Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Those people in the upper midwest
You know, 40+ years ago I would never have believed that we would be in this situation in this country. It seemed like the Awakening was spreading everywhere. I thought most young people were getting an education. I thought fundamentalism was a fringe cult. My parents came from red America; my forebears had lived there for generations. Politically, one state was just about like another, except perhaps in the deep South. California was a swing state that leaned Republican and was the home base of Ronald Reagan. Until recently my district had had a Republican congressman who had served for decades.

Now California is the most Democratic state in the continental United States, and the most diverse. My county voted 73% for Hillary Clinton. The USA is divided between urban and rural, coastal and fly-over, seemingly forever. Proudly-under-educated and un-informed rural white folks have given us a proudly-ignorant and bigoted white president bent on destroying our country.

What a situation we are in. I don't think the country as it is can now survive this 4T. One way or another, it cannot continue as it is.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Another brief different view of some fly-over Trump voters, from a facebook comment (equal time here; if he's right some of these folks will swing back against Trump after he fails in 2020; we'll see):

Barry Sussman

Trump tapped into the frustration of those who are working longer and harder for less, if they're working at all. They're angry that the crooked bankers that caused the problem were rewarded with bonuses at the taxpayers' expense under the threat of world wide depression. In a word extortion. Criminality pays.

That the Obama administration never prosecuted the corrupt bankers angered the disaffected working class to the point that they voted for any change as opposed to the business as usual Hillary Clinton represented.

When you're hungry and see a bleak future the guy who says he'll bring back former living standards and restore your dignity sounds appealing. Hell, it worked for a crazy tyrant in Germany after WW I. The New American Century could mirror the Thousand Year Reich of "you know who."
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Another view, especially concerning why Hillary lost the rural and mid-west vote:

The Democrats’ 2016 mistake

Yahoo News Matt Bai
National Political Columnist
Yahoo News November 17, 2016

The last time Democrats awoke to find themselves completely marginalized, the year was 2004, and George W. Bush had just been reelected, along with pretty much every other Republican in creation.

Almost immediately, the party’s top donors and strategists settled on an explanation. They decided that they were losing because they lacked the campaign “infrastructure” the right commanded (think tanks, media watchdogs, voter files, etc.), and they immediately set about trying to build one.

From that effort, hundreds of millions of dollars later, came groups like the Center for American Progress, which quickly became the party’s premier think tank; Media Matters, which now rules a small empire of rapid-response groups; and a company called Catalist, one of several new repositories for data on Democratic voters. (I wrote a book on all this, by the way, which seems like eons ago.)

All these organizations were humming along at full capacity by the time Hillary Clinton won the nomination 12 years later. She had the full force of this “new progressive movement” squarely behind her.

And not only did Clinton lose anyway, but once again the party saw itself denied power in Congress and banished from statehouses. Last week’s election was 2004 all over again, only this time with a laughably unprepared opponent who had virtually nothing by way of campaign infrastructure at his disposal.

So what, exactly, do the great minds of the party tell themselves now?

There are plenty of culprits to fixate on. Already Clinton herself, and no doubt some of those around her, have blamed the FBI director, James Comey. There’s the predictable screaming about the undemocratic nature of the Electoral College, because apparently millions of Americans didn’t realize before last week that they weren’t living in ancient Athens.

In a New York Times op-ed, David Plouffe, who managed President Obama’s triumphant 2008 campaign, listed low turnout among younger and African-American voters as Clinton’s chief problem in states like Michigan and Wisconsin. Plouffe’s litany of causes came down to this: Donald Trump’s voters were super-excited about their candidate, and Clinton’s voters less so.

All of which certainly helps illuminate the tactical reasons Clinton lost, but not the larger, underlying problem.

Democrats lost because for a while now they’ve been telling themselves a story about modern politics. And while that story is comforting and has some significant truth at its core, it turns out to be dangerously wishful.

This particular story goes all the way back to 2002, when the writers Ruy Teixeira and John Judis published an influential book called “The Emerging Democratic Majority.” At a time when Democrats were dispirited, Teixeira and Judis argued, presciently, that the country’s demographics were evolving in ways that would ultimately favor their candidates.

As racial minorities and women came to encompass ever larger blocs of the electorate in the years ahead, and as the small-town South lost population to urban and western America, Democratic constituencies would inevitably gain a numerical advantage over traditionally conservative blocs.

This argument took on a special currency after 2004, when liberals (now calling themselves progressives) were busy building their new infrastructure. As changes in the makeup of the electorate began to accelerate, the theory of demography as destiny took firm hold on the left.

Basically, the party’s leading funders and operatives decided that they didn’t have to pander to white people living outside of cities anymore, because with each passing year their voters were cementing a new majority and redrawing the electoral map. Every election now was going to be a turnout election; get the people who already agree with you to the polls, and you don’t have to worry very much about persuading anyone else.

Barack Obama’s two elections seemed to them to validate this new Democratic math. Obama relied on a coalition of African-Americans and Latinos, along with first-time voters and women, to become only the fourth Democrat in history to break the 50 percent barrier — twice.

And so this was Hillary’s driving theory of the race. Her campaign was effectively nothing but a giant turnout operation, crunching data on reliable Democratic voters while simultaneously keeping the candidate herself from saying anything remotely interesting. She ran on a database, rather than on an argument; the more Trump alienated and motivated her base, the less she felt the need to make any discernible case.

I go back to August, when nothing much was happening in Clinton’s campaign, and I asked her to talk with me only about what her website said was her signature plan — a $270 billion proposal for infrastructure spending. Word came back that she wasn’t going to discuss it in any detail. To my knowledge, she never did.

It must be quite a relief, a warming feeling all over, to think you can win political campaigns without ever having to wrestle with complex subjects or talk to anyone who doesn’t already think you’re right.

But the Cult of Demography was built on some very flawed assumptions.

For one thing, it assumed that Obama was more or less a typical Democratic candidate, whose electoral math was now the party’s math. In fact, Obama was an anomalous, nontraditional candidate whose emergence inspired some traditional Democratic voting blocs — namely African-Americans and younger voters — in ways that no other campaign could hope to achieve.

According to exit polls, which are imperfect but the best measure we have, Obama won 95 and 93 percent of African-Americans, respectively, in his two elections. He won 66 percent of the youngest voters in 2008.

Clinton won 88 percent of African-Americans and trailed Obama among young voters by several points. You can say she “underperformed,” but the reality is that probably no other Democrat today could match what Obama did in these communities.

The second problem is that even if you buy that a Democrat can maximize turnout among minorities and the already converted, it doesn’t mean you can simply forget about everyone else. In politics, how well you do among your own constituencies isn’t all that matters; there’s also the question of just how poorly you do among the groups you can’t win.

An analysis by The Hill newspaper found that while Clinton actually performed better than Obama in the most densely populated counties of states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, she trailed him by much larger margins in the all-white rural areas, which sealed her defeat.

Why? Because she never so much as looked in their direction.

Obama was right to point out this week that he had made a concerted effort to reach rural white voters in 2008, if only to hold down his losses. I followed him then into Appalachian Virginia, where he was the first nominee of either party to show up in 32 years, and he and I talked about that focus at some length during the fall campaign.

According to excellent reporting by the New York Times’ Amy Chozick, no less a strategist than Bill Clinton himself argued to his wife’s campaign command that she, too, needed to speak to white working-class voters. No one listened. They were all about the database.

Of course, some Democrats will argue that even if this election doesn’t validate the demography argument, all they have to do is wait. They won the popular vote, after all, and those margins will only grow as America becomes more diverse and millennials more engaged.

They’ll point out that the share of white voters seemed to have declined by another couple of points this year, following a downward trend. Give it a few years, and Clinton’s model will work just fine.

But that’s making another dubious assumption — that because any bloc of voters is reliably in one camp today, they’ll still be there 10 years from now. It assumes that Republicans can’t field a candidate who appeals to some larger segment of black or Latino voters, a third of whom voted Republican this year.

It assumes, too, that younger voters don’t grow more ideologically diverse as they age. According to an analysis by the Democratic group Third Way, Gen Xers — my generation — grew markedly more conservative in the decade between 2000 and 2011. There’s not much reason to think millennials will remain stuck where they are, either.

The bottom line for Democrats ought to be this: You can’t really count on winning elections without persuading anybody of anything they don’t already believe. You can’t be a truly national party if you need 90 percent of a single minority’s votes just to be competitive (any more than you can be a national party relying only on white voters).

And you’re not going to put yourself back in the majority if your first reaction to Trump’s victory is to lash out at rural America as “rubes” or “deplorables.” That’s pretty much the opposite of solving your problem.

Democrats should find a new story in the months ahead. Because demography by itself isn’t actually destiny, and disdain isn’t much of a strategy, either.

Note: Politicians are not lashing out at those voters, even if some people like me do it. Hillary didn't lash out at them, except for one gaffe (how many gaffes did Trump make?). She and her campaign staff mostly just ignored them, as this article points out. They didn't try. Reports also show that Hillary did not make campaign visits to as many states as Trump did; she was just focusing on the swing states she thought she needed. I have also said here that putting too much hope in demography might not work.

Leave it to Yahoo to stick up for the yahoos Wink

I wonder if my own astrological prediction failed because I put too much emphasis on stats and not enough on a holistic feel of a lot of factors? Maybe, but most of the stat patterns worked, and the other factors likely do not. But, I am wondering overall about a systematic approach to things. Hillary and I both failed by using it. You have to keep your intuitive feelings and overall impressions open. I had a feeling about Trump inspiring more confidence than Hillary. "Come on out folks and vote for Hillary!" It didn't work for all their voters, even though it worked for most of them. And if Trump was the only one exhorting some people to vote for him, that gave Trump an advantage over a candidate who ignored them-- even more of an advantage than he still would have had if she had paid some attention to them. And it's strange, because I DID hear her deliver messages that would have appealed to them.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
When flyover country sends its people out to vote, they're not sending their best. They're bringing guns, they're bringing grime, they're papists; and some, I assume, are good people.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Eric your post above, "On Rural America: Understanding Isn’t The Problem" Hits it on the head.......bluntly. The mistrust directed at anything that pierces the perfect bubble of Norman Rockwellian Christian conservative thinking is uniform and unflinching. Educated professional, people from the outside (I am a guilty party on both counts) and anything that might indicate that gray is a better representation of reality than the black and white they hold dear, is rejected out of hand.

It is only with direct firsthand experience that any change can come. When their kin suffer, then they have a better chance of listening, like maybe 60/40. The problem here in the Flyover regions of rural America is not much different than the problems with rural, religious people in Afganistan, Iraq or Syria.

Again, a couple good hard flu seasons will help the Boomers "age out" of the electorate. Millies, even in Flyover America are more connected to the outside world, more worldly in general, and more secular. I find even the kids in my Boy Scout Troop, who have been raised in fundamentalist families express views more in line with the kind of understanding we will require as the crisis reaches the boiling point.

Millies don't fail us now!
There was never any good old days
They are today, they are tomorrow
It's a stupid thing we say
Cursing tomorrow with sorrow
       -- Eugene Hutz
Demographics will not be destiny if ethnic cleansing occurs. See Banja Luka, which was about half Muslim and Croat in the 1980s, and 100% Serb today.

Now I am not suggesting that the same tactics will be used by Donald Trump & Co. that were used by Slobodan Milosevic & Co. - just a subtle ratcheting up of certain pressures, such as more questionable police shootings of unarmed black suspects, and continued gentrification of the cities - which the hiring of the arch-Social Darwinist Ben Carson as the new HUD secretary strongly heralds - which will force growing numbers of Millennials out altogether; and liberals even occasionally join in: See the purge of poor young nonwhites from the downtown Portland, OR area.
"It was better with them that were slain by the sword, than with them that died with hunger, for these pined away being consumed for want of the fruits of the earth" - Lamentations 4:9
(11-17-2016, 03:49 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: Trickle down and free market are pretty much opposites, and I don't think Obama's massive government trickle down stimulus spending strategy has triumphed quite yet.

Free markets are a pipe dream. We are likely to have a government that sees its sole purpose in enforcing the will of economic elites while making sure that the only 'free market' is a competitive race to the bottom by non-elites. Whoever suffers the most on behalf of the elites gets the privilege of survival.

Quote:Marxist type revolution is a workers' revolution, so one could possibly see Trump's victory as a mild form of that.

Trump has more in common with Mussolini -- pretension of standing for a revolution for all that proves a fraud for the workers. He has shown by his appointments what he really stands for -- a pure plutocracy.

He does have one thing in common with Marxists -- the observation that the capitalist order is by necessity a cruel, corrupt, inequitable, repressive, dehumanizing system. The late Fidel Castro also believed that, as does every Marxist-Leninist. The difference between Donald Trump and Fidel Castro is that Donald Trump lauds what Fidel Castro excoriates. Add to that, Donald Trump and Fidel Castro both reduce political discourse to a level suitable for people with elementary-level education, which makes for numbing propaganda at the intellectual level of Beavis and Butthead cartoons.

As someone who can accept a humanized capitalism for its efficiency and its ability to reward human kindness instead of simply rewarding people for their wealth and power, I do not need to be a Marxist. I may have more-than-average knowledge of Marx (I have read Das Kapital  and recognize its faults, including obsolescence in the modern consumer economy that has turned the proletariat into a mass market), Donald Trump and his cronies compel me to contemplate what it would take for me to connect to Marxism.

One would be the repudiation by economic elites of the consumer society. An economic order that restores the horrors of the early industrial society that Karl Marx knew with a political system that permanently enshrines a Master Class as the political bosses beyond any challenge might take away such alternatives as liberal humanism.

Marxism may appeal to the oppressed and downtrodden, but the oppressed and downtrodden generally don't get the luxury of reading Marx and his followers. One cannot understand modern economics, including the rejection of Marxism-Leninism, without understanding Marx.

It's the educated people who cannot accept roles as brutal enforcers of capitalist cruelty who become the intellectual exponents of Marx. 

Quote:Violent revolution might be more likely to come from the welfare dependent class that was created with LBJ's "Great Society", if their benefits are taken away, and if they prefer revolution to finding work.  That class did not exist in Marx's day, of course.

Violent revolution by welfare recipients suddenly obliged to work or starve? Most will get to do both. Revolution means getting mowed down if one is on the wrong side. Poor people don't start revolutions; frustrated members of the educated class do. Alienated intellectuals are dangerous to any political order... even ours.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US taramarie 3 443 08-25-2019, 11:47 AM
Last Post: pbrower2a
  most Americans think too many people are easily offended Dan '82 39 16,904 08-16-2016, 06:13 PM
Last Post: taramarie

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)