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Trump’s Lies about Trade

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It’s a weird time for me. Out of Sight is a book of desperate outrage about capital mobility and how it has both destroyed the American working class and exploited people overseas. Of course Donald Trump is claiming he cares about NAFTA and trade. He doesn’t. There’s no evidence in his career that he cares at all about these issues. But he’s realized that it is a good piece of symbolism for the white nationalism he does care about and he’s realized that voters care about it. So he is demagoguing the issue. I am giving a couple of talks this semester about Out of Sight. I simply cannot let anyone come out of these talks and think “I am going to vote for Donald Trump.” I see no other way to deal with this that what I prefer to avoid in both teaching and public lectures–talking directly about who to vote for in an election. I gave a talk last week at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania. And I included a new slide in the Powerpoint that was a picture of Trump (the one in this post) with my caption of saying this is not how to solve these problems. And some students walked out at that point. But I don’t really care. Because what else am I supposed to do?

Anyway, it’s always useful to remember that Donald Trump is lying when he says he cares about trade and American workers. He’s always been as happy to exploit labor as any capitalist.

“What he says really appeals to our members,” said Jim Johnston, President of USW Local 1219, which represents workers at U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thomson Works. “But what he does is the total opposite.”

Along with other union officials at a Tuesday news conference outside the Braddock mill, Mr. Johnston noted a Newsweek report, which found that in two of Mr. Trump’s recent building projects he “opted to purchase his steel and aluminum from Chinese manufacturers rather than United States corporations based in states like Pennsylvania.”

“[H]e is not someone who ever attempted to lead by example,” concluded the magazine.

“Donald Trump pretends to be in the corner of steelworkers when the facts — as always with Donald Trump — show otherwise,” said Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, a Democrat.

In a statement, Trump campaign senior policy adviser Curtis Ellis called the Newsweek story “false on its face. … The Trump Organization does not purchase steel — it works with contractors to build buildings. Those contractors follow the market, a market that the Chinese have exploited with subsidies, dumping and other predatory trade practices.”

“America’s steelworkers know that Hillary’s support of NAFTA and China’s entry into the WTO are responsible for job losses and devastation in their industry,” said the statement, referring to a 1990s trade deal and China’s entry into the global trade regime. “Mr. Trump’s comprehensive plan to cut taxes, reduce regulation, unleash our energy sector, and eliminate the trade deficit will bring good, high-paying manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.”

Among other things Trump is lying about, it’s that the one industry capital mobility, NAFTA, and Chinese entry into the WTO did not kill it was the steel industry. That was done in by a combination of the U.S. government wanting to boost the economy of its Asian allies, the lack of investment in new factories by the American steel companies, and other American businesses looking for new steel supplies because of the constant labor strife in the industry. But the truth doesn’t really matter in an election. Trump’s message is powerful. Five decades of American policymakers not really caring what happens to those who lose their jobs due to capital mobility creates a lot of people willing to believe anything that helps them understand their loss of social status and economic mobility. Trump and his lies about trade provides some of that.

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  • TroubleMaker13

    And some students walked out at that point. But I don’t really care. Because what else am I supposed to do?

    Remind them to not let the door hit their asses on the way out?

    • N__B

      Give them a trigger warning. Seriously. “Trigger warning: My talk discusses social issues that are intertwined with politics and I will therefore be discussing current events in an opinionated way.”

      • tsam

        And some students walked out at that point. But I don’t really care. Because what else am I supposed to do?

        They must have needed to find one of those safe spaces they constantly sneer about. L8R SUCKAS

      • Joe_JP

        “I’m Prof. Erik Loomis” should do the trick, but that might work. Might stop after “current events.”

        • N__B

          “I’m Prof. Erik Loomis” should do the trick

          Now, we don’t want to terrorize the students.

          • Joseph Slater

            SAY MY NAME!!!

          • Peterr

            I wouldn’t worry about this terrorizing students. Instead, I’d be worried about it radicalizing them.

            Student 1: “Loomis is the guy who wants to take away the ketchup from your french fries!”

            Crowd: grumble grumble grumble

            Student 2: “Loomis is the guy who wants to take away the vodka from your liquor store!”

            Crowd: GRUMBLE GRUMBLE GRUMBLE

            Student 3: “Loomis is the guy who thinks the only good horse is a dead horse!”

            Crowd: GRUMBLE GRUMBLE GRUMBLE

            This will not end well.

            • Joe_JP

              Looking at a video on YouTube where he talks about the book, he has something of a Tim Robbins vibe. Not sure how this factors in.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        “…I will therefore be discussing current events in an opinionated a fact-based way.”

        “If you were looking for the class on ‘Fantasy Lit 101: Trumpism’, it’s up the stairs to the roof, and over the edge.”

        • N__B

          “Is this ‘Arguments?'”

          • (((Hogan)))

            Due to budget cuts, Arguments, Abuse, and Getting Hit on the Head Lessons all share an office now.

            • tsam

              But Hard Knocks remains the nom of choice here.

      • Colin Day

        Give them a trigger warning. Seriously. “Trigger warning: My talk discusses social issues that are intertwined with politics and I will therefore be discussing current events in an opinionated a reality-based way.”

        FTFY

        • Colin Day

          Snarki beat me to it.

      • MAJeff

        That’s not really a trigger warning, though.

        • N__B

          True.

      • Jordan

        Ya, thats not really a trigger warning, and I think Loomis thinks trigger warnings are dumb anyways.

  • Gwen

    “Bring back the jobs” is hopelessly backward looking, and almost inherently dishonest.

    “Protect the jobs we already have and work to create new opportunities” is at least approaching what a politician can actually do.

    • Gregor Sansa

      I laughed out loud when Pence said “we need to make the economy work the way it did in the 80s, in the 60s”.

      • I think he was about to say “50s” but thought better of it. He hesitated a long time before finally saying “60s”.

        Regardless, it’s a pretty incredible thing to say. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a high-profile Republican explicitly advocate for turning back the clock.

        • Captain Oblivious

          Would that be the 1961 recession, the 1969 recession, or the 1980-1982 recession?

          • Ahuitzotl

            No, no, the 1968 Summer of Love, because Pounds&Shillings is all about the Free Love and hippies and hallucinogens

      • Rob in CT

        I’m torn about the best way to respond.

        Gwen is right that turning back the clock is simplistic at best.

        But he said the 60s, so we could also go the route of “yes, let’s bring back strong unionization, a much higher real minimum wage, and higher effective tax rates on the rich!”

        It’s kind of the dumber response but it’s a much better sound bite.

        • Linnaeus

          One reason that turning back the clock might look more appealing despite its drawbacks is that it appeals to tangible memories: people can look at the now-shuttered plant and recall within their own lifetimes, or those of their parents, when there were people working there. “Jobs of the future” is less certain, and particularly so when some places and people have been waiting a long time for the jobs of the future to arrive.

          • guthrie

            Also, jobs of the future involve retraining, something that people find is a bit difficult as you get older, much more so if you don’t get any assistance towards it.

            • Linnaeus

              I agree, and if we here in the US are serious about retraining, we will dedicate the necessary resources to doing so. Which remains to be seen.

  • Cheerful

    Interesting defense by the Trump organization. They don’t purchase steel, or for that matter build things. They work with contractors to build things. So why he should get credit for building things is a bit of a mystery.

    I was trying to think when the last time he actually did build something, or even get directly involved in the construction of a thing as opposed to putting his name on something somebody else was building. The Washington D.C. hotel and the Scottish golf course are the only two that come to mind, and I am not really sure what Trump’s actual role in either is.

    As for the students walking out, in upcoming lectures one could note that this has happened in the past and invite the exiters to stay next time and make their objections and challenges directly.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      I was trying to think when the last time he actually did build something, or even get directly involved in the construction of a thing as opposed to putting his name on something somebody else was building. The Washington D.C. hotel and the Scottish golf course are the only two that come to mind, and I am not really sure what Trump’s actual role in either is.

      Oh, that’s easy, at least for the golf course. Trump just took a whack at a golf ball, then pointed to where it landed and said “put the hole RIGHT THERE”; repeat 17 more times.

    • NewishLawyer

      Probably one of his casinos in the 1980s. Trump discovered he works better as a brand (for some ungodly reason) than anything else.

      • petesh

        1. The brand bears no more resemblance to reality than the James Bond 007 brand resembles my late Uncle Eric, who actually worked for British Intelligence while Ian Fleming was writing the books. Indeed Eric was stationed in Jamaica while Fleming lived there. I have no idea if they knew each other.
        2. The people exploiting the brand in practice are much more competent than the figurehead.

    • cpinva

      “and I am not really sure what Trump’s actual role in either is.”

      presumably, he was listed as the “General Contractor”, responsible for hiring all the sub-contractors, who actually built the thing, according to Trump’s specs. how much actual involvement he has had with the project remains to be seen. I’ve never seen pictures of him, with hardhat on and blueprints in hand, out on the job site.

      • “General Contractor”, responsible for hiring all the sub-contractors, who actually built the thing

        Speaking of which…

        The management of the Old Fogies’ Home decided it was time to do some renovations. Naturally nothing is going as it should (partly because, *surprise*, the “As Built” plans don’t accurately reflect the, how you call them?, facts on the ground). But yesterday the General Contractor was talking to the management flunkie on duty in the hall outside a room where I was sitting quietly, and I heard the construction equivalent of hearing your doctor say “Hmm, that’s interesting”: to wit, “We should have thought of that earlier.”

        At least my apartment isn’t one of the three that the temporary wall was going to be built in front of the doors of. Hey, it would only be up for a week; two weeks, max! And they all have patio doors, so it wouldn’t be too hard on the residents. (And only 2 of the 3have mobility issues, anyway. And the weather’s been great!)

        It’s going to be a long, long fall stretching into winter.

      • N__B

        presumably, he was listed as the “General Contractor”, responsible for hiring all the sub-contractors, who actually built the thing, according to Trump’s specs.

        No. Trump’s orgnaiziaation does not create specs or design and they were never the GC or construction manager. They were, once upon a time, the developers who hired everyone else in the A/E/C team.

        • tsam

          Yeah, I doubt anyone directly employed by Trump has built or designed a damn thing, outside of conceptual ideas.

          • N__B

            I’ve met some of his staff. Trust me, they’re not creating “conceptual ideas” about anything more complex than a hot dog.

            • tsam

              Heh. Yeah, I imagine they’re bootlicking yes men (yes, men), right?

              • N__B

                Manly men.

                • tsam

                  Top. Men.

            • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

              But they’re the best hot dogs you’ve ever seen. Huugge!

              • tsam

                It gets really phallic in those meetings.

    • (((Hogan)))
    • Captain Oblivious

      Of course, the construction workers build it. The architects and engineers design it.

      Trump and his spawn get to decorate it and take credit for it.

      Trump’s other contribution is to sucker people into putting up their money to finance these garish monuments to his ego.

      • tsam

        This is more or less how all development works. Some bigshot who wouldn’t have eyes or fingers after one day on a jobsite puts his picture in the local business journal and proudly proclaims “I BUILDED DIS!”**

        **Please read in the voice of Ralphie Wiggum for maximum comedic effect and authenticity.

        • N__B

          OT: I have met two different steel workers with the nickname “Nine Fingers.” I’ve also never met a 40-year-old or older steel worker without back problems.

          This comes back to the topic that Erik and others have raised about the toll that some kinds of work takes on your body.

          • tsam

            Yeah–I was at a crossroads early in my career–field work or supplier work. That was an easy call after meeting a few carpenters who were in their 40s and almost crippled. There’s not a lot of mystery as to why some of them drink themselves to death or fall into the opioid addiction web.

  • NewishLawyer

    There was a “scandal” a week or so ago about HRC discussing Sanders supporters on tape. Some media organizations tried to portray it as HRC talking smack about Sanders supporters. The truth was that HRC seemed to understand the appeal of Sanders but also did not want to “overpromise” and say things that she could not deliver because of budget, priorities, opposition, or a combination.

    It seems to me that a section of the population wants to be lied to. They want to here again and again about how the old economy can come back and there can be the old jobs that provided people without college educations middle-class lifestyles. Specifically they seem to want “masculine” jobs like steelwork and mining that need a lot of brute strength and seem more manly than home health care.

    I don’t know if the Democratic Party can or should lie to these workers.

    The same dynamic is at play in West Virginia. Coal still reigns big and many West Virginians remember days when they made good money from the mines. But the Democratic Party should not destroy a commitment to fighting climate change in order to win votes in West Virginia. Unfortunately only Robert Byrd and Jay Rockefeller knew how to bring a lot of federal jobs and money to West Virginia. West Virginia also lacks the cities of other rust-belt states and was always a mono-economy. Their best bet might be tourism/camping.

    What can the Democratic Party do to win blue-collar voters without making pie in the sky promises?

    There are also cultural issues because many of these voters are deeply socially conservative. The Labour Party had the same splits in the 1960s when Home Secretary Roy Jenkins introduced is liberalization bills for the open society. A lot of working-class voters are seemingly deeply hostile to social liberalism.

    • DrDick

      What can the Democratic Party do to win blue-collar voters without making pie in the sky promises?

      There are any number of things they can do, or at least make a strong effort to do. Raise the minimum wage, pass tough labor laws and aggressively enforce them, and promote policies which strengthen unions and labor protection are a good start.

      • Linnaeus

        This.

      • NewishLawyer

        I agree with all of this but strengthening unions is not going to make old-school manufacturing jobs come back and it is not going to make old-school blue collar guys more open to working in the newer working class jobs of service, retail, home health care, etc.

        • ThrottleJockey

          Will anything do that? I mean even the manufacturing jobs they have today often require a familiarity with technology and computers. About the only way to bring back the ’50s is with a time machine. As long as US labor rates are 5-10X the rate in China, India, PacRim, etc, 1950s jobs will remain a fading memory.

          Short of old fashioned protectionism I don’t know what to do. Just try to ease people into the New World with retraining, extensive financial assistance, etc.

          • burnspbesq

            At the next debate, someone should ask Trump how he plans to speed up the process for imposing countervailing duties in anti-dumping cases. His answer could be comedy gold.

          • If every other industrialized country in the world was digging out from under a smoking pile of rubble like they were in 1950, the USA could totally be a world industrial leader again. And if, like in the the cold war, the USA traded economic leadership for military superiority, we’d be right back in the same boat 30 years later.

            • If every other industrialized country in the world was digging out from under a smoking pile of rubble like they were in 1950, the USA could totally be a world industrial leader again.

              Trump’s got that angle covered!

        • Unionize where the jobs are and not where they were. What’s wrong with service secret unions, Wal-Mart unions so on.

          • tsam

            Yeah–I don’t understand why this seems so unfathomable to people.

            Also: LOL @ service secret

          • Origami Isopod

            As Karen says below, those jobs require you to wait on other people. How degrading for white men!

          • ColBatGuano

            How about unionized environmental cleanup work forces?

      • tsam

        Raise the minimum wage, pass tough labor laws and aggressively enforce them, and promote policies which strengthen unions and labor protection are a good start.

        I don’t know if this would win votes for the Dems. An awful lot of blue collar workers seem to hate the idea of a “burger flipper” making a living wage, hate unions because unions are literally worse than hitler, and view labor protections the way their employers do–as job killing, onerous regulation that is just like Russia.

        If they manage to get these things done in spite of all the institutional obstructions to them, they’d have to go hard at a PR campaign to explain why it benefits them when it’s no longer legal to exploit other workers. This goes as deep as thinking that working in a restaurant means they’re somehow less worthy of wages and benefits. Those attitudes need to change.

        • NewishLawyer

          I wonder if this is because they don’t want to become burger flippers themselves. Humans are hierarchal by nature and we put burger flippers at the bottom of the job hierarchy. Higher wages don’t seem to change the stigma that comes from the job.

          I don’t know how to change this.

          There is a meme I saw on facebook recently from a wide-variety of friends. The meme features a burly guy (usually white and middle-aged) doing some great craftsman work with metal or wood. The text says “Not everyone can be a lawyer or a doctor. Encourage people to work with their hands.”

          Of course this meme ignores that many doctors do work with their hands and the recent troubles in the legal economy.

          We seem to romanticize labor that produces durable and physical things above all other kinds of labor. This is the whole argument on “Shop class as soul craft” and bullshit jobs. A lot of people seem to find modern work or white-collar work abstract and alienating because the product produced is intangible. I’ve been told I am odd for being able to see a legal memo or brief as a tangible document that will hopefully produce or help a client. Most people seem to have trouble advancing beyond “This is bullshit man. All I am doing is writing words that will get filed and not read by anybody. Why do we need this powerpoint again?”

          • tsam

            Well, for a long time, construction trades and factory work and the like were considered “lesser work” while the smarter kids went to college to become doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc… I think there’s still some residual pushback, despite the fact that tradesmen and women who work for unions–or even non-union shops on any public works projects, earn a pretty decent living, relatively speaking. There is also a fair bit of contempt for “eggheads who been ta college and don’t know shit” from trades people (I work with contractors and architects, and the respect seems to go one way and pure contempt the other way).

            I think it’s time we promoted worker solidarity and promoted doing away with class type distinctions between careers. There’s never an excuse to look down your nose at another worker. Their struggle is your struggle, and right now the plutocrats are winning in a huge way.

            But Facebook–holy shit what sick repository for breathtaking dumbassery. Last one I saw this morning: Buy kids a tackle box, not an Xbox! This usually accompanies another “kids these days” fact free rant about how millennials are the WORSTEST EVER…I barely even look anymore.

            • NewishLawyer

              I think doing away with “class type distinctions between careers” is easier said than done because it also does come with a lot of cultural distinctions.

              A friend of mine has a son who is a high school freshman. She teaches philosophy and her husband (the kid’s stepfather) has a PhD. I asked her how should would feel if her son said “I don’t want to go to college. I want to be a plumber.”

              She said she would want him to be happy but also honestly admitted that she would worry about being culturally isolated from her son.

              There is also the economic angle. One of the reasons why upper-middle class people want their kids to become professionals like mom and dad is because they also want their kids and grandkids to know economic stability and comfort.

              Plumbers and other skilled tradespeople can earn really good incomes but for a variety of reasons, they seem to live in different neighborhoods and towns than lawyers and doctors.

              I think that economic leveling might is rather hard because of a wide variety of reasons like desirable property. Some of this is personal preference but there are probably more people who want to live in an area like Mill Valley than Mill Valley can hold. Do you just forbid places like Marin from existing and making everyone move to the Midwest?

              • Linnaeus

                Do you just forbid places like Marin from existing and making everyone move to the Midwest?

                Who is proposing this?

                • NewishLawyer

                  No one. I am thought experimenting.

                • Linnaeus

                  I should have realized that’s what you meant. Sorry for the misunderstanding on my part.

            • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

              When I was in school in the late 1960s I took a computer course (Fortran) one summer. I had a printout and was trying to find the problem when the guy who was fixing the mis-installed floor tile in our new home said, “Let me take a look at it.”

              He quickly spotted it. Said he had a BA in computer sciences but at least at that moment had found he could make more money laying floor tile.

              Dunno if this was accurate, but he certainly knew Fortran.

              • mpavilion

                Hope he found his way back into CS in time for the gravy train…

          • Karen24

            We romanticize the work MEN used to do. I think we have to abandon any hope of blue collar white male voting Dem for decades and focus on a group that would be available to us — blue collar women. Home health aides, retail clerks, food service, cosmeticians — the kinds of exhausting, poorly-paid “women’s work” that 1950’s unions thought were beneath the effort to organize. We’re not in the business of catering to the grandiose fantasies of a bunch of stupid men anymore.

            • tsam

              Ayyyy good point.

          • Linnaeus

            We seem to romanticize labor that produces durable and physical things above all other kinds of labor.

            Which “we” are you talking about? From where I’m sitting, it’s quite the opposite – “physical” labor has been increasingly de-romanticized (and I’d argue about the extent to which it has been romanticized in the first place). White-collar professionals have long had more cultural prestige and have long been afforded more respect. This trend has only continued and I’d say it has even been accelerating.

            • so-in-so

              The craftsman laborer, and to some extent the industrial laborer, are romanticized. Romanticism does not, however, translate into higher pay or political power.

            • NewishLawyer

              What so-in-so says. What explains articles like “On BS jobs?” and “Shopcraft as soulcraft.”

              I think craftsman labor work (stuff that borders on being an artist-designer) as well is romanticized but it does not mean well paying or political power.

              Who do you think is held up more romantically, an office worker in a cubicle or someone who makes leather goods and sells them at crafts fairs and on their own? I think the second one is seen as being more “real” and “free” even if it pays less.

              • Linnaeus

                It depends, I think. There’s plenty of office cube work that gets romanticized as cutting edge or creative or “disruptive”. By the same token, there’s plenty of manual work that gets portrayed as only fit for the “lower sort”. The craftsperson may, in some narratives, be regarded as more “real”, but is also often regarded as a quaint curiosity, a throwback who does not fit into the modern world.

          • Domino

            Or, you can still do the “working with your hands” romanticized work while still having a more traditional, white-collar job: Just do that stuff in your free time as a hobby.

            My dad is in HR, but woodworking is his hobby he does outside work. Doesn’t do it every day – he’s gotta have a project in mind, but the end product always looks fantastic.

            He loves doing it, and he doesn’t have to rely on it to pay the bills.

        • Linnaeus

          You play the long game. The fact that it’s hard to do is not a reason not to do it.

          • PJ

            This is not a particularly good answer to a fairly straighforward debate about where the votes for progressive policy/policymakers are coming from.

            • Linnaeus

              Point taken – I’m juggling multiple tasks at once and so my answer was brief. That’s what I get for trying to multitask.

              So here’s my longer answer: changing political attitudes and behavior requires, among other things, the sustained work of organizing people. I realize that may sound quite banal, but in my experience, it’s easy for people to forget this principle and fall into a kind of fatalistic, hands-in-the-air, gee-I-don’t-know-what-to-do stance. And that’s completely understandable, because sometimes there aren’t easy answers.

              So to get votes for progressive policies and policymakers, you of course want to focus on your core voter groups that demonstrate support for those things and strengthen those relationships. That, however, may not be enough, so you cultivate other voters as best you can, as time and resources allow, and without undermining your key stances.

              • PJ

                Who’s doing the organizing among who exactly that would make the cut? Is all organizing by/with Democrats de facto “sellout” and “compromised”? Because there is a progressive caucus that has been trying to move on these issues, but they lack the critical mass of say, the evangelicals among the Repubs and progressivism isn’t exactly at this moment leading to a wider spread of left-leaning lawmakers (even if there are less Blue Dogs).

                But there are plenty of NGOs organizing for different issues. The can either play with or be independent of the mainstream parties.

                What kind of organizing work is not being done by someone who should be doing it?

                • Linnaeus

                  Is all organizing by/with Democrats de facto “sellout” and “compromised”?

                  Oh, no. A fair amount of the work that I’ve been involved in has been with the Democrats, Democratic candidates, etc. So I “sold out” a long time ago.

                  But there are plenty of NGOs organizing for different issues. The can either play with or be independent of the mainstream parties.

                  Certainly. This is something I strongly support.

                  What kind of organizing work is not being done by someone who should be doing it?

                  I’m not saying that nothing’s being done and I apologize if I’m leaving that impression. What I’m getting at is that if there is some question as to who could be an audience for a progressive message (or, more narrowly, a particular context-dependent political goal), it’s worth asking what work could be done to facilitate that and encouraging that work. Sometimes, I think that question doesn’t get asked enough (and this can apply to a lot of situations) and that can be counterproductive.

                  I’m drawing heavily – perhaps too heavily – on my own experiences, especially with labor organizing. It took a very long time and there were a lot of people who weren’t very receptive to our message, but we kept at it and succeeded in establishing a union where few people, if any, thought one could be established. That’s a lesson that I try to carry over into other kinds of political work.

        • PJ

          I don’t know if this would win votes for the Dems. An awful lot of blue collar workers seem to hate the idea of a “burger flipper” making a living wage, hate unions because unions are literally worse than hitler, and view labor protections the way their employers do–as job killing, onerous regulation that is just like Russia.

          This was interesting, via Sean McElwee; just one study, though: https://t.co/tBEvbzbBtG

    • Domino

      What can the Democratic Party do to win blue-collar voters without making pie in the sky promises?

      I’ve been thinking about this issue on-and-off this election season, and I’ve come up with nothing. A lot of whites who either belong to unions, or work in fields where they used to be in unions, believe in white-nationalist rhetoric.

      White people who have seen their standard of living decline, and because they (like all of us) are human they compare their lives today versus when it was much better, and want it to go back to that. But instead of putting their blame at the feet of the Republican Party, which actively seeks to give them less money in the name of giving it to the wealthy, they blame minorities.

      Specifically – they view this all as zero-sum, and so the gains that minorities have made, by default, has lead white people to decline. Doesn’t matter that it’s not true – perceptions can be as “true” as reality.

      So what to do? Trump is literally now claiming all your dreams will come true if you vote for him. How do Dems top that? We don’t. We do the best we can – and if people don’t want to agree, we move on to others.

      • McAllen

        Yes. Whites, blue-collar and otherwise, are deeply invested in racial resentment, and no matter what ecomonic promises Democrats make they’re going to choose Republicans because Democrats will not (and should not) sell racial resentment.

        • Linnaeus

          Absolutely, Democrats should not sell racial resentment, and their core voter groups should be those who are less amenable to a message of racial resentment. At the same time, this doesn’t need to detract from a better economic message because 1) it’s the right thing to do, and it will benefit a broad swath of people across demographic groups and 2) it can help with marginal voters, particularly those who are not voting or those white voters whose investment in racial resentment is not as as deep.

          • PJ

            DEL COMMENT

            • Linnaeus

              Not sure what you mean here…have I gone wrong in this comment somewhere?

              • tsam

                I think he/she is notifying us that the comment was deleted, not ordering you to delete yours…

              • PJ

                My comment came up as a response to yours when I meant to make it a general response to the OP.

                Also LGM makes my browser run hella slow and edits take forever to load.

                • Linnaeus

                  Been there, done that.

      • NewishLawyer

        I keep on thinking about the various Washington Post articles like the one about Jim Cooley and the other one about the woman named Austin from dying, rustbelt Pennsylvania.

        Armchair psychology but both had fairly irrational beliefs bordering on mental illness. Jim Cooley believed that there would be a high chance of terrorist attack anytime he went to Wal-Mart (Wal-Marts are or were fairly high crime though) and Austin seemed to believe in enough conspiracy theories to be briefly institutionalized for deranged tweets.

        They both obviously were extremely economically marginalized. Cooley suffered bankruptcy numerous times and is now disabled because of his heart attack at a seemingly young age. Austin is also on the perpetually unemployed group and lives in an area that is dying as well.

        The problem for many people in these dying industrial smalltowns is that they might be truly lost moving to a bigger area. IIRC someone mentioned that he had rural clients who moved to areas like Medford, Oregon and that was too big for them and the clients missed court dates, etc. Yet the GOP and Right-wing media built up decades of grievances where the rural dwellers have a right for their towns to be economically supported in perpetuity but people in expensive urban areas just need to move.

        • Domino

          The Cooley story seemed to me like a serious of dissapointments accumulated in him that led him to present time. Getting laid off, filing for eventually 3 bankruptcies (Hey, he does have something in common with Trump!), going into tens of thousands of dollars of debt and becoming disabled – seemed like they all took their toll. But to carry a fucking AR-15 when you go buy a soda – that’s inexcusable. And there is no way it’s for safety – if he honestly believed terror attacks are around every corner, he’d have to live a different life.

          But how do you convince him that Repubs will lower his benefits, in the name of cutting taxes on the wealthy? Maybe he believes it, maybe he doesn’t. And even if he did – he’d probably be okay with it as long as he knew “those” people would be receiving benefit cuts too.

          I wanna say its Atrios that said that even though there’s no way they’d admit it, I believe a decent portion of my fellow whites believe that government benefits for white people are the bare minimum, while there are gilded benefits for minorities. Who was it that went on Glenn Beck and said he was on food stamps, and didn’t receive any help?

          • NewishLawyer

            There was the Avik Roy story about how he became shocked and disappointed about the number of people who came up to him and confessed they only believed in small government because it hurt “those people.”

            What struck me most about the Washington Post story was that they said Cooley lived in a “middle class” neighborhood that was struggling with drugs and crime. If Cooley was not white, his neighborhood would not be described as a middle-class if it were struggling with drugs and crime. And the Washington Post seems to be strongly on the anti-Trump bandwagon. How can a neighborhood be described as struggling with crime and still be described as middle-class? Struggling with drugs is another story.

            • LeeEsq

              There are wealthy neighborhoods in Los Angeles Country that struggle with drugs and crime. Well maybe not crime but scandalous and somewhat to very unethical behavior.

            • Domino

              Yeah, I guess the only way it’s “middle-class” is because the CoL in the area has to be low, and therefore isn’t in the poorest neighborhood. But considering he’s on benefits, and there’s no way his wife is getting a lot of $$ from her job, they can’t be making enough to live in a “middle-class” area.

              I think I’m one of the youngest readers here (turned 26 a few months ago) and I’m now trying to comprehend why so many people, who I know because I grew up with their children, and who I recently saw, are great, fun people who are going to vote for Donald Trump for president.

              It’s like – I’ve never believed Republicans aren’t human beings, just that I try to square the people who’s company I’ve enjoyed, who I admire, and who are completely fine with voting for Donald Trump.

              It’s making me go back to watch Downfall (the movie the Hitler rage videos come from). I think it’s a fascinating portrait of Hitler, who cared deeply about roughly 8 people, and how in the next sentence he condemns millions of people to death.

              Those aren’t the stakes here – but I see what’s going on, and I’m left confused and unsure.

              • Srsly Dad Y

                I’ve gotten a lot of mileage from thinking about it this way: Rabble conservatism can spring from the genuine sentiment, “I deeply love MY FAMILY and I want only what is best for THEM [us].” On its face that’s a natural and laudable point of view of a nice person. A “tiger mom,” a “good family man,” etc. But when the family is white and otherwise privileged, it can turn ugly fast.

              • Rob in CT

                It’s like – I’ve never believed Republicans aren’t human beings, just that I try to square the people who’s company I’ve enjoyed, who I admire, and who are completely fine with voting for Donald Trump.

                Trump is a bit (only a bit) of an outlier due to his “tear the mask off” routine, but…

                From what I can tell, liberals tend to have a broader definition of “us” the conservatives. Conservatives tend to be more high-strung/hair-trigger toward THEM (which is a very, very big category for them). Conservatives (again, generally) seem to think that people are basically bad (except for a fairly narrowly defined “us”), whereas liberals lean the other way on that. Hence Conservatives being really, really scared about lots of things. Sharia’s gonna get ya! Booga booga!

                I know folks like this too. They can be nice to you – great neighbors, friends, etc. But they can also hate/fear large groups of their fellow Americans (to say nothing of furriners).

                We all do the Us/Them thing. I mean, hell, this post does it (liberals do these good things, conservatives do these bad things, generalizing even though I try to qualify it). It’s a matter of degree.

                Now add to this stuff the demographic and social change we’ve been experiencing. White people can see their dominance slipping, and a significant % of us are just plain freaking out about it.

                • Origami Isopod

                  I know folks like this too. They can be nice to you – great neighbors, friends, etc. But they can also hate/fear large groups of their fellow Americans (to say nothing of furriners).

                  And they make a lot of “exceptions” (“Don’t worry, you’re one of the good ones”) to reduce their sense of cognitive dissonance.

                • Domino

                  That seems like a good summary. I didn’t mean to imply that liberals (us) are immune to “us vs them”, just that as you said, it matters substantially how we few “us” and “them”.

                  Of course, the US has been fortunate in that there hasn’t been a crisis the like of Syria in Central America that’s caused levels of mass migration similar to Europe. Even countries more open to immigrants (like Germany and Sweden) have seen a backlash now.

                  And hell, I get why that happens – all the sudden a bunch of people, who don’t look like you, aren’t from and don’t share your countries history, and (I think most importantly) speak a different language.

                  BUT – the US has shown itself to actually do a good job of having immigrants assimilate, while not permanently viewing them as “not authentically American”.

                • Rob in CT

                  Yes, I’ve literally been in a room while that went down. One black dude at a party full of white people, flagrant racism, but he’s ok. He understands we don’t mean him, amirite?

                  Yeah, I’m sure. Between that and the anti-Muslim bigotry that night I was unimpressed with my fellow white* folks.

                  * white today. Mixed central/eastern European + Italian, Catholic =! White not that long ago.

          • PJ

            I don’t know what the long-term solutions to economic shifts are, but the argument is that strong social welfare policy can shield people from the worst of it.

            However, we CANNOT get strong social welfare policy without people voting in progressive lawmakers. How much of it is on us as a whole or just other white people to convince these marginalized folks that “Black welfare queens” or “Mexican freeloaders” are not in fact real problems.

            EDIT: Yes, our poor education system is a big part of it, but it’s part of the larger social welfare state that is always up for questioning.

            • ColBatGuano

              convince these marginalized folks that “Black welfare queens” or “Mexican freeloaders” are not in fact real problems.

              This is the real problem. They are convinced that somehow if you kicked all the folks off welfare and all the undocumented workers out of the country, then all would be fixed. The government would be running a surplus and millions of middle class jobs would be available. They fail to grasp that it’s the business class and Republicans who have contributed to their collapse.

          • Connecticut Yankee

            The white people I know say this *all the time* – and a lot of them aren’t even Republicans!

        • Origami Isopod

          Armchair psychology but both had fairly irrational beliefs bordering on mental illness.

          I don’t think that seriously irrational beliefs per se are clinical mental illnesses. Austin is clearly mentally ill, and Cooley might be too. But lots of people with similar beliefs function perfectly well if you get them off the subject of politics. Also, lots of mentally ill people are not fever-swamp wingnuts.

          I just don’t see these two things as related. I think buying into Obama being Kenyan, vaccines causing autism, etc. etc. is rooted in refusal to think critically, refusal to consider one’s own biases and prejudices, refusal to admit one might be mistaken, and general mistrust. That last one can rise to the level of clinical paranoia, but mostly I’m describing character flaws.

      • xq

        We should consider the marginal voters in a demographic rather than the median voters. Among uneducated whites, Trump is doing better than Romney. He’s gaining some Obama voters in that group. Obama-Trump voters are obviously not voting solely based on white nationalism. Likely, they have some attraction to white identity politics but also trust Democrats more on economic issues. Dems can compete in this group, even if we’re never going to win a majority.

        As for what we should do–more controlled experiments to find out what works, less ideologically-motivated speculation and pundit’s fallacy.

        • Domino

          Obama-Trump voters are obviously not voting solely based on white nationalism

          True, but then I’m at a complete loss as to how one actually does go from voting for Barack Obama to Donald Trump. Like, I see no rationale or reason or logic as to how someone does that.

          Like one of my coworkers who months ago said that while she was a Hillary supporter, her second choice was Ben Carson. I wanted to ask “Excuse me, how on earth is a guy who wants to enact the opposite of everything Hillary wants your second choice?” But I didn’t, and that is why I never bring up politics at work.

          • See also Bernie Bros for Johnson

            • Domino

              In my experience, what matters most to those people is that you cannot ever assign them blame for why things are messed-up/dysfunctional, and thus they are free from guilt:

              “Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for the people currently in office!”

              • Rob in CT

                That’s part of it.

                I think there is also a strong desire for simple solutions to difficult problems. You see this across the political spectrum, of course, it’s not unique to Johnson/Stein voters, though I think maybe it’s more prevalent there.

                If there are such simple solutions and they are not implemented, clearly this is due to the perfidity of The Elites (and hey, sometimes there is at least some truth in that).

                But often problems are complex and solutions are too. This can be boring and it’s hard to deal with. You could work on it for years in good faith and get it wrong (or partly but not entirely right such that, get this, problems remain).

                This is not something that someone who wants simple answers wants to hear.

                Voting for the uncorruptible outsider candidate with no chance at all of winning is a way of avoiding complexity and avoiding the risk of trying & failing.

              • tsam

                Donald Trump:

                “Don’t blame me, blame all those Mexicans!”

                I mean, plutocrats are the job creators. All the best job creators. Huge job creators.

          • so-in-so

            “change” for change’s sake, I suppose.

            As for Clinton/Carson, maybe she likes Clinton for policy and Carson for religion?

            • Domino

              I believe she said she felt Ben Carson was a very likable guy, and as far as I can remember that was the whole rationale was to why he was her second choice.

              • mpavilion

                Maybe she only likes names that start with “C”

        • efgoldman

          what we should do–more controlled experiments to find out what works

          The problem is, the average 40-year-old white male really doesn’t like wearing a shock collar; and the lab mice are totally non-ideological.

          • tsam

            Speak for yerself, M8!!

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        Best image I’ve heard is a white guy, a non-white guy, and a CEO sit down with a pie in front of them. The CEO cuts the pie into 8 pieces, takes 7 of them, and tells the white guy, “He wants your piece.”

    • Harkov311

      I find it a bit funny how WV always seems to come up in trade posts. Coal mining is, basically by definition, an industry that can’t be outsourced; the coal has to be mined where it actually is. This is how mining unions were able to get so powerful in WV in the latter 20th century, since the coal companies had to work with them if they wanted their combustible rocks dug out of the ground.

      WV became Republican because of Democrats’ position on alternative energy. Simple as that. Ditto with KY and LA.

      • Solar System Wolf

        Mining unions became powerful only because they organized workers in the face of massive opposition, including massacres perpetrated by private and government forces. No one handed the unions anything. My grandfather was a union coal miner — I’ve heard the stories.

    • cpinva

      coal in the US is a dying industry, and it won’t ever be coming back, absent some disaster that plunges humanity back to the pre-industrial age.

      • efgoldman

        coal in the US is a dying industry, and it won’t ever be coming back

        Don’t they need it for forges to make all the wagon wheels?

    • LeeEsq

      Your really mangling the history of the bills behind the permissive society. As Dominic Sandbrook pointed out in his book White Heat, nearly all of the permissive society bills were introduced as Private Member Bills and voting was done by the MPs as individuals rather than as a party. That’s because their was support and opposition to the bills in the both the Conservative and Labour parties. Margaret Thatcher voted for the legalization of abortion. Harold Wilson was apathetic to the permissive society because he came from an Evangelical background. The general populace was opposed across the entire socio-economic spectrum for the most part, especially on the abolition of the death penalty.

      • NewishLawyer

        The point was that the working class has traditionally held an innate social conservatism which is at odds with strong segments of the Democratic Party.

        • tsam

          **white working class, yes?

          • NewishLawyer

            Maybe. Julian Bond believed that if the GOP just became somewhat more supportive of Affirmative Action they could compete for the Black vote because the black community also had innate social conservatism in his mind.

            There are plenty of Latino(a) and Asian working-class voters who are loyal to the Democratic Party for now but also deeply religious and potentially at odds with issues like abortion, LBGT rights

            • tsam

              Yeah, that sounds right. I would have thought that virulent and blatant racism would be more important than whether the gay couple down the street get married or someone gets and abortion. But that’s just how people are, I guess.

              • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

                You’d think that white guys in the South wouldn’t accept very low wages in return for being able to terrorize the occasional black guy, but they do/did.

            • PJ

              Should we ever solve the racism thing, that would be the next issue for leftists.

            • Drexciya

              Julian Bond believed that if the GOP just became somewhat more supportive of Affirmative Action they could compete for the Black vote because the black community also had innate social conservatism in his mind.

              Did he provide any possible empirical or historical reason to think this is true, because I’m trying and failing to think of anything that could support this assumption. The supposed “social conservatism” of black voters remains lazily rendered, overstated and requires applying a white evangelical political frame to unrelated people with high church attendance but substantially different cultural associations and political priorities.

              Even if the data were clear about black people being more “socially conservative” (and I don’t really think it is), the implications of those views take on a different dimension when you consider that they’re loyal coalitional partners to a party that’s steadfastly and openly pro choice (along with most of them as far as I can tell) and similarly pro-LGBT rights, at least insofar as it relates to things like gay marriage. The worst case scenario (and one I don’t think should be uncritically accepted) still has a broad swathe of people with wrong opinions who are not making any kind of effort to make those wrong opinions law and show no likelihood of successfully organizing to do so in the present or future.

              • tsam

                I won’t speak for Julian Bond, of course, but thinking about your comment brought me to speculate that Bond probably cares a lot less about party loyalties, affiliations or whatever than he does for the NAACP’s prime directive, to expose and reduce racism. So if he can convince Republicans to knock off their race war crap, it ultimately helps black people, and social conservatism is more like a side issue. There certainly are plenty of socially conservative people in all races, but I doubt Bond is claiming that black people are mostly conservative.

          • NewishLawyer

            Maybe. Julian Bond believed that if the GOP just became somewhat more supportive of Affirmative Action they could compete for the Black vote because the black community also had innate social conservatism in his mind.

            There are plenty of Latino(a) and Asian working-class voters who are loyal to the Democratic Party for now but also deeply religious and potentially at odds with issues like abortion, LBGT rights, etc.

        • LeeEsq

          Actual Communists also had this problem because it attracted decadent Bohemian types and conservative working class types. Luc Sancte pointed out in his book on the working class and underbelly of Paris could easily support the Far Right as the Far Left politically. Labour had more than a little of its origins in what we would call Evangelical Protestants in the United States. Their economic policies might have been different but they were just as socially conservative.

    • Davis X. Machina

      What can the Democratic Party do to win blue-collar voters without making pie in the sky promises?

      Apartheid would do the trick, I figure.

  • BGinCHI

    Erik, I think you’re right to worry about just talking about one candidate Bad, the other Good (even if that’s not really what you’re doing and even if it’s true).

    How about a slide that lists what a “Current Presidential Candidate” is for, and against, without naming them.

    Then name them.

    Separate the Donald’s deeds and core beliefs from his name.

    More flies with honey…..

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      More flies with honey…..

      Actually, you get more flies with VINEGAR, because it’s more pungent. Honey doesn’t smell so much.

      Oh, and what REALLY draws the flies? SHIT.

      Now, I just *know* there’s a political parable in there somewhere…

  • Alex.S

    “America’s steelworkers know that Hillary’s support of NAFTA and China’s entry into the WTO are responsible for job losses and devastation in their industry.”

    The charts I see have the steel industry being devastated from 1970 to 1990 (60% job loss and 33% production loss), and then a decline from 1990 onwards (about 25% job loss and 10% production loss from 1990 to today). The 90s were a strange decade, because production increased while jobs decreased.

    One of the odder aspects of generic anti-trade rhetoric (as opposed to specific critiques that include minor things like facts) is that the big trade deals came after the decline of American manufacturing. It feels like NAFTA is being used as the direct cause of everything that happened since 1970.

    • N__B

      The 90s were a strange decade, because production increased while jobs decreased.

      That was the growth of the mini-mills, recycling scrap (old cars, mostly) into new steel. New, heavily automated mini-mills.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Yes. And I have a friend who works in that field. One such mill, in North Carolina, before he got there in the early 90’s, billets of steel (say, 8″ x 12″, just guessing from what I saw) were made by the big 30 ton ladle of hot orange molten steel being poured into many molds laid out on the shop floor (think roofing gutters, with end cap.)

        After that pouing? Let cool. Then? A bunch of guys with pry bars flippd it over and banged on it with 20 lb. hammers until it popped out the mold.

        Let’s just say technology has since removed all of that farting about with sledgehammers. It’s a continuouscasting, like Play Doh coming out of a square hole, now. And zillions of other improvements to the process, some even involving safety.

        And let’s just say that cheap labor and no unions had something to do with that steel mill being built in NC in those days.

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          Certainly didn’t make me an expert, but I got a tour of a steel mill a few years ago. Towards the end of the line there was a continuous piece of sheet steel being fed into a device to form it into huge rolls.

          There were two guys just standing there doing nothing. The guide said that’s what they did for hours until something went wrong, and then they had just seconds to fix it before the sheet steel turned into a giant knife and began cutting people in two who were anywhere around that area.

          A steel mill is a remarkable place to visit if you even get the chance.

    • lawtalkingguy

      Exactly. The fantasy that NAFTA destroyed manufacturing clashes with the reality that employment / union membership in every ‘masculine’ white guy job was already shredded by the 80s.

      • cpinva

        the fantasy that somehow HRC, a non-elected person, had something to do with the passage of NAFTA, also clashes with the reality that it was her husband and congress that passed it. she has since expressed her dislike of it.

        • nemdam

          And it passed with more Republican votes than Democratic.

          The blame is bipartisan, but free trade has always been pushed more by Republicans than Democrats.

      • ColBatGuano

        Also, the fantasy that a Republican House would overturn NAFTA.

      • FlipYrWhig

        I’m fairly certain that “NAFTA” is a shorthand for both “lost manufacturing jobs” and “more goddamn Mexicans everywhere.” Like “the deficit,” which mostly doesn’t have much to do with the deficit but means “spending too much money on Those People,” “NAFTA” is–beyond certain economic-policy circles–a thing people say to be more polite than what they’re actually thinking.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        Why, it’s almost as if the rest of the world had rebuilt after WWII and was now competitive with the US once again.

        The 1950s and 60s were an aberration, but humans are mostly only aware of things they experienced, or their parents experienced, or perhaps their grandparents experienced if they’re young. So we think that our dominant position of that era is the way things have always been in the US, when in fact we were small potatoes for most of our history.

    • Warren Terra

      As I recall it, the huge issue in the early 2000s was pensions: the US steel industry was carrying this huge burden from the postwar boom, was covering the pension and healthcare costs of vast numbers of former workers. The costs of steel production in the US would have been extremely competitive with those abroad except for this additional burden. Unfortunately the conversation was about tariffs to protect this structurally unsound industry instead of finding a way to offload pension and healthcare costs of former workers onto the government so that the steel industry could compete with the young workforces in Asia that faced no such costs, and with the older workforce in Europe that had outsourced medical care and pensions to the government.

      Note that this was a problem with a self-reinforcing feedback loop: the more the US steel industry suffered, the greater the burden of former workers became.

      • The Lorax

        It’s sadly ironic: you don’t want the government to provide services for those people. So instead the services are given by employers. The cost of which lead to job losses in your industry. If only the government had provided health care and solid pensions for all to begin with.

        • Rob in CT

          I used to try to make this point re: governmental health insurance = enhanced competitiveness. I gave up after a while. Nobody changed their minds.

          • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

            Did they tell you to keep your damn government hands off their medicare, too?

  • Manju

    It doesn’t really matter if Trump is being disingenuous:

    “George Wallace might not have been the white supremacist he played to get elected, either. Who cares?”
    – Morgan Fairchild’s all-time favorite Political Scientist

    1. His true feelings are largely unknowable
    2. The argument is a logical fallacy (appeal to motive)
    3. You could say the same for low-skilled immigration, which has a similar disparate impact on low-income natives

    • Joe_JP

      Morgan Fairchild’s Twitter account is worthwhile, diverse stuff including politics etc.

      • cpinva

        is this Morgan Fairchild the actress?

        • Joe_JP

          Yes.

      • Origami Isopod

        Huh. Wasn’t she a Republican for years? Or am I thinking of some other ’80s actress?

        • Joe_JP

          I don’t know about whole whole career and see a reference to supporting McCain, but overall registered Democrat and supported various Democrats and liberal causes.

          http://www.nndb.com/people/039/000024964/

  • libarbarian

    I believe Trump cares very deeply about the employment prospects of young, attractive, American women.

    At least that of the 8s and above.

    • Manju

      Please…Trump has clearly stated that they have to be at least 13 yrs old.

      • libarbarian

        I meant 8/10 of the hottness scale, not 8 yrs old.

        I mean .. who cares about 7s and below regardless of age? Tt’s like GET HOT already, Geez!

  • All I know is that the rent is still too damn high.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      And the rent-seekers too damned vocal and visible! I want to hear from somebody seeking office who make his mark in manufacturing! That’s hard! Not Wall Street or real estate or the rest of F.I.R.E. Manufacturing.

      (I mean, assuming we only have to hear the opinions of rich men in our political process, which I don’t.)

      • Is there anyone left in the U.S. who can make that claim?

      • mnuba

        I want to hear from somebody seeking office who make his mark in manufacturing! That’s hard! Not Wall Street or real estate or the rest of F.I.R.E. Manufacturing.

        Be careful what you wish for…

  • mds

    “America’s steelworkers know that Hillary’s support of NAFTA and China’s entry into the WTO are responsible for job losses and devastation in their industry,” said the statement

    If America’s steelworkers “know” that it’s Hillary Clinton’s putative support for those things that is actually responsible, not the choices of conservative business leaders and politicians who actually enacted the most anti-labor policies, then there’s just no talking to them.

    Good on the USW and Fetterman for hitting back at Trump’s (domestically manufactured) bullshit, though.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Yes, I’ve spent, oh, 20+ years now, marvelling at how only Bill Clinton was responsible for NAFTA in the eyes of the Poo Sandwich News Trading Club. George Bush the Elder just doesn’t exist on this subject. And yet now, it’s Hillary’s turn to wear the albatross!

    • ASV

      Donald Trump says that Hillary Clinton “has been god-king of the United States since 1986.” Politifact rates his claim as Mostly False.

      • tsam

        Politifact rates his claim as Mostly False.

        HAHAHAHAHA! NICE

      • Rob in CT

        Politifact rates his claim as Mostly False.

        … explaining that “as a woman, Hillary Clinton clearly can’t be God-King of the USA.

        • West

          But according to Maureen Dowd, all Democrat men are really women and all Democrat women are really men, so she CAN SO be a King!!

          Oh wait, we’re fact checking here, er, never mind, I’ll show myself out…

  • Peterr

    In a statement, Trump campaign senior policy adviser Curtis Ellis called the Newsweek story “false on its face. … The Trump Organization does not purchase steel — it works with contractors to build buildings. Those contractors follow the market, a market that the Chinese have exploited with subsidies, dumping and other predatory trade practices.”

    If only there was a way a brilliant businessman who sees himself as being in the corner of US steelworkers could draw up a deal with a contractor, that would dictate in a legally enforceable manner where the contractor purchased (or did not purchase) steel. . .

    • cpinva

      nah, couldn’t happen, the subs would just laugh at him.

      • Gregor Sansa

        They’d better have a safe word.

        • cpinva

          I’d suggest “money”, but with Trump, not so much.

      • Warren Terra

        They have a fiduciary responsibility to use Chinese steel!

        (actually: they arguably do have a responsibility to buy from the low bidder, assuming sufficient quality and certainty of delivery – but Trump’s all about the Fiduciary Responsibility, you know. Except when people are dumb enough to invest in a project of his.)

  • MikeJake

    It’s good and fair that conservatives not be allowed to duck responsibility for their role in creating and benefiting from our neoliberal world, but there is definitely a line of elite left thinking that felt helping Asia build up at the expense of the Western working class would ultimately make us all better off. And in the long run, their beliefs may be vindicated. But in the meantime, it doesn’t seem to have gone as smoothly as they had hoped.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      At this point the liberal technocrat octopus would like to squirt some ink and jet away while waving its tentacles and saying, “Uh, high tech jobs! Better schools someday maybe somehow! Retraining!”

    • cpinva

      yes, it was called The Marshall Plan, at the end of WWII, to keep both Japan and Germany from going communist. of course, that in no way stopped any American manufacturer from modernizing their own facilities, with the huge profits they’d made during the war. they simply chose not to.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        I also understand that for a variety of reasons a lot of the military equipment for the Korean War was made in Japan, giving their heavy industry valuable experience and capital.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          I suspect that the 30’s and the first half of the 1940’s gave them plenty of experience building artillery, rifles, battleships, aircraft carriers, fighter planes, bombers…

          As for capital, yes.

          As the retired linguist used to point out, Japan was about the only country that the Europeans didn’t “help” with colonialism, and that was probably why they were able to create the war machine and empire they almost did.

  • efgoldman

    The headline is hardly shocking, since Tangerine Littlescrotum lies about every single thing, even about the last lie he told.

    • West

      Certainly not shocking for his devotees, for whom the lying, and especially the lying about the lying, is a yooooge part of his appeal. It’s the full-throated roar of a mob cheering on a bully; lying is good, lying about lying is better, projecting all one’s own worst behaviors onto one’s opponents is the sweetest type of dishonesty of them all.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        IMO the biggest dishonesty is believing the lying and insults will never be turned against them.

  • SIS1

    I love how Hillary is responsible for a trade agreement signed by George H.W. Bush.

  • PJ

    Again again again: if these insecure white voters were going for economic solutions they had a candidate in the primary: Bernie Sanders.

    THOUGHT EXPERIMENT:

    If all of them voting for Trump voted for Bernie instead …

    If all of them voting for Trump voted for Bernie instead …

    If all of them voting for Trump voted for Bernie instead …

    • ColBatGuano

      Just one minor problem: Sanders doesn’t think that minorities are what ruined this country.

    • Harkov311

      Which leads me to conclude that they’re not really voting on economic insecurity.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        It might also depend on their idea of the mechanisms involved that caused their perceived economic insecurity. That is to say, right wing authoritarians can only look down the ladder and stomp on fingers. It’s just who they are.

    • Um. The primary’s over.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      The “Trump and Sanders are champions of the same American discontent” is mostly another way of attacking Hillary, rather than a serious argument.

      Discontent, yes, same, no.

      • It also seems like an argument that people should maybe regret their lack of support for Sanders, because these people need to have someplace to turn and we better hope (barring a realignment so catastrophic it’s practically nuclear) it’s on the left.

        Which sounds fine as long as you think a socialist Jew from New York who’s known for compromise and intra-legislative politicking was going to overcome everything that’s created the racist, populist right and totally turn the country around. Which maybe it might, I guess, there’s lots I don’t know.

  • Harkov311

    I still feel like saying Trump is popular with working-class people is a bit of an informed attribute. That is, everyone keeps assuring me it’s true even though there’s not much evidence of it.

    • Linnaeus

      I’ve been reading more and more pieces that question the class makeup of Trump’s support. Which brings up the interesting question of why that perception persists.

      • cpinva

        because it’s a media trope?

        • Linnaeus

          Yes, it’s a media trope and it’s one that continues for a few reasons, IMHO:

          1. Obviously, Trump promotes this to burnish his political credibility and to enable himself to be portrayed as something other than a wealthy (maybe?) racist con man, and media outlets accept this portrayal uncritically.

          2. The trope clarifies any ambiguities about the demographics of Trump’s supporters, which is handy for media outlets that don’t want to dig much deeper, because they’ll find, as Brett points out below, that other factors make a description of Trump’s electorate more complicated.

          • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

            3. (And most important, IMO.) The establishment press basically operates as a pack, with shared stories which quickly become unquestioned facts for them.

            It’s all the news that literally fits, we print.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Well, working class jerks.

    • Brett

      It’s not so much “working-class” as it is “white men without college education”. Trump has a huge lead among them, something like 20-30%. That’s typical, too- Romney had a similar lead among white men without college educations.

      I kind of wonder if the South might be skewing that. From what I’ve heard, the southern white working-class/no college education crowd tends to be much more conservative than the white working-class in general (especially socially conservative).

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Yes. We might even need a different word than “conservative.” Reactionary is a start.

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