Glenn Greenwald’s pathological hatred of the Democratic Party has now led him to defend Aaron Coleman, the 19 year old kid running for the Kansas legislature who….has a nasty history of revenge porn earlier in his teenage years. Now, I don’t have a real opinion on the future of someone who did something like this except to say that given that he’s never really apologized for it and obviously has an ego the size of his state given that he thinks he should be in office already, he seems like a real problematic character. But of course what is that for Glenn when he can go after some evil sellout Dems.
That alone really isn’t worth a blog post though. What makes me write about it is how Glenn pathologizes the working class in order to excuse away Coleman’s behavior.
How these long-standing liberal principles governing rehabilitation and childhood misconduct should be applied to Coleman’s election victory as an adult present interesting and important questions. So, too, does his background: if we say we want more candidates from working-class and impoverished families running for political office — as we should — do we make allowances for the fact that deprived childhoods often produce aberrant behavior as a child that are not common among those from more privileged backgrounds? After all, the British Journal of Psychiatry documented in 2014: “Poverty or low socioeconomic status (SES) during childhood is a well-known distal risk factor for subsequent criminal and substance misuse behaviours.”
While it may be true that real poverty does cause “aberrant behavior,” it is also very true that lots and lots and lots and lots of working class kids…don’t engage in revenge porn. I mean, if I had done something like that, my father would have taken me behind the woodshed and I never would have forgotten it. I knew plenty of jerks in my white working class town and maybe some of them would have done things like this but it’s not because they were working class. Moreover, it’s not as if middle class and upper class kids don’t do these same things at probably the same or even greater rate. This doesn’t even get into just exactly how Coleman grew up, which I can’t find any info on, but it doesn’t matter.
What Greenwald is doing here is engaging in the most grotesque kind of stereotyping against the working class so he can go after those evil Dems. It’s offensive. But hey, what do I know about the white working class? I’m only a millworker’s son and first generation college graduate. I don’t have degrees from George Washington and NYU Law while appearing on Tucker’s White Power Hour from my palace in Rio’s toniest neighborhood like real heroes of the working class.