pushing back because what you’re proposing doesn’t really explain what’s happening and at the same time actually justifies what’s happening. Arguments like yours (when in the mouths of more prominent persons) could very well contribute to the population shift you’re trying to explain.

    Does that help you understand why people are pushing back against what you’re saying?

    This is a strategy which has failed and will keep failing. Maybe taking a good skeptical view of what progressives are saying and how they’re saying it may yield the insights you require.

    I agree that we should always be willing to question ourselves and our own tribe(s). I have no problem doing that. But you’re here writing comments that assume that there are significant numbers in this discussion (or reading it) that don’t know that “trailer trash” is a bigoted stereotype. Do you really think that’s true? Are you willing to question your own assumptions about who is part of the Pharyngula tribe and whether what you think about Pharyngula commenters is accurate? I think that you’re taking the *fact* that there’s pushback in this thread and filtering it through your stereotypes to reach the conclusion erroneously that people here use (and approve of) language like trailer trash.

    I think if you stopped to consider the evidence, you’d find that’s not the case. At least not with any frequency, and I’d think that if anyone used such language without irony or sarcasm (such as in attempting to portray what Tomi Lahren would say), it would almost certainly get pushback. Have you actually found anything different?

    I think you’re coming from a good place here. I don’t think you’re understanding the commenters with whom you’re disagreeing or exactly why they disagree with your approach/hypothesis.

  55. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The main gist of my comments here has been that progressives often hold and express extremely negative and over-broad views of low-income Americans and remain shocked that low-income voters get turned off to progressivism.

    Funny, I haven’t seen any mocking of the poor from progressives, but rather from Faux News and the other members of the rethuglican propaganda media. All to increase the bigotry of poor white folks, so they go against their own self interest, through the dog whistles that have been loud for years, scared that those of color may actually accomplish something.

  56. emergence says

    As for this whole “Trump had the vote of the working class and it had nothing to do with race” shtick, I’d like to point out that Trump only got the vote of the white working class. Working class people of color voted for Clinton. It turns out they can’t really get past a presidential candidate spewing crude racial stereotypes and ignoring or trying to justify policies that negatively affect them.

  57. Onamission5 says

    I appreciate abbeycadabera @24 posting a link to the WaPo Paul Waldman article. His perspective mirrors my experience of growing up in a card carrying NRA member, GOP voting, white Christian environment. It’s not respect that Trumpists want, it’s deference, in only their direction, forever.

    And I have to say, 30 years as a voter of being told that by expecting my concerns to have an equal seat at the table I’m a “libtard” and a “feminazi” and an “amoral baby killing slut” who’s “not a real American,” 30 years of being expected to negotiate and compromise with THAT, and suddenly telling the people who call me those things that they just might be part of the problem is the problem? Please. The first time I got called a feminazi was in 1997. I haven’t become a Nazi out of spite yet, and see no reason that should change. The shoe doesn’t fit, after all, why would I wear it?

  58. chigau (違う) says

    Since the ballot is secret, we don’t really know who voted for what.
    Here in Canada, I have never encountered an ExitPoll.
    If I did encounter one I would tell them to go fuck themselves.
    And maybe call the cops.

  59. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @onamission5:

    The first time I got called a feminazi was in 1997.

    I don’t remember the first time for me, but perhaps the best was when I was giving an evening, public lecture at a large, public research university. There were a number of flyers up around campus advertising my speech, and someone had taken the liberty to scribble “FEMINAZI” across the lower half of my picture. I have saved it for almost 2 decades now.

  60. philosoraptor says

    @KG #46
    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/How-to-heal-racism-It-starts-with-an-apology-12510316.php
    https://metro.co.uk/2017/09/01/stop-kidding-yourself-white-people-are-racist-6895283/
    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/how-to-talk-about-race-white-person-relatives-holidays-thanksgiving-christmas-a7434886.html
    (that took all of 5 minutes at google, picking only relatively notable links. you should try that.)

    @emergence #58

    How exactly do you justify how people like you run your mouths off about how black people are uneducated, live on welfare, etc.

    I don’t. Never claimed anything like that. Some black people are like that, also some white people. Ignorance and laziness are color-blind conditions of humanity.

    pretending that discrimination against people of color or women doesn’t exist anymore

    When Obama was elected president, I stopped pretending and started believing. Couldn’t have happened in a racist country, now could it? And then he was reelected, so it wasn’t a fluke.

    The reaction of people like you, the people who voted for Trump, and the people who turned to white nationalism

    I couldn’t have voted for Trump, nor could I turn to white nationalism – they don’t like jews.

    Now, the serious point:

    residual redlining in city layouts that keep them ghettoized

    Let me tell you about a group of people, who were oppressed, redlined, ghettoized, prejudiced and discriminated against for centuries. Who suffered from multigenerational poverty and even ethnic cleansings. They are called Jews. And let me tell you, when this happens to you, you can and should complain, and rally, and feel oppressed… but that’s not enough. You work your ass off to become better than your oppressors. It is doable. Is the racism against Jews gone? Has it disappeared completely? No, but at least it’s not institutionalized, like it used to be in some places in Europe. Will it disappear completely? Only if people become “color-blind”. Divisiveness won’t solve the problem, it’ll make the problem worse.

    I don’t get why people like you can’t do the same thing.

    Because I am by definition a person of color. I stand against racially labeling white people on general principle, not to defend myself. As a side note, i’ve heard my fair share of racial slurs from black people against jews, that’s another reason for why divisiveness is a bad idea.

    Finally,

    Blathering about the supposed superiority of “western culture”.

    I can as well “blather” that water is wet and grass is green. “Western culture” has begun in the Middle East three thousand years ago, and it has managed to appropriate achievements of people of three continents and build a long-lasting advanced civilization, defeat diseases, prolong human lives, connect people of different places and cultures, and took humanity to the stars. “Western culture” is what allows me to write this post, and you to read it. “Western culture” is currently humanity’s best hope for long-term survival. And make no mistake: humanity did almost die out, several times, when civilizations collapsed. Better hope this one doesn’t.

  61. consciousness razor says

    pretending that discrimination against people of color or women doesn’t exist anymore

    When Obama was elected president, I stopped pretending and started believing. Couldn’t have happened in a racist country, now could it? And then he was reelected, so it wasn’t a fluke.

    And, obviously, you can just help yourself to absurd claims like these:
    – There’s only one person of color, named Barack Obama.
    – We should just ignore that he’s not a woman, although he is a black dude. Just because.
    – The question at issue, even though it doesn’t look like it, is whether or not enough people voted for him and got him elected (although that’s far from all voters), as opposed to whether he faced discrimination, for example, as he certainly did during his presidency.
    Impressive work. Your pretend-it-until-you-believe-it method works astonishingly well. You put garbage in and got garbage out, just like it says on the box. Perfect.

    I couldn’t have voted for Trump, nor could I turn to white nationalism – they don’t like jews.
    […]
    Because I am by definition a person of color.

    But don’t you remember that discrimination against people of color doesn’t exist anymore? It couldn’t, given that Obama was elected and reelected. Impossible, since apparently that’s what “not a fluke” means now.

    It’s … “interesting” … that your motivation here has something to do with prejudices about your group and not just any group. If it were another group, well then maybe you could. Who gives a fuck about them, right? It’s not like you want a fair society; you want one that’s biased in favor of you.

    But of course that’s neither here nor there, since as you clearly proved, things like this couldn’t happen anymore.

  62. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Philosoraptor: “When Obama was elected president, I stopped pretending and started believing. Couldn’t have happened in a racist country, now could it? And then he was reelected, so it wasn’t a fluke.”

    Congratulations on the stupidest statement on the Intertubes this week. Truly impressive.
    First, for every Barrack Obama, there are millions of potential Trayvon Martins. Second, although Obama occupied the highest office in the land, the racists did deprive him of the prestige of that office:
    a) yelling out, “You lie,” in a joint address to Congress
    b) derailing the nation’s welfare simply so they could try (and fail) to limit Obama to a single term.
    c) questioning even his citizenship
    d) founding an entire movement in opposition to him (the Teabaggers)
    e) I could go on, but given your obvious impairment when it comes to processing evidence, what would be the point?
    Jim Crow is alive and well and living in the heart of every white American unless we work to be conscious of our biases. This isn’t a race where we cross a finish line and are done. This is just life and trying to live as a decent human–a task you are in danger of failing.

  63. blf says

    Here in Canada, I have never encountered an ExitPoll.
    If I did encounter one I would tell them to go fuck themselves.

    The method used here in France (at least for nation-wide elections) is very intriguing and works exceptionally well. There are no exit polls — they may even be banned? (there is a media blackout) — instead, an official(?) commission extrapolates based on a selection of (early results?) in representative areas. The areas are adjusted from election-to-election to better-and-better actually be representative (especially, I presume, based on early results), which is critical to the method: It adapts to changes over time, and fine-tunes itself.

    At least in the past, it apparently was the case all election polls were banned for the final week before the election. As far as I am aware, that is no longer the case, at least up until about the day of(? before?) the election. A continuing problem is these restrictions are often ignored by foreign entities, and there was quite a row in 2012(?) when the French press also tended to ignore the restrictions.

    (Apologies, I’d found a very good site which explained the system (in English, as I recall) last year, but now cannot locate it. Hence, most of the above is from memory, and presumably contains (hopefully minor) errors. This is also why I don’t cite any data on just how well it does work, or how it has improved over time.)

  64. philosoraptor says

    @consciousness razor #66, a_ray_in_dilbert_space #67
    There are two subtly connected types of discrimination: officially sanctioned (either directly encoded in law, or via unspoken convention in government and state bureaucracies), and household (personal preferences held by individual people).
    Obama’s election (and reelection) signified that officially sanctioned, institutional discrimination levels have fallen below random noise and can no longer affect lives and fates of the nation. That was a good thing.
    (Him not being a woman is only important if you believe in intersectionality, and, at the same time, ignore all other western countries ruled by women, like Britain).
    But household discrimination is not gone. White nationalist groups do still exist. So do black nationalist. Even jewish nationalists, though aggressive ones are exceedingly rare. Every nation, culture or ethnic group will have some small number of ‘ists, that disrespect others. Even among feminists there’s a small rad-fem group. That is not a good thing, but it’s there. It is at the core of identity politics and it’s the reason I strongly oppose the divisiveness it introduces.

  65. consciousness razor says

    Obama’s election (and reelection) signified that officially sanctioned, institutional discrimination levels have fallen below random noise and can no longer affect lives and fates of the nation.

    It signifies no such thing. One prominent example is the Muslim travel ban, pushed by the racist as fuck president we have now, over and over again ever since his inauguration. And of course there has been a much more generalized and prolonged opposition to immigration, whenever they are black/brown. And there is the outrageous level of police violence against minorities all over the country, as well as a disproportionate number of arrests and convictions, harsher sentencing, etc. We could go on for a long time like this.

    It would be no excuse to say you didn’t know about such things, as hard as that would be to believe. In that case, the I should just tell you to stop bullshitting and get a fucking clue. But I don’t believe you’re unaware of these things. You’re just a pathetic liar. Go fuck yourself.

  66. Onamission5 says

    Wait– the fact that one black guy was able, at a key moment in time, to rise above the noise well enough to get his message across to the people who voted for him means that racism isn’t a problem for anyone any more? It means that all of the policies put into place to marginalize PoC ceased to function as intended on the day of Obama’s inauguration? How does that work?

    Does the school to prison pipeline vanish in a puff? Do the people who hung Obama in effigy in their front yards and dorm windows suddenly stop talking, voting, raising children, being racist assed racists to black waitresses, firing PoC employees for mistakes that would go unnoticed from white people, coming up with flimsy excuses not to rent or loan money to or send their kids to schools with minorities? Do they suddenly stop blaming immigrants for the steel mill closing down and start blaming predatory corporations? Do all the myriad legislators, federal, state, and local, who propose and support racist policies suddenly become awash with recognition that institutional racism is wrong?

    I really, really want to know how the successful election of one president means the immediate dissolution of centuries of policy and unexamined bias, especially in light of the fact that Trump, a huge Birther, ran on a platform of promises to undo everything Obama accomplished.

    Explain, plz.

  67. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Philosophoraptor: “Obama’s election (and reelection) signified that officially sanctioned, institutional discrimination levels have fallen below random noise and can no longer affect lives and fates of the nation.”

    I’m sure that will come as a great consolation to Trayvon Martin. Oh, wait. He’s dead. And his killer is still walking around being a professional asshole.

    Or Stephon Clark. Oops!

    Read: “Obama’s election (and reelection) signified that officially sanctioned, institutional discrimination levels have fallen below random noise and can no longer affect lives and fates of the nation.

    Read:
    https://wonkette.com/634059/just-some-domestic-terrorists-kidnapping-little-black-boys-and-maybe-murdering-some-other-folks-is-all

    Dude, the American people were so upset by the election of a black man as President that they followed him up with a literal Nazi sympathizer who also happens to be an imbecile. And 40% of people STILL support him even though he is a Russian agent!

  68. philosoraptor says

    American people were so upset by the election of a black man as President that they followed him up with a literal Nazi sympathizer

    No, first American people reelected Obama.

  69. blf says

    Obama was elected, legitimately, twice. Then a extreme bigot was elected. The first, even twice, does not cancel the subsequent event, nor does the dubious nature of the subsequent racist’s “election”.

  70. Saad says

    Okay, I take back what I said about philosoraptor. I was trying to be generous with benefit of the doubt.

  71. KG says

    philosoraptor@61

    that took all of 5 minutes at google, picking only relatively notable links.

    None of which showed what you claimed@33:

    I realize history tends to oscillate, like a pendulum, and in recent years it swang from “being colored sucks” past the “color doesn’t matter” and towards “being white is morally wrong”

    Which was, and remains, a barefaced racist lie. Black people still, in the USA and in Europe still suffer from institutionalised racism in employment, in education, in voting rights, in policing. FFS, in the UK we are in the middle of the Windrush scandal, in which it’s been revealed that considerable numbers of black people who came to the UK as children in the 1950s – their parents having been invited to come – have been denied the right to live here, to receive treatment on the NHS, to have a job or receive social security benefits as a direct result of government policy. Does the fact that you can find a few articles that hurt your precious fee-fees, written by or about people who don’t have the slightest power over you or other white people, outweigh that?

  72. emergence says

    Philosoraptor @65

    – The “Obama was elected so the country can’t be racist” canard: you do realize that not everyone in the country voted for Obama, right? You realize that the people who didn’t vote for him spent 8 years claiming he was a secret Muslim, that he wasn’t born in this country, and so on, right? Apparently it never crossed your mind that a good chunk of the country might still be racist, but more of the non-racists happened to show up to vote in the 2008 and 2012 elections.

    – I was referring to different groups of people who overlap to some degree. If you only fall into the first category, my statement still stands.

    – I think black people are already trying to better themselves. They’re just protesting and calling out society, loudly, at the same time. If you extend the concept of colorblindness so far that you think people who point out racism are being divisive, then you’ve missed the point. Colorblindness that focuses on identifying and correcting for personal prejudices is a good thing. Colorblindness that turns a blind eye to racism is not.

    – I was bringing up how white nationalists and some guys on Fox News like to use “Western culture” as a euphemism for being a WASP. Anyway, Western culture is fairly fuzzy and vague as a concept. I think it lumps together useful concepts like the scientific method and representative government together with a lot of ideosyncratic European cultural norms. It’s one thing to say that developing nations need to invest in STEM education and give everyone voting rights. It’s another to claim that Asian, sub-Saharan African, or indigenous American cultures, for example, have never produced any sort of worthwhile art or literature.

  73. emergence says

    Also, we’re in a weird situation where where the only real racial stereotype that gets applied to white people is that they themselves are racist to varying degrees. Does that even count?

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