Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Who Are the Angriest Republicans? - The New York Times

Typically provocative take by Thomas Edsall.   The GOP's exploitation Of white resentment has always been calculated to serve their desire to cut social welfare spending.  The envy they encouraged (why should he get more than me), and their contempt for "elites" was never genuine - because the GOP has been at bottom, a pro-business party which was hostile to labor..  But it was strategically productive.   Now the contempt for working class people ad their struggles is being expressed in florid ways as the appalling upsurge in support for Donald Trump demonstrates that their base only wants to cut benefits for the "undeserving".  Trump's resentful celebrants are not interested in "entitlment reform" when it threatens to  reach Social Security and Medicare.  It is ideology, and old fashoned prejudice that keeps Trump's white working class supporters from going back to the Democrats - where they belong if self interest were their guide. - gwc
Who Are the Angriest Republicans? - The New York Times
by Thomas Edsall

Conservatives who once derided upscale liberals as latte-sipping losers now burst with contempt for the lower-income followers of Donald J. Trump.
These blue-collar white Republicans, a mainstay of the conservative coalition for decades, are now vilified by their former right-wing allies as a “non-Christian” force “in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture,” corrupted by the same “sense of entitlement” that Democratic minorities were formerly accused of.
Kevin Williamson, a columnist for National Review, initiated the most recent escalation of this particular Republican-against-Republican power struggle. In a March 13 essay, “The Father-Führer,” Williamson portrays Trump’s struggling white supporters as relying on theirimaginary victimhood when, in fact, he contends:
They failed themselves. 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. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be.
Less well-off white voters have only themselves to blame, Williamson continues:
It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that. Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster. There wasn’t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America.

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