The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Why Poor White Males Are the Core of Trump’s Support

This is not hard to understand. Wages for working class white males peaked in 1968, forty-eight years ago. Coincidentally, I was born 1968.

I am not young.

For their entire working lives, conditions for working class males have been getting worse.

“Free trade” has not worked for them. China joined the WTO in 2000. Here’s what happened.

Manufacturing Employment

Now, imagine that chart adjusted for population increases.

So, for damn near 48 years, poor whites have done terribly. For forty-eight years, ordinary politicians have promised to do something about it, and nothing has improved.

Do not tell me, or them, that they are “privileged.” Yes, it is better to be poor and white than poor and black, and better to be a poor white man than a poor white woman, but people who are in pain do not react well to some smug, upper-middle-class jerk telling them they are privileged when their lives are clearly terrible.

It is a FACT that working class whites will not see any improvement worth mentioning under any normal politician, including Clinton. They may see an improvement under Trump, they certainly would under Sanders.

They are voting for what they see as their interests, and they are not necessarily wrong. Certainly, Trump is more likely to help than Clinton, as the chance of Clinton helping them is zero. Zip. Nada.

It is insanity to expect poor white males to accept 48 years of decline and not get angry. It’s perfectly reasonable for them to respond to a man who offers them a better life in a way that is different from all the politicians who have failed them in the past.

Trump does not feel or campaign like an ordinary politician. Poor whites read this as: “He might not betray us like all the normal politicians do.”

At the least, it is worth a try.

Now, when I say “poor whites,” smart people should hear “people who are willing to be violent.”

Who mans America’s actual fighting regiments? That’s right, poor whites.

Who are your police? Who are your prison guards?

Right. Even if they make decent money as a cop or guard, they’re poor whites by culture: Scots-Irish core.

These are bad people to alienate to the point where they are willing to turn, en-masse, to a demagogue.

Just saying.

You may not like this, but the cold reality is that you need to keep the people who enjoy violence under control and, ideally happy–wanting other things more than they want to crack skulls. At the least, you make sure that they spend all their time killing and hurting each other and poor brown people, not their “betters.”

You have to be real stupid to lose control of your society’s fighting class. You have to be real stupid to degrade them over a period of decades, to employ them en-masse in jobs where they beat up other people.

Demonizing poor white men as “trailer trash” has simply alienated them. Telling them they are all sexist, racist scum has not “raised their consciousness.” Strangely, they don’t think that all the people who tell them they’re bad are right. Instead, they think those people are assholes.

In many cases, they’d like to give a good beating to said assholes. For example, Kevin Williamson:

If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy—which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog—you will come to an awful realization. … The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die.

You have treated these people like shit. You know how you get treated at bad jobs? Like disposable trash who can be ordered to do anything?

People become how they are treated. You have to feed the better parts of them if you want those parts to win. If half the “good jobs” available to these people jobs that involve violence, if the remaining non-violent jobs (manufacturing) are disappearing, and if the rest of their jobs are ass, you should not be surprised that they become mean.

You make them this way, then you demonize them for it.

Trump does not talk to these people like he despises them. (Neither does Bernie.)

Clinton does. She’s pandering, she knows it, and it comes through. The disdain drips.

The quality of life for the average “white male” peaked in 1968. Then, you call them trash, they have almost no good jobs, and you’re surprised they’re angry? You think they aren’t human? You think they are Jesus, and can be treated like crap for longer than most of them have been alive and that there won’t be consequences? You think that because other people are treated even worse, they will sublimate their own mistreatment?

Worse, you marginalized them and then used them as your primary violent enforcers?

That’s not just immoral, that’s crazy stupid.

Remember, they don’t just hate people who are brown. They hate most rich whites. And by rich, they mean a lot more people than the actual rich.

Treat people like trash, and don’t be surprised when they come back to bite you.

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Trump Hysteria


Slow Posting


  1. Dan Lynch

    “People become how they are treated. “

    That’s all they know. Unregulated capitalism is a mean culture.

  2. Marie Antoinette and her cohort had no idea what was coming. The fat merchant class bourgeoisie comfortably gathering to sip wine and pontificate on the ills of the world didn’t last much longer.

    History only repeats to those paying attention.

  3. Lisa

    “since the chance of Clinton doing so is zero. Zip. Nada.”

    Worse than zero, it is guaranteed that things will get worse for them under Clinton and they know that.

  4. S Brennan

    Was that Ian…or did Jim Webb somehow direct Ian’s hands at the keyboard?

  5. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    The integration of the police and military forces, then, was a shrewd act by the elite. Perhaps it will prove to be enough, at least long enough for this almost-53-solar-orbits white non-elite non-enforcer to win Ian’s “Death Bet”. (I never mated or bred.)

    Of course, the non-elite white enforcers could have taken over long ago, if not for their weak ethnic and/or class solidarity; so far, enough of them can always be bribed and/or otherwise persuaded to turn their guns on their own kind. Anglo-Celts formed the bulk of the soldiery on both sides in the U. S. Civil War, to list the greatest example of this phenomenon.

  6. cripes

    Generally, I concur.

    I have some reservations about the idea of the uniformed sector of the white working class turning their firearms against their paymasters. Or in defense of the working class, such as it is.

    There is little evidence of that so far, although as we are seeing, things can change both quickly and drastically.

    It is kind of in the DNA of our history to pay one half of the working class to kill the other half.

  7. Effem

    Great post.

    I take some issue with “better under Sanders.” While I don’t totally disagree, I also dont think “more entitlements” solves anything. This is a crisis of feeling useful, of having meaning within the system. Tax the rich, give it to the poor, but they still won’t have “meaning.” If anything, that makes it worse.

  8. V. Arnold

    So, we’re still behind a totally broken, totally corrupt system that will somehow self correct with the right guy/gal?
    It doesn’t get more delusional than that…

  9. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    “This is a crisis of feeling useful, of having meaning within the system. Tax the rich, give it to the poor, but they still won’t have “meaning.” If anything, that makes it worse.”

    Philosopha please.

    Give me idleness with an assured middle-class level of necessities and creature comforts for the rest of my days (which of course, our alleged welfare state does NOT do, right-wing propaganda notwithstanding), and I would be cheerfully constipated about “meaning” for the rest of my days. 😆

  10. Cujo359

    I’d love to be able to tell you you’re all wet, Ian, but you’re not. Whether you know it or not, you’ve also pointed out why working class whites aren’t too interested in listening to progressives, too.

    Do not tell me, or them, that they are “privileged”. Yes, it is better to be a poor white than a poor black, and better to be a poor white man than a poor white woman, but people who are in pain do not react well to some smug upper-middle class jerk telling them they are privileged when their lives are clearly terrible.

    It’s certainly hard to feel privileged when you have to work two jobs (or one for a lot of hours) that you could lose at any moment just to make ends meet. I don’t have much luck explaining this to progressives, though. Might be one reason poor white men don’t trust us very much. Working class whites have been getting the short end of the stick for a long time, though, and it’s only the demagogues like Trump who have been paying them much notice lately. To them, progressives are the folks who made it tougher to get those few remaining good jobs thanks to their affirmative action and ecology programs, and didn’t want to be bothered with finding new jobs to replace them.

    I grew up around working class white people, and still run into them when I visit the region I grew up in. They’re good people, mostly. Heck, most probably wouldn’t have the attitudes about minorities that they have if they knew any. Mostly they live in communities that are almost entirely populated by people like themselves, so they don’t get much chance. So I’m not too impressed by progressives’ talent for calling them racist, either.

    Yes, they listen to guys like Trump because at least he might actually do something that helps them, and they know the other guys (except for Bernie) won’t.

  11. MojaveWolf

    Before my quibbles, let me say I LOVED this article & the basic gist is spot on. These parts, especially:
    people who are in pain do not react well to some smug upper-middle class jerk telling them they are privileged when their lives are clearly terrible.
    Strangely, they don’t think that all the people who tell them they’re bad are right. Instead they think those people are assholes.

    In many cases assholes they’d like to give a good beating to.


    The quibbles:

    LOTS of latinos & blacks in the military & probably in the police force/prison guards too. Also women tho in (I think, based only on personal observation of military, but fairly extensive personal observation) smaller #’s.

    & poor women are just as pissed off as poor men. As are poor people in general, tho not everyone is pissed off at same thing or to the same degree. One thing everyone in the lower rungs of the ladder (and by that I mean the bottom 50% of the household income scale, more or less, tho it may go higher than that) has in common is that they/we almost all know they/we are getting screwed.

    & not sure if this is a quibble or misperception, since based on your other writing I’m almost sure you would agree with what I’m about to say:

    People become how they are treated. You have to feed the better parts of them if you want those parts to win. If half the “good jobs” they can get are violent jobs, if the remaining good jobs (manufacturing) are going away, and if the rest of their jobs are ass, you should not be surprised that they become mean.

    You make them this way, then you demonize them for it.

    Poor people are NOT meaner than rich people. Or upper middle class people. In fact, I dare say they are on the whole nicer. Part of that is because working with your hands, for those poor who do, is kind of its own stress release valve. If you could make enough money at it landscaping would be a wonderful job for anyone physically up to it, especially if you like plants. That wouldn’t explain all of it, but I’d certainly agree with your past observations that poor people or people who have been poor at some point are FAR more likely to see others in need and reach out to help than well off people who have never been anything but.

    Other thoughts on how well off leftists talk about certain groups :

    One thing everyone anywhere on the ladder who has a brain realizes is that the world is in deep shit (excepting the few upper middle class people who have a sort of religious faith that things are getting better and always have been since the dawn of time, and a few other people who seem to be heavily medicated & tell me I should float in a zen state & let things happen–the person who made that particular comment was not a buddhist). I’m not just talking economics. I’m talking climate, surveillance state, war profiteering, etc. Sadly, most conservatives seem to have bought that climate change is not under human control & either will fix itself or else we’re all doomed so might as well ignore it. Most think the panopticon we are building is a done deal so they just shrug in hopelessness. War profiteering you are more likely to get united action against because people are more hopeful it can be stopped and because they consequences are more immediately obvious.

    Most of the left, based on how they talk, would be surprised to know that most military men & women are NOT war-mongering types. Yes, prolly a whole bunch joined up because they think going into combat will be great fun, but they are a minority, and a smaller minority post-actual combat. Even those who went to war and liked the adrenaline rush so much they want to go back would, in almost all cases, NEVER send other people into war so they can turn a profit or advance their career.

    Also, seriously, more well off leftists need to quit thinking more money=smarter. I graduated from a pretty well regarded law school & have worked in law & film & I have done landscaping & unskilled construction for less than $10 an hr, among other things. You get a wide range of all sorts of intelligence in every field. A lot of the snide well-off people making nasty comments online about other people’s supposed dysfunction & lack of intelligence are most certainly NOT smarter than a whole bunch of the people they are trashing.

    And lastly, I know a bunch of Trump supporters & have a coworker who likes Ted Cruz–not one of these people has anything against blacks or latinos (Muslims are a different matter in some cases). The Ted Cruz person is married to an immigrant but likes Cruz’s immigration stance; his thinking is they jumped through lots of annoying hoops for years so punish the people who tried to skip the hoops. The Trump people don’t seem to even care about his immigration stance but basically like that he talks tough & trashes the establishment. They buy into his “I’m rich so I can’t be bought” schtick. Your take on them is pretty much spot on. He appears different from the usual so they hope he will be. And he has one huge advantage over Bernie–Bernie has to walk a tightrope. He has to criticize the dem establishment without criticizing Obama too much; most registered democrats still like Obama, heaven help us all. The GOP are, in this one way, clearly smarter than Dems–they nearly all know their leadership sucks so Trump can have at it with no fear of blowback.

    Let’s face it, there is no reason NOT to hate the Dem establishment unless you are part of it (or unless you just don’t hate people, and are forgiving of their errors & assume basically good intentions gone wrong or whatnot). In some ways they impede goodness more than the GOP. At least the GOP is more or less honest about it’s goals and what it is. The Dem party pretends to be for progressive goals and with media assistance manages to fool people that it actually is something other than a corporate front willing to sell out the future of the world and screw over at least 80% of the people here and now and blow up whoever as long as it improves the money & party perks of the Dem leadership. I have no idea if Trump will be better and I’m not voting for him because I can’t stand the man, but if there were no other choices ‘tween him & the Klein/Yglesias types, can’t blame anyone for being willing to roll the dice on him.

  12. Billikin

    Hear, hear!

  13. Billikin

    Let me add that, IIUC, for most of the time since 1968 Congress has been in Democratic hands, the plight of the poor and working classes is in no small part the result of their actions and inaction. During that time a Democratic Congress could have pegged the minimum wage to inflation, the mean wage, or the mean income, for instance. It is true that working class Whites turned their backs on liberals in reaction against the civil rights and anti-war movements in the 1960s and 1970s, but the liberals did not have to turn their backs on them.

  14. Billikin

    Mojave Wolf: “I know a bunch of Trump supporters & have a coworker who likes Ted Cruz–not one of these people has anything against blacks or latinos”

    Maybe so. But the nagging question remains. Why are poor and working class whites more responsive to Trump than poor and working class blacks and latinos? Trump alienates the non-whites. He goes out of his way to do so.

  15. Hugh

    The share of the total income of the bottom 80% of US households vs the top 20% of households also peaked in 1968: 57.4% vs 42.6%. As of 2014, the last year for which the Census has data, the share of total household income of the top 20% has increased to 51.2% while that of the bottom 80% has declined to 48.8%.

    So in 1968, the bottom 80% share of household income was 14.8% greater than that of the top 20%. In 2014, it was 2.4% less. That is a 17.2% negative swing.

    I agree with Ian. I have said for some time now that any movement that can successfully challenge the status quo needs white working class males. They need to be respected, listened to, and included at all levels of the movement. Pandering and a few perfunctory, insincere gestures in their general direction (what seems to be the current standard practice of the modern Democratic party) just doesn’t cut it.

  16. nobody

    Further to MojaveWolf’s observation that “Poor people are NOT meaner than rich people”:

    Ma Joad was right. If you’re in trouble, or hurt or need – go to the poor people. They’ll help.

    Next time you’re traveling and see someone stopped to help someone that has broken down by the road, if the break-down isn’t with the vehicle of a pretty girl, pay attention to who has stopped to help. It won’t be a late model Mercedes, Beemer or Cadillac driven by someone well dressed that’s stopped to lend assistance. It will be someone working class, or poor. Almost always.

  17. Breton

    You just can’t treat people this poorly. Eventually they will and do push back. The Dream is a Nigtmare for many, many people. Social Contract was broken way back when and is worse and worse. Social dissolution is up ahead. If the Scam wears thin, they will bring out the Gendarmes. Make book on it.


  18. Myself

    >Who mans America’s actual fighting regiments? That’s right, poor whites.

    no wonder we’ve lost the last few wars

    You have a tendancy to exagerate, Drug issues aren’t that bad in hicksville.

  19. Buzzard

    While I’m pretty much 100% in agreement with Ian here, I’d like to add that the white working class seems more resentful of the immigrants who take jobs than of the employers who hire them, which is where the REAL problem is.

    I notice that Trump’s negative rhetoric is aimed at those who have the least amount of power in the system, which is the standard conservative strategy. It’s never the elites’ fault. He’s really not that much different from the establishment in that regard — he’s just rawer.

    If we had an opposition party, perhaps the white working class would have formed a strong coalition with minority and immigrant workers, given that it’s the same cadre of elites that has been screwing them all. But we don’t. So we get Trump. And for this reason I also don’t believe the working class will turn its rage at the “job creators”, even when these same “job creators” are dispensing their jobs to desperate immigrants.

    The lack of a left-wing, pro-worker party in America will ultimately cost us all dearly.

  20. Sanctimonious Purist

    While the white male working class is, indeed, the cops and prison guards, a surprising proportion of the ranks of the enforcers is also black working class. It is they who will attempt to turn on the elites. The question for their white working class peers is whether or not they will join in solidarity with black workers, or whether they will work for the elites by crushing the rebellion. I hope for the former, though with Trump, the latter is more likely. That is the tragedy of Trump.

  21. Ché Pasa

    The point is that electoral politics is not the path to revolution, it is the path which supports the status quo.

    So those supposedly revolutionary candidates are doing their part to mollify the angry segments of the electorate — by acknowledging/reinforcing the anger — while reinforcing the status quo.

    Revolution, if it comes, will come from outside the electoral system/process. Neither Trump nor Sanders has shown any intention of engaging in that sort of revolutionary action.

    But as long as they show an apparent interest in in the problems and condition of those who are marginalized by the political/economic status quo, so long will the marginalized be tamed.

    Once the presidency is assumed by one or another of the status quo candidates, it will be up to him or her to quiet the masses and prevent rebellion/revolution.

  22. Billikin

    Ché Pasa: “Revolution, if it comes, will come from outside the electoral system/process. Neither Trump nor Sanders has shown any intention of engaging in that sort of revolutionary action.”

    Trump is moving in that direction by encouraging violent confrontation and by scapegoating.

  23. Thanks for re-emphasizing the phenomenon of “cause-and-effect” as it applies to human nature.
    A person is, essentially, three things: their physical biological genealogy, their inborn personality—and the effects of the culmination of a lifetime of the influences of all the social climates they’ve live in and/or inhabited.

  24. Peter*

    I have to believe that Ian is trying to be humorous by parroting the Liberal Illuminati meme that Trump’s core supporters are violence prone poor White Trailer-Trash.

    Trump has attracted many people from the less affluent class but early demographic data showed his core support transcends boundaries and includes about 20% liberal/moderate republican voters, 20% have advanced degrees and over 60% earn $50k or more so while they may not be the most affluent they are solidly middle class.

    Exit polls show that about 30% of Trump’s supporters are women and he does well with Hispanic conservatives as seen in NV.

    The ‘don’t join the violent trailer-trash’ liberal media propaganda doesn’t seem to be very effective with Trump’s support growing but it does supply some thin gruel for the easily offended and often overeducated liberal base to impress each other with.

  25. Donna

    Ian, speak for yourself! I was born in 64 and I’m not old!

    Seriously though, those charts you show is my family personified. I come from a working class, blue collar family. I worked my way up to lower middle class but couldn’t get any higher because both my brother and grandmother kept needing financial support. My brother became a heavy duty equipment mechanic who lost job after job after job as companies shut down or moved.

    I got sick and became disabled. My family collapsed back into my grandmother’s house in 2013 . Neither my brother nor I are married. Neither of us has any children. He lives in my den. The working class has every right to be enraged to the point of violence. I am. My brother is. It’s just that we’re not the types of people who start violence. Neither one of us likes Trump but I think my brother may be mad enough to vote for him.

  26. Jason Bourne

    The problem with Trump is too fold. He wants to solve populist problems with neo-liberal policies.

    He also puts a different color blinder on his followers. Instead of simply showing them the realities to class struggle who points out red herrings and other distractions for them to blame their woes on.

  27. SnarkyShark

    Effem permalink
    March 18, 2016

    “Great post.

    I take some issue with “better under Sanders.” While I don’t totally disagree, I also dont think “more entitlements” solves anything. This is a crisis of feeling useful, of having meaning within the system. Tax the rich, give it to the poor, but they still won’t have “meaning.” If anything, that makes it worse.”

    Screw that puritan work ethnic crap. Someone who has been poor and slaved all their life would be just fine with something like the guaranteed income. They don’t need to be working like a slave to make someone else rich as a life affirmation. You obviously work at one of those cubical jobs doing nothing productive. I would eat a shotgun if I had to do that. I chose not to.

  28. highrpm


    i so much agree with you. i’m on social security and though lots poorer — $1400/mon — and having to rent a room, i’m in a very different mindset than when i was working as a so-so programmer in one of those cubicles you mention. though yet to identify a purpose/ goal/ personal project, i have much time to read and reflect. in the last four years, i become lots wiser thanks to books than i ever was while working.

    the old psychocybernetics book has a chapter on happiness:
    * the brain is a goal achieving organ
    * happiness is having pleasant thoughts

    i think governments worthy of not being flushed down the toilet must prioritize the mentalizing of their emerging generations. and building massive new public school facilities is not doing it. just visit san antonio, tx to see the truth in that. nor is privatizing public education. ala san antonio, too.

    pre-reagan ca had a good and affordable community college/ state university system. bring it back. please.

    and rent control, too.

  29. Tom W Harris

    Hey SnarkyShark,

    You obviously work at one of those cubical jobs doing nothing productive. I would eat a shotgun if I had to do that. I chose not to.

    It’s not so bad actually. Write a little code, drink a little beer, get down tonight!

  30. DMC

    To chime in support with MW and Billikin above, the revelation the Obama administration brought me can be summed up as follows: “Republicans get elected and try and advance the Republican agenda. Democrats get elected and SUCCEED at advancing the Republican agenda”.

  31. Ché Pasa

    Billikin PERMALINK
    March 18, 2016

    Ché Pasa: “Revolution, if it comes, will come from outside the electoral system/process. Neither Trump nor Sanders has shown any intention of engaging in that sort of revolutionary action.”
    Billikin: Trump is moving in that direction by encouraging violent confrontation and by scapegoating.

    Unfortunately, none of this is outside the mainstream of American electoral politics. It’s never been particularly polite, and it has frequently become a — sometimes bloody — contact sport.

    I see a lot of arm waving and foot stomping from Trump, but as long as he stays within the electoral process, he’s not fomenting a revolution. On the other hand, if he were agitating in much the same way but outside the electoral process, then I’d have a different opinion of his actions.

    A populist revolt from the right is certainly possible, but I’m not sure that one led by a plutocrat and con man would get very far.

    Stranger things have happened, though.

  32. Steve

    I agree that telling poor, white dudes that they are privileged is asking for a punch in the face. And I agree that alienating a segment of society prone to violence is a stupid idea – but I think this also includes the Black working class.

    But what the Trump phenomenon illustrates is that this is a group of people who are fully conscious that they are losers and that they do not have the capability of banding together to gain what they want – this is ideologically impossible for them. The big secret is that Trump supporters agree with that editorial you cited. Trump supporters cannot collectively struggle, they are impotent. Being aware of this, these people know they need a strong leader to bind them together – Trump. Nothing remarkable there. Trump promises a group of losers that they can once again be dominant in society. And this is a crucial point, they do not want by itself more economic power or respect, they precisely want to dominate other segments of society. Trump explicitly gives them permission to dominate these other parts of society, because that it what they so desperately want. Equality, power-sharing, etc. are not parts of their vocabulary. This is very dangerous, because you cannot negotiate with the desire to dominate or with the sheer lust for power.

    And Ian, you must reevaluate your observation that Trump does not demean his supporters. He panders to them openly and is more condescending toward them than any Democrat has ever been, and his supporters love him anyway. Trump says he “loves the poorly educated.” That is unbelievably transparent pandering. These voters do know their weaknesses and need their leader to know them as well – so Trump gets a pass when they would shower a Democrat with rage for doing the same. Trump knows their weaknesses and can protect them. Do you see what your “warrior class” has become?

    Another interesting Trump phenomenon is his odd need to constantly demand an apology. He asked the WSJ to apologize for printing the fact that Hillary Clinton has received more votes than him. That’s fucking weird. It’s typical for loser Democrats to ask for apologies after being offended and then the right-wing (correctly) mocks them mercilessly. But the Trump supporters eat it up. Why? Because a dominant person like Trump can force a subordinate person to apologize simply for pointing out the truth. And is that not the essence of power right there – the ability to humiliate someone for revealing the truth. Trump supporters desperately want that power.

    You are correct to say that this is a pre-revolutionary society. Trump supporters desperately want power and they want to get it in a way that flatters their own ideology. As any decent politician knows, you may be able to get what you want through politics, but you will never ever be able to get it exactly the way you want it (through the perfect realization of your personal ideology, for example). So these Trump supporters want to supplant normative politics to gain power, and that can only be done through authoritarian means. This is in contrast to the Civil Rights movement, which was ideologically diverse and which incompletely successfully negotiated a better life for the Black underclass. But the White underclass will not struggle in the way of the Black underclass, and they will be very difficult to negotiate with. You cannot give Trump supporters what they want, because what they want cannot be given.

  33. Ben Hosen

    Aside from so many obvious points, so weird that the high water mark for labor militancy in the US was right after WW II. The graph tells that story too, not just that of the shitty years of our lives. Then it was crushed, despite Truman bravely vetoing Taft-Hartley. (A war criminal too, I am aware. But we Americans have to grade them on a curve. Jimmy Carter arguably the only President I saw who wasn’t.)

  34. margarets

    Please change “fourty” to “forty”. It’s killing me.

  35. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    To my mild frustration, my use of a search engine has failed to turn up a quote I was seeking, in which someone said of a fellow politician that he wanted to “abolish the people”.

    I wonder if the U. S. oligarchy is not indeed trying to “abolish the people”; that is, the non-elite white people on whom the oligarchs have been depending for decades. This could mean that they are smarter than Ian gives them credit for–they have seen the dangers, and have moved and are moving to thwart those dangers.

    By integrating the armed forces and police agencies, they have blunted, at least somewhat, the ability of non-elite white enforcers to overthrow their employers.

    Also, by opening the borders (with just enough enforcement and deportations to create the illusion that they are not opening the borders), the oligarchy has already ended the status of non-elite whites as a national majority, if I am correctly informed.

    These changes would, at least somewhat, blunt the ability of the non-elite whites to overthrow the oligarchy, even if the “rednecks” did develop the necessary class consciousness and solidarity.

    Meanwhile, the oligarchs can continue to cultivate the traditional bigotries of their pale minions carefully, just enough to keep them from achieving enlightenment and joining their non-white fellow victims against the oligarchs.

  36. bob mcmanus

    wanted to “abolish the people”.

    Bertholt Brecht

    Some party hack decreed that the people
    had lost the government’s confidence
    and could only regain it with redoubled effort.
    If that is the case, would it not be simpler,
    If the government simply dissolved the people
    And elected another?

  37. V. Arnold

    I think what I enjoy about Trump, is what he’s done to the republican party and the body politic in general.
    Most enjoyable presidential race I can remember…

  38. Hugh

    Following up on Bob McManus’ find of Brecht’s poem:
    Die Lösung
    Nach dem Aufstand des 17. Juni
    Ließ der Sekretär des Schriftstellerverbands
    In der Stalinallee Flugblätter verteilen
    Auf denen zu lesen war, daß das Volk
    Das Vertrauen der Regierung verscherzt habe
    Und es nur durch verdoppelte Arbeit
    zurückerobern könne. Wäre es da
    Nicht doch einfacher, die Regierung
    Löste das Volk auf und
    Wählte ein anderes?
    The Solution
    After the uprising of June 17
    The Secretary of the Writers’ Union distributed
    In Stalin Avenue leaflets which read that the people
    Had forfeited the government’s trust
    And only through redoubled effort
    might regain it. Would it
    Not be so much simpler, if the government
    Dissolved the people and
    Chose another?
    Note: Volk can refer to both the people and the nation

  39. Hugh

    I should add that the June 17th reference is to an uprising in East Germany on that date in 1953.

  40. tony

    About ‘abolishing the people’

    I saw this post about the elites using immigration as a ‘reverse election’ to get themselves a need people more pliable to their wishes. Can’t really say if it’s correct.

  41. gfd

    The “Southernization” of the American polity since Nixon was a “reverse election” of sorts.

    The push toward the building of anonymous, auto-centric suburbs in the ’80s and ’90s was often explicitly couched as an effort to create a population with a conservative mindset.

  42. gfd

    Give me idleness with an assured middle-class level of necessities and creature comforts for the rest of my days (which of course, our alleged welfare state does NOT do, right-wing propaganda notwithstanding), and I would be cheerfully constipated about “meaning” for the rest of my days. ?

    People with a high living standard and copious free time would be in a good position to organize politically…so I doubt this would ever actually happen, unless the Panopticon really is good enough now to hold the masses down even in that case (it may be.)

  43. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Thanks to Bob Mac and Hugh for finding the reference I was seeking. :mrgreen:

  44. CH

    Not to mention poor whites (et. al.) are regularly told to pee in a cup as a condition of employment. The wealthy upper-middle class, for the most part, are not. How humiliating is that?

    “You think they are Jesus, and can be treated like crap for longer than most of them have been alive and that there won’t be consequences? You think that because other people are treated even worse, they will sublimate their own mistreatment?”

    No, they’re just arrogant enough to just think that the power of advertising, marketing, polling, “big data” and the like will allow them to be manipulated to believe whatever the elites wish them to believe, even if the results are contrary to what they witness with their own eyes (e.g. “free trade deals and open borders are good for everyone!”).

    Here in Wisconsin, when Scott Walker went to gut the public sector employee unions, he was very careful to exempt police and firefighters (ironically, the most expensive pension expenditures), and instead go after “lazy” schoolteachers.

  45. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    @GFD: The Panopticon plus the various Weapons of Mass Distraction.

    If the 1% gave me a comfortable level of the necessities of civilized life, plus top-of-the-line Internet so I would no longer need to endure streaming interruptions (or at least very few), I suspect I would cheerfully disappear into my little world of favorite cultural products and never think badly of my elite benefactors again. (“Bread and circuses” for the 3rd Millennium.)

    That’s what the welfare state (the WS for the common citizen, that is) was always meant to do, after all. Purist capitalist goofballs think the welfare state is socialism, when it is, and always was, meant as a prophylactic against socialism. It was meant to kill dissent with kindness.

    It worked too well–so well that the national elites in several countries decided they didn’t need it any longer, and so they’ve spent the past few decades dismantling it.

  46. Tim

    More simple put, Jewish oppression and Jew predation.

  47. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Get lost, Ratzi.

    I detest the influence of the Israeli Empire over my country’s foreign policy, but it is possible to deplore AIPAC and its ilk without swallowing bull$#!+ straight out of the forged Protocols hook, line, sinker, and flopping in the boat.

  48. While I completely agree poor white men get demonized by rich liberals, the picture isn’t quite as simple as “they vote against their self-interest”. See

  49. Leonard

    This is BRILLIANT.

    But probably no-one will listen, because it is sympathetic to a demonized group.

  50. Capitalism leads to fascism nothing new but everytime the same shit.

  51. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Technical question: What causes a comment to go into moderation?

    I have a comment in moderation now, but I don’t recall using profanity or insulting anyone in it.

  52. Ian Divertie

    I’ve worked for DOD and related agencies for over 33 years, ten of them constantly in the Middle East, no rotation, no rest, I’m physically disabled now in nursing/retirement home with no real support of any kind. I agree and have said before to people in the comfortable upper middle class what happens when people like us get tired of your condescension we own all the guns? The particular instance was a very conservative person, a physician, my brother actually. His response was as long as there are pick-up trucks and six packs of beer his class could just buy us off. Which by the way is a hugely condescending response in the first place. Anyway, I worked with conservative white warriors as I’ve said for along time, and I ended referring to them as “kill ’em all cowboys.” Those are my brother and people like him allies, but I just don’t see how it ends well for either side. I know a lot of people like me who entered into service during the mid Cold War period in the 1970’s and by the time I left disabled in 2009, I felt betrayed by my country by lies and that I was a murderer, not feelings I ever wanted to feel about myself. We killed thousands and thousands of innocent harmless people for no reason whatsoever. Please if you’re sane at all don’t ever thank me for my service. I know other former DOD/agency employees who won’t even return to the US, and they spent around 30 years serving the US like me, and I’m seriously thinking of immigrating to Germany or the like, I can’t stand it anymore. Good luck, I wish you well, and I don’t feel like I owe my country anything after 33 years and ending up a murderer that you won’t even acknowledge publicly and that I feel ashamed to be. So pulling the Patriot string doesn’t work with me or my friends either. Hillary or Trump, eh? I don’t see it ending well, just leave the rest of the world alone, they deserve it but I doubt that’s what will happen.

  53. Ian Divertie

    I read some of the other posts here. My response as before is good luck guys, I didn’t see any women here, and there may have been, sorry I missed you. My former coworkers are split into two groups both upset, as I said, its gonna be interesting. Me and my co-workers are obviously not represented here. I am too tired and too sick, and looking for a way out, good luck though with whatever it is you’re up to here. Its funny, I’ve spent way less than a third of my time in the last 15 years in the US, than out of it, I’m so disappointed by what I see here.

  54. Hannah Dee

    Has Donald told anyone how soon he’s going to start having his clothing line manufacturing done in the USA, not China as is the case now? Or maybe it’s Bangladesh. Also his daughter Ivanka has her designs made in China as well. Has that inconvenient fact ever been mentioned at one of the rallies?

  55. Mitch

    Funny you should mention it, but 1968 was about when the left decided that the benighted working class (remember “hard hats”?) was hopelessly in thrall to false consciousness, and shifted their focus to more a more receptive audience. The race-class-gender thing is really only about race and gender these days, and don’t think the working class doesn’t know it. If you really want to see a revolution of the proletariat, check out the Poles welding locomotive wheels to the rails in 1980. I doubt you could find an American leftist snowflake today who could even turn on an arc welder.

  56. Lisa

    Disagree about the wages being the ‘biggest’ effect, I think unemployment is far larger effect.

    Boilng frog syndrome, the wage effect had been like the slow heating with decades of gradual decline. Unemployment is being dropped into the boiling water straight away.

    Finally hope gives way to despair and for some anger as there are no new jobs even close in financial or psychological wages and no one at the elite levels cares. Which adds a feeling of betrayal as well, decades of ‘doing the right thing’ and loyalty to Dems or Reps…and thrown on the heap just like all the ‘others’.

    Too many drank the kool aid about the uselesssness of those ‘others’ deriving a psychological wage, now they are in the same boat.

    Now the challenge is for everyone at the bottom to unite or they will continue to be picked apart by the elites.

    I always use the cautionary story of the disabled Houston veteran complaining about being discrminated against, after voting against the very law that would have protected him, because he didn’t want some others to be protected against discrimination. Well that didn’t work out well did it.

    As long as the working class white males think that way and are not prepared to unite with others in common cause then they are (and have been) easy marks for manipulation, or just being ignored.

    As for those who think there will be some huge explosion, nonsense. Any Govt will crush them in minutes, then hire a few of them to brutally police the others. The prisons can easily be expanded to jail 25+% of them, just as they did black males, wouldn’t surprise me if some neo-liberal think tanks haven’t already ran the numbers on that option.

    Could Trump (or Trump like person) change the economy? Maybe, but the odds are against it. A Sanders type has a better, though still lowish, chance. With anyone else it is guaranteed to get worse (with Cruz you get a Christian theocracy thrown in as well).

    Get smart unite together and unite with others or keep getting done over are the options.

  57. atcooper

    Ian Diverte,

    I’m younger, and only did one contract, Navy, and my own experience sounds a faint echo of your own. I have a hard time hearing the thanks for service bit too – in my more cynical days I tell them it was a job I was paid to do, more mercenary than they realize, no need to thank me. Thank the teachers, etc. When I’m in a better mood, I tell them they can thank me by making fewer future vets. Vote for folks who will keep the vet services funded, etc.

    Anyways, good luck in your future.

    I often wonder how many vets out there have similar experiences.

  58. Lisa

    atcooper ” I tell them they can thank me by making fewer future vets. Vote for folks who will keep the vet services funded, etc.”

    Well said. Nailed it.

  59. V. Arnold

    Take a look at this 25 yo video of Trump being interviewed by Oprah;’m-tired-seeing-country-ripped

    Very revealing, no?

  60. markfromireland

    As American “liberals” are likely to discover in the near future they’re in a cleft stick of their own making. They’ve consistently supported and abetted the ruling class’ power and resource grab in the forlorn hope of maintaining their diffferentials. They’ve disarmed themselves leaving the profession of arms to those whom they’ve consistently reviled and despised.

    The American officer class are now overwhelmingly Southern White Baptists from the fundamentalist wing of that sect.

    The American non-comms and enlisted classes are to a large extent drawn from white working class males.

    Both groups have ample reason to hate and despise American “liberals”.

    Machiavelli summarised in one brief sentence what is now an existential problem for American “liberals”:

    Among other evils which being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised.

  61. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    I am Methodist rather than Baptist, but other than that, the people Mark describes are my people, ethnically, economically, and culturally–even if I am hardly a “typical” member.

    We have never been good at sticking together; the elites have always been able to manipulate half of us into killing the other half. That may largely come from our cultural history of weak central government, resulting in stronger tribal than national consciousness and loyalty.

    Again, our Civil War would be the biggest example of that fact.

    Also again, perhaps the elites–or at least, their hired brains–are smarter than Ian (and now Mark) give them credit for, since they are not only diluting the electoral and cultural power of non-elite whites, but even their physical power, by integrating the enforcement organizations. Whether or not the elites and/or their hired brains are smarter than recognized depends on whether or not they are diluting that power deliberately.

  62. Cru

    So can we now start saying that whites have a “victim mentality” when they complain about their reality?

  63. Ian Divertie

    Some interesting new comments. I’m a lefty liberal who can for sure turn on an arc welder, tig and mig welders too and fix ’em if there broke. I can cast and reload my own ammo, and shot in competitions since 1982, out to 1000 yards with rifles and down to 50 feet with pistols. I know other former and even current DOD employees who are lefty liberals like me and a lot just want to live in Europe, Australia, some have, even though agnostics of Christian upbringing, chosen to remain in the ME rather than return to the USA. No one in the ME cares that these Americans are agnostic! In the ten years I was there I had awesome philosophical/theological discussions with everyone except Israelis, never met one where I was, didn’t expect to. America is far too arrogant, ignorant, and poorly educated on every level. The flow of news and info is better in any city of Arabia than it is in the USA. That’s a terrible thing to claim is true, –that I could make it and believe it should scare and warn you how out of touch you are. Good luck, Im just so pessimistic, I don’t think you have a chance of fixing this mess here. Just leave the rest of the world alone.

  64. tony

    Timely post. Salon just answered it by calling Trump supporters scum who should just pull themselves up by the bootstraps.

    Black America, if there is such a thing, supports Hillary. I definitely would not call them warmongering, banker-loving scum for it. Even if I disgree with their voting strategy.

  65. Ian Divertie

    atcooper I have only 11 years in a uniform and the other 20+ doesn’t qualify me as a vet vet, the first eleven does, but the people I worked for in the ME won’t even acknowledge I worked for them or whatever, I speak peachy Arabic though…. Very Peachy! In Arabic “very peachy” is xxcchoch owee!

  66. Peter*

    @Ian D

    It’s strange that you spent the last 30+ years helping to project Amerikan power and FP and now that you are retired you expect ‘us’ to stop it.

  67. markfromireland

    Ian Divertie March 20, 2016

    The flow of news and info is better in any city of Arabia than it is in the USA.

    أنا لا أصدق ذلك

  68. Jon Cavanaugh

    You NAILED it in this article. I’ve said as much to people who have not a clue as to how Trump could become a candidate. I’m sharing the hell out of this. Thanx.

  69. Lisa

    MFI: Being way too hard and over general there, lots of American “liberals” have been warning about and fighting against the neo-liberal, neo-con takeover for decades, while everyone else gave standing ovations.

    Yes the Dem elites have been co-opted…this was warned about even as it happened in the Clinton era. Heck I remember talking to friends about the madness of gutting welfare and social security at the time (hurt women the most so that was ok then). Heaps were against the ‘lets jail every black male’ laws while the conservative whites were cheering.

    But to call those elites ‘liberal’ is like calling Stalin a hippy.

    Then all those against the wars….. So who were against them? Oh yes those hated ‘liberals’, while the white conservatives let themselves be all stirred up against ‘Muslims’ by one of the most pathetic propaganda campaigns ever seen.

    Anyone remember all the demonisation of single mothers in the Clinton era for example? Which still goes on today, to the standing ovations of white consevatives and yes working class males…. They’ve never seen a single mother whose life they don’t want to make worse.

    And to be blunt, the white conservative working class males did nothing but applaude, happy to grab their ‘psychological’ wage of seeing others lower in the pecking order getting a good kicking, all while their pockets were being picked.

    So don’t blame those ‘liberals’ fighting for a better world and being totally ignored while the real criminals, the rich and their hand maidens the neo-liberals and neo-conservatives in the GOP and Dems, got everything they wanted, while the white conservatives cheered at every step …. and now some are regretting it. They were warned..often, but they didn’t listen.

    So to taint every ‘liberal’ with that brush is flat out wrong, lots put it all on the line, still do everyday, fighting against all that madness. Little thanks they got then or get now.

  70. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    I suspect Mark is using a different definition of “liberal” than Lisa or I would use.

    After all, he calls himself a “conservative”, but he doesn’t talk like a worshipper of Mammon, so he can’t be “conservative” by the USAmerican definition. U. S. conservatives worship Mammon, including the ones who delude themselves that they worship the Christian God.

  71. VietnamVet

    This post hit the nail on the head. The closest analogy to America today is Russia in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union due to the exact same cause; predatory capitalism. Oligarchs running wild.

    I served in a different army almost half a century ago. It was a people’s army that refused to fight an unwinnable colonial war. Today the privatized western military is composed of volunteers and contractors who have been at war for a quarter century in the Middle East. The forever wars will end only in bankruptcy, overthrow of the war parties or a nuclear winter.

    The only way to avoid the revolution is to make the rule of law applicable to all. This will only happen if the global aristocracy is convinced that their heads will roll if they don’t serve time for their crimes. This election will be interesting but it likely will not be enough.

  72. MojaveWolf

    Various thoughts:

    1. Trump hysteria is a distraction. He will not win against Bernie, period. & while I can think of rationales/circumstances where he theoretically could beat Hillary, it is unlikely. All anyone has to do against him is run ads of what he’s said about women & latinos over & over. He’s probably said stuff about blacks too & if not HRC can make something up & it’s not like people won’t believe he said it, given all the horrid stuff he’s said about everyone else. I’m not a political pro & took me about ten seconds to think of how to crucify him w/out lying. He will try to walk it back but his only hope against her would be for Bernie supporters to abandon the DNC in bigger droves than is likely realistic. OTOH, he’s kept all the attention focused on himself, making it easier for the media to hide Bernie (or any other real populist, if there were any), which may have been the point.

    2. I frequently wonder if Trump has been trying to lose & it’s just not working. Bringing up the wall again & promoting his products during press conferences, saying he could shoot someone for the hell of it in the middle of the street & his supporters would still back him, the “blood from everywhere” comments, “beat up protestors & I will pay your legal bills” etc. At this point, his ego may have kicked in and he really wants to win even if he doesn’t want to actually be prez, but it’s going to be hard if not impossible to walk back all that stuff. His efforts at self-sabotage failed in the primary, kinda sorta, but will probably succeed wonderfully in the general.

    3. Why are poor and working class whites more responsive to Trump than poor and working class blacks and latinos?
    @Billikin – you are right. I was being oversimplistic based on a somewhat skewed frame of reference simply because I’m annoyed with overly simplistic framing in the other direction. Trump does say awful stuff and he does encourage or at least not condemn his supporters who are racist, and just because they are not in my circle of aquaintances doesn’t mean they are not there. Shorter: You right, me wrong on this one. Or you right, me partly wrong, at least.

    4. To all the “don’t vote/voting is not a revolutionary act, we want a REAL revolution” people: While it may come to that, keep in mind the following as far as getting what you want:
    Most of the people in the US who are likely to start a fighting revolution are more like the Bundy ranch nutbars than Che or Malcolm X.
    Most leftists don’t have the stomach for a real fight. Or such is my impression. So, if there’s a revolution, it may not be the one you want, or there may be another one at the same time and they might kick our ass.
    If there is a real revolution, it will be a slaughter. No matter who wins, a slaughter. (I’m not getting into what it would actually take for a successful one, but seriously, even should circumstances come about, which is highly, highlyHIGHLY unlikely to happen any time soon or in time to stave off climate change from progressing way too far, but should it happen, it won’t be pretty for anyone.) I am filled with fury and anger to a degree that would freak out most people a great deal of the time and don’t like most people very much, but even I don’t want to see this or anything like it.

    Somehow voting seems better (& yes, of course, combine it w/protests, product boycotts, civil disobedience, whatever, & no I’m not a pacifist & I’m the last person to say violence is never called for, but it really shouldn’t hardly ever be a first option, and ideally not a second one either)

    & if you think you are somehow fighting the power by not voting & that’s what you mean, that’s just silly. The powers that be don’t care if you spend voting day sitting at home watching TV or planting a garden. Anyone who wants to maintain the status quo will be very, very happy if your “revolt” is limited to watching The Hunger Games or writing comments on blog posts or growing your own food (not that anything is wrong w/any of this, they are all fine things, but none of them is particularly worrisome to the board of ExxonMobile or Halliburton,and none of them are going to stop us from screwing up other countries or ourselves). If everyone who hates the system boycotts the voting booth, then only those who like the system will get to affect what it does. The DNC, the RNC & the MIC all salute your solution.

    5. the Trump phenomenon illustrates is that this is a group of people who are fully conscious that they are losers
    No. Working class does not =loser. Rich does not preclude being a loser. Depending on your personal frame of reference the two may have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

  73. satchseven

    black men do not trust or like the redneck poor conservatives. I have worked with them and could not stand their racist azzes . we are under no illusions about them,i have worked with racist white men all my life, who see you every day at work and would not speak to you.they look anywhere rather than speak to you they look at the floor the ceiling rather than say hello. F them they voted for the folks who help screw them. they hate unions because they cannot lie on black men and get them fired.

  74. satchseven

    every black man in the work force got horror stories about white males and a lot of white women are bad too.

  75. The last couple of comments essentially summarize the problem with the tack taken here. The truth is that poor white males may be poor and have miserable lives…but they still have white and male privilege. It may anger them to tell them so, but it’s so.

  76. Peter*


    You seem to be confused about how our political system operates, voters don’t make the decisions that affect whether Exxon or the Banksters rule the economy. Politics and its minions play their roles in the Kabuki to keep the rubes believing, as you seem to do, that either Party actually represents the voters/sheeple they spend $Billions to attract to the voting pens.

    Promoting voting, like submissive conditioned children, is how they justify and gain consent from the rubes to continue their abuse.

    Boycotting the Political System is the only truly nonviolent means of attacking the System because they can’t react to it like they do to demonstrations, activists and other organized political movements with infiltration, disruption and brute force.

    Trump has changed the calculus used to condition and control the rubes and is directly attacking the corrupt parasitic political class, its funders/controllers and its minions with amazing effectiveness and just about everyone in the elite power structure is terrified and thrashing about trying to stop ‘the People’ from regaining some control over their lives or at least having some real choice of who represents them.

    Sanders is the diversion used to attempt to return the wayward Liberals to the voting pens with empty statist rhetoric about reform that will disappear when he kisses the Queen’s ring and returns to promoting the status quo.

    Trump is enabling a Riot in Cell Block Number Nine and the jailers are calling in reinforcements to keep the prisoners locked down eating the thin gruel they are forced to survive on.

  77. amspirnational

    “It may anger them to tell them so, but it’s so.”
    Yet telling them, you would still expect a big sector of same to join you in a multicultural socialist organized fight against the system under one umbrella?
    And denounce a separatist yet anti-capitalist organization they might build?

  78. Lisa

    Lambert over at Naked Capitalism seems to have nailed the HRC ‘grand strategy’:

    Shaft the Dem left and grab the ‘moderate’ republicans that won’t want to vote for Trump (who they want as the GOP candidate).

    Yep, as dumb as the Libyan campaign…. just what you would expect from the hubris drunk, cannot tie their shoelaces on their own HRC crowd and Dem elites. This is their wet dream, become the new Republicrat party leaving rumps on the left and religious/social right who are powerless and then rule forever.

    The holes in this ‘strategy’, that if he even has a moderate IQ Trump could utilise, are multiple.
    Firstly what if those ‘moderate’ Reps don’t vote for her? In their tiny little minds they seem unable to realise just how hated she is in nearly all quarters.
    What if many of the Sanders voters, especially the younger women, don’t vote for her?
    What if the nearly always (and to their detriment) disciplined black voters split and a fair proportion of them, remembering the past, don’t vote for her.

    All Trump has to do is throw a few bones to various groups, not so much to get their vote…but to get them NOT to vote for HRC. Then her support collapses.

    She is vulnerable on so many dimensions, forget the email stuff that is meaningless except as a nuisance’ and a distraction, but the war mongering, her past record of neo-liberalism makes her the sort of target any real populist would dream about…she is the living embodiment of the ‘establishment’ that so many hate.

    Trump has the freedom to go to the left or the right of her when he wants. She is stuck and has no strategic freedom at all. It would his election to win or lose.

    Re Mandos point, dead right. As I said before, they took and enjoyed their ‘psychological’ wage while getting their pockets picked. Naturally politicians played them like fiddles and used them as mugs.

    The questions are: have they woken up yet and by how much? They are never going to get their fabled 1950s back, where the ‘darkies’ knew their place, ‘uppity’ women got a smack across the mouth, ‘pooftah’ bashing was a sport and hypocrisy was a religion. As large a group as they are, they will get nowhere economically (except perhaps under Sanders) unless they can politically unite with other groups, doesn’t matter how much they huff and puff about their guns.

    There is a great book (the best in fact) on the Battle of Britain (Most Dangerous Enemy) and one chapter talks about ‘enlightenment’, which comes far too often from pain and a final acknowledgment of failure. Both are necessary before change can happen.
    So will they, as a group, follow that path and change, or cling to the old ways and drink or drug themselves into oblivion, while still being mugged endlessly?

    The history of the USSR does not give much comfort on this, the incredible death rate was in middle aged men, often in the lower/working/ middle classes, been in positions of steady work and/or petty power and privilege, then it all went away, so they killed themselves in enormous numbers. It was the women, as usual, who held it all together, the men disappeared into their vodka bottles while the women put the food on the table.

    So they will have to get smart, much smarter than they’ve shown since the 1920s and 30s. Obviously some will, like any group they have a proportion of exceptional and talented individuals who have woken up, but will it be in large enough numbers to make a difference to them as a group overall? “Lead us, lead us” they cry right now, when they should be saying “we want this, in our pocket and by then”.

    Russia was so lucky to get Putin, who was supposed to be a useless stooge for the oligarchs., has anyone looked at the economic miracle he pulled off and the incredible rise in wages and living standards? But that was sheer luck they got him, there is little chance of that happening in the US, except (maybe) Sanders winning. The US is going to need a ground swell from the bottom to really change things.

  79. Edward

    please see this very interesting piece:

    ‘Germany is experiencing what sociologist Theodor Geiger described in the 1930s as a “panic of the middle class.” A close look at today’s society reveals the “fear of imminent proletarianization” that Geiger described in his works. He writes of a diffuse feeling of having no future and no opportunities for improving one’s lot: the feeling of not being able to realize one’s own possibilities.

    That doesn’t mean that AfD supporters are financially insecure. In the SPIEGEL survey, most of them even described their economic situation as good. But they feel a disconnect between the modern world’s promise of endless opportunity and their own feeling of constantly reaching the limits of what is available to them.

    It is a feeling that has led to the creation of new, angry, anti-elitist movements across the Western world. It is these people who throw their support behind Donald Trump in the United States, Viktor Orbán in Hungary and Marine Le Pen in France. Many of those who support such populists can no longer be reached by rational arguments. They follow their gut rather than their intellect. And that’s what makes them so dangerous.’

  80. S Brennan

    Good stuff above the ———– Lisa.

    But 1; I believe Trump will be liquidated should he not be stopped by the Corporate/State Media’s efforts. The media, just like it did in the days preceding Rev Kings assassination is giving the public a green light to murder Trump. When Josh Marshall starts chumming the water with “Someone will die” the same way he “cleverly” sold the Iraq Invasion, you know somebody is going to jump the shark. The media engendering a “lone” nut* would be far more practical for the deep state than the trouble and expense of DBA, what with all multiple murders involved to make sure that those who do the “work” never talk.

    But 2; Hillary’s State Department experience, while grossly incompetent in pursuing US interests, has proven very useful in this campaign. Hillary’s use of agent provocateurs to create “false flag” operations that got Sander supporters to fight Trump instead of her, although patently obvious to intelligent observers, has worked….beyond even her wildest dreams. Who ever cooked-up using Bernie supporters to engage in violence against Trump supporters…and thus discredit Sanders/Trump simultaneously, was cut from the same cloth as the provocateurs in Libya, Syria & Ukraine.

    But 3; I did not realize there were so many Sanders supporters dumb enough to fall for such an overused trick, however, they did and are still doing so…even after the evidence shows they are hurting Sanders massively.

    *A Bernie Sanders, or somebody who could be painted as a Bernie Sanders supporters would be pure gold.

  81. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    My Search Engine Fu has proven too weak to identify the meaning of DBA.

    None of these seem to fit.

    For those of us who lack fluency in Conspiratese, what does “DBA” mean? 😕

  82. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Why should the Establishment run the risks involved with killing Trump, when it can control the unaccountable vote-counting computers to make him lose, however many knuckle-walkers actually vote for him?

    To misquote Parliament in “Chocolate City”, you don’t need the bullet if you control the ballot.

    Before anybody says his followers would riot–SFW if they do? They’re not organized, disciplined, battle-hardened street fighters like the Blackshirts or Brownshirts.

    Lisa was correct above:

    “As for those who think there will be some huge explosion, nonsense. Any Govt. will crush them in minutes, then hire a few of them to police the others brutally. The prisons can easily be expanded to jail 25+% of them, just as they were expanded for black males. It wouldn’t surprise me if some neo-liberal think tanks haven’t already run the numbers on that option.”

  83. Lisa

    IBW: Trump will compromise, he is not stupid and the GOP elites will hold their noses and accept him in the end, after he throws them some bones to keep them happy. They have little alternative, he holds a nuke over their heads, go independent and destroy the party.

    They might prefer HRC’s policies, but they cannot face the GOP being destroyed as it eliminates their power base and they know HRC would use that to exclude them from the halls of power. If HRC pulls off her Republicrats thing, they won’t be a part of it, she’ll fill it with her cronies, except for maybe a few tokens.

  84. beverly

    It’s getting ridiculously absurd observing Left leaning talking heads and the presstitute media in general go on ad nauseum about racist Trump supporters. Full disclosure: I’m black. Every white Trump supporter is not consumed with racial hatred. The main reason Trump is getting support (even among more than a few black voters) is because PEOPLE ARE BROKEASS AS HELL and have awakened to fact that the usual suspects in both criminal parties do little to improve the lives of the average Joe. Unemployment, underemployment, foreclosed homes, homelessness, stagnant wages, and the craptastic economic woes list goes on. For all the emphasis on the strident anti-immigrant/Muslim remarks Trump made at the start of his campaign, the bulk of his speeches are about the economy, jobs, and unfair trade. THESE are the main issues of interest to his voters and no other Republican is speaking to these concerns. The mask of democracy has been blown off as voters see Trump’s own party working 24/7 to derail his campaign. The guy is winning most of the primaries and his own party works against him? The bulk of these protests are not coming from people incensed over the “racist” Trump. These protests are the work of agent provocateurs courtesy of empire political “fixers” such as George Soros. The powers that be fear Trump can’t be controlled; he opposes trade deals including the lethal TPP, criticizes the mess the US made of the Middle East, questions the safety of giving 30+ vaccines to babies, and questions the official 911 storyline. Anyone doing such would interfere with the fascist agenda the powers that be have been so successful installing under the Dronebama administration. Thus we see an all out assault by both sides of the political aisle to get rid of Trump. Sidenote: Amusing and sad to listen to the black intelligentsia harp on the “angry white male” being mad because Dronebama is in the White House. If the white male is mad, the black male needs to be downright ballistic. 95% of blacks voted for Droneman TWICE and can’t point to a damn thing they got for their trouble – other than being worse off economically than they’ve been in over 40 years.

  85. S Brennan


    I’m tired of the whining, Google “Trump’s plane makes emergency landing” in and around FEB 2016 and see if you can figure it out…hell, I’ve made it so easy you can cut and paste it…easy enough? Type less, think more.

    According to FBI statistics, over 85% of major crime can be characterized as “conspiracies”. Which means the people who’re nuts are those that believe criminals always act alone…having grown up in a major American city, it pains me to have to write this for an adult person?

  86. Lisa

    beverly : 100% right. And those right wing white working class/poor people have finally woken up to the fact that the Republican elites that many have voted for decades, hate them as much as the Dem elites do and that they have been played.

    Here is a telling article:
    “Educated conservatives are just as scathing. Take the National Review, a flagship of thinking conservatives, that described Mr Trump as a “ridiculous buffoon with the worst taste since Caligula”. In January it pulled together 22 intellectuals to condemn Mr Trump’s candidacy as an existential threat to conservatism. Their efforts had no impact on Mr Trump’s fan base. Now the magazine has switched to damning his supporters. By declaring open season on blue-collar whites, Kevin Williamson’s widely read essay on “white working class dysfunction” marks a turning point. Yet he is only putting into writing what many conservatives say.

    “The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die,” Mr Williamson writes. “Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible . . . the white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin.”

    ” Amusing and sad to listen to the black intelligentsia “..yep. Totally co-opted and as such useless (except for some honourable mentions).
    Forgot that old, old lesson: a guaranteed vote is an ignored vote.

    It looks more and more that it is black women that are going to have to do the heavy lifting politically.

    And if people got smart a combined working class/poorer vote would change the country real fast. As usual the various elites, of all types, will work real hard to prevent that by the usual ‘divide and conquer’ that has been so successful in the past.

    And that’s Trumps main weakness and Sander’s strength as he is the only one that could really pull that off.

    But if Trump gets up against Clinton he will still get much (but not all) of that vote and…as I always emphasise… lots simply won’t vote for HRC for any reason, especially if Trump is smart in his campaign and increases that ‘non vote’ numbers.
    And a heck of lot of the more left wing white working class/poor people, who’d vote for Sanders in droves, will switch to Trump. Of course they will, if I was them I would.
    The living in ga-ga land Dem elites just don’t get that.

  87. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    How broadly does the FBI define “conspiracy”?

    Technically, two losers getting together to knock over a liquor store is a conspiracy.

    However, thanks for the reference–though that still doesn’t define “DBA” in your context. Maybe the search will do that, when I get around to making it.

    I can’t help but wonder, though–if Hellary, The Wicked Witch of the White House, is so smart, so evil, and so powerful as you seem to think she is, then why are you, and so many of her other passionate critics, still alive and free?

  88. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Trump’s plane made an emergency landing in February.


    It must be that; it’s not as if complex machines like airplanes ever develop malfunctions because we live in an entropic universe or anything like that. 🙄

  89. Shrieking Eel

    “Unregulated capitalism is a mean culture”

    Says someone who’s likely never seen people fighting over the last roll of toilet paper, or the last loaf of bread, in a socialist queue. Read Solzhenitsyn. Nothing on earth is meaner or greedier than people in a socialist society.

  90. Ian Welsh

    Slight majority of East Germans now think that it was better than what they have now.

    Might be that communist societies were a bit better than capitalists think.

    Socialism, of course, is not communism.

  91. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    I wonder if Communism would have enjoyed more success had Marx not called for the abolition of religion, thus forcing every organized religion on the planet to become anti-Communist as a matter of self-preservation.

  92. Ian Welsh

    A particular reading of the New Testament could easily be used to support utopian Communism.

  93. bob mcmanus


    Well that’s surprising

    but she protects young witches only I think.

  94. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    “but she protects young witches only I think.”

    Oh, the Ascended Madoka has broader responsibilities.

    “What’s that, Mr. Galactus? You’ve lost your appetite?”

    “I thought you might.” :mrgreen:

  95. S Brennan

    The number of religious victims of communism is so tiny compared to the number of religious victims of Religion…it’s not even a rounding error.

    The 1.5 million Cathars slaughtered by The Holy Roman Church springs to mind. But the Muslim invasions, [really Arab invasions with a pseudo religion constructed to unify the tribes for war], have littered the ground with millions of corpses who where not enlightened by the Prophet Mohamed in a timely manner.

    I am not a communist, nor do I criticize religious adherents as is so fashionable in liberal circles, but reality of past behaviors is germane for comparative purposes. Particularly when somebody starts reguritating beliefs that have their origins in the social indoctrination of modern day truisms.

  96. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    I was questioning Communist strategy, not Communist morality (though that could be questioned as well). It strikes me as poor strategy to promulgate a view which forces a large number of existing and powerful institutions to become one’s enemies, in order to preserve themselves.

  97. xlc

    Give me idleness with an assured middle-class level of necessities and creature comforts for the rest of my days (which of course, our alleged welfare state does NOT do, right-wing propaganda notwithstanding), and I would be cheerfully constipated about “meaning” for the rest of my days. ?

    Sounds wonderful…or not.

    Apparently the best any establishment voices can come up with these days for the system’s tendency to exclude more and more people from meaningfully participating in it is bread to go along with the circuses. I doubt it will work out any better for us in the long run than it did for Rome.

  98. Lisa

    “A particular reading of the New Testament could easily be used to support utopian Communism.”

    The religious right live by the Old Testament*, we don’t want any of that hippy New Testament nonsense here Ian.

    *Well the parts that suit them that is.

  99. Ken Hoop

    Edward PERMALINK
    March 21, 2016

    Edward, might I ask you a question?

    “…they feel a disconnect between the modern world’s promise of endless opportunity and their own feeling of constantly reaching the limits of what is available to them.”………….

    “Many of those who support such populists can no longer be reached by rational arguments.”

    So you believe the modern world’s promise of endless opportunity is a rational promise?

  100. highrpm

    google george lakoff strict-father

    lakoff argues the strict father — not the nurturant parent — is at the heart of conservative ideology. (luv those right wing authoritarians.)

    what do you think of the jewish dr samuel h dresner’s 1995 book, “can families survive in pagan america?” dresner makes the case “the [post ww2] cultural revolution has endangered our nation….but, we can restore order to our country and our lives using the tenets of jewish family life and faith. (perhaps mr trump should take note. may help him strategize his “make america great again” notion.) dr dresner shows how the strength of the individual family determines the strength of the nation.

    gee, what would happen if the finance, entertainment and media biggies read dresner’s book?

  101. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    *sigh* We now have the usual problem when comments pass the 100 mark. 🙁

  102. markfromireland

    Lisa – spare me please the frankly rather pathetic, and I’m being charitable using that word, special pleading. There are a statistically miniscule and politically impotent number of Americans who are genuinely left-wing or liberal. The remainder of those so described as commenters here repeatedly and eloquently demonstrate belong either to the collaborationist school of American “liberalism” or to the collusionist school. Their structural function is to uphold the current order by providing a useful figleaf and a channel in which those who might genuinely be interested in building a better society can have their energies safely frittered away on matters which have a picayune effect (if any) on the power relations within the American polity. It’s contemptible.


  103. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Marcus of Olympus has spoken, mortals! Fall down and pay him his due reverence! 😆

  104. leftleaningartist

    markfromireland – I don’t think you have taken into account the millennial generation in the U.S.

  105. Tom W Harris

    Confucius say, blogosphere bolshevik equal biosphere burger flipper.

  106. markfromireland

    @ leftleaningartist March 25, 2016

    Come back and tell me about it if they ever accomplish anything.

  107. Tracy Lightcap

    This post is way too unconditional. You’d get the impression that “poor whites” are all Trump voters. So, some qualifiers:

    • Almost all of Trump’s support is among males.

    • Trump supporters – including “poor whites” – tend to be older.

    • Trump supporters tend to be “non-college educated”, as the present barbarism puts it.

    • There are a substantial number of (now that we’ve specified it) older poor white males who didn’t go to college that wouldn’t touch Trump with a fork.

    • “Anger” is a very poor way to describe the basis of Trump’s support. That’s a much more complicated phenomena involving as much fears about changing demographics as economic distress (though the two can be related) and probably fueled as much by authoritarian personal tendencies as anything else.

    • Right. “Poor whites” would do better as well with Trump as president as with Clinton. You have read what they propose to do, haven’t you?

    All that said, the core of the post does hit on a problem we simply have to address: the declining economic position of working class people – not just whites. Trump has opened the box on grievances stemming from this, just like Marine Le Pen and others have in Europe. In both places the solution is a jobs program; code for having the government spend like a drunk sailor in Macao and begin to do some indicative planning aimed at restoring employment levels for most everybody. Trump won’t do that and we’ll have to really go after Hillary to even make get her to make a start. That’s why the Sanders campaign is so important. The Democrats have their Goldwater. Now all we have to do is follow up.

  108. rom

    how is white being treated worst than blacks and Hispanics here in this situation. in some aspects it doesnt make any sense. your beating the point way too much about how poor whites are treated with manufacturing jobs. Thats not a big enough mistreatment to act like that. Your giving too much excuses to them for acting the way they act just because they took manufacturing jobs away. If your talking systematic mistreatment, you should look at blacks and Hispanics, you cant compare the 2.

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