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

Monday, November 21, 2016


Ed makes some critically important points.

For all the "Democrats lost the White Working Class" pieces, the fact is that Democrats have been working to help the White Working Class.  It wasn't elites or even the very poor who benefited from Obamacare.  It wasn't Republicans offering to raise the minimum wage.

The Rust Belt rusted, because the circumstances that created the American Industrial Heartland are gone.  The Thirty Golden Years, from 1945-1975 were a unique time in world and American history.  They aren't coming back.

I would differ with Ed on one point.  The voters that voted for Trump voted for more than anger.  I do think they voted for hope.  Hope that Trump would destroy the system that has ground them down.  Looking at his transition team, it's very, very, very unlikely that Trump is going to do anything about their problems.

Maybe he winds up keeping Obamacare and giving it bipartisan cover.  Maybe that helps.  I can't see his infrastructure plan working, because it's a farce and a giveaway to construction companies more than actually building anything.  I agree with Jon Chait, that Democrats better sell their votes very, very dearly to support any infrastructure bill, because it is likely to be a corruption funnel and they should keep their fingerprints off of it.

But Trump doesn't give a shit about his voters.  He has stiffed workers over and over and over again.  Clinton probably screwed up in accenting his personal vileness over his professional malfeasance.  They should have hammered home the number of people Trump has screwed over. C'est la guerre.

Those WWC voters who flocked to Trump are likely going to get screwed.  And frankly, selfishly, it's not the place of the Democratic party from 2017-2021 to solve their problems.  Trump can't solve the Problem of the Rust Belt, because he's an idiot and because there is no solution.  Building a sea wall in Tampa isn't going to create jobs in Dayton, Ohio, providing the sea wall even gets built.

Instead, we will get massive tax cuts for the rich and an assault on Medicare and Obamacare.  We will get crony capitalism in spades.  

Sadly, the only way to blunt the impact of the rural WWC voter is to watch Trump screw up.  That lacks agency, but it's probable.  And if he doesn't, maybe all us elites were wrong about everything.  I doubt it, though.  Steve Bannon was crediting his theory of politics to Andrew Jackson, a man whose fiscal policies unleashed one of the worst depressions of the 19th century.

Buy gold.

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