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What So Many People Don't Get About The Working Class

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  • #671809 Reply

    I think the U.S. has historically always had conservatives. My mother was white working class. My father was an immigrant who came here on a heavily vetted Visa because of the skills he could bring in and he started out on his own. They are both Republicans and my dad puts loyalty to party above just about anything. Even if the economy will be be in a temporary bubble, I think he’s comfortable with that. I think when change seems to happen at a faster rate than people are comfortable adjusting to, they slow it down by turning back to traditional values that feel safer. I think the information age has made it difficult for people to keep up and people are more scared of violence from those they don’t know, than the violence that is directed towards minorities in lower society-economic conditions. I think knowing all the civil unrest around the world and feeling helpless to do anything with the knowledge brings a deep desire for safety. I think Donald Trump played to people’s fears that humanity will always have violent factions and self-preservation of what has worked up until modern times is the most prudent way forward. Obviously, I disagree

    That isn’t to say there isn’t some truth to people who feel P.C. culture puts feelings above the pursuit of security or people’s honest opinions that may be based on a lack of education more than a lack of inherent character. I think some people know they will never understand all the layers of conflicts in foreign affairs. I’m one those people, though I haven’t given up trying to learn. Donald Trump’s America First speaks to people who feel pushed to the limits of what they are willing to understand while feeling insecure.

    Honestly, the biggest problem I have with “building a wall that Mexico pays for” is that it is a stupid idea IMO and has anti-globalist sentiments. I don’t have a problem trying to tighten up security at our borders and stop illegal immigration. Illegal immigration has created an entire second-class tier of undocumented citizens who as I understand it, have often payed into taxes and worked hard without having any of the benefits, and have been exploited by employers because of their desperate circumstances. I think it is inhumane to deport those who have managed to get here and have lived through those circumstances and contributed and proved some measure of loyalty to this country. I admired the DREAM ACT because of it granted sanctuary to a successful, contributing undocumented immigrants that didn’t themselves make the choice to come here illegally but had a retroactive time-limit as to not be encouraging to those who haven’t already migrated. I think it is unreasonable to expect human beings to not seek out lives in a country they perceive to have opportunity and democracy. Therefore, I think our nation does need strong, secure borders to prevent what is a natural inclination of even the hardest-working and best-intended people on a level which is unsustainable and comes with threats to our security. I applaud President Obama attempting to increase security while keeping the cost of processing non-documented stopped at the border down. We also may need stronger vetting for those who come on Visas as so often this is the route migrants take. However, the policies we make should be a result of thoughtful delegation and not a white-nationalistic, presidential over-reach that disregards legal green card holders and proven allies.

    My understanding is that there are some conservatives who feel the
    Dream Act should have come from legislation and not a president’s executive order. For some it felt like over-reach of the executive branch with the DREAM ACT and the way in which ACA came into law, and some were not necessarily opposed to trying to fix a broken healthcare system or immigration policy. Mitt Romney did create health-care solutions within his state, I believe. And he was willing to pretty much sacrifice his career opposing Trump even when it would have been in his personal interest to keep his mouth shut and bet on the winning dog. Of course, probably most conservatives didn’t want any kind of government healthcare and already attacked safety nets for the vulnerable such as Medicaid and ignored the obvious manipulation and lobbying of the private healthcare system which was invested in continuing to deny coverage of “experimental treatment” and play all kinds of games with doctor’s treatment plans. Those with pre-existing conditions were pretty much doomed to no treatment or financial ruin. Conservatives believe in winners and losers. They accept this as the human condition and don’t believe in a organized societal effort to equalize.

    I think there were Trump-supporters (who get ABSOLUTELY NO SUPPORT OR SYMPATHY from me) who were frustrated with the inability to discuss factions of radical politicized Islam without being shut down by being labeled xenophobic (though most of them probably are). My belief is we are so globally economically and technologically linked that this ideological and mental health war will cross borders. We’ve seen cases of unhinged U.S. citizens committing atrocious acts of terror because of radical ideas. Christianity has terrorists around the globe. Even non old-testament, peace-spouting religions like Hinduism have individuals that commit acts of terror. This is a human response that comes out when violence and scarcity breeds tribal instinct to dehumanize the “other”. Secular nations have terrorists. But because Christianity is widely practiced in the United States, South America, and Europe and many countries and a lot of these regions are perceived as relatively secure despite terrorists, some preclude the moderate Islam-worshipers can’t win the ideological war with extremists. People who don’t live in urban areas may not see all the contributing, peaceful, non-oppressed, happily adjusted worshipers of Islam, and might incorrectly and fearfully conflate all the perceived civil unrest in nations who struggle with theocratic factions at war for political control and with terrorist organizations that threaten our security with all Muslims. Of course many if not most of these non-seers really are just xenophobic. We have literally millions of examples of worshipers of Islam who do not fall in these categories for anyone who cares to see them. I don’t believe humanity or the U.S. will stop the spread of terrorism by disengaging and ignoring humanitarian crises. We may initially post-pone the direct consequences to our nation but going isolationist will have horrific consequences in a post-industrial, militarized world. I think Trump-supporters don’t want to accept the responsibility of learning about problems they perceive little ability to control.
    We have a separation of church and state, here. But we also (at least democrats) believe that our nation has undergone secular social change over the last couple hundred years. I think most of us believe that the value of a citizen is based on a common value for humanity and freedom for social choice and lifestyle regardless of faith, , gender, orientation, race and our modern government policies should account for this national value.
    Further left progressives tend to embrace modern social science which suggests we are all implicitly biased and discriminate as part of the human condition. Therefore, we should all be mindful of the impact of bias of those empowered to make policy that affects us all especially since we still have large portions of Americans who inherited complications of a social class that was systematically politically unrepresented and socially dehumanized or given second class consideration. Many believe the way to self-correct society is through pro-active, organized attempts to create a level playing field and to educate in areas where human bias and discrimination appears (from data) to strongly and consistently favor one identity group’s social standing or experience of justice over those who are identified as different or outsiders.
    I don’t think all republicans ignore all social science, but I think many tend to believe it isn’t government’s role to change on the whim of science. Many believe the human condition isn’t as altruistic as it is self-preserving and self-serving and it is dishonest to pretend a stranger should care about a different person’s security at the expense of their own self-interests or their own children’s security. They also believe charity is better done through churches or private efforts than large systems which can be plundered by opportunists or wasted because there is no incentive to keep costs low. Many believe prosperity leads to security and that this is more effective and predictably accomplished by allowing natural competition. They do not believe the government solves problems as well as private industries, and high stock values, and good quality of life which allows and perpetuates consumerism. They believe the best way for this to be accomplished is for government to get out of the way.
    I think the science based evidence of how pollution, air quality, over-exposure to anti-biotics and hormone disrupters are changing our world and biology at an unrepresented pace and evidence of accelerated CO2 levels increasing the likelihood of dramatic climate change aren’t even enough to sway a republican in regulating conclusions that restrict prosperity. I don’t think they buy into the concept that humans can work together for a national interest, even one as existentially threatening as climate change. Republicans seem convinced this is Marxism and doomed to fail because of the innate nature of the human condition. They look at the industrialization of China and India and to them that is progress that will enhance and improve the condition of those people and that is a better investment than government regulations which are more likely to stymie innovation and life-enhancing progress than save all of humanity from certain doom. I don’t believe most republicans believe it is their responsibility to live or invest in the future of humanity, I think many of them believe that is beyond the scope of human capability or purpose. They do believe in love and altruism and scruples but they believe these are best perpetuated by Judeo-Christian traditions and it is not their ethical responsibility to worry about the implications of modern scientific consensus. To them the nature of existence is best addressed by faith.

    Conservatives tend to be strict constitutionals that believe that respecting individual’s freedom of choice (except for women in regards to their own bodies) regardless of privileged circumstance or impact on others is the best role and the most unifying common denominator among humans. They don’t believe “fair” is a value worth promoting through social programs. Many on the right also believe a person can’t escape their own identify politics but the best remedy is through that individual’s choices and pursuit of prosperity for themselves even if it isn’t fair. Of course, this disproportionately is to their advantage but that is not their fault; that is simply the way existence or God set humanity up.

    #671818 Reply

    The thing that bothers me is that a lot of Democratic/liberal policies DO benefit the working-class. The Affordable Care Act was not created to help wealthy people who already have insurance. Free college is not for wealthy people. Reproductive rights are about rights, but the scope of a woman’s rights is dependent on how much money they have. If you have the money to travel several states over for an abortion, those laws don’t affect you in the same way they do a working-class woman. To say that the Democrats ignore this group, to me, is ridiculous.

    So, for me, if folks are not willing to sign on to policies that would help them solely because that party also likes science and people who aren’t white and gay people, then that’s their choice. I obviously think that Democrats need to do what they need to do to win (without selling out or throwing marginalized groups under the bus), but I don’t’ think there’s a moral obligation to tie itself into knots to try to win over someone who would rather get paid below minimum wage just so that black children have to go to a bad school.

    I say this as someone who with several working class relatives, including a parent. (However, my working class mother is a Democrat, as was her mother).

    #671823 Reply

    The thing is the working class are not poor, but they also do not realize how rich they are. There a was an article/interview by NPR a month or two back about a middle class family from a coal town in PA about why they voted for Trump. They made $100,000/year and had to pay $900/month for insurance for their family of 4 under ACA. That is the working class who are not poor, but not wealthy. That’s almost a second rent for a family to pay. And they would be paying more out of pocket without ACA, but that’s not the point. It’s not up for debate, right? They have to have insurance.
    Guys, no one is saying, let’s read or listen to these excuses and feel badly for them and forget about the progress we’ve made and move back to the 1950s…but if we are going to have any growth or tip anyone’s opinions to the way we think, we have to hear their opinions, too. Everything is meant to divide us right now, everything. Every step Trump takes, every horrid breath Bannon takes. They are trying to split us deeper and deeper. It fuels their fire. We need concrete solutions to help everyone economically.
    I don’t feel bad for people who mindlessly follow Fox News and trump, not at all. They actively choose that figment of reality (just like religion, amirite?) But I don’t think blanket labeling every single person who voted for him is working anymore. Just as them blanketing us as libtards, commies, social justice warriors, blah blah…that’s all Trump’s ammunition. We need to bridge the gap. I would honestly love to see how we can work creatively to self educate these people about the issues of minorities, LBGQT, women, everything. They don’t see these people, you know? They live in a cornfield bubble, listening to Billy Graham and Rush Limbaugh and now Bannon and Trump. They used to have more, and now they don’t. That’s all they can see. All they can see is how less they have, less they make, less, less, less, less AND then they hear Rush telling them how it’s the illegal refugees stealing their tax dollars. It’s the bad hombres climbing the fence at the border taking their jobs and welfare. None of it’s true, but all they listen to is their church and these close minded fascist nazis. We need to take a deep breath and think of how to reach them. GWB’s shitshow of a presidency didn’t teach them. They all love him! The facts get spun. They don’t read the NYTimes. We have to figure out how to reach them. Why us? Because they aren’t going to come visit a big city and learn about the Gays. They don’t care. We have to figure out how to make them care.

    #671824 Reply

    And if we think these growing pains hurt (re: income disparities) just wait until true globalization!

    #671871 Reply

    @girltuesday and all the others here and on the other thread about Trump that are talking about and linking to articles about the white working class Trump voters… I’m really REALLY sick of it. This is not directed at you personally and I understand fully that you have good intentions and are trying to understand why the America you know voted for this sorry excuse of a human being. BUT, there have been countless articles (in ALL major publications), blog posts and posts on social media focusing on why the white working class man voted for Trump. Endless hand wringing and requests for empathy and understanding.

    Where was this empathy when Black men and women were being gunned down for the color of their skin. When Republicans were doing all they could to disenfranchise voters of color. Thousands upon thousands of black men are in jail for smoking/carrying weed. None of my white male friends who have been heavy pot users since they were teenagers have even come close to an arrest. And guess what once the drug possession charges become felonies those same black men can’t vote. Also, where is the outcry that women consistently get paid less for the same job, are fired for getting pregnant, and are taxed for tampons.

    I read the article you linked (last week actually) and many, many others and for one I think the title is misleading because it is not talking about the working class. It is talking about WHITE working class MEN in rural/suburban areas. Second, all the information gleaned was not really anything new. It does not take much research or intuition to see that these men want jobs and they want them the same way their fathers got them, without much education and at the expense of women and people of color. They are no different than the white ivy league grad who wants a 6 figure income at 21 – just richer and a little bit more entitled.

    You know what FUCK them… there time has passed. Change is hard for the privileged sure but the answer is not to preserve that privilege at the expense of others. That is what the Republican party and especially Trump is promising. If that’s what you want then you can’t complain that people are calling you sexist and racist. It is time for the Democratic party to actually care about the majority (women, black and brown people, and the young) and get out the vote among those groups! It is time for America to care about education, health, the environment rather than tax reductions which by the way would not be so high in priority if people had all these things covered. If you are really trying to understand why Trump was voted in then take a look at how much of the focus after the election has been on the white working class man… that’s why.

    #671881 Reply

    OK I am skimming all of the points made and everyone has clearly strong feelings on all of this:

    I only have one point to make on this particular topic of the working class:

    All of these white guys (and their wives) who voted for the orange goblin are living in a fantasy world. Sure, Trump says that he wants to bring manufacturing back but here’s how it works under his vision:

    1. No unions. Unions are bad. They have regulations. They have rules on what work can and can’t be performed. Union folks make more money than non-union.

    2. No minimum wage. Whoever wants to work at a lower cost – that’s fine. There’s no need to ensure that workers get paid a living wage.

    3. Fewer regulations.Trump wants to get rid of 80% of the regulations. Sure, companies have it hard. They have to ensure that the workplace is safe and that their products are safe to use. No regulations means less ability to fault a workplace when you have an accident. The regulations ensure that there is a standard by which a company abides. No regulation – no standard. No standard means hazards.

    So sure – people can bitch and moan about how jobs have moved off shore. How companies are hard to run. How you need a higher education (which costs $$$$$$ now) to get a basic job. And they are all right.

    How do we fix it?
    1. Make unions strong again. Get rid of the excesses and focus on ensuring basics. This requires the help of the unions but they’re under fire and I’d hope they’d come to the table.
    2. Make it amenable to run a manufacturing business. This includes tax breaks for manufacturing jobs. (this is the only thing orange julius has right)
    3. Minimum wage increase. The more you make, the more you spend. 100 people spending 55% of their wages is better for the economy than 1 guy spending his CEO pay. Private jets and private schools do not spur the economy. Shopping at CostCo does.

    #671904 Reply

    Realistically, more and more it seems to me that we’re going to have to implement a guaranteed minimum income in developed countries. Too many jobs are going, either overseas or being automated, and it’s not going to stop. Self checkouts are gaining popularity. McDonald’s is putting in those touchscreens to self-order at. Losing those minimum wage jobs is bad enough. But factories are still automating. Those better-paying jobs are still going too. The real nail in the coffin, though, is gonna be self-driving cars. Bye bye truckers. Think about it. That’s a massive number of relatively uneducated, relatively well-paid people who will suddenly be out of work (and yes, mostly white men again). Also gone – bus drivers, taxi drivers, uber drivers. It’s not gonna be good. Just wait.

    #671905 Reply

    Goddamn it. Every day more and more atrocities from this administration. I try to reason that we can live through this, but I do think so many will not. It’s terrifying. Fuck.

    #671911 Reply

    @AlwaysALurker, I share the same sentiments. And yes, the article is specifically about white working class men because they specifically voted Trump into power (I’m probably making generalizations here, so forgive me).

    Trust me, I am angry AF and when I read the article I thought “hmm, sounds like entitlement to me!” I don’t agree with their reasoning, but I am trying to understand so I can figure out how to keep fighting the right way and arm myself with as many different arguments as possible.

    Also, I am in a very blue state liberal bubble, so for me (personally), I found it eye-opening.

    Trump is going to use and abuse his voters for the next 4 years and they’ll still blame everyone else for their problems.

    #671994 Reply

    An old college acquaintance posted this on the Book of Faces…

    “The idea that liberals don’t understand rural voters is garbage. Where do you think half of them fled from? And why do you think that is?”

    Simple. To the point. True. And how I feel.

    #671997 Reply

    Exactly. Not to mention, everyone understands white men. We’ve had to, they’re always the ones in charge of everything. They’re the ones who have trouble understanding the rest of us. Only the ones who make an effort to do so come close.

    #671999 Reply

    I too am so sick of the poor white man just so sad he is losing power. Like da fuck I am supposed to feel BAD you’re sad you don’t get to be a blatantly racist, sexist p.o.s. anymore. Newsflash, white men did so well in the past because they were the only ones ALLOWED to. They controlled everything and everyone around them, including women, POC and other minorities. Now that these groups have marginally more power and white men can’t just bank on the fact they are white and male to get ahead, they are fucking petrified and honestly, I don’t give a shit. Instead of evolving and getting a leg up the way so many amazing women, poc, minorities and LGBT people have, rather than improvising and learning new skills, they now just want to return things to how it used to be. Everyone but them being crushed under their superiority. I say no to this bullshit. It is about time that the rest of America woke up to the fact that these men are the minority and we cannot let them control the narrative of America’s future, the way they have its past. Yes, obviously not all white men and even obviously a large majority of white women are included in this complicity, but this is honestly I believe, the core of the Republican party constituents and the Republicans have proven time and time again they are the party against the majority in favor of the rich, white, minority. *this is mostly just a rant, not directly in response to anyone on here, I am just so fucking pissed off and depressed all of the time and needed a moment

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