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.