November 04, 2004

Another take on why Dubya won.

From xymphora:

People aren't entirely prepared to admit it, but there really is an underclass of very unhappy white people in the United States who are still fighting the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, and the Civil War. The dissatisfaction in their lives is caused by the powerlessness they feel in the face of the fact that they fall further behind with each generation. The Republicans manage these people with great skill, and use the full force of the media to direct all their anger and hatred to liberalism. The fact that many of them are evangelical Christians is more a symptom of the same malaise that it is the cause of their hatreds. Nutty religion is their opium. While many of them are terribly misinformed and stupid, I don't think it is entirely fair to say that they misunderstand their class interests. They have come to the conclusion that they are going to be screwed regardless of which party is in power, and they prefer to be screwed by a group that doesn't appear to hold them in contempt. Indeed, you get the impression that their hatred is so great that they are taunting the liberal attempts at policy solutions to their problems, almost saying we hate your contempt for us so much we'll prove it by voting against our own interests.

Don't let the blunt language put you off. There's a lot to think about there.

Read the full post here.

Posted by Magpie at November 4, 2004 05:02 PM | US Politics | Technorati links |

I grew up with these people. It's something I've been meaning to write about for a few days. I know what it's like to get caught reading The New Yorker some place besides the dentist's office and have some one stare daggers at you.

Overall they're still really mad about the late 60's and the 70's. They feel as if they're completely overrun by Birkenstock hippy prudes who won't let them say the n-word, tell dirty jokes at work or say what they really think. They see the Left as purely school marm-ish and finger wagging. They truly feel that the second they step out the door they have to behave themselves in a manner they are not comfortable with.

Heck - I even knew of few of these folks who were scared sh-tless of the Black Panthers right up until the early 80's. That despite the fact that those of us left-of-centers knew the BP's were long out of business by then.

Tom Wolfe was right when he said their real hatred of the media centers around the media's openess to talk about sex, gay or straight.

What the Left doesn't get is that we need to put our wagging fingers down and we especially need to stop calling these people hateful morons.

How the *F* are you suppose to win them over if you keep saying that? Who the h/ell wants to vote for anybody they think is slapping them in the face?

What they understand -first and foremost - is small easily digestible economic tidbits. That's what we didn't learn from the Republican Revolution in 1994. These folks would rather hear that you're gonna save them $300 a year than how we need to politcally correct.

From 1932 through 1968 these people were the Democrats bread and butter because they saw the Democrats as the people who cheerfully looked out for their jobs.

That's what Jesse Jackson was trying to tell you.

Posted by: pops at November 4, 2004 06:45 PM

When Jesse Jackson ran for the Democratic presidential nomination he made a great effort to bring the white working class, especially males, into a dialogue. I thought at the time he was brilliant and was saddened that the dialogue seemed to end when his presidential bid ended.

Howard Dean brought the idea up during his nomination bid and was roundly criticized for it.

Posted by: Barbara at November 4, 2004 06:48 PM

"They truly feel that the second they step out the door they have to behave themselves in a manner they are not comfortable with.. "

It is actually more complicated than that. You have neatly divided country into various minority/protected/special/whatever groups of victims who need to be protected from .. yeah, guess from whom ?

And then are you surprised than the only group that has been left outside of that protective circle (and thus implicitly and sometimes explicitly designated as THE villain) is voting for the other party in droves ( 60-37 last time I checked)

Posted by: kurio at November 4, 2004 09:02 PM

who has neatly divided the country? who are the 'victims'? exactly how are religious fundamentalists lacking protection? and from what?

if you want to comment, make a coherent case for your viewpoint. don't speak in code.

Posted by: Magpie at November 4, 2004 10:05 PM

pops makes an excellent point. much the same way as we advocate for the inclusion of the glbt community in the political discourse, the evangelical folks need to be involved as well. it's not enough to say that they are ignorant or whatever, we have to look for ways to be more inclusive. rather than trying to beat them over the head with our ideas, which really aren't that far from their own at heart, we should be working to educate and inform. i hate to say it, but we really could take a cue from jesus, and lead by example. we see crazy redneck ignorant savages from the heartland, they see crazy depraved self righteous savages from the coasts... contrast the images of evangelical people with pictures of fetuses on posterboard with the images of the wto riots in seattle. is it so hard to see that both groups are terrified of each other?

Posted by: kelite at November 5, 2004 08:14 AM