Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Really Good Read

Here is a piece really everyone should read.

This is a deep dive into the Tea Party/Trump movement, with a focus on Louisiana. If you've been struggling with exactly what "white ethno-nationalist party" means, here is your answer.

The author is a sociologist who has been looking at the lives of conservatives in one of America's most conservative states.  His spirit-guide is a college educated single mom and staunch Paul Ryan conservative.  But her clients - working class whites - are Trump supporters.  And the critical divide is that Trump - unlike the Zombie Eyed Granny Starver - isn't talking about cutting benefits.  He's really only talking about cutting benefits for "them."  The Browns and Blacks and Women and Gays and Muslims.

The unifying theme of modern conservativism has been anti-statism.  The Gubmint is bad!  But there is a divide in that idea.  Working class whites have fewer problems accepting government aid.  They can't wait for Social Security and Medicare to kick in, because working life is tough. Real tough.  And if they need some food stamps to make ends meet, so be it.  They just don't want to see those benefits wasted on people who "don't deserve them."

The more prosperous conservatives have a pure ideological opposition to government assistance, that is easier to pull off, because they are more financially secure.  They aren't completely secure though, because the modern middle class is a status filled with anxiety.  They, too, hate the moochers, but they are less animated by the racial aspects - at least overtly.

Anyway, it's a fascinating look at the very real problems that working class people face and the poor face in America and the very different ways that conservatives - whether Ryan or Trump supporters - see this problem and its possible solutions.

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