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Trump’s Lies to Workers

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Donald Trump’s absurd attacks on USW Local 1999 president Chuck Jones gives him the opportunity to respond and note Trump’s lies to working-class Americans, as well as why Trump appealed to union members through those lies.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, Trump got involved. He sat down with Carrier leaders. Afterward, he announced that 1,100 jobs would be saved. When I first heard the news, I was optimistic. But I began to get nervous when we couldn’t get any details on the deal. I urged caution, but our members got their hopes up. They thought their jobs had been saved.

When I met with Carrier officials last Thursday, I realized that that wouldn’t be the case. Though Trump said he’d saved 1,100 jobs, he hadn’t. Carrier told us that 550 people would get laid off.

Trump didn’t tell people that, though. When he spoke at our plant, he acted like no one was going to lose their job. People went crazy for him. They thought, because of Trump, I’m going to be able to provide for my family.

All the while, I’m sitting there, thinking that’s not what the damn numbers say. Trump let people believe that they were going to have a livelihood in that facility. He let people breathe easy. When I told our members the next day, they were devastated.

I was angry, too. So I told a Washington Post reporter the truth — that Trump’s 1,100 number was wrong. When Trump read my comments, he got angry. Last night, he tweeted:

And we know what Trump tweeted.

Jones concludes:

What I can’t abide, however, is a president who misleads workers, who gives them false hope. We’re not asking for anything besides opportunity, for jobs that let people provide for their families. These plants are profitable, and the workers produced a good-quality product. Because of corporate greed, though, company leaders are racing to the bottom, to find places where they can pay the least. It’s a system that exploits everyone.

Of course, the media’s response to this has been terrible, as outlets like Politico and CNN and others are referring to Jones as a “union boss.” This pejorative is inaccurate. Jones is an elected union leader with accountability to his members. This is the equivalent of Trump attacking Frank Sobotka and national media outlets then calling him a union boss.

I do think Jones really gets at why Trump’s lies are so appealing to wide segments of the white working class. Not only does he make them feel good for being white, he tells them what they want to hear when it comes to their jobs. It doesn’t much matter that these are lies later. If someone tells you that they will allow you to feed your family through a dignified job, that is an incredibly appealing message. And everyone who says that economic anxiety wasn’t an issue for white working class Trump voters in the Midwest has to reckon with that fact. Of course, it wouldn’t work for black and Latino working class voters because Trump’s message is racist. But the economic anxiety felt by all members of the working class is very, very real.

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  • Jon_H11

    But the economic anxiety felt by all members of the working class is very, very real.

    The appeal of Trump’s Bannon-y “economic nationalism” is not directly related to “economic anxiety” in itself. It’s an economic nationalism (or nativism?) that appeals to WWC Trump voters. It’s not about utility or pure economic outcomes, its about the perceived health of their “culture” (re: race) relative to “others”, it’s about race with economics as an adjunct.

    A purely economic set of proposals, divorced from the racism, will not appeal to them.

    • aturner339

      This is important. I understated that Erik is arguing economic insecurity placed the WWC is a suggestive frame of mind ripe for exploitation. This may have relevance if we can eliminate that insecurity. But as long as that isn’t possible the pivotal question is
      “What exactly are the mesmerists suggesting their victims do?”

      • DrDick

        I think it is more the case that economic insecurity heightens “tribalism”, racism, and xenophobia, as competition for jobs and money increases. This is classic “false consciousness” (deliberately fostered by our plutocratic overlords), which places the blame on other marginalized groups, rather than on those with power, whose decisions actually created the insecurity.

        • aturner339

          This is debatable. Some of the worst periods for racial oppression in the US have coincided with economic booms. I can buy false consciousness but lets consider an alternative.

          Being better off frees up racists to vote their racism. Obama saved Michigan and some of them punished that good deed the minute they found their footing.

          • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

            There’s a “*relative* economic anxiety” component: is *their* slice growing faster than mine? If you see the world in those terms, you can be mad even in good times if their slice is growing faster than yours. Currently, the WWC slice is stagnating, but a lot of folks think minorities (despite starting worse off and falling behind faster IRL) are gettng an unfair advantage of Obamacare, food stamps, “Obamaphones”

            • aturner339

              Which is just.. racism. That’s how is always worked. Never mind that Reagan passed the phone program of that GWB expanded it to include cellphones.

              • Rob in CT

                Right. It’s that whole “they cut in line” “deep story” from the gag-inducing article about folks in… Louisiana was it?

          • DrDick

            However, racism is more virulent and active among those with the greatest insecurity. It is also important that the powers that be have been aggressively selling the idea that the problem is those people are stealing your jobs since the civil rights era (and threatening to give them those jobs for ever).

      • Jon_H11

        I think Erik is overly optimistic. The WWC Trump voter cares about economics, but not in the sense we’ve assumed people do, i.e. not really just liking what ends up with him or her and his or her family having more absolute resources. They care about perceived community status, and “community” here, while not identical with, is inexorably intertwined with race.

        Although social welfare programs give money and resources to struggling white communities like those in Appalachia, the South, and the Rust Belt, the rise of these programs corresponded with a general cultural and civil readjustment of how we view race, together with de-industrialization. In the mind of the WWC (especially the older generations who experienced this whole process) these things are all view as one interconnected process: civil rights, social welfare programs, and industrial decline. We can say and even prove that these are independent phenomena, but they’ve already bought the story that their cultural decline is the result of the co-option of society by “others”.

        The only way to unlink these things in their mind is to give them one without the other, i.e. an increased social welfare program while having decreased civil rights for minorities. Or reinvigorating US industry without seeing progress into a more pluralistic society. This is what Trump offered, and they ate it up, if he succeeds in giving them one of these without the others we might be able to make progress, but at the cost of establishing a dangerous autocratic regime and cult of personality, let alone the direct damages to society. And for the Dems to counter-offer anything like that which would break the associations in the WWC’s minds would be either impossible (re-industrializing at meaningful scales while holding social welfare and justice constant) or betraying our core values of justice (attacking the safety net or betraying racial and ethnic minorities).

        I don’t see any solution. That’s why I think we need to accept that we’re left to fighting a political guerrilla war and waiting for the white baby boomers to die out before we can hope to make real gains.

        • aturner339

          I largely agree. Barring some magic bullet solution (Matthew Yglesias is talking about relocating some government facilities to the Midwest) we aren’t going to win back the racists anymore than we will win back the majority of white voters in general. We have to beat them.

          • sergiol652

            Matthew Yglesias know that there are government facilities in every state, right?

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      “it’s about race with economics as an adjunct cover story.”

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      I’m not sure what we can do when Trump supporters believe false information, such as that unemployment has gone up under Obama.

      You can’t have a reasonable conversation with someone who will insist that it’s gone up, and the numbers you cite to prove it hasn’t are just government lies.

      • Bugboy

        One of my staff muttered something about Trump’s ties to Russia being “conspiracy theories” Right, but “Pizzagate” is not a conspiracy theory?

        • Crusty

          Who’s to say?

    • Quaino

      Probably not, but you’re taking it too far in one direction. The Democratic response to Trump throwing out red meat to every base desire of a non-service worker (tax imports! trade deals suck! bring back jobs! mexico! immigrants!) was pathetic. You can’t say that Democrats took a serious swing at these voters … none of them care that Hillary had a minimum wage increase on her website or that she said ‘no, no, I hate TPP, ignore all the times I didn’t hate it’. Her appeal to them (to all workers) was sad sack.

      It’s fine if you think they’re all racist, misogynists who beat their wives and kids and probably only care about gym, laundry and tanning. But don’t use that to paper over any criticism of the Democratic side of the aisle, which hasn’t had a strong message on workers in years. Literally listing a couple of aggregate statistics and moving on doesn’t mean shit to anyone who is concerned about their job disappearing, ESPECIALLY when the person saying it comes from a tree of politicians who adore all these shitty trade agreements.

      • aturner339

        1.) Racism is not exceptional in american politics or culture it is the norm. It is not the province of “wife beaters”
        2.) The democrats spent eight solid years solidly focused on the working class. From manufacturing, to theatrical, to the heroin epidemic.
        3) Hillary Clinton in particular has been a life long adjudicate for working families.

        • aturner339

          “Manufacturing”

          The theater remains distressingly bourgeois.

        • Murc

          3) Hillary Clinton in particular has been a life long adjudicate for working families.

          Except, of course, for when she was a member of a White House that repeatedly put the boot into them.

          • aturner339

            *Shudders at my typos*

            Okay that out of the way who put the boot in what again?

            • Murc

              Okay that out of the way who put the boot in what again?

              Uh, the Clinton White House’s many egregious acts against the working class?

              For gods sake, slashing the social safety net was part of their platform planks in both ’92 and ’96. And Hillary Clinton was right up there, cheering it on, and both she and her husband were billing her as an integral part of his administration.

              It is true that this was part of the Democratic Party’s nineties nadir; there were many Democrats in that same mold, its why the putting in of said boot had huge bipartisan majorities in Congress. But that doesn’t absolve anyone involved.

              • aturner339

                Okay I can understand that perspective but:
                1.) You really think a single voter who would self consciously identify as “working class” thinks the welfare state is for them?
                2.) Hillary isn’t Bill and the fact that she supported “her husband” on a key campaign promise does not erase here own record of advocacy.

                • Murc

                  1.) You really think a single voter who would self consciously identify as “working class” thinks the welfare state is for them?

                  Yes. You’re talking to one. I was working-class for years. By some metrics I still am; I make less than the median income and am paid hourly, not salaried, and while I attended college I don’t have a bachelors.

                  2.) Hillary isn’t Bill and the fact that she supported “her husband” on a key campaign promise does not erase here own record of advocacy.

                  Maybe not, but it undercuts your own position of “lifelong advocacy.” Yeah, lifelong except for those eight years when she was at the left hand of power, stamping her feet and cheering on destructive policies.

                • DrDick

                  Yeah, lifelong except for those eight years when she was at the left hand of power, stamping her feet and cheering on destructive policies.

                  And her generally tepid support for working class issues since then. She has been very good on civil rights issues, but much less so on economic issues, though still not too bad.

                • djw

                  1.) You really think a single voter who would self consciously identify as “working class” thinks the welfare state is for them?

                  Yeah, no kidding. There’s a reason it didn’t really matter whether Clinton signed this or not, since it was passing over his veto anyway, and it has a lot more to do with the demands of the electorate, not the uniquely villainous perfidy of the person known as Billandhillary Clinton. Maybe Democratic politicians are just evil monsters who want poor people to suffer and they would have done it without public support, but at least consider the alternative.

                • Murc

                  There’s a reason it didn’t really matter whether Clinton signed this or not, since it was passing over his veto anyway, and it has a lot more to do with the demands of the electorate, not the uniquely villainous perfidy of the person known as Billandhillary Clinton.

                  This strawman is beneath you. I at no point said or implied that either Bill or Hillary were uniquely perfidious. There’s a lot of blame to go around for the 90s-era Democratic Party; they neither wholly escape it nor wholly assume it.

                  I put zero stock in “it was going to pass over Clinton’s veto anyway.” Yeah, no. This is like absolving Daniel Patrick Moynihan of the work he did with conservatives that made “welfare reform” possible just because he ultimately voted against it. This was a huge plank of the Clinton platform, they both own it, and they don’t get to dodge it with “well, it turned out much nastier than we wanted it to be” something that anyone with two brain cells to rub together could have told them was going to happen.

        • DrDick

          1.) Racism is not exceptional in american politics or culture it is the norm. It is not the province of “wife beaters”

          This is sadly very true and has been actively fostered by our plutocratic elites for centuries. I would argue, however, that you give the Democratic Party and Clinton too much credit, though they are clearly far superior to the GOP.

      • ASV

        And yet Hillary overwhelmingly won the non-white working class.

        • Murc

          This is true, but I don’t like the formulation. I usually like to say “Hillary Clinton won the working class.”

          I have a variety of reasons for that, but one of the big ones is that its just plain fun. A lot of people either don’t believe it (and are flabbergasted when shown the numbers) or don’t want to admit that when they talk about the working class they really mean exclusively the white working class.

          That’s always a good time.

        • JKTH

          Shhhhhhhhh.

        • Sebastian_h

          That is because they were voting on the non-white dimension not the working class/non-working class dimension. When there are only two candidates there isn’t the possibility of making very fine distinctions between all of your possible identity votes.

          The fact that the non-white working class voted for Clinton might show that the non-white identity was more important to them than their working class identity. It would be perfectly possible for them to see Clinton as good, or bad, or neutral, or terrible on working class issues and still vote for her because Trump seemed to them (rightfully so) to scary on racial issues.

          Similarly the white working class might have a multiplicity of views on race, but if they don’t see that as a huge part of their identity in question during this election they could be voting on the idea (with frankly evidence that points both ways especially considering the Bill Clinton administration) that Clinton has a long history of ignoring the big parts of the working class.

          A huge part of the problems analyzing the election is refusing to understand that people who disagree with you are often voting with different priorities than you are.

          You could only vote for one of two major options.

          • aturner339

            So the non whites were voting their race but the whites voted their pocket books?

            Because this is typically how race in America works?

            • DrDick

              Actually, I would say that the non-white working class were also voting their pocket books, because Clinton has been far better on their issues than on purely economic issues. I do not think you can divorce racism from the voting patterns of the WWC, however, since our elite have used race to divide the working classes for centuries in this country.

              • aturner339

                I think its a bit simpler than that. Racism is hardly unique to the working class (though yes the upper classes would certainly like to make it appear so)

                Trump ran an openly racist campaign and some racists of all classes responded well to it.

      • Hogan

        It’s fine if you think they’re all racist, misogynists who beat their wives and kids and probably only care about gym, laundry and tanning.

        Oh DO fuck off.

        • It’s weird, because I thought the stereotype is that us elitist coastal liberals thought all Trump voters were slackjawed yokels. I don’t think you get much more coastal than the Jersey Shore. Is this because of the joke I made about The Situation the other day?

    • gmack

      I had an interesting exchange with a Trump supporter on this issue. I argued the same point you’re making here, that Trump, in effect, ran a campaign designed to appeal to white identity politics. In fact, I argued that Trump’s campaign effectively called for reparations, except in this case it is reparations for white people. His broad story was, basically, that there elites, in order to line their own pockets, pursued globalizing economic strategies that harmed the working class, while mocking hard working white people’s culture, and and using governmental regulation and welfare to buy off minorities. Trump’s appeal, then, was that we should acknowledge the victims of these elite by providing them with the cultural respect and monetary rewards they deserve, and by taking vengeance on their enemies.

      Aside from my assertion that vengeance was an important part of Trump’s appeal, my interlocutor agreed entirely with the analysis. He argued quite explicitly that hard working whites have been culturally and economically attacked and are now starting to stand up for themselves (and he expressed some glee that it drives liberals crazy).

      So I think the general point–that Trump was engaging in white identity politics–stands. And that part of the particular mode of identity politics Trump is engaging in focuses on ensuring that white people are better off than those “others.” Having said that, I also don’t think that this is the only story at work in the campaign. As I recall, one of Clinton’s main problems is that she wasn’t able to turn out poorer whites at the same rates that Obama did. There is a group of relatively poor white people who might very well be open to a “purely economic set of proposals. Partly because Clinton was not a great messenger for them, and partly because her messages were not heard (as a result of media coverage) and partly as a result of a whole slew of other factors, the Democratic party did not get these people out in high enough numbers.

      • aturner339

        One thing I find fascinating is just how durable that argument is. It’s essentially traditional defense of the Ku Klux Klan in response to Reconstruction.

        Means vary but the “logic” is the same.

        • Davis X. Machina

          I have great hopes for this country once the Civil War is over.

  • King Goat

    Yes, I’ve always hated that ‘union boss’ thing. I’ve never had a ‘boss’ that me and my fellow workers got to elect.

    • Dilan Esper

      It comes from a time period when there were mobbed up unions. “Boss” migrated over from organized crime.

      Unions cleaned up their act, but the term stuck.

      • liberal

        Unions are hardly clean, AFAICT. (NB: That doesn’t mean I’m not pro-union, in the big picture of things.)

        Here’s a case of a union treasurer embezzling from the union.

        And the response?

        Lang said Unite Here leaders will refer Green’s conduct to an independent panel empowered to discipline Unite Here officers involved with corruption cases. Lang said it would be up to that panel, known as the public review board, to decide whether to refer Green’s case to law enforcement officials.

        Sorry, but that’s fucking pathetic. Convene a committee?

        • Hogan

          Yeah, what’s with all the due process?

        • ploeg

          If you want to be treated with due process and respect by an employer, and you don’t want to be fired without just cause, you can hardly do any differently within the union. A lot of folks don’t get this.

        • Lost Left Coaster

          What would you prefer? A public flogging?

          Seriously, sounds like the union is handling the problem in accordance with their rules and practices.

  • kped

    Well…Frank Sobotka might not be the best example of a “good” union leader…what with the crime and all.

    I don’t think it’s a matter of if, but when, that one of Trumps tweets targeting a private citizen will lead to violence against that individual. Physical violence, not the other types that are already happening to them, which are already taking a mental toll on these people.

    And are we ready for the fake math? I mean, this carrier deal is a -1,100 jobs, but the new math is he created/saved 1,100 jobs, and get ready to be told that it is the only number that matters. But make no mistake, this is an outflow, not an inflow. Everything will use funny math in the next 4 years. Republicans already started using it for budget scoring (“Dynamic” scoring!), but now it will be used for labor stats, GDP, everything. Fun times ahead!

    • Crusty

      The thing about Frank Sobotka was that for the most part, the crime was to fund the union to lobby for expansion of the grain pier (or whatever it was) to get more ships docking in Baltimore and more work for his members. For the most part, it wasn’t about lining his pockets. Also, those shipping containers that had trafficked women in them- that’s how Trump’s getting his next wife.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        “that’s how Trump’s getting his next wife.”

        AHA! So that’s why Trump is obsessively clicking the “track your shipment” link.

        And here everyone thought it was the Victoria’s Secret stuff he ordered for Ivanka for christmas.

        • Nobdy

          Which makes Sobotka, who was a criminal, a weird point of comparison for Jones who, to my knowledge, is not.

          • Linnaeus

            Of course Jones is a criminal. He’s a union “boss”!

      • CP

        I really do need to get around to watching “The Wire” at some point, don’t I?

        • Crusty

          Oh dear.

          • CP

            Yeah, yeah… It’s on the to-do list.

      • Warren Terra

        Sobotka was an idealist who refused to profit personally from the criminal enterprise he set up to preserve his community – but (1) his associates in the union weren’t so circumspect; and (2) his downfall came about because he used drug money to buy ad space in the local church, thus offending an important cop, who sicced the wiretap/investigative unit on him.

    • mds

      Republicans already started using it for budget scoring (“Dynamic” scoring!), but now it will be used for labor stats, GDP, everything.

      Wait, so are you implying that when wingnuts denounced, e.g., BLS figures as being phony, they were engaging in … projection? [Collapses onto fainting couch]

    • liberal

      I don’t think it’s a matter of if, but when, that one of Trumps tweets targeting a private citizen will lead to violence against that individual.

      Great point. Shit’s going to get real interesting.

      • Crusty
        • liberal

          I’m only quoting kped. She/he is clearly talking about actual physical violence.

          The stuff you’re citing is nasty and despicable, of course, but wait until someone is shot.

          • kped

            Yes, I (and I’m a he) am talking about someone getting shot or some other physical violence. I read about that 18 year old girl, and that’s terrifying (also why I specified physical violence, because I also agree that this is a type of violence that has real impact on people).

            These threats are a start, and I truly believe they will lead somewhere very dark.

            • Crusty

              I don’t think the episode with this girl is done, she may yet become the victim of violence, dear lord I hope not.

      • kped

        Between this, reddit/infowars misinformation campaigns, Professor Wathlists (which Erik is listed on), I really see this coming to a boiling point where someone on our side is going to die. It’s quite scary.

      • Lost Left Coaster

        Oh yeah. This is inevitable. This is how he’s going to mobilize his orangeshirts to do violence. And when it happens, he’s going to wash his hands of it.

    • liberal

      Not so sure about the stats. The business sector loves really accurate statistics.

    • pseudalicious

      So that was Sheriff Andy up there! “Jason. Dick on, conscience off.”

  • Well, reality’s a bitch. Eventually they’ll have to notice that the steel mills haven’t reopened and the coal miners aren’t getting their jobs back, and meanwhile they’ve lost their health insurance.

    I suppose it will all be the fault of the coastal elites.

    • Crusty

      I’m trying to play out how this works. For the moment, I have no doubt that the 2020 campaign (assuming the election isn’t cancelled) will feature a major talking point that Trump saved the Carrier manufacturing jobs and the media will say reasonable minds may differ, who’s to say?

      • Crusty

        Replying to myself, but perhaps there will be an ad featuring laid off Carrier workers talking about how they saw Trump on tv saying he saved their jobs, but they were still laid off and they didn’t understand how he could lie. And now I have to take a shower from thinking about using people like that. Ugh.

        • mds

          Replying to myself, but perhaps there will be an ad featuring laid off Carrier workers talking about how they saw Trump on tv saying he saved their jobs, but they were still laid off and they didn’t understand how he could lie.

          Never mind the (valid) squeamishness. You’d have to watch out for people like the dumbshit who acknowledged that his Carrier job was still going away, but Trump’s actions nevertheless made him “hopeful.”

          • liberal

            Against stupidity/The gods themselves/Contend in vain.

          • L2P

            Ask him again after 4 years of working at Walmart for 7 bucks an hour.

            • so-in-so

              Go ahead, he’ll probably STILL blame it on Democrats and “those people” taking all the good jobs.

          • efgoldman

            You’d have to watch out for people like the dumbshit who acknowledged that his Carrier job was still going away, but Trump’s actions nevertheless made him “hopeful.”

            Yeah, i saw that clip when it aired. The jaw, she drops.
            While I don’t doubt that racism is a considerable component of the WWC “economic anxiety”, it’s worth noting that a significant portion of the Carrier workers who had microphones and cameras stuck in their faces, were black.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      “I suppose it will all be the fault of the coastal elites.”

      They can hold onto their resentment tighter than any job or heathcare coverage.

      • so-in-so

        My family may be starving, but at least we can call a (insert racial slur) a (insert racial slur).

        And they are starving faster, so it’s all good.

    • aturner339

      It’ll be the Mexicans who spited all the promises are inexplicably still here.

    • Rob in CT

      Eventually they’ll have to notice that the steel mills haven’t reopened and the coal miners aren’t getting their jobs back, and meanwhile they’ve lost their health insurance.

      This would involve admitting they’ve been conned.

      Also, for those who DO realize it and accept they’ve been had, the response may be “fuck it all, none of these assholes does anything for ME” (which is not actually true, we will yell, to no avail), which doesn’t necessarily translate into voting D. It’s just as likely to result in staying home. And that’s only if no “coastal elites” looked at them funny. If that happens, welp, there’s nothing for it but to vote R again, because fuck you coastal elites!

      • mds

        It’s just as likely to result in staying home.

        Well, I sure as shit would have accepted “staying home” as their strategy this time. So I’ll take it in 2020, too.

        • Rob in CT

          True, true.

      • What is likely to happen is that even more people will migrate to the cities in search of work, leaving behind rural communities that are even more conservative and radicalized. Right now it’s an issue when a candidate wins 2% more of the popular vote and still loses. What’s going to happen when it becomes 5%?

  • liberal

    File under “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry”: Karl’s Jr. and Trump’s cabinet

  • Not only does he make them feel good for being white, he tells them what they want to hear when it comes to their jobs.

    Yes, and just like with Al Gore, as soon as they leave the room he does the exact opposite.

    I get economic anxiety and loss of hope. What I will never get is putting your trust in someone who is demonstrably a pathological liar and in which there are literally dozens of cases where he has made his riches by fucking over the people who trusted him. White rage is part of it, but also just sheer fucking stupidity.

    • liberal

      But he’s a successful businessman!!1!

    • Linnaeus

      Even very smart people are capable of self-deception.

      • liberal

        Of course. We all do it all the time. However…

      • True. There is stupidity, and there is willful stupidity.

    • Davis X. Machina

      60 million people go to the polls and say, “He hates the same people I hate. Hand me the goddamn ballot.”

      You got a better explanation for Trump’s near-miss in the election, I’d love to hear it.

      • so-in-so

        Alternative, 150,000 hear about “both sides” and “Hillary’s Emails” in the last week before the election, but not a peep about Trump. They hadn’t really paid any attention before then anyway, decide that Clinton is at least as bad as Trump and either vote for him or maybe stay home because “it doesn’t matter”.

        The 60 million were going to vote that way anyway, my impression is that Clinton’s under performing in key states was the issue, while Trump got the expected always-vote-R people.

  • liberal

    Has anyone suggested a mass boycott of all Trump properties? And a boycott of anyone who doesn’t abide by the boycott?

    Not sure it would work, but if they’re really in hock, as per his usual way of operating, he’d be back in bankruptcy court.

    • solidcitizen

      Do you think there are a large number of people who hate Trump, but stay at Trump properties? I think the Trump property boycott is a self-organizing event.

      • liberal

        That’s why I said “boycott those who don’t boycott.” Of course that would only work if there are large businesses or other groups that use Trump properties.

        • so-in-so

          How about boycotts of Carl’s Jr, Hardies and other business that tie themselves to Trump?

    • How about if 50% of the people who work in NYC decided to take an early lunch and occupy the area surrounding Trump Tower for a couple of hours.

    • farin

      Trump’ll be a multi-trillionaire by the end of January. It doesn’t matter anymore what anyone does to his businesses now that he’s running a global protection racket.

  • solidcitizen

    If I may be cynical for a moment, how is what Trump did terribly different from what union leaders, including our beloved Frank Sobotka, do all the time?

    Trump stood in front of a packed room of union workers and told them that the deal he just struck will make their lives better. Maybe he (whether Trump or the union president) knows he’s full of shit, but wants to give people hope, because while you can’t eat hope and it doesn’t pay the rent, it’s better than being told you’re fucked. Maybe he thinks by walking out there and putting a shine on the deal, the bosses will see them go nuts, feel the love, and actually come through – it’s a last ditch, final, no-hope, but why-not? play.

    How is what Donald did any different that Frank telling the boys that he needs to be Secretary-Treasurer for one more year because the grain pier is a possibility and he needs one more year to try to put a deal together? Frank knows there’s almost no hope, but hope is all he’s got. It’s “hope” or “I failed.” Guess which one the workers cheer you for.

    So, I guess I am saying, after union leaders large and small have been feeding workers nothing but a steady diet of hope for the last 30 years, it makes complete sense to me that the workers would fall for Trump doing it. This will not be the first time they have been told a great deal has been struck only to find out that it’s actually something of a shit sandwich. We’ll get ’em next contract, though.

    • Ramon A. Clef

      after union leaders large and small have been feeding workers nothing but a steady diet of hope for the last 30 years

      Citation needed.

      • solidcitizen

        Does spending the last 15 years of my life working the labor movement count? Does being the son of a union officer add anything? Does being the grandson of two union officers help? Is being a relatively aware person, so watching the decline of labor and union jobs a citation?

        • Ramon A. Clef

          No.

          • solidcitizen

            Ok then.

          • Stag Party Palin

            No, Ramon, I’m buying solid’s argument. He’s not accusing leadership of bad morals, just bemoaning unfulfilled promises, and we all know how difficult life is for unions. Most contracts ARE going to be disappointing for reasons endlessly discussed here. So, yes, the situation was ripe for a set of promises from someone new and the ‘obvious’ fact that the new guy was a pathological liar had too little effect.

            As the Knight of the Grail said, “They chose … poorly.”

    • Crusty

      I think the difference is pretty simple- did Frank tell them the grain pier was a done deal and they’d soon all have more shifts? Because that’s what Trump is doing- he took the number of jobs that were lost, doubled it and claimed that was the number he saved. Not a forward looking statement of hope, a plain old lie, completely divorced from reality.

      If its all about just saying things to give people hope, false or otherwise, why doesn’t Trump just tell everyone he’s writing them a check and then not do it. Is that the same thing union leaders do?

    • The difference is that union leaders (and unions) have demonstrably made the lives of their members better, and intentionally so. Trump can make no such legitimate claim.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      There’s a defensible point in there, but it’s lost by you basically saying that there’s no difference between a union leader who tries to keep the troops mobilized through hope and Donald Trump blatantly lying to and manipulating union members for his own nefarious political purposes.

      Also The Wire is a fictional show, in case you forgot.

  • Matt

    I do think Jones really gets at why Trump’s lies are so appealing to wide segments of the white working class. Not only does he make them feel good for being white, he tells them what they want to hear when it comes to their jobs. It doesn’t much matter that these are lies later. If someone tells you that they will allow you to feed your family through a dignified job, that is an incredibly appealing message.

    This would be a compelling argument, but for the reality that this has been the GOP platform for over THIRTY YEARS while these same voters have been fucked over over and over. Believing a comfortable lie for one election is one thing; *still* believing it after years of clear evidence that it’s false is either a sign these voters just LIKE the racism or that they’re too goddamn gullible to operate a representative democracy.

    • aturner339

      Yes it’s not a coincidence that the most openly racist campaign in a generation just happened to appeal to them.

    • Sebastian_h

      The analysis is more useful if you include both sides of the dynamic and if you realize that there are essentially only two choices.

      If you put in the Democratic side they ALSO have 30 years of Democratic Party promises to make their lives better which have also failed to come true.

      Then you are left with deciding between a candidate who says you are a priority (Trump) and one who at best mixes you in with 2,000 other ‘priorities’ hints that you might be a deplorable not worth paying attention to, and supported the TPP while giving expensive speeches to Goldman Sachs.

      So your historical knowledge lets you know that in reality they are both likely to let you continue drowning.

      You might give the one who says you are a priority a chance in the hope that he might be different.

      • Stag Party Palin

        If you put in the Democratic side they ALSO have 30 years of Democratic Party promises to make their lives better which have also failed to come true.

        Humongous overstatement. You’ve got wool in your eyes.

        • Sebastian_h

          I’m not making the argument myself, I’m making the argument as seen by many people in the Rust Belt.

          That’s how empathy is supposed to work–you try to understand how other people see the world even if you don’t agree with them.

      • Aaron Morrow

        I understand why the white working class doesn’t count increased health care access, due to their racism and the refusal of states to expand Medicaid when the ACA passed. (Why hello, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennslvania!)

        But why not note that Democratic Party promises didn’t come true because of Republican governors?

        EDIT: Per the comment above, why shouldn’t we tell Rust Belt people their Republican governors screwed them over?

        • Sebastian_h

          By all means tell them their governors screwed them over. The situation is a bit more complicated by the fact that a likely response is: I used to have a good enough job to not need help with health insurance.

          I’m not saying they are on balance right from my point of view. I’m saying their point of view (that Democrats on balance care much more about the cities than them) isn’t the kind of insane that means we should write them off as unreachable.

  • njorl

    This sort of thing has been going on a long time. Everybody knows Reagan cut taxes, but most people actually had their taxes increased by Reagan because of the Social Security deal. You can’t tell people that.
    It’s also scripture that Bill Clinton raised everybody’s taxes when he only raised taxes on the wealthy. I remember reading about exit polls in 1994 where people who voted for Clinton in 1992 voted Republican in 1994 because their taxes went up, even though their taxes didn’t go up.

    • FlipYrWhig

      I’m starting to think this is how “economic anxiety” is actually working too. I think it’s like RAMPANT CRIMES BY URBAN THUGS stories, where the people immediately affected by any actual event are far fewer than the people who believe that the actual event epitomizes a widespread phenomenon affecting many other people. IOW, you can vote on your perception of other people’s lamentable economic anxiety without experiencing economic anxiety yourself.

    • Rob in CT

      There are tons of people who think Obama raised their taxes – far, far, far more people than actually did see their taxes go up since 1/20/2009 (these people exist, of course, but there aren’t that many of them and they’re quite affluent).

      Some of that is people not understanding/being lied to about the FICA tax cut in the stimulus, which was allowed to expire after the GOP took the House (temporary tax cut expires = tax hike!)

      Some of it is probably about state-level tax increases (which would’ve had to be bigger but for the money sent to the states by the feds in the stimulus).

      And a lot of it is just flat-out lying by Republicans.

    • CP

      I remember reading about exit polls in 1994 where people who voted for Clinton in 1992 voted Republican in 1994 because their taxes went up, even though their taxes didn’t go up.

      It really does amaze me how many people are literally incapable of connecting the arguments made by the nice people on the TV with their own lives.

      Liberals like to think that if you can improve people’s lives, they’ll see that it’s happening and realize that having you in charge is good. Nope.

  • Lasker

    I’d love to see some public opinion polling on Trump’s Chuck Jones attacks.

    My instinct is that his Jones’s opposition to Trump on Carrier is much more likely to change minds than that of Democratic politician’s, but as a member of the coastal elite, what do I know?

    In other news, I just received a mass email where a casual acquaintance details his “Latino Nationalism” (He is Dominican) and defends Trump’s white nationalism as being a healthy expression of racial pride. He included snippets of many emails with a (presumably) white liberal interlocutor who takes a surprisingly long time to grasp what he is dealing with. Nationalists flock together, I guess.

    • aturner339

      Wouldn’t be the first time someone compared Trump and Trujillo.

      • Lasker

        I don’t know his opinion on Trujillo.

        But it makes more and more sense the more I think about it. He probably sees Trump as a guy who “understands” the Dominican nationalists feelings towards Haitians and won’t lecture them like those pious liberals Obama and Clinton.

  • pseudalicious

    Of course, the media’s response to this has been terrible, as outlets like Politico and CNN and others are referring to Jones as a “union boss.”

    What on Earth do we do about this? On the one hand, a lot of good reporting does go on at NYT and WaPo and good reporting, like anything, costs money. And that means subscribing. And they’re already losing a lot of money. On the other hand, they’re always fucking up due to not wanting to be seen as “liberal” (even though no one who sees them that way reads them, let alone subscribes), in ways hugely damaging to the country as a whole. I think, “Do I subscribe and therefore co-sign, f’rex, that threatening to light a Muslim student on fire is the same as hurting a racist’s fee-fees? Or do I keep abstaining and soon we’ll have no journalism left at all?”

    In a way, it’s kind of a purity pony Greens vs. the Dems argument, now that I write it all out.

  • Some folks talk as though anybody who voted for Trump thereby crossed the Rubicon of Racism and/or the Styx of Unreason – there is no going back from that, and no point in attempting to get ANY of their votes ever again.

    Make no mistake: I make no excuses for Trump voters. But if I were a Democratic strategist I would not be letting my distaste for what they did get in the way of figuring out how to win elections. I would be looking at two groups: people who previously voted for Obama who voted Trump this time, and people who previously voted for Obama but didn’t vote this time or went third-party.

    The latest numbers suggest that 46.2% of the electorate voted for Trump. Most of them seemingly did so for partisan reasons. They are, therefore, unlikely to be swayed by any arguments from Democrats, whether they are “working class” or not. But a much smaller number probably just weren’t terribly impressed with either Clinton or Trump, but kept hearing that Clinton was corrupt, possibly criminal, and that Trump wasn’t like other politicians and was daring to promise things no one else would, and thought “what have I got to lose”? Not very well-informed, true, but not completely impervious to facts, non-racist appeals or even to rational argument.

    And the point is, since the margins by which Trump won many key states was so small, you don’t need to win over a huge percentage of Trump voters – or other people who didn’t vote for Clinton- to change the outcome.

    So it’s not going to be a waste of time to point out that Trump’s promises to the working class are empty. The fact that you’re not going to convince everyone or even a majority doesn’t make it a waste of time. You never convince everyone. If people changed their votes before, they can change them again.

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