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Convergence: Rebels without a Cause

Will the last lab rat leaving please hit the lights?

Following up on that Fareed Zakaria clip from yesterday where he tries to make a case for identifying with the hostage takers, here are some additional links that show that this is a really stupid idea. 

Recapping, Zakaria says we should understand and reach out to the aggrieved white working class Trump voter who feels threatened that his way of making a living and national identity is under siege. I think there have been numerous arguments against this on various lefty blogs but the basic idea is summarized in Lincoln’s speech to the Cooper Union where he said there is no way to appease aggressors who are intent on domination. (Scroll down to the last 8-9 paragraphs for his argument against appeasement) He was referring to slavery but we can see a similar dynamic played out in WWII. Give aggressive power hungry groups an inch and they’ll take a mile. They won’t be satisfied until capitulation to everything they believe is complete.  Zakaria focused his attention on the Trump supporter’s latent racist attitudes. But he overlooked that once they are satisfied with driving Mexicans back over the border and African Americans back to the poor sections of town, they’ll step up their attacks on women who insist on working to make a living. Women make up over half the population and frankly, we’re sick of always being the target of men with self-esteem issues. 

So start with the Cooper Union speech. Then see this post in the NYTimes from a few days ago about how rural counties in Northern California are feeling oppressed by the west coast elites. Those northern counties make up 1/5th of California’s square mikes but only 3% of the population. 

Some of the commenters are playing the world’s smallest violin for that oppressed 3%. Here’s a sample: 


I understand the struggle. It’s almost like living in a heavily populated liberal state and having your vote count as 1/6 of a vote in Wyoming and then having various policies forced on you like pro-carry laws, unwinnable wars, and a man baby president who is an international embarrassment. Huh. Sounds frustrating.

In other words, the majority of Americans didn’t vote for this Trump bullshit and we are running out of patience for the WATB’s who always think the world needs to pay attention to their impulses and inability to share with others. 

After you’re done with that, check out this interview from Fresh Air. Author Rick Wartzman wrote about the decline of the American workforce in his new book The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America. He confirms what those of us in Pharmaceutical R&D have known for about a decade now. The emphasis on “shareholder value” as being more important than any other stakeholders’ interest has resulted in “stinting R&D”, eliminating training for workers, reduction in benefits and a severe contraction of union representation. The White Working Class is not the only group of workers with problems, and they aren’t caused by racial quotas and little Guatemalan cleaning ladies. 

The root causes of the problem were detailed in Karen Ho’s book, Liquidated that I reviewed in several installments a few years ago. (Be gentle, I hate to edit) 

Ho’s book is definitely worth a read. Wartzman reconfirms what Ho described and says that paying CEO’s in stock back in the 80’s lead to rapid capture of the executives of large corporations by the financiers. It’s a vicious cycle, for workers, that is. 

So, there you go. The White Working Class does have a problem. But it’s not worse than the problems that the urban educated workers face. It’s just that WE know who to blame and the Trump voters who are glued to right wing messaging devices like Fox News, are as clueless as ever and becoming mindless whip kissers. 

So there, Fareed. 


12 Responses

  1. May I add to your reading list?

    The following opinion/editorial was in the NY Times today.

    It has a theme similar to RD’s post yesterday. The NY Times has entitled it “Back to the Center, Democrats.”

    One of the authors is Mark Penn who was Bill and Hillary Clinton’s pollster and advisor from 1995-2008.

    The illustration is also clever as it shows the blue, Democratic donkey being split into two with the head (the left side of the illustration) leaving the country and the rest of the donkey behind.

    • I’ve always said that it was a HUGE mistake to elect Barack Obama in 2008. He and the Obots cut out a good chunk of the Democratic base and put it on an ice floe. Some of us were screaming about it back in 2008 but we were called racists.
      I hate to be the one who said I told you so but…

      My theory is that Obama was hired by the finance industry to save their asses after the crash and for no other reason. They poured money into his campaign and bought him the best PR around. The media loved the african American narrative and the pressure to get on the bandwagon was enormous.

      Bill Clinton figured out how to win back the Reagan Democrats. And no good deed goes unpunished.

      The well connected are never going to let that happen again.

      But that doesn’t mean Mark Penn is right. Quite the contrary. Left leaning policies are enormously popular. They just don’t have the right messenger that can compete with the right at this time.

      • I agree that choosing Obama over Hillary was a big mistake then and it came home to roost in 2016 with Hillary unable to win the EC although she won the popular vote.

        I am liberal and I consider myself a progressive. I live 40 miles west of Chicago in very red Repugnant Kane Co. For many of the local offices, there is no Democratic challenger to the Repugnant candidate.

        Someone defaced the “Ready for Hillary” bumper sticker on the back of my car. There were many people who had “Hillary for prison” stickers on theirs.

        The 2016 election showed that most liberals/progressives tend to live in cities and the more rural areas are more conservative. Driving back from Nashville last week through mostly rural areas, I saw enough “Jesus saves” signs and the huge “Cross at the Crossroads,” which dismayed my Buddhist sensibilities.

        It may take someone who is a centrist who can be elected and then pivot to a more progressive platform.

        At this point, I will accept incremental change because I am tired of seeing Democrats lose.

        It may take a different messenger and it may be another generation until there is another female candidate with Hillary’s experience.

        As long as the EC is constituted as it is, a successful Democrat must win in the states that may have a sizable conservative population that is willing to support a moderate candidate.

        • I’m sorry to piggyback on my comment. To avoid having a huge picture by pasting the link, please copy the address below into your browser to see the “Cross at the Crossroads.” It was one of the “sights” on the trip from Nashville.


      • The problem with Obama is he sold himself as the liberal savior and too many people believed it. Frankly he was just a mediocre guy who had enough melanin in his skin to be considered a “first”.

        IMO nothing exposes the mediocrity of Obama more than his handling of the Russian interference in the election. He should have gone forward with the information instead of holding back.

        And Democrats need to quit letting the press pick our candidates. They were pushing Bernie this time but last time they were pushing Obama. Bernie probably would not have won the election either and probably would have done worse.

        • Amen.

          • I agree that Bernie’s candidacy undermined Hillary. Obama’s response to the Russian hacking was as weak as was his response when Putin sent “little green men” into Crimea.

            Obama was in over his head.

  2. Off topic:

    DON’T eat at the Imagine Vegan Cafe in Memphis. 😛

    • I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s description of vegan food, imitation hot wings full of “sand and sadness” sounds pretty accurate to me.

  3. She must have seen the pee pee tape. What do you think?

  4. I really like Adam Schiff!

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