It’s always our fault

A professor on NPR this morning, I believe from Davis, said things like “soul searching” and that complaining about racism was “intellectual comfort food”  when the reality was more complex.

A WSJ reporter on the program pointed out that if trade and economic anxiety were really the issues then why, in a place like Ohio, are free traders Portman and Kasich popular?

This election is not my fault. It’s not the fault of some inchoate coastal elite to “understand” “real Americans” or “working class whites.” If they are mad about being made fun of then how do they expect the minority groups they’re mad at to feel? Why is it always our fault.

Let me be clear: the problems of the white working class will not be made better by undoing trade deals and undoing the remnants of the safety net. They will be made worse. This is the path they chose. And if we’re in their living rooms, recording their conversations, it was done to stick it in the eye of their betters.

It’s classic “cutting off your nose to spite your face” behavior and I find attempts to understand or empathize with this comical.

How about these folks get a dose of empathy for the “urban” and “coastal” human beings they hate so much they are willing to suicide bomb them politically? Why isn’t it their job to understand us?

The Democrats do not need a major revolution in their policies or electoral strategies as strange as that sounds. They won the popular vote. They would win the House if it weren’t gerrymandered. As bad and as consequential as this loss was, it was still very close and not a landslide rejection. Those are two different things. 1984 was a landslide but since it was an incumbent’s reelection there weren’t the same consequences.

Becoming the party of the campus left isn’t going to help here either, no matter how much the BernieBros say so. Agreeing with Trump on trade isn’t going to make these “real Americans” ask you for your preferred pronouns anytime soon. If the Keith Ellison chairmanship of the DNC is any indicator, 2020 will be more like 1984.

Recognizing that these people are reactionary and dislike equality for minorities, however, is different than constantly saying “you are racist” at every turn. Knowing how things are doesn’t mean we have to say it 24/7.

 

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