Post-Trump, Conservatives not shy about showing their contempt for the poor

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But it’s so easy…


I’m glad you posted excerpts, Rob, because I’m not going to whitelist 20+ separate script sources, not even temporarily, in order to read National Review.

The article says something about the gypsum wallboard industry going bust - well, when you allow foreign nations to treat their workers and the shared global ecosystem in ways that simply aren’t legal domestically, your domestic industries go bust. Can I get a Duh! from the congregation?

If the USA put conditions on so-called “free trade” that required products sold domestically to be created and shipped in accordance with domestic law, there’s be jobs for at least half the poor white unemployed, and then more tax revenues, and then their children could be better educated. But instead, we’ll just send the jobs overseas and the profits to the uppermost social classes, and set the poor fighting against each other along color lines.


I felt a little weird following a link to an apparently odious publication, but when I found that I needed to pay that odious publication money to read the content, this post really blurred the line between hit piece and free advertisement.

Disappointment in boingboing aside, [quote=“NRO, post:1, topic:75077”]
the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog

Whelping, eh? If only the poor were people rather than base animals maybe they could raise their kids to be people.

And also:

The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles.

I don’t know if I can disagree with that. But we all know who has been profiting off of that misery for the last few decades. To be angry that Donald Trump has taken the market share from the Republican establishment just seems like sour grapes.


It’s a beast of the establishment’s own making in more ways than one. They spent years pandering to people’s base instincts. Playing the race card to win votes, blaming taxes as the reason poor white America was being held back. Many took those messages to heart. Of course when in power, Republicans were less overtly racist, sexist and anti-tax than they promised, and now the establishment is on its heals because they failed to create a fascist utopia. Trump is just a guy who they believe will actually deliver on this stuff.

Democrats and liberals are not blameless in this. The Democrat establishment helped create the white poor by fully embracing many of the same Republican policies that hurt the white poor. At the same time progressives just bemoaned how the white poor didn’t vote for their interests.


Maybe they vote for him because he doesn’t blame them.


By contrast, Mitt Romney was totally shy about showing contempt for the lower 47% of the population.


Yes, you can.
Painting all of poor white America with one brush is just as bad as calling all Muslims terrorists. The "go to aushwitz"ers and "back to africa"s do not represent all of poor whitehood.

There are plenty of explanations for Trump’s appeal to poor whites. Viciousness and selfishness are only a single facet.


Right on! I thought you said this guy was a conservative!

…wait what


“the enraged contempt in which conservatives [kkkgop] hold the poor”

Trump and KKKGOP both wear their willful hate of the USA, ignorance and anti-intellectualism, illiteracy as a badge of honor.


Wow. You normally don’t write that way about white poor people. It looks like somebody pulled the stock screed about black cultural degeneracy and parasitism out of the fridge, microwaved it, and then ran a search-and-replace.

I, um, totally can’t imagine why the ‘respectable’ wing of the GOP might be having trouble motivating them to vote for just a little more trickle-down.


Abandoning the communities and cultures in which you grew up for vague promises of short-term opportunity is what conservatism is all about, isn’t it?


Roger That!


That’s actually an integral part of the downward spiral. Those poor white communities, just like poor black ones, have been systematically prevented from getting a proper public education. We all (as citizens) pay the price for that, but they do most of all.


From historian Gwynnw Dyers’s post-mortem on Margaret Thatcher

Yet her greatest contribution to politics, and the foundation of the right’s political success over recent decades, was not ideological but tactical. She was the first politician to grasp the fact that with the decline of the old working class, it had become possible to win elections on a platform that simply ignored the wishes and needs of the poor. There weren’t as many of them as there used to be, and the poorest among them usually failed to vote at all.

This insight was key to the success of President Ronald Reagan in the United States in the 1980s, and to the triumph of conservative parties in many European countries in the same period. It continues to be a major factor in the calculations of parties both on the right and on the left down to the present day: you cannot count on the poor to win an election for you.

Her success was made possible by a large, largely content middle class.

But the Thatcher/Reagan crowd have been robbing the middle class of what wealth they had, taking us back to a wealthy few vs. the poor working class. And so her strategy has stopped working.


I think @Humbabella is reading “in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture” as controlled by said culture, not channeling it.

(The article seems almost purposefully written to provoke this kind of confusion… But what purpose would that serve?)


Point taken, and I shouldn’t have implied (I think it’s fair to say I did) that poor white people in America are a monolith. And I also think I let the author of the article steal the narrative by using “white American underclass” as a label for a particular subset of Americans that isn’t fully described by the phrase and that excludes some who might be described by it.

To the extent I agreed, I agreed with “vicious, selfish culture” rather than “vicious, selfish people.”

If you want vicious, selfish people you need to look at the people promoting that culture, some of whom will be poor white Americans, but chief among whom will be American politicians like the current slate of Republican candidates (Trump is hardly the only one), and at people who have been promoting this culture as a political tool for decades now.

I wouldn’t say controlled by, I would say existing within. We all exist within our culture and have some kind of cultural blinders on. Like a sexist culture can produce sexist outcomes even if very few of the participants are active in being sexist, or like Donald Trump’s supporters can be violent as a group by having only a few of them actually punch anyone.


Of course that’s the main message…“See, we’re not racist like the Trump, we hate all poor people equally.”


Very true. Educational budgets are being slashed across the USA and have been for years, and the cuts typically are focused where they can do the most damage - firing librarians instead of football coaches, installing air conditioners so that doors and windows can be chained shut rather than hiring more teachers, &etc. ad nauseum.

All the politicians say they want better educational outcomes, but no matter the party or promises, they consistently refuse to do the one thing we absolutely know will work - decrease class sizes by hiring more teachers.

We already know how to fix this, but instead the candidates pander and lie and keep making things worse. The best immediate answer, according to actual data, is smaller classes. Not more testing, not more standardization, not more administration, not cops in classrooms. Smaller classes.


Couldn’t agree more. Sorry; I should have let you speak for yourself.