Home / General / Trump-inspired classism

Trump-inspired classism


Watching the horrifying rise of Donald Trump is, among other things, discombobulating; anyone attacking something as morally bankrupt as the establishment Republican party in 2016 is, no matter how awful, going to land some blows that you can’t help but appreciate in spite of yourself. The case that the Republican party has been setting themselves up for something like this for decades has been made well by a number of people in the center and on the left. But I don’t think I’ve seen a more perfect distillation of the case for why the Republican party richly deserves what Trump is doing to them than Kevin Williamson’s new column in the National Review. It’s behind a paywall, but here’s a taste:

If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy — which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog — you will come to an awful realization. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that.

Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster. There wasn’t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America. So the gypsum business in Garbutt ain’t what it used to be. There is more to life in the 21st century than wallboard and cheap sentimentality about how the Man closed the factories down.

The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin.

There’s little doubt in my mind many Republican elites and opinion leaders have long felt a kind of seething contempt for the people whose votes they can’t rule without. It’s also indicative of just how shallow and cynical elite Republican gestures of white racial solidarity can be. Since the dumping of the Derb Williamson has flirted with the “how openly racist can you be and still write for NR” line as much as any of their current stable of regular writers, but when white voters step out of line and vote wrong, they’re subject to what appears to be a distinctly similar level of contempt. (His racism shapes the particular nature of the contempt–when writing about the failure of Detroit, he’s happy to blame progressivism/liberal elites, seeing the black citizens of Detroit as primarily victims. Poor white people are granted enough agency to be to blame for their own economic circumstances.)

The prospect of a Trump-inspired re-alignment is, rightly, terrifying. That the process inspires the Williamson’s of the world to tell us what they really think is happy consequence of it. For on thing, these voters deserve to know the depth of the contempt the politicians they support have for them, and that’s true independent of what they decide to do with that information.

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  • Crusty

    I was wondering when it was going to be ok to call Trump supporters assholes. So far, we’ve mostly been left to ruminate on the frustrations he’s tapping into. But when I see that dude in the hat cold cock the black protester being led out, I think, these people are assholes, just like their leader. But the National Review guy didn’t say it quite so nicely.

    • Rob in CT

      Trump supporters are assholes, sure. If we assume that they are ~40% of the GOP, we’re talking about what, maybe 15% of the population? That group may be disproportionately working-class/non-college grad, but it’s not like Trump doesn’t have plenty of middle and upper class asshole supporters.

      Williamson’s broadside isn’t against Trump supporters. That’s his jumping off point, but he just can’t help himself. He unloaded a blunderbuss on: 1) the entire white working class; and 2) pretty much all communities struggling with economic “dislocation.”

      And that’s just in the little bit that djw quoted for us.

      • Steve

        Yeah he went full-out, “white trash” on them. We are supposed to being helping working class people…even those who respond to their lot in hateful and (for then) ultimately unproductive ways.

    • tsam

      I was wondering when it was going to be ok to call Trump supporters assholes.

      Wait–when was it not OK?

      • Asshole

        HEY! Don’t lump us in with those racist morons, it’s bad enough as it is.


      • Thirtyish

        Indeed. There’s nothing classist about accurately labeling assholes as such; after all, such character flaws cut across all socioeconomic and societal lines. If it’s classist to call the bulk of them authoritarian populists, then I guess I’m guilty. If it’s improper to call them fascists, then I’ll happily accept the charge.

        • los

          Useful Idiots is the traditional label.

    • DrDick

      They certainly are assholes, but they also have real grievances. The bigger problem is that they have misidentified the source of those grievances, with the wholehearted support and encouragement of our elites, so ably represented by the GOP.

      • Exactly. Their lives have been messed with, but they’ve been lied to about why. And they believe the lies.

      • los

        Stockholm Syndrome

  • humanoid.panda

    Following the horrified reactions of many people like Williamson to Trumpism, I came to an incredible conclusion: I think that these people really did talk themsevles into believing that American conservatism has nothing to do with race, and that people vote republican because they believe in the free market, and so on. They were getting high on their own product..

    • John F

      I think that these people really did talk themsevles into believing that American conservatism has nothing to do with race, and that people vote republican because they believe in the free market, and so on.

      Yeah, I’ve noticed that as well among some non-pundits as well- they were fully invested in the idea that everyone who voted GOP/ supported the Tea Party were ideological conservatives…

      Nope a huge chunk of such folks were in primarily if not solely due to the racial and class resentment angles

      • Cassiodorus

        You see it most clearly in people like Douthat, who called something like Trumpism for years (“Sam’s Club Republicans”), but appear shocked that it actually appeared.

    • Steve

      Yeah, the huge constituency for cutting capital gains taxes for billionaires. They really did seem to get caught up in their own con.

      • BoredJD

        Immigration too – I remember getting in a heated argument with a conservative FedSoc type who swore up and down that the Tea Party was open borders and free trade even when I showed him the many polls and studies demonstrating just the opposite. The response: well, those “studies” were just conducted by “liberal academics.”

        You don’t need a study to tell you any of this stuff, if you happen to know people who are Trump voters, they will very happily tell you what they are interested in, and it sure as shit isn’t Milton Friedman or the Chicago School.

      • UserGoogol

        Many non-rich people do in fact believe in trickle-down. The Internet is full of them, even if they aren’t as common as establishment conservatives would like. And more specifically I think the Joe the Plumber-style opposition to the taxes you might theoretically pay at some point is more commonly held even in the more quasi-populist right. It’s just that vaguely supporting an attitude of “getting the government off the back of business” doesn’t mean you’re a free market radical, and so such conservatives are very open to government intervention in the economy if it’s directed at the right sort of people.

    • UncleEbeneezer

      We’re-Opposed-To-Stuff-Going-To-Those-People has been the unstated but pretty transparent ethos for the Republican Party for quite some time. The more I’ve looked into Republican and Libertarian arguments, it’s hard to ignore how predictably they draw the lines along racial axes.

    • CP

      I think that these people really did talk themsevles into believing that American conservatism has nothing to do with race, and that people vote republican because they believe in the free market, and so on.

      Oh my God, yes. Have you ever heard or read a conversation about race between two conservatives? There’s so much self-congratulation and back-patting “of COURSE you’re not a racist” reassurance, it’d make you vomit. I sometimes think I could pay off all my student loans simply by opening an office as a shrink who would just stand there and repeat “you’re not a racist. You’re not a racist. Listen to me. You’re not a racist” like the professor from Good Will Hunting.

  • Origami Isopod

    It’s behind a paywall

    People pay for NRO?

    • djw

      I could be wrong about this, but I think it was briefly up for free this morning–the first time I clicked through I got the whole column, or at least a much longer excerpt. Perhaps at some point some editors decided this was the kind of content it’s wise to restrict to kind of people willing to pay for access to the National Review.

      • Hogan

        Ah. Like Scientology.

    • D.N. Nation

      People even pay for the NRO cruise, where you have to see NRO writers in bathing suits!

      • witlesschum

        Goldberg wears a t-shirt.

        • N__B

          A t-shirt and no pants? How very Hanna-Barbera of him.

          • efgoldman

            How very Hanna-Barbera of him.

            Do his legs look like blurry wheels when he moves? [I started to type “when he runs”, but I think he probably hasn’t “run” in 20 years.]

            • DW

              With it taking place on the open ocean, you can’t even tell that they’re using the same background over and over again!

  • humanoid.panda

    The prospect of a Trump-inspired re-alignment is, rightly, terrifying.

    How would that realignment look like though? I mean, I can see elements of Republicans migrating to third party or even dems over Trump, but which elements of the Democratic party will got to Trump?

    • Murc

      I think djw means a realignment of the politics and policy priorities of the Republican Party, not a demographic realignment.

      • humanoid.panda

        I hate to sound contrarian, but if Trump loses, and the next Trump figures out that best way to win elections is to replicate his populist took and tamp down on open racism (less talk about Mexican rapists, and more talk about protectionism), is this going to be any worse than we have now?

        • Murc

          There’s zero constituency within the Republican Party for economic populism without open racism. A hypothetical “next Trump” who tries to walk that road gets slaughtered in the primaries.

          • humanoid.panda

            The question is whether you could modulate the racism, quite a bit. Basically, my argument is that the GOP as party of slightly velied racism+economic nationalism beats GOP as party of slightly veiled racism+tax cuts for the rich. You are probably right that the odds anyone can thread that needle are slim to none.

            • Ken

              “Modulate the racism” reminds me of one of P.D.Q. Bach’s compositions, a duet for lute and bagpipes. Schickele introduces the piece by strumming the lute and saying “I hope you enjoyed that, you’ll not be hearing it during this piece.”

            • ColBatGuano

              Without the tax cuts for the rich where does the money come from? Unless it’s another self-funding candidate, but that isn’t really a recipe for a functional party.

        • chris9059

          Why would more economic populism and less rascism be worse?

    • Keaaukane

      What will the realignment look like?

      He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving TRUMP! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!

      That’s just a guess though.

      • Schadenboner

        Iä! Iä! Trumpthulu fhtagn!

        • The Dark God of Time

          We dodged a bullet in 2008:

          McCain still lives, too, I suppose, again in that chasm of media complacency which has shielded him since the Vietnam War ended. His accursed campaign is sunken once more, else Bill Kristol wouldn’t call for a restart; but his ministers on earth still bellow and prance and slay around idol-capped monoliths in red states. He must have been trapped by the sinking polls within his black abyss, or else the press would by now be screaming with fright and frenzy. Who knows the end? What has risen may sink, and what has sunk may rise. Loathsomeness waits and dreams in his visions of victory, and decay spreads over the tottering cities of men. A time will come – but I must not and cannot think! Let me pray that, if I do not survive this manuscript, my executors may put caution before audacity and see that it meets no other eye.

          • Ken

            The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. Or, in the case of many pundits, to put any two facts together. Indeed, many are quite incapable of seeing what lies directly in front of their eyes, pulsing in all its squamous and rugose horror.

          • liberalrob

            What is dead may never die!

        • WabacMachinist

          Come to think of it, Donald does have the Innsmouth Look!
          /cue creepy Bernard Herrman soundtrack.

          • Keaaukane

            Perhaps that thing on his head is a brain slug.

      • Steve

        Vinz Clortho 2020: He has the keys to prosperity!

        • liberalrob

          Does that mean Carly Fiorina is the Gatekeeper?

    • djw

      How would that realignment look like though?

      I have no idea, which is a part of why I find the prospect terrifying. (It might also be a marked improvement!)

  • Steve


    Somewhat related. I found this Chait article infuriating since he somehow manages to turn it into an exercise in hippy-punching:

    But Rubio is not wrong to draw a connection between political correctness and elements of the left’s response to Trump. Donald Trump may or may not have been forthright about citing safety fears in cancelling his speech Friday night in Chicago, and disrupting the speech may or may not have been the protesters’ goal. But it is clear that protesters views the cancellation of the speech as a victory, breaking out in cheers of “We stopped Trump!”

    Preventing speakers one finds offensive from delivering public remarks is commonplace on campuses. Indeed, more than 300 faculty members at the University of Illinois-Chicago signed a letter asking the University administration not to allow Trump to speak. I polled my Twitter followers whether they consider disrupting Trump’s speeches an acceptable response to his racism. Two-thirds replied that it is. Obviously, this is not a scientific poll, but it indicates a far broader acceptance than I expected.

    Because Trump is so grotesque, and because he has violated liberal norms himself so repeatedly, the full horror of the goal of stopping Trump from campaigning (as opposed to merely counter-demonstrating against him) has not come across. But the whole premise of democracy is that rules need to be applied in every case without regard to the merit of the underlying cause to which it is attached. If you defend the morality of a tactic against Trump, then you should be prepared to defend its morality against any candidate. Now imagine that right-wing protesters had set out to disrupt Barack Obama’s speeches in 2008. If you’re not okay with that scenario, you should not be okay with protesters doing it to Trump.

    So according to Chait, the real threat to democracy that Trump poses is that he inspires “politically correct” college kids to disrupt his rallies and that will destroy the republic?

    Fuck me, we are doomed.

    • Rob in CT

      Chait at his worst, yeah.

    • kped

      “This Hitler fellow has some really racist views, but let’s hear him out…”

      (I know…Godwin, etc etc…)

      • CP

        That’s actually pretty much exactly how polite society reacted to the rise of fascism, and a big part of the reason they got as far as they did. The Squadristis and Brownshirts and other militias and their political parties were viewed as an unpleasant, low-class bunch of tossers who, nevertheless, were the tool that the elites would have to work with to suppress those wild, out-of-control left wing troublemakers. “Both sides do it, but the left is worse” was in full force pretty much right up until Hitler started gobbling up neighboring countries.

        • CP

          Addendum: … that is, in the West, “both sides do it but the left is worse” was in full force pretty much right up until Hitler started gobbling up neighboring countries. In Germany and Italy, it was in full force for a lot longer than that.

    • tsam

      Chait does some great stuff, but he does really really want you to get off his lawn.

      • humanoid.panda

        It looks that like a lot of pundits, he can’t let go of some primordial trauma. For him, its the famously poisonous campus politics in Ann Arbor in the 1990s, while for slightly older people, its the “Vietnam syndrome.”

        • DAS

          SOP among Jewish families in central Queens NY with moderately liberal to mid-range conservative politics is to send their kids to U Michigan and then be shocked, Shocked! at the crazy campus politics there.

          • Dennis Orphen

            Unlike the UW-Madison, where no one would be shocked at all.

      • Steve

        He can’t help himself…the article suddenly veers into this bizarre crap about PC leftists run amok and then returns to his original point.

        • tsam

          I think he bristles at the idea of liberalism and protest looking different from how he envisions it.

          I think humanoid is onto the problem above…

        • KadeKo

          Haven’t you posted this here before?

          Or is that truism about Chait just echoing in my head because it’s so often on target?

        • leftwingfox

          I think it’s bog-standard reflex at criticism.

          I see it CONSTANTLY. A writer ignores mild criticism from their own side. Annoyed and ignored, critics become more pointed, and the columnist responds with passive-aggression. Infuriated, the critics now tell the columnist to get fucked. Columnist takes great offense at the “vitriolic” “intemperate” and “hateful” attacks by the critics, and then proceeds to treat them as enemies of their pure and noble cause.

          Richard Dawkins and Thunderf00t did this over feminism in atheism. Chiat’s doing it with “PC culture” in liberalism. Chris Mooney did this with atheists over “framing” the debate on science in education. Ophelia Benson did this over trans women in feminism.

          It’s deeply stupid, and incredibly common.

          • Roberta

            All of this is accurate, except you’re understating things a bit. Usually the writer doesn’t just ignore the mild criticism from their own side. They react to the mild criticism with vitriol, accusing the critics of hatefulness, totalitarianism, hysterical victim-mongering, and/or suppression of free speech.

            This is how Dawkins reacted to Rebecca Watson, with his ludicrous “Dear Muslima.” It’s how the valiant defenders of free speech react to those of us who use our free speech to say “hey, stop being racist.” It’s how Ophelia Benson reacted to people asking “Do you think trans women are women?” and then criticizing her response. It’s never just ignoring. Ignoring would probably be a successful response, frankly.

            • leftwingfox

              True, the table-flipping blowouts are the part people remember, but I’ve seen the slow build-up of “ignore, snark, explode” several times now. It’s that “ignore and snark” part that makes me tense up now, because it so often (although not always) leads down that road.

      • petesh

        He’s only any good at all when operating in his natural habitat (beltway consensus), within which his cynicism is often on target. And when he’s bad he’s horrid.

        • humanoid.panda

          Given how ferociously he attacks austerity-mongers, I think that’s pretty unfair to Chait.

          • petesh

            So, no doubt, does he. But that’s his habitat — beltway debates. I shouldn’t have said consensus.

            • Rob in CT

              Right – he’s good at shredding stupid “beltway concensus” stuff. He’s good against that.

              Outside of that… results decline quickly.

              • ColBatGuano

                he’s good at shredding stupid “beltway concensus” stuff.

                Except for his love of Charter schools.

                • Davis X. Machina

                  He sleeps on the fold-out if he doesn’t flack for charter schools.

  • Schadenboner

    So, the writer is assuredly an asshole, but he isn’t (entirely) wrong. The best policy for some bankrupt firms is winding them up and shutting them down, why should rural localities be any different?

    Providing good training and relocation assistance to move into the nearest MSA would be a good for all involved (environmentally, politically, economically, medically, legally, hell even morally). It could also help repopulate cities that have seen declines (e.g. most of the UP could be moved to Detroit).

    While we’re whiteboarding, I’d also like Sanders to win and a sparkle-pink blowjob pony of my very own.

    • I was looking at the Michigan results last week. Some of those UP counties reported hundreds of votes in the Democratic primary.

      • Schadenboner

        Well I’m not saying we should nuke it from orbit (at least not until we get the people out: nuclear fire may well be the only way to deal with the UP mosquitos).

    • Crusty

      “So, the writer is assuredly an asshole, but he isn’t wrong. The best policy for some bankrupt firms is winding them up and shutting them down, why should cities be any different?”

      Because he isn’t talking about the municipalities, he’s talking about the people.

      • Schadenboner

        Like any rightist he sees personal pathology and moral failure where the actual problem is social pathology and economic failure. But that doesn’t change that there is pathology and failure.

        • howard

          i’m largely with you schadenboner: the left response shouldn’t be “every job that exists today must continue to exist forever and ever.”

          the left response should be “capitalism does this kind of thing, it’s inherent in the system, and so we need to provide social safety nets to offset the damage capitalism does.”

          • Brett

            What kind of safety net? What these folks really need most of all are jobs – either jobs where they are, or somewhere nearby (like in the nearest major city they can drive or ride to).

            But for some reason, it’s proven politically impossible even to just do temporary jobs programs in areas that got hit hard by the loss of a major employer.

            • ChrisS

              Its interesting in that there are many many many small towns and villages within the Adirondack Park, a place that’s generally public property and was set aside constitutionally to keep it “forever wild” more than 100 years ago. People in these small villages and towns are still agitating that the state is trying to run them out of the park by not letting them develop big box store commercial areas or developing industry. They want to essentially rewrite the state constitution so that they can have high paying jobs in their town so that they don’t have to move an hour or two south to Utica, an economically depressed rust belt city.

            • Schadenboner

              I think part of the problem is that, on a local/country level many of these rural areas are politically speaking rotten boroughs (see also: Davis, Kim) which prevents any economic restructuring of the region.

              There are also federal-level ideological barriers (see also: Republican Party, The) of course, but busting up broken towns won’t fix that*.

              *: Not in the first order at least, but the more urban a population the more Democratic it becomes, so maybe it would have a second order effect?

              • Dennis Orphen

                Urban populations might be more Democratic because liberals leave escape rural areas for urban ones.

                • Schadenboner

                  Partly, but there is a liberalizing effect of a multicultural city (which causes it to attract liberals, which makes it a liberalizing influence which…)

                  Anomie isn’t all suicide and shitty poetry you know.

          • Linnaeus

            I see your point, but I’ve noticed that when structural job loss happens to working class folk, it’s “well, they need to adapt.” When it happens to middle class (and up) folks, it’s “We’ve got to do something!”

            • guthrie

              See also the haste in which politicians shovel money into the depressed oil industry here, when they don’t bother much with other sorts of employment, here in the UK.

              (Of course I just want them to shovel money into everything, not just oil)

        • I don’t think anyone would disagree with the statement that some cities are completely screwed.

          But why bring that up here?

          “My legitimate point is related to this other, really awful point you’re all now denouncing,” isn’t a good way to present your point. It’s just begging for some unhelpful confusion. I mean, it’s you making sure it will be read in that context.

          • Schadenboner

            I’m confused: am I the one with the legitimate point or the really awful point now being denounced?

            • “I don’t think anyone would disagree with the statement that some cities are completely screwed.”

              Your point is fine.

              • Schadenboner

                No one ever denounces me.

                I’ve even tried to fall under the sway of decedent bourgeois formalism. Nothing seems to help.


                • Your mother was a hamster and your father smells of elderberries.

                • liberalrob

                  Bowerick Wowbagger will eventually get to you…”S” is pretty far down the alphabet.

        • Cassiodorus

          It’s worth noting that economic collapse in these communities always precedes the social collapse, which is a pretty good clue about causation.

      • Because he isn’t talking about the municipalities, he’s talking about the people.

        The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets.

        This week in eliminationism.

    • Brett

      It’s a good question why some areas fared worse than others in de-industrialization. I doubt it has anything to do with those areas developing a culture of poverty and drug addiction – that came afterwards.

    • so-in-so

      For some odd reason,I saw “whiteboarding” and thought some racist version of waterboarding.

      I blame Dick Cheney.

      • Schadenboner

        Unless there are a surprising number of circassians at gitmo, one of the prime appeals to the Trumpist set is that it isn’t whites being boarded*

        *: two-way joke, ah ah ah ah ah.

    • Eli Rabett

      Nancy Reagan is dead

    • Yankee

      They’ve been trying that in China, Get those useless rural farmers into decent high-rise apartments. It also worked for American inner cities, developed those crime-breeding neighboorhoods into useful freeways. Assuredly an asshole, I guess so.

      A community isn’t just a bunch of people who live in the same place; that’s the suburbs. Rural people often grew up right there, they have kin and institutions, they know where things are amidst the landscape. Move to the city and throw all that away, as many have. Be born in the Global City and never understand what you’ve missed.

      • Origami Isopod

        Yeah… I’m glad I wasn’t the only one discomfited by that “Let’s just close down these communities that have existed for decades/centuries” as a solution to the problem.

      • Ronan
      • Brett

        Who said anything about “throwing it all away”? The Chinese migrants into the cities don’t do that. They just live partially or full-time in the cities while sending money back home to their parents on the farms (who may also be taking care of their kids).

        That’s normal. People all over the world do that.

      • sonamib

        I was agreeing with your comment right up to the last sentence.

        Be born in the Global City and never understand what you’ve missed.

        Big cities have institutions and support networks too, you know. They’re mostly neighborhood based, but there is, in fact, community support and activism.

  • tsam

    Wow–That Williamson piece could have been a George Carlin bit if it were funny.

  • Funkhauser

    Hey, Garbutt is a town in Monroe County! I learned something today!

  • ChrisS

    As an upstate NYer, this area is fertile ground for Trump.

    And its not just poor folk. They’ve been fed a steady diet that government is broken and not working for them, but for n—–s on welfare. Ask any redneck with a pickup truck listening to the local pop-country station if they think upstate would be better off if NY segregated taxes/revenue and payments for NYC and upstate and 9/10 would say yes.

    I know guys who earn six figures and are convinced that being on welfare means you eat steaks and don’t work while they labor for every dime they have and are forced to eat canned tuna.

    • humanoid.panda

      Carl Paladino was basically the ur-Trump in that regard, no? The authentic speaker for upstate NY grievances, plus authentic NYC vulgarity? That didn’t end so well for GOP…

    • sam

      NY is a microcosm of the country as a whole. Upstate lives under the mistaken impression that its largess and tax dollars are supporting the moochers in NYC (just as the red states believe they are supporting the blue states), while the opposite is true.

      Periodically, you hear outcries from upstate about how they want to divide New York into two states, with us NYC left to fend for ourselves. And our response is always, “Yes, Please?”. (Of course, this will never happen in a billion years). As a liberal New York City resident, I don’t actually mind the outflow of my tax dollars – I understand how these things work (and I went to undergrad in Western NY, so I’d still like my friends to have paved roads and snow removal in the wintertime). What I despise is upstate politicians fucking around with things like the MTA to score political points in their home districts.

      • Origami Isopod

        And our response is always, “Yes, Please?”

        Well, then you’d have a tiny blue state and another big red state.

        • sam

          A tiny blue state with half of the people and most of the money. Geography isn’t everything.

          But that’s why it would never actually happen. I don’t even seriously want it to happen. It just amuses us downstaters to no end when upstate folks get on their high horse about NYC. As if they could live without us.

        • Scott Lemieux

          Well, then you’d have a tiny blue state and another big red state.

          We’ve been through this before, but this is in fact bullshit. Non-NYC New York voted for Obama, and this remains true even if you exclude Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk.

      • Bill Murray

        What I despise is upstate politicians fucking around with things like the MTA to score political points in their home districts.

        and Cuomo’s latest effort to mess with NYC

  • Rob in CT

    Since we’re discussing Trump supporters:


    They are and have been, relative to other GOP voters, more anti-free trade, anti-immigration, pro-choice (rather less anti-abortion), just about as hawkish though down on the Iraqi adventure (the sin there seems to be failure, but they’re still fine with aggression), and show more racial animus/resentment.

    • petesh

      So they like him because he’s like them (but richer)?

      • humanoid.panda

        I think that piece buries the lede: leaving aside their disagreements with party orthodoxy on a couple of issues, by 2012 at least, these were party line republican voters.

  • Linnaeus

    First, Williamson is a horrible person.

    Second, I’ve seen liberal(ish) commentary that isn’t that much different than what Williamson is saying.

    • Origami Isopod

      Yep. Classism. A lot of liberals need to cut it out.

  • Crusty

    In a representative democracy, I think there’s a tendency to overestimate the extent to which government can impact our lives. Trump supporters are angry about something. I’m angry too, but it doesn’t get channeled into Trump support. Life sucks, but that has very little to do with Obama, Trump, W or whoever. Now, if your life sucks because your limbs were blown off by an IED device in Iraq after you signed up to go get the people who attacked us on 9-11, that’s a different story.

    • ChrisTS

      It doesn’t help that politicians proclaim how they will make everything just fabulous. Perhaps they only do that because? we want them to?

    • Origami Isopod

      Life sucks, but that has very little to do with Obama, Donald “Maybe it says he’s a Muslim” Trump, W or whoever.

      Depends on why your life sucks. If your job’s been outsourced, if you can’t marry your significant other because you’re the same gender, if you can’t get an abortion, these are all government impacts on your life. If none of these will ever occur to you, consider yourself fortunate.

      • Origami Isopod

        Oh, and yes: If your water’s been poisoned for over a year, but nobody in government gives a flying fuck.

    • liberalrob

      In a representative democracy, I think there’s a tendency to overestimate the extent to which government can impact our lives.

      If anything, this is exactly backwards. I think there’s a tendency to UNDER-estimate government’s impact on our lives. Government action (or lack of it) impacts our lives in innumerable ways.

      Trump supporters are not actually angry about government being over-intrusive in their lives; they are plenty happy to have government intrude in all sorts of ways. They are angry about government not being responsive to all of their policy preferences; and they refuse to accept that the reason for that is that they are ignorant, misinformed, and parochial.

    • chris9059

      Actually, if the factory shut down and you and everybody you knew lost their job and your community has become a hellhole as a result, it has a great deal to do w Obama, w. and the rest of the whoevers whose policies choices led to the factory shutting down.

  • njorl

    “Ironic, isn’t it, Smithers. This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That’s democracy for you.”

    • KadeKo

      Another Joe Meatball and Sally Housecoat heard from!

    • tsam

      Damn. How prescient is The Simpsons? (The answer is totally).

  • anapestic

    So this guy is willing to jettison poor urban blacks, poor rural whites, and all of the liberals (of any class), albeit for different reasons.

    1) There won’t be many people left in “his” country.
    2) The people who are left would surely have elected Romney in a landslide.
    3) No wonder voter suppression is the only strategy they have left.

  • CP

    There’s little doubt in my mind many Republican elites and opinion leaders have long felt a kind of seething contempt for the people whose votes they can’t rule without.

    Absolutely. And the National Review is, in fact, ground zero for this sentiment. All the way back at the time of its founding, it was the podium for right wing extremists who basically agreed with the McCarthyists and John Birchers on everything, but were too good to be seen out in public with them. And with Trump’s candidacy, the National Review vs. John Birch Society tiff has basically engulfed the entire party.

    Which is to say, this:

    I don’t think I’ve seen a more perfect distillation of the case for why the Republican party richly deserves what Trump is doing to them than Kevin Williamson’s new column in the National Review.

    Let these fucking people choke to death on their own entitlement, and if Trump’s the one to make it happen, so be it.

  • dn

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more perfect validation of Corey Robin’s Reactionary Mind thesis. Williamson making a point of throwing Burke under the bus is almost too good to be true.

  • AB

    “Ed” Burke, eh? The writer must not be from Chicago.

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