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

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Real America

I don't intend this as a "point and stare" exercise, but this story of a KKK leader who was killed by his mentally ill wife is a bit too salacious to pass by unremarked upon.  In it, you can find all the pathologies of rural America that led to them following a two-bit New York con artist down the Primrose Path.  Poor prospects, drug addiction, undiagnosed mental illness...It's Faulkner for the 21st century, a dark gothic stew of resentments, anger and helplessness.

If the principles in this story were minority, I'd have more sympathy for them.  And that is something I need to work on.  Admittedly, being a KKK leader is not a sympathetic stance, so I feel no compelling need to sympathize with the late Mr. Ancona.  There is a justifiable stance that the accrued treatment of minorities deserves more sympathy.  But people like Ancona's have seen no benefit from their whiteness, which is probably why he gravitated towards an ideology that makes him superior based on the one attribute he has in his favor - his skin color.  And I would not sympathize with characters in this tragedy if they were radical black nationalists either.

This is the challenge of Trumpistan.  How do we reach people like the Anconas to let them know that Donald Trump doesn't give a shit about them?  That the Republican party doesn't give a shit about them?  My wife and I were discussing whether it's in the mercenary interest of the Democrats to let the AHCA pass in order to force these older, rural white people to realize how the Republican party is basically interested in nursing your grievances so they can give more money to the rich.

Ancona was a racist.  His racism had to be rooted in some ways in the shitty circumstances of his life.  His shitty circumstances were caused in part by a system that rewards the top 1% out of all proportion to their contributions.  Trump told them he shared their anger.  He lied, which is what he does.  But people like Ancona wanted to believe in those lies so much.

How do you communicate with people who speak such a foreign tongue?

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