Home / General / Empathy for the Devil…I-I-Mean Super-Nice, Misunderstood, Salt-of-the-Earth Types

Empathy for the Devil…I-I-Mean Super-Nice, Misunderstood, Salt-of-the-Earth Types

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Gentleman who are anxious about the economy
Gentleman clearly anxious about the economy

 

The Washington Post has the oversized genitalia to publish this header: “What is this election missing? Empathy for Trump voters.” Hey, WaPo, I got your empathy right here.

 

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  • Crusty

    Two men, clearly concerned about the impact of globalization on American labor.

    • Nobdy

      Libtards claim they care about issues but how am I supposed to know if I want to vote for a 69 (hyuk hyuk) year old grandmother if I don’t know what kind of head she gives and how it compares to a 20-something in terms of technique?

      What if I do something amazing and am awarded a presidential blow job? That’s how it works with a woman president, right? Instead of medals of freedom she gives out blowies to the best Americans?

      • los

        Instead of medals of freedom
        tastes good; less calories

        she gives out blowies to the best Americans
        Now we have the proof that Trump is really a Democrat double agent!

        /JonahNRO “show me the mails” Goldberg

    • so-in-so

      Just one idiot in the photo. Proud enough to show off both sides of his idiot shirt. How else to know there are no stains front or back…

      • trollhattan

        Hey now, that’s his fancy eatin’ shirt.

        • so-in-so

          I was thinking drool on the front, something else on the back.

        • efgoldman

          Hey now, that’s his fancy eatin’ shirt.

          Cotton is a lot more digestible than polyester.

    • Sly
      • los

        If this was a North Carolina GOP church, the Trump Foundation would cover the costs as it usually does

    • blackbox

      Hey now, there’s no call for you to be presumptuous and say he doesn’t also blame his personal inability to move past minimum wage on the trend of globalization.

      • efgoldman

        no call for you to be presumptuous and say he doesn’t also blame his personal inability to move past minimum wage on the trend of globalization.

        If he could even spell “globalization” I might be a tad sympathetic.
        But probably not.

  • John not McCain

    Let’s drink to the hard-working people. After paying attention to them you’ll need one.

    • los

      Raise your glass of 1787 Chateau d’ Yquem to the humble Boll Weevil.

  • Harkov311

    It’s rather difficult to feel empathy for entitled, racist, sexist assholes.

    Oh wait, I forgot, Trump support is all about economic anxiety, and totally not about racism at all

    • Captain Oblivious

      Or sexism.

      Specifically, hostile sexism (high correlation), as opposed to benevolent sexism (no correlation).

      • Origami Isopod

        Won’t somebody please feel some empathy for this poor fellow? Maybe wrap him up in warm blankets and make him some hot chocolate?

        • Maybe wrap him up in warm blankets

          How do you figure we should warm those blankets? Are accelerants involved?

        • los

          Maybe wrap him up in warm blankets a “padded cell” and make him some hot chocolate?

          the elephant sedatives aren’t strong enough…

          Lunatic asylums – the safe spaces for altcucks

  • BGinCHI

    Empathy for people who lack empathy is the new reverse welfare.

  • cleek

    why won’t you tolerate the intolerant? huh? stoopid libtard!

    • BiloSagdiyev

      “I’m sure we all agree that we ought to love one another and I know there are people in the world that do not love their fellow human beings and I hate people like that.”

      – Tom Lehrer

  • Ahenobarbus

    Q: So the onus is on progressives? Is there a responsibility for conservatives to reach out too?

    It goes both ways but I think liberals bear the bigger responsibility, and the bigger interest, if they want to understand why the democratic party has lost so many blue collar white voters.

    • so-in-so

      Guess we have to turn racist and misogynist again!

      Well, tied in the post the post on self-driving vehicles, there will be a whole lot less “working class” folks to worry about….

    • FlipYrWhig

      if they want to understand why the democratic party has lost so many blue collar white voters.

      I don’t know why I’m supposed to be concerned about this. Fuck them. They’re Republicans. They like it that way. They made their choice. What’s supposed to happen, we demonstrate so much empathy that they vote for Democrats too, so every election can have Democrats winning the votes of working-class white people, professional white people, people of color, LGBT people of all races, AND women of all races, and win 85%-15%?

      Here’s a thought: the Republican Party is comprised of loathsome assholes who hate everything.

      • sharculese

        But they’re white.

        • SatanicPanic

          There appears to be a strong connection between being white and hand-wringing about minorities calling white people names. Even among liberals.

          • so-in-so

            Including the name ‘racist’. That’s clearly out of bounds.

      • erick

        Yeah the split is probably about 55-45 for the Dems but we’re supposed to go out of our way to find ways to appeal to the 45%? Seems to me the party that is at 45% should need to figure out how to appeal to a good chunk of the 55% (10% of the 55% I would think to get them to 50.5%, but then I wasn’t a math major so maybe I don’t get it)

        • applecor

          Unfortunately, due to that pesky constitution, it is pretty clear at this point that our government cannot do much of anything effectively if the electorate is split 55-45. Even if the Senate abandons the filibuster!

        • D. C. Sessions

          Seems to me the party that is at 45% should need to figure out how to appeal to a good chunk of the 55% (10% of the 55% I would think to get them to 50.5%, but then I wasn’t a math major so maybe I don’t get it)

          But doing so loses them a significant part of the 45%, so it’s much better to get fewer of the 55% to vote, or at least keep them from voting effectively.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        White men voting Republican has been going on large scale since Reagan, and to a lesser extent before this. And let’s not forget that building trades union workers were mostly against opening their unions to non-whites and women, and hated the antiwar movement and the hippies.

        I’m confused as to why people are treating this as something new after 40+ years.

        • FlipYrWhig

          Agreed. It’s a 50-year-old phenomenon that comes up every 4 years. It’s endlessly interesting to blowhards like Chris Matthews, who still thinks it’s too bad the hardhats and the hippies can’t be friends, but why anyone under 50 gives a shit is beyond me. I don’t get it. Maybe some people had started to think that Bernie Sanders would turn the tide or something.

          • mds

            blowhards like Chris Matthews, who still thinks it’s too bad the hardhats and the hippies can’t be friends

            The local headquarters of the International Union of Operating Engineers has a big banner on the side of the building, plainly visible from the nearby limited-access highway, declaring their support for Hillary Clinton for President. All of the diehard Trump supporters whom I know personally are pampered, prosperous, racist and/or sexist PhDs and MDs. Chris Matthews can go fuck himself with an unlubricated chainsaw.

            • BruceJ

              Oh please, make sure the chainsaw is properly lubricated; it’ll be so much more effective if it’s running at peak efficiency.

    • Captain Oblivious

      This is just another variation on the tiresome old meme that “if only blacks/women/whatever would be nicer and stop making demands, bigots would stop being bigots.”

      And yes, you hear this shit from putative liberals.

      • so-in-so

        “If you were REALLY tolerant you’d tolerate the bigots, now wouldn’t you. Hmmm? Checkmate, lib!”

      • rea

        Of course you hear it from liberals. We’re the tolerant, empathetic ones. You don’t think a conservative gives a shit about anyone else, do you? That would be altruistic, and therefore immoral.

    • John not McCain

      I don’t think it’s the winning party that needs to be concerned about voters they’ve lost.

      • Rob in CT

        Given the state-level dominance of the GOP, their lock on the HoR, and the Senate being balanced on the edge of a knife, “winning party” isn’t really accurate. We have what looks like a solid advantage in Presidential elections. But that’s it.

        • so-in-so

          Getting our own voters out (and working around suppression) are better answers than figuring out how to balance the interests of POC and stone cold racists.

          • Origami Isopod

            What you said.

          • Rob in CT

            100% agreed.

    • Origami Isopod

      We know perfectly well why the Democratic Party lost them. They want bass-ackwards social policy. Fuck changing the party platform to cater to these pissants.

      • tsam

        Yeah-let’s use racism, sexism, bigotry, a policy of guns for anyone, anywhere, anytime, endless wars against practically helpless opponents, and fiscal suicide to bring these assholes into the fold. Sounds like a great plan.

        • so-in-so

          Well, not guns for anyone

          • Domino

            I wonder if anyone has checked in to see if the NRA is keeping up any sort of campaign around the shooting of Philando Castille?

            I kid, sending out 1 tweet was enough to keep up the appearance they care about all gun owners.

    • veleda_k

      Republicans of course have no responsibility to figure out why they’ve lost people of color.

      • tsam

        Black people are the real racists. They already figured it out. Why bother with any introspection or rational thought when a single sentence of breathtaking DERP explains it all away?

      • NeonTrotsky

        Yeah, it’s always that blacks and minorities are duped by free handouts, they have no legitimate political grievances with the Republican party or conservatism in the eyes of the Republican party and conservatives.

    • Brad Nailer

      If those “blue collar white voters” are too stupid and uninformed after all these years to see which side of the bread the butter’s on, I’d say the party is better off without them. Right now you can find them at the nearest Trump rally, cheering themselves hoarse for a carnival barker who’s got as much call to be president as I do.

      I don’t want those jerkoffs in my party.

      • tsam

        Goddamn right.

        In fact there’s a fairly small contingent of them already here. They refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton because she’s a (insert misogynist epithet here)

      • efgoldman

        If those “blue collar white voters” are too stupid and uninformed after all these years to see which side of the bread the butter’s on

        Kansas

      • los

        carnival barker who’s got as much call to be president as I do.
        Your grammar is better than Orange Barker’s, despite your sentences being ~three times as long as Barker’s.

        Harambe would make a better ambassador than would Donald, Jr., or Eric T

  • Bitter Scribe

    It’s the beginning of the month so I refuse to waste a free WaPo click on that link. But this is the kind of thing that has driven me crazy all election.

    “There’s a temptation to dismiss Trump’s core supporters as a bunch of bigots. But it’s not that simple…”

    Yes, goddamn it, IT IS THAT FUCKING SIMPLE.

    Trump is nothing but a concentrated version of the toxic sludge that the Republicans have been brewing for decades: an appeal to the absolute worst impulses of bad people because they can vote. And the rest of us will fight it in the only possible way: By opposing them with decent, qualified people.

    Like, you know, Hillary Clinton.

    • so-in-so

      A corollary to Trump’s razor: People who support him are racist, or stupid, or both. At least one is true, whatever they tell themselves.

      • njorl

        They might just be extremely wealthy with a really good contingency plan in case of man-made disasters.

        • so-in-so

          Those are the regular rich GOP voters along for the ride. I think they know he is a disaster – but, man, those tax cuts are just TOO good!

          • PeteW

            You just described my brother/sister in law.
            Did you know he’s a good business man too?

            • D. C. Sessions

              He’s the BEST businessman! He gets other people to fund his businesses, then pockets the proceeds personally — leaving losers to clean up.

              How can anyone not admire him and bask in his reflected glory?

    • njorl

      Donald Trump is a parochial east-coast elitist “billionaire”. He’s everything his followers hate. But he’s a xenophobic, racist, misogynist, so they are willing to overlook his bad points. They have their priorities, after all.

      • Domino

        Personally, I still get a kick out of every time Trump references problems in Inner-Cities, when he himself lives in an inner-city.

      • blackbox

        It’s simply fascinating how Trump supporters will attribute qualities of candor, self-sacrifice, and even their version of “hopey-changey stuff” to Trump in order to paint a picture of how this billionaire is actually HONESTLY interested in helping them and will fix the corruption, drain the swamp.

        This would obviously never happen for a “billionaire” on the left, but we have the very recent example of it not happening for the very wealthy Rmoney on the right either.

        The reason they’re willing to delude themselves so badly with Trump is because of his racist, sexist, xenophobic pandering that elates them so much. So obvious self-serving rich prick because self-sacrificing FORMER insider who genuinely wants reform everything. They can go to any length, believe and spread any absurd untruth, because Trump is a legitimization of their ugliest fantasies and that matters more than anything else.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          Sheep attract wolves.

        • los

          Trump in order to paint a picture of how this billionaire is actually HONESTLY interested in helping them and will fix the corruption, drain the swamp.

          The Donald Turd’s “yacht” has been floated on the Rising Swamp of Reaganism.

    • Open the WaPo in an incognito page; no paywall bee ess.

      • MilitantlyAardvark

        Sometimes, you just need to make like a Phantom of the Opera.

      • GeoX

        Or a “private window” in Firefox. SEEKRIT HAXX0R TRICK!

        • los

          so, just disable cookies? Isn’t that all ‘incognito tab/window is? (Never used, because it looked “over named”/hyped)

          • D. C. Sessions

            Self-destructing cookies are nummy.

      • los

        cache view – by searchplugin, keyword, bookmarklet, or googlebar lite

    • (((Hogan)))

      His core supporters are in fact a bunch of bigots. That’s not dismissal; that’s truth in labeling.

      • synykyl

        Yep. Hillary was wrong to say half of Trump supporters are deplorable. It’s waaaay more than half.

        • It’s waaaay more than half.

          But only about a half are willing to share a basket with anyone else; the overage are all individually packed.

      • los

        truth in labeling
        gawcha11!! thass govrenmintt senser ringg11!!

        How derre you call Adolf Hitler a NAZI11!!
        Blue collir He roe Bubba Thiel will sue you to detterr’s prisin, you slandryus libtard11!!

        Yule pay, yu soros-paid troll11!!

         
        “Meak America Stop Hillerry Hingiss buy voteen Donnelld Trump”
        Ernest T. Bludger

    • CP

      For fifty years straight now, the Republican Party has run on a dynamic where every time their bigots, especially ordinary voters, blurt out something too unacceptable, the “establishment” (not to mention the MSM) is there to metaphorically snatch the microphone from them, chuckle, and go “what these charmingly unpolished wholesome small town country folk MEANT to say was [insert a whole grab bag of stupid about creeping socialism, the national deficit, and the deterioration of our nation’s moral fiber].”

      What’s happening in this election is that the charmingly unpolished wholesome folk, after fifty years of being patronized and condescended to by these asses, are insistently grabbing the microphone back and shouting “no, goddamn it! I said n*gg/r, and I meant it!”

      • so-in-so

        +3/5ths

      • Simple Desultory Philip

        all of this.

      • Domino

        “no, goddamn it! I said n*gg/r, and I meant it!”

        Ah, the spirit of John Rankin lives on.

        • Interesting to find from that article that at least as far back as Rankin’s time, people were saying this, “Do you know who is being discriminated against? The white Christian people of America.”

          Amazing that they’ve managed to soldier on through all of these years of being put upon.

          • CP

            Conservatism involves a heavy helping of not realizing to what extent we’ve been having the same argument the entire time.

            Also, thank you Domino. I knew the phrase “after all, the Klan is an old American institution!” but I didn’t know who it came from until now.

            • los

              really, the same types of people and thinking are always around.
              just as wisdom shows up in the writings of dead old white ,men, chinese philosophers, etc. the venality also shows up in old writings.

          • efgoldman

            Amazing that they’ve managed to soldier on through all of these years of being put upon.

            I can’t find corroboration, but I heard they’re actually allowed to reproduce.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        “He said the new sheriff is near!”

    • Julia Grey

      +

  • John F

    First, consider policies that would restore well-paid jobs to blue collar workers—ie institute policies that address the real distress of downwardly mobile blue collar men, and

    and she would get those policies passed through a GOP lead Congress how exactly?

    • politicalfootball

      Yeah, hard to pick out the stupidest bit in that article, but I think that was it: People are voting for Trump, and the only way to win them over is to support policies that Trump would oppose.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        And if, by some miracle, Clinton did get policies passed that helped blue collar workers, most of them would never forgive her.

        It’s similar to the way they hate having health insurance now.

    • los

      John F says: and she he would get those policies passed through a GOP lead Congress how exactly?

      As expressed in alt-tea:

      The polls are rigged!
      President Trump is winning in a blowout! The rallies and lawn signs prove it!

      Trump is running to break up the establishment GOPe!
      President Trump can’t get any anti-establishment laws passed unless real conservatives vote out the GOPe all the way down the ticket.
      USA USA USA!

  • Nobdy

    This genre is called “super credible liberal goes to conservative place and unquestioningly accepts respectable veneer.”

    I stopped reading when the book author said she had never thought of Limbaugh as defending rather than attacking?

    Really? You never heard conservatives play victim or claim to just be defending their way of life? Can I come visit the rock you have been living under?

    Being nice to the kind middle aged lady who has come to your state to listen to your problems isn’t a sign of good character, it just means you aren’t an obvious psychopath.

    Look what they want to do to nonwhites. These are not good people.

    • Harkov311

      This genre is called “super credible liberal goes to conservative place and unquestioningly accepts respectable veneer.”

      And as a liberal southerner, let me add that the author must not be from the south, or else this would have been immediately recognizable as a veneer to her. Conservative southerners are very good at playing nice, until they have a few drinks in them (or until they think all nonwhites are out of earshot), and suddenly out comes the talk about those terrible ni*CLANG…

      • John F

        . Conservative southerners are very good at playing nice,

        I’ve been told this by southerners, I’ve also been told by fellow northerners who spend time in the south that many southerners skip the play nice part and go straight into “be hostile to the northerner mode”

        I personally have not spent a lot of time in the South (Florida doesn’t count) to notice firsthand, I have spent time in Texas- Dallas area- and folks there seemed ok to me. (the city is VERY sterile though)

        • cleek

          i’ve been down here 20 years. nobody has been hostile to my northern roots, to my face.

          of course i’ve been lucky enough to stay in the Raleigh area which is pretty liberal and cosmopolitan and is full of people from the northeast and mid-west. Yankees aren’t such a big deal here.

          on the other hand… a southern accent is still acceptable shorthand for ‘ignorant and bigoted’. so, southerners have some reason to feel hostile.

          • so-in-so

            Twenty years ago working in the south with a bunch of pretty nice people from the Carolina’s I was know as the “token Yankee” in the group. The manager once asked in a meeting who knew the name of Lee’s horse, and pronounced it “shameful” when I was the only one who did.

            They also viewed some (other) Southerners as ignorant and bigoted. Especially West Virginians.

            • John F

              They also viewed some (other) Southerners as ignorant and bigoted. Especially West Virginians.

              I get that from Southerners I encounter up here in NY- I don’t know if they did that to pander to Northern prejudices, or to explain why they moved away from the south- One of my TAs in college said he left Georgia because “Deliverance wasn’t a story, it was a documentary”

            • The manager once asked in a meeting who knew the name of Lee’s horse, and pronounced it “shameful”

              Well, if you say so, though it seems like an unusual name for a horse. Highly appropriate, but unusual.

          • Captain Oblivious

            I caught a lot of shit when I was working a contract job in southern Mississippi. Part of that was my last name, which is that of a famous Civil War general. But a lot of it was just plain old Yankee-hating.

            • mds

              Indeed, who can forget General Hutterley Oblivious, who never noticed enemy troops?

        • MyNameIsZweig

          (Florida doesn’t count)

          This makes about as much sense as saying that North Carolina doesn’t count as southern. There are huge stretches of Florida that are unmistakably the Deep South. It’s not all NYC transplants and Cuban exiles and obnoxious theme parks, you know.

          • Captain Oblivious

            Not “huge stretches”. Some areas in north central Florida, relatively low population. If you look at actual population numbers, the state really is overwhelming not of Dixie origin.

            • Brad Nailer

              I live in north-central Florida. Yes, there are lots of native Floridians here as you would expect, but they might actually be a disappearing species. My guess is that, at least around here, transplants from north of the Mason-Dixon Line (plus Maryland) are just as numerous as the locals.

          • John F

            ok Florida between Tampa – Orlando and Miami doesn’t count as “the South”

            • Captain Oblivious

              Neither do Jacksonville, Pensacola, or St Augustine.

          • creature

            Daytona Beach, on the other hand, is exemplary of ‘North meets South, hilarity ensues!’ Redneck Riviera is the whole mindset of the place. South of there, Brevard County is probably the most rotten place on the Atlantic coast of FL. One of my Klan member co-workers (back when I lived/worked there) told me that ‘if you stick a shovel in the dirt, anywhere in Brevard county, you’ll hit a nigger!’, and was very proud of that ‘fact’. I’m amazed I lasted there as long as I did, being a Jew from ‘up Nawth!’ A friend of mine got a job offer, down in that neck of the woods (Cocoa Beach), I told him about Henry Moore. Who was a black voting activist, killed in Dec 1951, by a bomb under his house. That was in Mims- about 10 miles north of Cape Canaveral & Coca Beach. He is black, his wife white, and he is reconsidering the offer.

      • efgoldman

        Conservative southerners are very good at playing nice

        Well, bless their hearts.

        • BartletForGallifrey

          +1865.

    • John F

      Being nice to the kind middle aged lady who has come to your state to listen to your problems isn’t a sign of good character, it just means you aren’t an obvious psychopath.

      Try being a middle aged white guy who LOOKS like a Trump supporter- AND don’t identify yourself as a lefty* – then they’ll tell you what they really think about lefties and brown folk.

      *For whatever reason I seem to have no effective accent, for pretty much my adult life people have had trouble placing me by my accent, in Canada people thought I was Canadian (and they’re usually pretty good at picking out Americans). A guy at tourist ranch in Oklahoma once asked me what I was doing with the New Yawkers (my traveling companions)

  • MAJeff

    So, it’s not enough that we propose and support a social welfare state that will materially improve these folks’ lives, we’ve got to lick their racist/misogynist/heterosexist/xenophobic boots, too? Who are they, Reagan Democrats?

    • so-in-so

      Boots – if we’re lucky!

    • Duvall

      Bootlicking was tried in the 1990s, it didn’t help much.

  • calling all toasters

    Man, I’m just glad that someone FINALLY started talking about the people who have been talked about non-stop since we got a black president.

    • Nobdy

      When did we ever NOT talk about them all the time? These are the real Amuricahns. Not like those horrible East Coast types.

      The true strength of America is in its white rural heartland where the population is aging because all the young people move away ASAP and the economy sucks because nobody has skills relevant to the modern economy or if they do they have voted for policies that allow corporations to exploit those skills for a pittance and destroyed all their own bargaining power, generally in pursuit of racism and religious discrimination.

      • FlipYrWhig

        white rural heartland where the population is aging because all the young people move away ASAP

        IOW, the horribleness of the people and their attitudes runs off the very people who’d make it less horrible while stoking those who remain, who, by a process of selection, make it worse.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          My guess is that the bigger trend is a century, if not 1.5 centuries old, of mechanization requiring fewer and fewer people in agriculture. “Flee to the big city for a job in the cash economy” is an old story in this country, even older in England, not quite done in this country, and happening in a big way in Mexico in recent decades, etc etc.

          • calling all toasters

            So THAT’S why they vote for the party of Big Business and Big Agro. Or maybe it’s racism and general horribleness.

            • BiloSagdiyev

              Naw, I meant, not ever one of their offspring flees because they’re tired of racist Uncle Jimmy’s drunken rants about mud people and internatinonal bankers. It’s just where the jobs are, unlike in the previous millenia of human civilization.

              • calling all toasters

                They should try squirting him with a water pistol every time he says something bad. Works for cats that claw the furniture.

          • MidwestVillager

            If I recall correctly the decline in agricultural employment basically stopped in the 1970s. At this point if communities are hollowing out it’s because of towns and small cities that are losing employment in fields other than agriculture.

      • efgoldman

        The true strength of America is in its white rural heartland where the population is aging because all the young people move away ASAP

        Story tonite on CBS about some rural OK school districts going to a four-day week because of the drop in oil tax revenue because of sharply lower prices.
        Nowhere in the story did anybody ask if they might be willing to pay a few dollars more in other taxes to compensate.

        • MilitantlyAardvark

          It is a mystery and a wonder why the inhabitants of a failing petro-state run by authoritarian thugs who hate the US government would find the lure of Manly Vlad Putin irresistible.

  • John F

    Hochschild: What I expected was a self-centered people, but I found people who were nothing like that, quite the opposite. They were openhearted, they were communal. They were very eager to be known. They’d say, ‘Thanks for coming. We’re the flyover state, people don’t care about us, they don’t know who we are. They think we’re racist and homophobic and sexist and fat.’

    I have not spent a lot of time (any) in the rural/small town south or midwest, but I didn’t spend a lot of time mid- 80s/90s in rural/small town NY and Pennsylvania, and yes those folks were very friendly to me- I looked and dressed like them- and they as sure as hell were racist and homophobic – it’s not like you didn’t have racist and homophobic people on Long Island and NYC- but the folks from small town USA were something else entirely.

    Plus I’ve noticed that in places like upper middle class LI- conservatives vote for policies that help them personally, when I was in upstate/rural NY/PA, “conservatives” voted for policies out of spite. One group of conservatives you can hold your nose and negotiate deals with, the “spite” conservatives? You can’t even if you try- the problem is the spite side has taken over that party

    • MAJeff

      They’d say, ‘Thanks for coming. We’re the flyover state, people don’t care about us, they don’t know who we are. They think we’re racist and homophobic and sexist and fat.’

      One can be “friendly” and all these things at the same time.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Yeah, but be careful, these townsfolk would even turn on the Lone Ranger eventually:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tjWYEMQ70w

      • Captain Oblivious

        A lot of serial murderers are charming and personable.

    • FlipYrWhig

      It’s just like those skinny-assed latte-swilling arugula-chomping Subaru drivers to think in stereotypes like that!

      • Lost Left Coaster

        + $7 almond milk latte.

      • mpavilion

        Man, I wish my skinny ass were in the driver’s seat of a Subaru!

        • so-in-so

          Man, I wish my ass was skinny!

          • mpavilion

            EAT MOAR ARUGULA

      • Simple Desultory Philip

        man, i love me some arugula tho.

        • wjts

          It’s OK. Kale’s better, though.

    • veleda_k

      They think we’re racist and homophobic and sexist

      So, we’re going to vote for Trump and prove them right!

    • so-in-so

      We’re the flyover state, people don’t care about us, they don’t know who we are. They think we’re racist and homophobic and sexist and fat.

      Well, sorry for the body shaming, but the rest is probably true…

    • Snuff curry

      I don’t even understand how that — feeling their “openheartedness” is being overlooked by observers more concerned with racist rhetoric — is the “opposite” of self-centered. “Waah people misunderstand me, aren’t catering to me, don’t like me” is the timeless whinge of the self-centered. Voting Trump to show mommy and daddy who’s boss is a tantrum. You get the amount of respect and empathy you give back to the world.

    • mds

      They think we’re racist and homophobic and sexist and fat.

      Actually, guys, I’m originally from the Midwest, I still have to visit my parents there, and I know you’re racist and homophobic and sexist and fat.

  • sibusisodan

    So it turns out that if you go to a place, and really listen, and cast aside your prejudices…

    …you’ll hear that the people living there regard their world view as internally self consistent and aren’t aware of any personal or communal blindspots at all!

    Wake me up when there’s a story about how important it is for right wing political supporters to leave their enclaves and, say, listen to someone describe how Limbaugh insults and dehumanised them.

  • Lost Left Coaster

    I’ve seen this sociologist, Arlie Russell Hochschild, interviewed before. A few thoughts:

    1) An obvious point, but empathy is not the same as sympathy. It means being able to understand someone’s point of view by trying to put yourself in their shoes, and see the world from their perspective. It does not mean that you sympathize with their point of view. It’s a way of gaining understanding, or as I teach anthropology 101 students, a research tool. All I’m saying is that empathy, in and of itself, is not misapplied to Trump supporters or any other number of people you may find distasteful, if your purpose is to gain understanding of what’s going on.

    2) With that said, Hochschild completely (and I’d say fatally) undermines her own case by simply eliding the significance of race in this discussion. She says this about Trump supporters:

    They don’t feel either party has mentioned them, that they are people who feel that they are quintessentially American, that they’ve bought the line that if you work hard and obey the rules, you will have the opportunity to better yourself. They feel like they have worked hard and obeyed the rules, but they don’t feel like they’ve achieved the American Dream. So that puts them in a psychological state of vulnerability, which Trump has moved in on.

    But a lot of people in the USA feel that way — why have these particular people lined up behind a white nationalist? Through this whole (admittedly short) interview, she dances around ever discussing the role of racism in driving support for Trump. That makes it pretty much impossible to take the rest of what she says seriously. And yes, you can be empathetic with racists — again, as a tool to understand where these attitudes and beliefs come from — but she’s failing to address the problem fully. Or at all.

    And this:

    It goes both ways but I think liberals bear the bigger responsibility, and the bigger interest, if they want to understand why the democratic party has lost so many blue collar white voters.

    Oh my lord give me a break. Come back to us once you’ve addressed the racism motivating people to support Trump.

    And I can’t even bring myself to address the laughable last two bullet points at the end, which turn the whole conversation into a parody of how badly people like her misunderstand politics. Ugh.

    • FlipYrWhig

      that they are people who feel that they are quintessentially American

      And that Some People aren’t. In other words, fuck them for their feelings.

      • synykyl

        And that Some People aren’t.

        This. They think they are the *only* real Americans and that the country belongs to them. They are not, and it doesn’t.

    • sibusisodan

      empathy, in and of itself, is not misapplied to Trump supporters or any other number of people

      Very true, but as Drexciya keeps reminding us, declarations of who should be empathic to whom are not about using a neutral tool of understanding, but weaponising it into a manner of political control.

      • Lost Left Coaster

        Yes; very important reminder. And Hochschild is acting with no recognition whatsoever of this fact.

        • Origami Isopod

          Agreed on both counts.

          It’s a very tone-deaf kind of white liberalism she’s pushing.

    • MAJeff

      It means being able to understand someone’s point of view by trying to put yourself in their shoes, and see the world from their perspective.

      For sociologists, this comes down to Verstehen, in the Weberian sense. But, yeah, understanding requires the ability to see the world from another’s perspective.

      But, yes, there seems to be a sense of whiteness as blindness. One thing I’d question, and this is given Hochschild’s career, is whether the race-blindness is Hochschild’s or her interviewer’s. If it’s the former, it’s much more disappointing.

      • Spiny

        Unfortunately I’d say it’s Hochschild’s. I heard her interviewed on Ezra Klein’s podcast, and he did push back on her on this point. Basically said it’s fine to try to understand how Trump supporters see themselves, but you can’t ignore the racial discrimination and hatred they propagate just because they insist you do so. She wouldn’t accept it, just disagreed and moved on.

    • njorl

      “But a lot of people in the USA feel that way — why have these particular people lined up behind a white nationalist? ”

      Because this:

      they’ve bought the line that if you work hard and obey the rules, you will have the opportunity to better yourself.

      Has always really been:

      if you work hard and obey the rules, you will always be better off than the blacks

      They feel betrayed because their leaders failed. They worked hard, they were loyal to their daddies, and their daddies let a black man in the White House.

      • so-in-so

        Ding-ding-ding!

        We have a winner for the shortest, true, explanation!

      • sibusisodan

        In the Vox piece interviewing the same researcher, this connection is made explocit:

        they see economically that this trapdoor that used to only affect black people and people one class below them is now opening and gobbling up them and their children too.

    • efgoldman

      people who feel that they are quintessentially American,

      Who is more “quintessentially American” than a person who’s ancestors were brought here, shackled in the hold of a ship, even before the revolution?

  • Halloween Jack

    I think that there’s a need on some liberals’ parts to ascribe the inherent meanness of Trump supporters–and bigots and bullies of all stripes–to abused-child syndrome; they’re only being mean because someone was mean to them first. Tons of people are mean because they like it, and there are no permanent or significant consequences to it. To them, Trump being a thorough-going all around asshole is a feature, not a bug; he lies like a motherfucker, does what he wants, vows ridiculously overkill revenge on anyone who criticizes him in the smallest way, and keeps on keepin’ on. And when he finally goes to trial for any of his many crimes and is revealed as a child-molesting perpetually broke fraud deep in the pockets of Mother Russia, they’ll claim to be the victims of liberals because of the mildest expressions of schadenfreude and march on to the next slick son of a bitch who promises to be their new best friend.

    • Karen24

      This is so true. Trump support is correlated with vicious misogyny and racism. That’s all it is, Until white working class voters decide that women and people who can’t pass the paper bag test are actually people we should treat them with contempt.

      • Linnaeus

        If I may offer a caveat.

        • leftwingfox

          That article doesn’t sit well with me. On the one hand, yes, I agree that there needs to be work dealing with the subtleties of racism in general and separating acts from intrinsic natures and whatever.

          On the other hand, this is the year that open racism has been made acceptable again. People aren’t even bothering to hide this shit in public, and is being excused and sidestepped as we look for “understanding” and “empathy”.

          If we shouldn’t throw all these people into the Klan bucket, can we at least point out there _is_ a Klan bucket that people are climbing into?

          • leftwingfox

            Also, I note that the bottom link on the page is about a black church in Mississippi burned and vandalized with “Vote Trump”.

          • Linnaeus

            If we shouldn’t throw all these people into the Klan bucket, can we at least point out there _is_ a Klan bucket that people are climbing into?

            Oh, certainly we can and we should, and I agree with the general sentiment here that not enough of the articles analyzing the Trump “phenomenon” are doing that. I don’t think, however, that Lind is saying that there isn’t a Klan bucket, just that the Klan bucket isn’t the only manifestation of racism.

            • MilitantlyAardvark

              Those folks got both kinds of racism: polite and nasty. See, they’re a regular coalition of the white shit rainbow that runs from pasty to puce.

        • Drexciya

          If I may offer a caveat.

          I disliked this article at the time and I dislike it now. The problem with Dara Lind’s piece, and some of her commentary about this elsewhere, is that she’s speaking as a white person to other white people, where racism is absent violent implications and is relegated to little more than discussion and theorizing. By the narrative she presents, racism is reduced to a personal quandary—peaceably theorized between other whites—instead a material threat that, through means democratically supported by white racists, facilitates the exploitation, impoverishment, incarceration and murder of people of color. How she identifies the “problem” with viewing white people in absolutist, antagonistic terms is only through the way it compromises a detached “nuance” and intra-white discourse within that narrow spectrum:

          Here’s the thing, though: that’s a step backward from the new, more nuanced, bolder conversation about racism that America’s beginning to have.

          There’s a satisfying moral clarity in being able to out-and-out call people deplorable for their racist views, but there simply isn’t a bright line between “racist” and “not racist.” There are quiet biases, and degrees of awareness, that even people who don’t support Donald Trump — even “hard-working Americans” — need to be aware of. And there is more to racism than what lies within people’s hearts.

          All of that gets blissfully elided when you sort people into baskets, calling some of them “irredeemable” and others morally sound. It allows everyone to feel superior. And it’s especially painful to see the racial progressives who’ve done so much to bring nuance into the conversation — to keep white America, regardless of its ideology, in a state of productive discomfort — now leading the cheerleading charge.

          I’m sorry, but no. The nuanced, bolder conversation about racism and the one fully elided by her description here, isn’t just that “subtler racism exists” but rather that “subtle racism” yields precisely the same outcomes, with many of the same sources and is distinguished only by using different mechanisms from what “white-hood” racists support. What we’re discussing when we talk about “subtle racism” isn’t racism’s relative level of danger, but rather its scope and omnipresence in the white political consciousness. “Drawing a bright line” isn’t an effort to claim moral superiority for people of color, it’s a necessary analytical tool to rank the proximity of actual threats, and respond, emotionally or physically, in accordance to them. If you’re calling for national stop and frisk, if you’re calling for deportation at gunpoint, if you’re calling for a mass ban on Muslims, and if you’re “just” voting for a candidate that guarantees the same, you’re condemning some people of color to a police state while trying to ethnically cleanse others. That’s the actual effect of your action, and not thinking about it consciously doesn’t make that effect vanish, or the danger you present by causing it.

          There’s no useful basis for a discussion about racism and the effects of condemnation when your scribblings are as disconnected from the moral/practical implications of ethnic violence as that piece was. I assume you linked it because your complaint more closely resembles this criticism of using the Appalachia as a mechanism for white liberals to avoid being implicated in present discourses about racism. There’s something to that, and maybe that’s a useful debate to have. But when the threats we’re facing in this election look like this, why is now an appropriate time to have an intra-white discourse about how smug white people are being about other whites? The useful expansion of the topic isn’t that Trump supporters can be good people too (who even benefits from arguing this?), but that “soft” racism is no less deplorable than hard racism is.

          The pursuit of avenues for racist redemption is nice for white people, but it has no tactical utility for those of us who are clear-eyed about who our enemies are and have shown themselves to be. If racists can’t even be recipients of something as tiny as condemnation, all you’re telling us is that subjecting people of color to physical/material harm has no moral dimension and I refuse to agree with that. The proper response to racists is, and has always been, political investment in their disempowerment and defeat, not their conversion.

          • Linnaeus

            You and I might be coming to similar conclusions, but from different angles. Dara Lind’s piece probably wasn’t the best evidence I could have cited to make my point and I agree with you that she emphasizes a little too much racism as (as you put it) a personal quandary and not enough on the wider effects of a spectrum of racist beliefs and and the social mechanisms through which those beliefs are realized.

            That said, this

            I assume you linked it because your complaint more closely resembles this criticism of using the Appalachia as a mechanism for white liberals to avoid being implicated in present discourses about racism. There’s something to that, and maybe that’s a useful debate to have.

            and this

            The useful expansion of the topic isn’t that Trump supporters can be good people too (who even benefits from arguing this?), but that “soft” racism is no less deplorable than hard racism is.

            form pretty much the crux of the argument that I’m attempting to make here. That’s why, sometimes, the shooting-racists-in-a-barrel kind of discussion leaves me with somewhat mixed feelings. It’s definitely not because I think that those racists and their racism shouldn’t be identified as such or that we need to worry about people’s feelings when that identification happens. It’s not because I don’t think that the racial animus that is fueling Trump’s support (and that he is actively fomenting) isn’t clear and obvious – quite the opposite.

            While the smugness that some white people can show towards other white people on the issue of racism can be annoying, smugness qua smugness is beside the point. For me, it’s more about the possibility that such smugness indicates an ignorance of and/or unwillingness to consider the effects of the more subtle manifestations and mechanisms of racism, especially when expanded to larger segments of America’s white population. So it’s easy to point out the “white hood” manifestations of racism and condemn and oppose them vigorously (as we should), but then expand the analysis and discussion to other ways that racism is coded, embedded, or institutionalized in American life and then it’s “well, it’s complicated” and “people are pursuing their self-interests”. It’s not actually wrong, per se, to make those observations – issues like gentrification, educational inequities, etc. can indeed be complicated. It just seems to me that some folks get the benefit of “it’s complicated” and others (including people of color, depending on the issue) don’t. And I have to wonder from time to time why that is and what effects that particular distribution of nuance, for lack of a better term, has on the ongoing efforts to end the pernicious effects of racism in its subtler forms.

    • This “understanding” is curiously limited. For some reason it is natural that a white man who is beaten up by daddy (or whatever they think is happening) will become a bigot. But a person who is the victim of bigotry deciding they don’t care for bigots is some sort of freakish aberration.

      (Also, it’s condescending AF to victims of abuse.)

      • Captain Oblivious

        Also, too, it doesn’t explain bigots who weren’t abused as children.

    • Origami Isopod

      Tons of people are mean because they like it, and there are no permanent or significant consequences to it.

      Exactly.

  • kped

    I think it was Elizabeth Bruening on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, writing sadly how liberals were mocking people with economic anxiety. I think her words were “it’s sad that the left is treating economic anxiety as a joke”.

    Do internet leftists (who i distinguish from Liberals/progressives) not understand any sarcasm? People writing about economic anxiety as a joke are doing something very obvious – mocking the notion that these voters saying racist and sexist things are doing so out of economic anxiety. In fact, the writers I see making this joke the most are black or women. They are making this sarcastic statement to state the obvious…that Trump voters are driven by racism and sexism more than anything else, and too many on the left are trying to give that a pass to push their pet theories.

    • D.N. Nation

      Yep, it was her. Co-signed by Atrios, even.

      Do internet leftists (who i distinguish from Liberals/progressives) not understand any sarcasm?

      What’s funny is that they themselves (well, maybe not Elizabeth) are snarky, glib pricks on Twitter all the time, but make a yuck about Trump supporters being racist idiots…that one’s beyond the pale. Do the offices at Jacobin and Vice have fainting couches for these moments?

      • MPAVictoria

        Always dangerous to disagree with Atrios. He is almost always right about everything.

        • D.N. Nation

          Whoop-de-effin-doo.

        • Origami Isopod

          LOL.

        • kped

          Arguments from Authority are lame as hell.

          for this argument, I must note:

          a) white people aren’t the only ones experiencing economic anxiety
          b) white people are not the only members of the working class

          Given a & b are both true, we must note that all other groups in the working class bucket support democrats. Therefore, economic anxiety ceases to be an explanation for why these white working class people in particular support Trump.

          We can also note that many of these white working class have been voting Republican since Nixon and Reagan, well before trade deals and Democrats “abandoning them” as some claim.

          Therefore, it must not be economic anxiety causing them to vote Trump. It’s certainly not economic anxiety making them racist and sexist. And to look at them with sad puppy dog eyes and say we, as liberals, must placate their racism and sexism because they have some hardship? Fuck that! Our policies will help them, but we don’t have to kick our actual allies in the teeth so that they vote with us. If they want in, they can leave the racism and misogyny at the front door, thank you very much.

          Economic anxiety my ass.

          • JR in WV

            Well said. Keep up the good work!

          • Emmryss

            Your a) and b) pretty much says it all.

            Which is why George Packer, for example, in his recent long New Yorker article, ties himself in knots explicating the white working class.

      • A nasty group of shitbags, these alt-lefters. Bruening’s followers ended up in my mentions, calling me a “cunt’ and “garbage.”

        Bruening–aside from being insufferable–doesn’t understand humor. Complaining of the “Doug” SNL sketch she sniffed “I just don’t find poverty very funny.” God.

        • One of these guys was named “Todd Hitler’ and the other one has an account dedicated to incest porn. She’s got really nice friends.

          • D.N. Nation

            Oh, that Weird Twitter. So WaCkY!

            • They sure showed me. I’m voting for Stein now. Or Trump. Whichever vote is more ‘splodey.

              • so-in-so

                Ick, these people claim to be on the ‘left’?

                No wonder they are all sympathy for Trumpistas.

        • Origami Isopod

          A Catholic who has to let everybody know that contraception makes her feel icky? Insufferable? Who’d have guessed.

          And, yes, I know she’s not interested in having it banned. I feel the same way about people who, when the subject turns to abortion, feel the need to declare right away that they would never have an abortion, because you really, really need to know that they’re not that kind of person.

          • mds

            Abortion, eh? *SNIFF* I would never have an abortion, because I’m not that kind of person.

            • Davis X. Machina

              Well, I wouldn’t ever have an abortion.

              But then, I don’t have a uterus…

              • Well, I wouldn’t ever have an abortion.

                But then, I don’t have a uterus…

                I believe that it is not unknown for a woman who has had a uterus-only hysterectomy thereafter to have an ectopic pregnancy, which may have to be terminated surgically (rather than self-terminating); I would guess such a termination would be called an abortion but don’t know, and I’m not presently up for an appropriate literature search to confirm (or disconfirm) my belief and my guess.

        • Donna Gratehouse

          Bruening–aside from being insufferable–doesn’t understand humor. Complaining of the “Doug” SNL sketch she sniffed “I just don’t find poverty very funny.” God.

          Elizabeth Bruenig is an anti-choicer, albeit a “liberal” one. Lack of humor and purse-lipped disapproval of pleasure for its own sake is pretty much baked into her cake.

          • Origami Isopod

            I’m sure she approves of the pleasure of watching “sinners,” e.g. women who have the temerity to criticize her husband, get attacked on Twitter.

    • NonyNony

      Do internet leftists (who i distinguish from Liberals/progressives) not understand any sarcasm?

      Yes?

      I mean, some Leftists on the Internet are some of the most humorless jerks I’ve ever run across in my life. And to be fair one self-labelled Leftist that I knew in college was also among the most humorless jerks I’ve known in my life – any joke in his presence would lead to a lecture. And I mean any joke – a joke about a chicken crossing the road would lead to a lecture on the nastiness of factory farming and the plight of labor on chicken farms.

      (Our mutual friends tell me he’s now in middle management at a bank. Which I find both sad and hysterical at the same time.)

      • BiloSagdiyev

        I would say on our end of the spectrum, we have that, and on the other end of the spectrum is the church lady Dana Carvey is satirizing.

        Reminds me of an old lyric by Jello:

        You want to help stop war?
        Well, we reject your application!
        You crack too many jokes
        and you eat meat.

      • Origami Isopod

        Shades of Freddie.

      • tsam

        And to be fair one self-labelled Leftist that I knew in college was also among the most humorless jerks I’ve known in my life – any joke in his presence would lead to a lecture.

        OHHHH BRING HIM TO ME

        Let’s begin by comparing gunshows. Do you know how much he benches?

        • Linnaeus

          Shotgun a beer for added effect.

          • tsam

            I love preachy, humorless people. They’re the easiest to annoy into insanity. All you have to do is act like a complete idiot, and I’m shockingly good at that.

            • tsam

              You might say it comes naturally, in fact.

              • Linnaeus

                You said it, not us. :)

      • And I mean any joke – a joke about a chicken crossing the road would lead to a lecture on the nastiness of factory farming and the plight of labor on chicken farms.

        I saw a bumper sticker last year that read something like the following (the closest I could find quickly with Google, but rather too long for a bumper sticker): “I have a dream! I have a dream of a day, when ALL chickens can cross ALL roads without having their motives called into question!”

    • Snuff curry

      “it’s sad that the left is treating economic anxiety as a joke”

      I agree. It’d be much better if purity leftists recognized that “economic anxiety” and class issues affect more than white men of a certain age and persuasion. Would that that dogwhistle be silenced forevermore. Would that white maleness be recognized as An Identity as opposed to what’s left over when you strip away pesky race and gender and get to What’s Really at Stake Here.

  • If Hillary should win, and follow up on her own welcome and stated desire to be the healer of the nation, she should do two things

    You can’t heal it; you’re going to have to amputate.

  • This time next week (if we’re lucky) we’ll be up to our butts in articles about how Democrats shouldn’t celebrate their victory because it will make the rabid pack of racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, xenophobes poor ickle Trump Supporters feel bad.

    • NonyNony

      I’ll take it. There is no alternative where Clinton wins where that doesn’t happen, so the alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

      • Sure, but being told to make nice to people who hate me expands the number of people I’d like to shove off a pier.

        • Simple Desultory Philip

          wearing concrete shoes.

          • piratedan

            holding an anvil

          • And shark pheromones.

          • mds

            It’s hard to get the running start needed to shove some people off a pier if you’re wearing concrete shoes. Just sayin’.

            • Worst. Trolley. Problem. EverThis week.

              I have now gone two full days without reading the news (or listening to it, or watching it); I have barely read any blogs, and this is the first post on LGM where I’ve read the comments. I voted early today, which made me feel somewhat better (the only person working the long line for a candidate, perhaps legally because it was such a long line, was doing so on behalf of Stein and being such a generally hostile bro-ish bro that I almost suspected him of deliberately trying to discredit her). But another week of this and I’m going to explode. Grrrh.

  • Drexciya

    I have nothing to say that I haven’t said already. I can only communicate my exhaustion and frustration and emphasize that, in an election with a white nationalist undercurrent, establishment white liberals and white leftists have joined white conservatives in framing, through apologia, the legitimacy of white ethnic violence as a political reaction and are using our conceptual absence to portray the pursuit of that violence as a victimless crime, absent any room for moral judgment or culpability. Perhaps the most stunning part of the interview was the only part where, in the third most populous black state, she was compelled to acknowledge that victims of ethnic violence might exist and object:

    Q: But there is a segment of Trump supporters who have expressed racist, sexist and/or xenophobic beliefs, like the man who yelled, “Jew-S-A,” at the press at a rally. If you feel threatened by that, how do you also feel empathetic?

    Start with the world’s finest mediators — Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi. Explore the history of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the extraordinary history of victims understanding their victimizers. And then you say, ‘I’ve seen myself and my “side” as a victim, and now let’s see how they might feel that way, too.’ It doesn’t mean you’re ceding ground, it just means you’re seeing more possibilities in that person than if you saw them as a hopeless villain.

    This is a political choice, advancing a political project on behalf of one segment of the population, against the others. And she’s not alone in the undertaking. Noted liberal outfit nymag gave a softball interview to Pat Buchanan, of all people. Vox gave an interview to JD Vance that followed through many of the same premises, in many of the same ways as the Hochschild interview. White voters can subject us to the threat/actuality of ethnic violence, advance ethnic cleansing and eliminationism as open policy, wield voter intimidation and terrorism as tools and they can support a serial rapist directing lynch mobs to do it. To say that all we can do in response is forgive them and feel sorry for them is to say, quite openly, that the feelings of racists supersedes the safety of the people they target.

    • so-in-so

      Exactly what “I want my country back!” boils down to, I expect.

    • Rob in CT

      It’s basically about one group of white people struggling to accept the ugly truth about many of their fellow white people, who they had subconsciously labeled “decent folks” (and possibly, again most likely subconsciously, failing to extend that sort of blanket blessing to Others).

      Also, liberals (myself included) want to believe that people are fundamentally decent. From this comes the idea that if we just figure out how to talk to people in just the right way they’ll come around. But especially in this highly polarized age, the fact is that 40-45%* will not, no way, no how. They are unreachable. This is highly disconcerting.

      * of the total electorate. More than 50% of white voters.

      • Harkov311

        It’s basically about one group of white people struggling to accept the ugly truth about many of their fellow white people, who they had subconsciously labeled “decent folks” (and possibly, again most likely subconsciously, failing to extend that sort of blanket blessing to Others).

        I suppose that’s the reason I never fell for this oh-the-poor-disaffected-Trumpers nonsense. As a white liberal southerner, I very quickly learned that maybe 2/3rds of white southerners are deplorable, racist fucksticks, at least from a political standpoint. Oh sure, they’ll be nice to you…until they somehow discover you’re a liberal.

      • efgoldman

        Also, liberals (myself included) want to believe that people are fundamentally decent.

        We need to offer courses in remedial cynicism at settlement houses and night schools.
        I’ll volunteer to teach.

        • Davis X. Machina

          Also, liberals (myself included) want to believe that people are fundamentally decent.

          Two words — Original Sin.

    • sibusisodan

      The ‘graf you pulled out enraged me. It’s so blithe.

      I mean, ok: let’s start with the Truth and Recitation Committee. A necessary precondition for that to work was that the historically oppressed group had to attain real, formal and sufficient political power.

      Which actually means letting that group look to their own interests, say what they want, exercise their own power.

      Is that being proposed here? No.

      Without a commitment to the political change which makes it possible, sustainable and meaningful, calls for empathy are…misguided. At best.

      • Spiny

        Citing Ezra Klein’s interview with her again, yeah, she is really fucking blithe about this when people challenge her about it. To sum up that section of the interview:

        Hochschild: …and that’s why it’s important we have empathy for Trump voters. They deserve respect.

        Klein: That’s cool, but probably it’s not respectful if we just go around re-wording their ideas in ways that are more palatable for us eggheads. Maybe we should believe them when they say they don’t want any more Muslims in the country and they actually prefer the US be a white nation?

        Hochschild: Oh no, you need to have empathy to have respect. So to return to what I want to talk about…

        • Origami Isopod

          Hochschild: Oh no, you need to have empathy to have respect. So to return to what I want to talk about…

          Sigh. You couldn’t write a better stereotype of a blinkered Berkeley academic if you tried.

          Not to mention the kind of liberal who, ironically, is as impaired in her own empathy as conservatives are in theirs. Because empathy isn’t sympathy; it’s being able to imagine yourself in someone else’s shoes. Hochschild cannot grasp that not everybody is a good person at heart, even if they behave in a friendly manner to you. Her need to see the best in people blinds her to the fact that some people simply choose otherwise. And trying to point this out to someone like Hochschild results in nothing more than a lecture about how you lack empathy.

          • Sly

            The most fundamental dilemma of leftism is maintaining a belief in the equal and sovereign dignity of every person while grappling with the plainly observable fact that a lot of people are fucking assholes.

            I’ve come to the conclusion that most just can’t do it.

            • Davis X. Machina

              ….a belief in the equal and sovereign dignity of every person while grappling with the plainly observable fact that a lot of people are fucking assholes.

              Catholic orthodoxy, in a nutshell.

              • Origami Isopod

                Nah. Catholic orthodoxy doesn’t believe in the equal and sovereign dignity of women. Or anyone who’s not straight and cisgender.

            • (((max)))

              The most fundamental dilemma of leftism is maintaining a belief in the equal and sovereign dignity of every person while grappling with the plainly observable fact that a lot of people are fucking assholes.

              People choose to be assholes (and not everybody has the same idea of what constitutes an asshole) and they can choose to not be assholes. They probably won’t, but they could!

              max
              [‘It’s either that or eternal war for eternal peace.’]

        • djw

          This is the part that makes me really crazy. Treating them with respect somehow has nothing to do with listening to and hearing their complaints and grievances on their own terms.

          To use Trump supporters as a convenient prop for your complaints about mainstream Democratic economic policy, regardless of what they’re actually saying, has nothing to do with respect.

        • ColBatGuano

          She has an anecdote in her book in which she describes how she thinks the subjects of her book look at the world that involves an analogy with everyone standing in a line waiting to get their piece of the American Dream and now “other people” are cutting in line to get their chunk and how the people who have waited see that as unfair. All of her “real Americans” readily agree with this description and somehow she thinks we should empathize with their feelings. She never grapples with the implication that of course all these white folks think they are deserving of being at the front of line and that those other folks will never get to the front because of course all those good, white folk’s kids deserve to hop in line right behind Mom and Dad.

          • Drexciya

            Right, she recounts that extraordinary metaphor in her awful (but favorably shared) Mother Jones piece, where she spent her time in the state with the second largest black population and never interviewed or thought about a single black person:

            What the people I interviewed were drawn to was not necessarily the particulars of these theories. It was the deep story underlying them—an account of life as it feels to them. Some such account underlies all beliefs, right or left, I think. The deep story of the right goes like this:

            You are patiently standing in the middle of a long line stretching toward the horizon, where the American Dream awaits. But as you wait, you see people cutting in line ahead of you. Many of these line-cutters are black—beneficiaries of affirmative action or welfare. Some are career-driven women pushing into jobs they never had before. Then you see immigrants, Mexicans, Somalis, the Syrian refugees yet to come. As you wait in this unmoving line, you’re being asked to feel sorry for them all. You have a good heart. But who is deciding who you should feel compassion for? Then you see President Barack Hussein Obama waving the line-cutters forward. He’s on their side. In fact, isn’t he a line-cutter too? How did this fatherless black guy pay for Harvard? As you wait your turn, Obama is using the money in your pocket to help the line-cutters. He and his liberal backers have removed the shame from taking. The government has become an instrument for redistributing your money to the undeserving. It’s not your government anymore; it’s theirs.

            I checked this distillation with those I interviewed to see if this version of the deep story rang true. Some altered it a bit (“the line-waiters form a new line”) or emphasized a particular point (those in back are paying for the line-cutters). But all of them agreed it was their story. One man said, “I live your analogy.” Another said, “You read my mind.”

            The deep story reflects pain; you’ve done everything right and you’re still slipping back. It focuses blame on an ill-intentioned government. And it points to rescue: The tea party for some, and Donald Trump for others.

            Every bit of that italicized text is repugnant and wrong, and using it as a basis for empathy requires the reader (in this case, the liberal reader) to presuppose the venal illegitimacy of a government that actually serves people of color, under the assumption that a white-exclusive orientation for government is its most natural formation. Instead of describing that repugnance with clarity and observing the grossness of demanding empathy on those terms, she backhandedly reinforces the idea that such an emotional and political reaction is legitimate and that assuming government should only serve white people and privilege their interests, at the expense of our civil rights, is an “understandable” political position to start with.

            She thinks her deep story “reflects pain,” and it does, but what she refuses to describe and refuses to even fake concern for is that it reflects a desire to inflict it. She expects a primarily left-leaning and presumptively white readership to ignore that; she expects them to normalize, as she did, both the invisibility of our presence and the invisibility violence they seek to visit on us. One of the more horrifying dynamics of the election, as shown by the uncritical reaction to that piece and many others, is that they did.

            • Thanks for that quote. It seems like the key one. It’s typical of that kind of liberal to think noting how people “feel pain” should get them off the hook for their moral responsibilities for racism.

            • ColBatGuano

              Yeah, that’s the one. How anyone can write that and not reconsider their thesis is baffling. That she didn’t sit back from her computer and say “Wow, these people are terrible. I should just scrap this entire project.” tells me she’s not particularly bright.

      • I mean, ok: let’s start with the Truth and Recitation Committee.

        I love recitation.

      • Emmryss

        And before Nelson Mandela was “one of the world’s finest mediators” wasn’t he a terrorist/freedom fighter? (Oops just saw that’s been said.)

    • Ahenobarbus

      Her mention of Mandela is curious, given that a substantial portion of the right wing base considered him to be a terrorist.

    • tsam

      South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the extraordinary history of victims understanding their victimizers.

      That’s ABSOLUTELY NOT what the T&R commission was tasked with. It began with truth–forcing white South Africa to allocute. What these white “leftists” want is to accept and embrace racism. That’s not on the table for discussion–or I guess I should say it shouldn’t be.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        I think black South Africans already fairly well understood their victimizers long before the T&R Commission. What kind of daffy Good Liberal do you have to be to think that it was all some kind of misunderstanding that led to all that brutality?

        • tsam

          What does misunderstanding have to do with it? Of course black South Africans understood their oppressors. The point was to make the oppressors own up to it. That matters. There was no misunderstanding between whites and blacks in South Africa, but there was a whole lot of rationalizing and refusal to own up to the crimes committed by the NP.

        • tsam

          I occurs to me that I misunderstood your response, thinking you were putting the “understanding” concept on me. Sorry about that.

    • SatanicPanic

      Amen. Why don’t I get to mind my own business, enjoy my elite city liberal life without them threatening my people with physical violence? Someone ask WaPo about that.

    • Murc

      Drex, please allow me to say that while you and I have had our differences in the past and likely will again, your media analysis this election season has been on fire. The hottest takes.

      • sibusisodan

        Seconded.

      • (((Malaclypse)))

        Co-sign.

      • djw

        ayup.

        • Ask Me Gently

          Much agreed.

          (Wrong reply button. Oh well…)

      • Drexciya

        Once again, y’all are too kind, and I thank you. I only take compliments by blushing in corners, so I’ll go do that now.

      • Late to the party, but happy to join in with the circle of praise.

    • PatrickG

      This random white lurker finds you incredibly informative and is frequently inspired to learn more and do more by your posts. If virtual salutes are of help, well, there you go.

    • mds

      Vox gave an interview to JD Vance

      Oh, JH Christ. Is his fifteen minutes up yet? Apparently, never before has a poor person attended Yale on financial aid and felt so out-of-place … at least while also being white.

  • There was a lot more economic anxiety in 1930’s Germany. Why no empathy for Hitler supporters?

    • so-in-so

      You haven’t been looking at Trump’s supporters, have you?

    • Domino

      You know, that quip prompted me to look up Camus’ letters to a German friend, which I haven’t read in years, AND HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT how on topic is the first paragraph?

      You said to me: “the greatness of my country is beyond price. Anything is good that contributes to its greatness. And in a world where everything has lost its meaning, those who, like us young Germans, are lucky enough to find a meaning in the destiny of our nation must sacrifice everything else.” I loved you then, but at that point we diverged. “No,” I told you, “I cannot believe that everything must be subordinated to a single end. There are means that cannot be excused. And I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice. I don’t want just any greatness for it, particularly a greatness born of blood and falsehood. I want to keep it alive by keeping justice alive.” You retorted: “Well, you don’t love your country”.

      • blackbox

        It is very on-topic. And that exchange stirs the patriotic anger I’ve been developing over the course of this election cycle. It’s the other fucking way around: patriotism in our time means you don’t compromise everything great about your country in order to give yourself a sense of security and self-worth. You don’t tread on the backs of weaker people. You don’t exile, you don’t bar immigration. This is the high cost of freedom and we absolutely fucking cannot throw it away now because terrorists have been making the world a scary place since 2001 and Mexicans overstay travel visas and international alliances are expensive. HIGH. COST. OF FREEDOM.

  • JustinVC

    Does the interviewee realize that truth and reconciliation committees weren’t “bygones be bygones, forgive and forget the other guy’s racism without even an acknowledgement made by the racist.” He seems to think that they were run by the landowner from MP and the Holy Grail “Let’s not bicker over who killed who or who voted against their own self interest just because they hate minorities.”

    Doesn’t work that way. Democrats won’t get southern white voters until either they stop being racist or the Republican Party stops courting racists.

  • Origami Isopod

    If it makes anyone feel better, the WaPo author is getting an earful on Twitter.

    • Simple Desultory Philip

      nice. the guy who’s all “tell it to me when you go back in time and give my black soldier ancestors the gi bill” for the goddamn win.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        I liked the tearful Native American(70’s commercial) with the caption, “won’t you think of the white supremacists?”

    • Origami Isopod

      The WaPo itself is also getting good replies, including from Charles Johnson (content note: rape threat, racism).

      ETA: See also.

  • applecor

    Making and expressing moral judgments about “racists” is not likely to have any positive political impact. A very tiny percentage of racists admit they are racists.

    Just to ply a ridiculous composite stereotype, Joe Miner lives in W. VA. and his grandfather, a miner, voted for LBJ. Joe lost his job in the mine, his kid is bussed out of the neighborhood to a school that is majority black, his other kid lost out on a college spot “because of” affirmative action, and a mosque just opened down the street. So Joe is “angry” and, of course, impervious to political persuasion, even if the persuader can avoid calling Joe a “racist”. What I want these chin-stroking, “thoughtful” columnists to do is tell me whether a program to swing Joe back into the D column is possible without abandoning progressive principles. Remember, Joe is a “low information voter”! You are going to need to do something pretty spectacular to get his attention.

    Joe’s “America” has been “lost”? My heart is breaking. Every generation thinks that, although I have to admit the problem is getting worse as technology accelerates to the point where the average human cannot adapt fast enough. Meanwhile technological change is not going to slow down either.

    • tsam

      Making and expressing moral judgments about “racists” is not likely to have any positive political impact.

      This is completely false. Racists have no right to be a part of policy making, and empathizing with them or accepting their behavior has a massive negative political impact. That’s exactly how Trump came to be the nominee for president. Telling the truth, that racists are garbage and have nothing of value to add to society, DOES have a positive political impact. It will ultimately make society better.

      Joe’s kid is probably as smart as his dad, lost a spot at college because another kid decided that not everything he needed know was whatever grandpa Duck Dynasty tells him.

      • applecor

        I take your point about legitimizing racism being bad. My point however was that telling racists they are immoral will not change their minds. We already do a lot of telling racists they are immoral. My guess is that overall that has been counterproductive for at least 30 years.

        As far as racists having no right to be a part of policymaking, well, we are kind of stuck with democracy. There’s a relevant article in this week’s New Yorker.

        • tsam

          My guess is that overall that has been counterproductive for at least 30 years.

          Is it counterproductive? I don’t know that we can say that.

          • applecor

            Well I’m just making stuff up here but I think the term “racist” has gotten so elastic that you can call 99% of all people racists with a straight face. That’s a tactical mistake the left has made. There currently are a bunch of Upper West Siders screaming bloody murder about some planned school redistricting. Are they “racists”? Opinions differ, but calling them racists is not going to either quiet them down or convince the decision makers to overrule them.

            • Aaron Morrow

              That’s a tactical mistake the left has made.

              Putting morality aside, this assumes an all-white electorate.

              • applecor

                If your point is that it is not the left that calls non-whites “racist”, I agree. If your point is that non-whites cannot, by definition, be “racist”, I disagree, but that just makes my point that the word has become virtually meaningless.

                • Origami Isopod

                  Uh, what Aaron Morrow meant was that a huge chunk of the electorate understands that racists are racist and wants to see them called out as such. And, no, non-whites people of color cannot be racist in an institutional sense. They can be bigoted, they can be prejudiced, but they have no power to enact racial oppression upon whites.

                  The word is only “meaningless” to those who think that anything short of a burning cross or the N-word is not really racist.

            • veleda_k

              Well I’m just making stuff up here

              Okay then.

            • JMP

              If people don’t want to be called racist, then they should try not saying really racist things any more, then no one would ever call them racist; it’s actually pretty simple. The idea that liberals should never call anyone racists because it hurts the poor bigots’ feeling is completely ridiculous. And enough shame might in fact make some people realize the wrongness of their bigotry and that they’ll have to change their ways if they want to be accepted by decent people.

    • Linnaeus

      What I want these chin-stroking, “thoughtful” columnists to do is tell me whether a program to swing Joe back into the D column is possible without abandoning progressive principles. Remember, Joe is a “low information voter”! You are going to need to do something pretty spectacular to get his attention.

      With respect to core R/Trump voters, you’re probably not going to get them, and it would be a waste of resources to try.

      You might, however, get more voters on the margins: people who only lean D or R, people who don’t vote at all, etc. That can make a difference depending on the particular race, location/district, etc.

  • tsam

    There will be no empathy for Trump voters. Empathy legitimizes their racism, and that’s not acceptable. You can stuff your empathy up the hole in your culture.

  • Yossarian

    This also goes back to the “class, not race” trope, in which a certain kind of leftism either assumes without realizing, or explicitly states, that class consciousness/belief in economic redistribution is an ideology, but that race consciousness/belief in racial hierarchy is just some sort of character flaw that comes from unrelated fears and anxieties. And with appropriate understanding of the racists and sufficient economic security, the racial scales will eventually fall from their eyes.

    And, um, no. Certainly in the U.S., and probably in most of the world, belief in racial hierarchy is an ideology, not a character flaw or some sort of spastic tic. If anything, it’s more deeply rooted than economic consciousness, and Lord knows we have the history to prove that. The fact that it’s often believed in by people without a whole lot of money does NOT mean it’s not a material advantage for white men and understood as such by many of them (even if they wouldn’t say so out loud or even admit it to themselves — and some would). Being white, being a man, being straight, being native-born, being able-bodied, etc, etc, confers an array of huge advantages to those who are born in those categories, so in some vulgar sense it’s even rational for Trump supporters to hold on to those advantages for dear life as they come slightly unsettled.

    But people like Hochschild insist on treating all of that as a character defect, and a potentially transitory one at that, like we’re all fucking Spencer Tracy in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and we just need the intervention of Sidney Poitier and our friendly liberal priest to set us right. By contrast, the loss of factory jobs or the growing economic insecurity of post-industrial communities is seen as “real,” material, and both constitutive of and responsive to an ideological and political reaction. And that holds even when the Trump supporter in question is himself doing just fine economically (I was struck by this in the scary Boston Globe article from a few weeks back, when some of the more terrifying Trumpkins were identified as having jobs like “restaurant manager” or “contractor”–pretty good jobs–while promising to burn down the world if HRC is elected). The additional “wages” of whiteness and maleness are just completely read out of the analysis in favor of this soft, “they say racist things because they are scared” crap. It’s just analytically bankrupt all the way through.

    • applecor

      Calling people racists has to be the beginning of the conversation, not the end. Even assuming you can draw some kind of line between the Trump voters and the many less-racist, but still-racist-by-some-definitions Clinton voters, there are just too many of them to outvote consistently. They have to be persuaded, tricked, negotiated with or out-reproduced. The homework is to come up with a plan beyond hand-wringing about self-driving cars.

      • Lord Jesus Perm

        Calling people racists has to be the beginning of the conversation, not the end.

        I’m amazed that we’re still entertaining the fool’s errand that these people can be reasoned with, even as they openly support a man who’s promising to use the state to commit violence against minorities.

        • applecor

          Hence the remainder of my post.

          • Lord Jesus Perm

            I read it. Point still stands.

            If they’re to be persuaded or negotiated with, what do you propose liberals do that they aren’t already doing (I think this line of reasoning is problematic, but I’ll shove that aside for now).

            • applecor

              I’m not proposing anything, just covering the hypothetical possibilities – I’m asking the Deep Thinking Columnists who seem to think there is something to be done to propose something.

              As for negotiating, well, I think in 1935 we said “We’re going to bring in Communism via Social Security, but don’t worry, we’ll make it hard for blacks to get it.”

              Should we not have done that, the alternative being no SS at all? Opinions may differ!

              I also think it’s a little hard to say how many Trump voters are voting for him in spite of, rather than because of, his racism. Lesser of evils type of thing.

              • so-in-so

                I think it’s more “we forestalled Communism by creating Social Security (for white people)”. It was arguably the only way to get it in place at the time, when most African Americans were unable to vote due to Jim Crow and other racist rules (even outside the South). As a country, we are better now. Not great, but better. We should not backslide to appease butt-hurt white men who demand, not betterment, but assurance that SOMEBODY will be worse off than them.

              • Origami Isopod

                just covering the hypothetical possibilities

                In other words, JAQ’ing off.

      • Nick056

        Eh. The GOP is going to keep losing elections during Presidential years because they can only get so much of the white vote. They need to be asking themselves how to broaden their coalition across racial lines; Democrats should not spend time asking how to chip away at the dominant GOP margins among white voters, largely because with such an obviously white nationalist campaign on the right it’s hard to imagine strategies that would erode support for Trump among whites without hurting Democratic turnout among people of color, and indeed sending a signal about how welcome the party is to people of color. “We can be really racist, too, folks,” is not a winning message.

        • Lord Jesus Perm

          Democrats should not spend time asking how to chip away at the dominant GOP margins among white voters, largely because with such an obviously white nationalist campaign on the right it’s hard to imagine strategies that would erode support for Trump among whites without hurting Democratic turnout among people of color, and indeed sending a signal about how welcome the party is to people of color. “We can be really racist, too, folks,” is not a winning message.

          Pretty much.

      • efgoldman

        They have to be persuaded, tricked, negotiated with or out-reproduced.

        They can’t be persuaded, they can’t be negotiated with. Ultimately the demographic math is inexorable. Over decades (well beyond my time) they will become a mostly irrelevant crank minority.

    • Sly

      This also goes back to the “class, not race” trope, in which a certain kind of leftism either assumes without realizing, or explicitly states, that class consciousness/belief in economic redistribution is an ideology, but that race consciousness/belief in racial hierarchy is just some sort of character flaw that comes from unrelated fears and anxieties. And with appropriate understanding of the racists and sufficient economic security, the racial scales will eventually fall from their eyes.

      As I said before, this implicitly assumes that middle-class and upper-class white people are not and can not be as vitriolically racist as lower-class white people. That white supremacy, and staking out a racially maximalist political position when it comes to their policy and electoral choices, is a particular intellectual flaw of the poor. And, further, that this intellectual flaw will only be cured if and only if the Democratic Party offers and delivers upon a more leftist economic policy platform.

      Leaving aside that this betrays an utter lack of familiarity with actual voters and their stated political demands, these are a particularly hypocritical set of assumptions upon which to build a “Class Consciousness Uber Alles” argument.

      • As I said before, this implicitly assumes that middle-class and upper-class white people are not and can not be as vitriolically racist as lower-class white people.

        This election has made it glaringly obvious that there are a lot of people in these groups who are heavily invested in pushing this idea. And they don’t think anyone has noticed.

        • Linnaeus

          Case of Turtle Wax and some Rice-A-Roni for you.

  • bobbo1

    I plan to read that Awl piece and nothing else over and over and over again until this election is over. It is my Happy Place.

  • SatanicPanic

    Lately I’ve been torturing myself by listening to country radio, and maybe someone can tell me why it’s acceptable for like every fourth song to contain an insult aimed at big city people and/or California. I don’t hear any other genre aiming songs at wide swathes of the country day in day out. Maybe they need a lesson in empathy.

    • applecor

      I have to say this whole trope about how the Heartland folks are unhappy about being “sneered at” by “coastal elites” really frosts me. The bile runs in both directions, even if you leave “racism” out of it.

      • SatanicPanic

        Oh that one gets me. It was like that 30 years ago when I was living out in the sticks and probably was long before that. It’s also not something to do with poor people. The wealthy farmer probably believes it more than anyone.

    • D.N. Nation
    • FlipYrWhig

      His salsa comes from NEW YORK CITY!

    • BiloSagdiyev

      I was going to object to “every fourth song”, thinking it was too generous, like “half of Trump supporters go into basket of deplorables.” But then I realized that I was also going to say:

      I used to listen to a bit of popular country music. (The radio in my car has no antenna, and around here…)

      I slowly realized it was the male country singers who do all of the pooping on cities and libruhl sissies. Female country music songs, that I can recall, seem to be free of Nixonian resentment pity party horseshit.

      One song 10 or 15 years ago sang about how “you’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.” I checked on that male country star a week or two. Yeaaaaaah, he’s a Trump supporter now.

      I haven’t thought until just now to go check on Toby “Waaaah!I’m a Democrat, don’t you know that? So unfaaaaair” Keith. But I’m still mad at him about things.

      • SatanicPanic

        This is true, country women generally sing unobjectionable songs. It’s the bros that are pushing right wing propaganda. Too bad they only air songs by women like 20% of the time.

      • tsam

        or you’ll fall for anything.

        SO MUCH PROJECTION.

        How meta is it that they fall for meaningless, cliched platitudes like this one?

        ETA–or wait–is that irony? Yeah. whatever. Carry on. I’m going to watch a baseball game that I heard was kinda important.

        • Rob in CT

          I drove past a house yesterday flying a huge TRUMP flag. Underneath TRUMP 2016, it read “No More Bullshit.”

          Yeah, ok.

  • Lord Jesus Perm

    Drexciya covered a lot of what I was going to post, but a few things:

    Louisiana is 32% black. Only Mississippi has a larger black population. It is revealing that magically no black people were interviewed.

    Of the many, many things the media has handled poorly this election cycle (I would argue that the media’s job safely surpasses its effort in 2000 when they blatantly took sides against Gore), the most disconcerting is how easily it has been seduced by a brand of white nationalism that hasn’t even bothered to try and masquerade as anything more benign. Trump has called Mexicans rapists, has called for a national stop and frisk, and said that Muslims shouldn’t be allowed in the US. He has regularly retweeted posts from white supremacist sites. And yet, the “Tears for Trump Supporters” article has been a mainstay for the media this election cycle. I suspect that much of this has to do with the media itself being so overwhelmingly white; blacks, Latinos, Muslims, and other people of color have been ignored even as Trump is campaigning on using the state to further oppress them.

    It would be nice if the fears of the people that Trump is singing out as objects of fear and loathing were taken seriously. Hell, it would be nice if the people Trump is singling out as objects of fear and loathing were actually seen as people. But hey, JD Vance is out here passing out absolution like candy, so fuck em I guess.

    • Linnaeus

      I’d love to see something like that. Such an article, however, might dig a little too deep.

    • applecor

      Not to defend the MSM, but I think part of this focus on the salt-of-the-earth Trump voter is a residue of the outmoded belief that these are “swing voters” and therefore decide the election. Thus it’s really important to understand them! The MSM latched onto the “Reagan Democrat” theme in 1980 and never let go even though this demographic has not voted D since.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        boy, I don’t know. I think it really comes down to people of color who aren’t pop stars or athletes being invisible at best to the big-time media

        • Caepan

          Unless they’re shot by a cop.

          Then they become “thugs” who may have deserved to be executed for Existing While Black.

        • applecor

          I think minorities generally are just ASSUMED to be in the D’s column (which has, roughly speaking, been the case in recent decades), so not worth talking about, because it’s all about the horserace. The MSM is not obsessing about the votes of white residents of NYC or Berkeley either.

          To the extent that there are, for example, pockets of Hispanics that do not vote D, they do get breathless coverage – it could mean Hispanics are becoming swing voters!!

        • efgoldman

          it really comes down to people of color who aren’t pop stars or athletes being invisible

          This, too.
          And the other side of that: let one prominent POC athlete or entertainer do something evil and/or criminal, and s/he instantly becomes an exemplar of all such ethnic people.

  • Murc

    Did… did we stop having empathy for down-at-the-heels Trump voters at some point? Did that happen?

    Because the entire leftist political project is built around having empathy for people who are down at the heels, in difficult circumstances. Indeed, this commentariat is full of people who are brimming with it, who are so overfull with empathy for those folks that they’re working their ass off to further political goals to bring them health care, jobs, education, decent living environments, better lives for their children, an end to economic exploitation, and a million and one other things that will uplift them and make their lives better in a thousand, thousand ways.

    That’s a lot of empathy. That’s more than any one person can reasonably be expected to have, especially towards folks that hate them and are expressing that hate loudly and grotesquely and, if allowed to, would do so physically. And yet people do have that much empathy. That’s jaw-dropping. It would be so easy to retreat into an “fuck it, from now on we’re going to work the system so benefits can only accrue to me and mine and Those People can go to hell” but for the most part they don’t.

    Because of empathy. The left has it in spades.

    As for this:

    it just means you’re seeing more possibilities in that person than if you saw them as a hopeless villain.

    I can’t speak for others, but it is precisely because I see more possibilities in everyone than being a hopeless villain that is why I get so mad when people do villainous things. Some people don’t know any better, but many do. Donald Trump is not a poor coal miner trying to keep his family fed. He is a wealthy, powerful man with the potential to do great good in the world. The fact that he squanders that potential makes me angry, and then it makes me sad.

    • so-in-so

      It’s even worse. It would be sad if he just used his wealth for for self gratification (as he did most of his life). Now he is actively harming not just people (which he obviously did all along as well – per info after the tapes came out) but society as a whole, people he never even sees or comes within a thousand miles of, and our political system (with a whole lotta help from the GOP at large).

      No sadness for that. Just white hot hatred.

    • Caepan

      This.

      For example, Kentucky. They established Kynect, one of the best and most admired Obamacare web sites in the nation that provided affordable health care for tens of thousands of Kentuckians who never had it before.

      For that, they elected a Tea Party governor who promised to undermine that very same program. Because Obama and liberals. And free “slut pills.”

      It’s as if they want to be seen voting against their own interests because it somehow makes them look like they’re showing them egghead libruls who’s really in charge!

  • Yankee

    Yes, because we’re going to win and they aren’t going away. They are a problem we will have to fix. I guess we could treat them like Palestinians, but that doesn’t seem like a good idea to me. Liberals are people who care about people.

    • Murc

      Yes, because we’re going to win and they aren’t going away. They are a problem we will have to fix.

      What can we do to fix this problem we both aren’t already doing and that is morally acceptable, tho?

      • Lord Jesus Perm

        Throw black and brown people overboard and welcome them back with open arms, I’m thinking.

        • so-in-so

          That’s the only answer they want to hear. And the wimins, can’t have them getting uppity and thinking they can be in charge.

      • Aaron Morrow

        Depending on your definition of “fix,” the National Democratic Redistricting Committee is on my wishlist.

        Does it exist yet?

    • Lord Jesus Perm

      They can’t be “fixed.”

      • tsam

        Right–they won’t stop being racists, and the left takes some unacceptable risks in being weak on racism. Fuck, they’re weak enough as it is, but trying to assimilate people who seem to be singularly focused on racism isn’t going to make things better for anyone except alt-left people who have some need to define racism in only white terms and disregard black voices. That’s a problem we already have, empathizing with Trump’s mob will compound that problem.

        • rea

          They can’t be “fixed.”

          Sure they can! If it works for feral cats . . .

          • tsam

            \m/>_<\m/

            I can't tell you how many times I've backspaced over similar sentences on this board. I know it's wrong, but no fascist has a right to live, and well, fuck them.

            • jim, some guy in iowa

              “no fascist has a right to live”

              there is a whole lot of cruelty justified by that exact thought only with (fascist) replaced by (someone else’s most-hated minority here). And dammit, you know that

              what a fascist doesn’t have, same as anyone else, is the right to impose their beliefs on others or to have their actions go unquestioned

              • Drexciya

                there is a whole lot of cruelty justified by that exact thought only with (fascist) replaced by (someone else’s most-hated minority here).

                In order for it to be the “exact same thought,” a minority would have to be equivalent to a fascist.

                • jim, some guy in iowa

                  point taken

                • tsam

                  I know people here don’t like that kind of talk, but to be clear, it’s insulting to draw an equivalence between a James Byrd or Matthew Shepard and the people who victimize them–especially those with authority who tolerate and/or encourage that behavior.

                  If I had a way of knowing what those murderers were going to do and had the choice to kill them to prevent it? I’d fucking do it without a millisecond of hesitation and walk away with a clear conscience.

                  I’m kind of over “keeping the victims in our thoughts and prayers”. That’s not helping. I’m sure there’s a middle ground here, but the rise of Trump has me a bit trigger happy these days.

                  I regret nothing.

                • tsam

                  And jim, you’re probably right. I’m not a person morally equipped to decide who lives and who dies, which is why you haven’t seen me on the news.

    • FlipYrWhig

      You can help people you don’t like. That’s the fix. That doesn’t solve the WHY ARENT THEY VOTING FOR US problem — that’s not fixable. It goes some way towards solving the WHY ARE THEIR LIVES BAD problem, which liberalism is all about, whether we get thanked for it or not.

      • Yankee

        +

      • efgoldman

        You can help people you don’t like. That’s the fix.

        Like Kynect, referenced above?

        • FlipYrWhig

          Good example. I’m all for reducing human suffering. I just don’t have any faith that the humans whose suffering we reduced are going to reward us for it. It’s a moral proposition, not a political transaction.

    • Origami Isopod

      I guess we could treat them like Palestinians

      As suggested by absolutely no one in this thread at any point.

      • Yankee

        well, there’s rea and tsam, just above …

        I mean seriously, what’s your vision of the future? Have you got one??

        • Origami Isopod

          Oh, you mean, rea’s joke, and tsam’s frustrated vent? I didn’t realize those were “visions of the future.”

          So what’s yours, anyway? I’d like to hear how you, personally, would deal with them without fucking over folks of color, LGBT people, women, etc. any more than they’ve already been.

          • efgoldman

            So what’s yours, anyway? I’d like to hear how you, personally, would deal with them without fucking over folks of color

            Wait. As i said above, the math of the demographic changes is slow but inexorable.

        • (((Malaclypse)))

          I mean seriously, what’s your vision of the future?

          Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women. No, wait. That’s not it.

          Work towards a society where everybody has a safety net, and good opportunities. That. Which can be done without pandering towards whiny white dudes who want to be the only people to get those things.

        • tsam

          I guess we’d be better off waiting for fascists to kill off a couple more million innocent people before we do something about them? You may have noticed that one of them just got dangerously close to the office, and has been calling our entire system of government and our voting system rigged–ie; not worthy of participation.

          You may not see these kinds of things as the same sort of threat to the republic that the rest of us do, but consider the fact that our peaceful transition of power we’ve enjoyed for so long is de facto voluntary. It can be ruined by one sentence from a guy like Trump, and there are enough Trumpanzees out there to cause a lot of death and destruction.

          My vision for the future matches everyone elses–we keep chipping away at these problems and hope they get better. That’s the diplomatic answer. To be painfully clear, it’s probably best for humanity if we take power mad demagogues like Trump out and put them down like feral animals who threaten your life. That’s more or less what they are.

          If all persons were created equal, they sure as fuck don’t stay that way.

      • They keep talking about FEMA camps & secret installations under Wal-Marts. Why shouldn’t we give them what they obviously really want?

  • That Awl piece is amazing.

    I for one am extremely sick of “The Thinkpiece About What the Trump Voter Is Thinking and Feeling and Whether We Should Call Them Bigots or Do They Have Real Concerns.” I would like to see way more examinations of the ethnic and religious minorities who are FUCKING TERRIFIED of what will happen to them if Trump gets elected.

    • so-in-so

      Wide swaths of the press have already been fitted with their Trumpist arm bands.

      I guess Comey has them stocked at the FBI too.

  • MilitantlyAardvark

    I suspect that once this election is over we’ll see a small, artisanal batch of articles by people explaining that they never really supported Trump, never really attended his rallies and, in fact, never really knew he existed. And those articles will be just about as credible as the ones demanding empathy for the nastier side of America’s underbelly.

  • Caepan

    Funny, I don’t seem to recall much empathy from those who believed that George W. Bush won the 2000 Presidential Election.

    Those of us who pointed out the voting irregularities, the unprecedented Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore, and the heavy-handedness of the tax cuts handed out to the wealthy while cutting social services to others were not appropriate for a functioning democracy, we were told, “WE WON YOU LOST GET OVER IT!”

    Surprisingly, this concept of winning/losing is now considered unsympathetic and illiberal to those who lost the two previous Presidential elections, and most likely the next one as well. And we’re supposed to now feel sorry for those who supported a greedy, narcissistic, lying serial sexual predator because now that their candidate lost, we need to feel sorry for their political choices.

    Fuck ’em.

  • Kathleen

    I just want to know what Trump has on all of these media people.

    • tsam

      I don’t think he has anything–I think this is really what passes for “thoughtful” in media. I was tempted to say “these days” but that would be stupid. (Even thoughtless, you might say). Media certainly has its share of dim bulbs who think nuance is a pack pack of baby ants or something.

      • Origami Isopod

        The WaPo writer’s Twitter page has a big “Inspiration” sign at the top, which to me is a giant red flag for feel-good vapidity.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          Yyyyep. Mush-head warning sign.

    • Right?

    • BiloSagdiyev

      He has something Lionel Hutz feared?

    • JMV Pyro

      Fuck all probably. The complete failure of them to at least try and put a check on Trump comes down almost entirely to the same criticisms people like Jay Rosen have been throwing their way for years: they’re an incredibly myopic bunch who’ve come to believe themselves entirely above the petty ideologies of everyone else and who analyze politics as a spectator sport.

      • JR in WV

        The only possible check on Trump is a combination of (a) don’t elect him to public office, and by a landslide, (b) indict him for tax evasion and sexual assault, (c) put him in jail for a very long time, (d) confiscate his assets for being the product of a criminal conspiracy, (e) ensure that his children don’t have the resources to become a comparable affliction upon the nation and world.

        The media could work towards these goals, but only police and judicial work can achieve the goals.

    • twbb

      They need to be held accountable. I mean the best we can. These aren’t faceless corporations, these are specific writers and editors, and we have their names on the bylines and mastheads and we should hold all of this against in perpetuity.

  • blackbox

    LOUISIANA: Visiting liberal writer surprised to find hick town not literally populated by angry mob; people speak in complete sentences, use kind phrases such as “thank you;” reporter comes away feeling very Worldly, Educated about Trump supporters; offers no reconciliation for their self-destructive voting; experts say racism still a problem in America after visit

  • smott999

    So what’s the appropriate response to this ?

    https://mobile.twitter.com/joshtpm/status/793940339614773248

    Should this guy get a visit from the Secret Svc? A night in jail? Formal charge?

    I’m seriously wondering what should be Clinton’s strategy vs her opposition in Congress. Assuming Dems have Senate.
    It’s likely 2 years at best.
    We tried bipartisanship.

  • Mike in DC

    Remember folks, it’s only called “racially polarized voting” when super-majorities of non-whites vote for one party. When super-majorities of whites, or more specifically non-college-educated whites vote for the opposite party that supermajorities of non-whites vote for, it’s all about “economic anxiety” and “resentment of cultural and monied elites”, etc.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      I believe that in the last two presidential elections, something like 85% of whites in states like MS and AL were demonstrating “economic anxiety.”

      • Mike in DC

        Amazing that non-whites express their economic anxiety in such a different way.

  • MilitantlyAardvark

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/trump-camp-nv-gop-ordered-appear-court-voter-intimidation-lawsuit

    A federal judge Tuesday ordered representatives from the Donald Trump campaign and the Nevada Republican Party to appear at a hearing in his courtroom Wednesday afternoon in a lawsuit filed by Nevada Democrats accusing them of the engaging in voter intimidation tactics.

    U.S. District Judge Richard Franklin Boulware also ordered the Trump campaign and state party to turn over any training materials they provided to “poll watchers, poll observers, exit pollsters or any other similarly tasked individuals.”

    At the hearing, the Trump campaign and the Nevada GOP should be prepared to respond to the motion for a temporary restraining order that the Democrats requested in the lawsuit, the judge’s order said.

    The Nevada Democratic Party’s lawsuit was filed along with lawsuits from three other Democratic state parties against their GOP counterparts and the Trump campaign in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Arizona. They allege that the Trump campaign and the state Republican parties have violated the Voting Rights Act and the Ku Klux Klan Act, with an approach to elections monitoring that Democrats described as “vigilante voter intimidation.” Roger Stone, the longtime GOP operative and former Trump adviser, was also named in the complaints, as was the group he is affiliated with, Stop the Steal, for its poll watcher recruitment efforts.

    • blackbox

      RNC was supposed to come clean to a judge about poll watching activities Trump/Pence claimed they were helping coordinate… That seems to have not materialized though?

  • Donna Gratehouse

    In my experience, liberals who make all kinds of noise about how Democrats need to be more tolerant and understanding of X group of bigots are often engaging in projection. Doesn’t take much scratching of the surface to reveal their own sympathies to that bigotry, whether it’s sneering contemptuously at “identity politics” or lecturing pro-choicers to accept “sensible compromises” on reproductive rights, etc.

    And whenever some intrepid white explorer from some rarefied liberal enclave like Berkeley goes on a discovery journey into the Red Hinterlands and reports how she became real simpatico with the GOP voters there?

    Hochschild: What I expected was a self-centered people, but I found people who were nothing like that, quite the opposite. They were openhearted, they were communal. They were very eager to be known. They’d say, ‘Thanks for coming. We’re the flyover state, people don’t care about us, they don’t know who we are. They think we’re racist and homophobic and sexist and fat.’ There was a gratitude toward me, and I would tell them exactly who I was: ‘I think I live in a political bubble, and I’m trying to get out of mine and into yours. Will you talk to me? In some of them you sensed loss and a sense of being invisible and unappreciated and insulted. That liberals just think they’re rednecks. Here were people, some who had worked very hard, half were college-educated, and they just felt put down, and they felt a drifting downward in their economic circumstance, but didn’t hear anyone listening to them about their distress. They felt like a minority group.

    I’ve lived among, interacted socially with, worked with, conservatives in AZ for 20 years now. I don’t wish them harm, but I sure as shit don’t feel the need to feel their pain or sing them lullabies, given what they’ve willingly done to our school system and social fabric with their stupid fucking voting habits.

    I’m hard-pressed to understand how Dr. Hothschild came away from her experience in LA with such tender, teary sympathy for for the GOP voters there – and seemingly none for the targets of the policies they vote for – unless she grew to agree (or always did) with their inegalitarian views at least on some level.

    • Origami Isopod

      In my experience, liberals who make all kinds of noise about how Democrats need to be more tolerant and understanding of X group of bigots are often engaging in projection. Doesn’t take much scratching of the surface to reveal their own sympathies to that bigotry, whether it’s sneering contemptuously at “identity politics” or lecturing pro-choicers to accept “sensible compromises” on reproductive rights, etc.

      This is right on target. You can see it in the comments of places like Crooked Timber, even after the new rules went down. You can see it far more virulently in Berniebro hangouts.

      I’m honestly disappointed that this has turned out to be the case with Hochschild. She’s done good academic work on women’s emotional labor. Unfortunately she seems to be a stereotypical white feminist.

    • Harkov311

      …they felt a drifting downward in their economic circumstance, but didn’t hear anyone listening to them about their distress.

      This prompts, to me, a few obvious questions that I wish she’d asked:

      1. But are they actually economically worse off? They may feel like they are, but has their situation actually become worse? Also relevant, was it already getting worse when George W. was president? If so, it might be a false hope to think Trump will help them do better.

      2. Somewhat related, what would “listening to them” consist of? What message do they wish to send that they feel is being ignored? Because the message coming loud and clear out if Trump is “we need more white nationalism.”. If this isn’t the message they wish to send, then what message do they wish to send?

  • Donna Gratehouse

    I’ve just been perusing the chapter samples of Hothschild’s book and I have to wonder, did she spend any significant time with people who weren’t white and conservative the whole time she was there? She does say that she conducted focus groups that included some Democratic women, but I gather from the Amazon excerpt and her interview that she went to Louisiana presenting herself as the Representative Of All Liberals, as if none already existed there. Maybe the entire book is more nuanced but what I’m seeing so far is that Professor Rothschild is a self-important tool.

    • Ronan

      It’s a book about trump supporters

      Eta: I mean how far would the argument “did this person who wrote an ethnography on Hamas spend any time with Israeli liberals” really go?

      • Origami Isopod

        Now there’s a terrible analogy.

        • Ronan

          Fine, change it to what you like. Peope who try to understand reactionary opinions and support for extremists among Muslim communities don’t spend enough time looking at the moderates? People who hope to understand those who join sectarian organisations in Northern Ireland don’t spend enough time looking at those who don’t? The comparative case (why some radicalise and some don’t) is important , but so is the specific, in depth analysis that hotchild ses to be engaging in.
          What exactly is the criticsm of hotchild in this case ? She shouldn’t look and try to Analyse these groups?

          • Origami Isopod

            What exactly is the criticsm of hotchild in this case ? She shouldn’t look and try to Analyse these groups?

            Drexciya said it better than I ever could, so I’d suggest doing a Ctrl + F on the thread and reading his comments.

            • Ronan

              Yeah I read it. I don’t really agree. But still, we’ll have to agree to disagree as we probably won’t convince eschother (genuinely , not meant snarkly or haughtily. )

          • rea

            If you want to analyze flat-earthers, the first thing you need to recognize is that the earth is not flat. If you come away from your analysis of flat earthers thinking that they
            are really quite reasonable people who have been abused by the scientific community, and that maybe there is something to be said for the flat earth world view, you are doing it wrong.

            • veleda_k

              Well put.

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