Confused Liberalism

Here are some thoughts on ideological labels and mindsets in the United States. I had a larger post I was working on, which I may or may not post. But the following is bite-sized commentary. Just some things to throw out there.

These views are not exactly new to my writing. They are issues my mind often returns to, because I’m never quite satisfied that I fully understand. I can’t shake the feeling that something is being misunderstood or overlooked, whether or not my own preferred interpretations turn out to be correct.

The two thoughts below are in response to this question:

What do we mean when we speak of liberalism?

* * *

We live in a liberal society, in that we live in a post-Enlightenment age where the liberal paradigm is dominant. But what exactly is this liberalism?

What I find interesting is that conservatives in a liberal society aren’t traditionalists and can never be traditionalists. They are anti-traditionalists and would be entirely out of place in a traditional society. These conservatives are forced to define themselves according to the liberal paradigm and so their only choice is to either become moderate liberals or reactionaries against liberalism.

Even if they choose the latter, they still don’t escape liberalism because our identities are shaped as much by what we react to as by what we embrace. In some ways, we become what we react to, just in a distorted way. That is why reactionary conservatives use liberal rhetoric, often unconsciously.

Ironically, the illiberalism of such reactionary politics is only possible in a liberal society. And, sadly, that reactionary politics has become the dominant ideology in a liberal society like this. The liberal and the reactionary are two sides of the same coin.

This is quite the conundrum for the liberal and reactionary alike. Both are chained together, as they pull in opposite directions.

* * *

There are a large number (how many?) of self-identified liberals who aren’t strongly liberal-minded and maybe a bit conservative-minded, aren’t consistent supporters of liberal politics, are wary of liberal economic reforms, are unsure about the liberalism of human nature, and/or doubt a liberal society is possible. These kinds of ‘liberals’ are their own worst enemies. They make it easy for the political right to dominate, for the authoritarians and social dominance orientation types to gain and maintain power.

I’ve come to a suspicion. It’s not just that many of these supposed liberals aren’t particularly liberal. I’d go further than that. Some of them, possibly a large number of them, could be more accurately described as status quo conservatives. But this isn’t to say that some liberals aren’t strongly liberal-minded. My thought goes in a different direction, though. Maybe the crux of the matter isn’t self-identified liberals at all.

Self-identified liberals have proven themselves easily swayed by the rhetoric of reactionaries, authoritarians, and social dominance orientation types. Because of this, the label of ‘liberal’ has become associated with weakly liberal positions and what are sometimes illiberal attitudes. Liberalism has become identified with the liberal class and bourgeois capitalism, with mainstream society and the status quo social order, with a waffling fence-sitting and Washington centrism.

My thought is that most liberal-minded people (specifically in the US) don’t identify as liberals and never have. Instead, the strongly liberal-minded have taken up other labels to identify themselves: independents, non-partisans, social democrats, progressives, leftists, left-wingers, socialists, democratic socialists, communists, communalists, communitarians, Marxiststs, unionists, anarchists, anarcho-syndialists, left-libertarians, etc. Pretty much anything but ‘liberal’.

This is where mainstream thought goes off the rails. The most liberal-minded tend to be ignored or overlooked. They don’t fit into the mainstream framework of ideological labels. These strongly liberal-minded people might be a fairly large part of the population, but they can’t be seen.

We don’t have the language to talk about them, much less study them. We have nuanced language to distinguish people on the political right and this nuanced language is regularly used in collecting and analyzing data. Pollsters and social scientists are often careful to separate conservatives from libertarians, authoritarians, and social dominance orientation types. Such nuance is rarely seen in mainstream thought about the political left.

It seems, in the mainstream, that it is assumed that ‘liberals’ can be taken as mostly representative of the entire political left. This is based on the assumption that leftists in the US are so small in number and therefore insignificant and irrelevant. But if we define leftists as all those who are to the left of the liberal class found in the Democratic Party establishment and the mainstream corporate media, we might discover there are more leftists than there are so-called liberals. And if many of those leftists are far more liberal-minded than the self-identified liberals, then how useful is the social science research that uses self-identified liberals as a proxy for all liberal-mindedness?

243 thoughts on “Confused Liberalism

  1. You bring up a good point, and I want to add to it. There are those who are liberal and either do not know it, or chafe against it. My late Grandfather hated liberals, he found them all the regular stereotypes, Lazy, dirty, communist, you name it, he thought that of them. He was also one of the people responsible for bringing the Unions into the Iron Ore Mines of Michigan back in the 60s.

    He did it not for money, but for safety. He was tired of seeing friends and family hurt, maimed, and killed a mile underground and wanted his own son to have a better life than he did. Eventually, after the mines closed, he joined OSHA as a mine inspector for the exact same reasons.

    Never, ever, call him a liberal though.

    • There is that aspect as well.

      Many people who are politically liberal, socially liberal, and/or psychologically liberal don’t necessarily identify as liberal. Many of them, in fact, identify as the opposite and will attack liberalism or rather the straw man stereotypes of liberalism. They think of themselves as conservatives for cultural reasons, since that is how people they know identify, or because the ideological confusion in mainstream media and right-wing talk radio has made all labels near meaningless.

      In this post, I had a more limited focus. The point you bring up wouldn’t necessarily validate the central argument I had in mind. If human nature actually was fundamentally conservative, many people could be politically liberal and maybe even socially liberal while still being primarily conservative-minded. From this view, liberal-mindedness is rare and always partial. I’m arguing that this probably is wrong.

      I see a strong component of liberalism within human nature. Without liberal-mindedness, civilization wouldn’t exist because liberal-minded personality traits are the basis of or otherwise correlated with creativity, imagination, innovation, out-of-the-box thinking, curiosity, abstract thought, fluid intelligence, etc (all of which has been shown in thousands of high quality studies done over decades: FFM, MBTI, Boundary Types, etc). Liberal-mindedness is the bedrock of civilization that has seen its fullest expression so far in post-Enlightenment modernity.

      So, it’s not just that many people might support liberalism in terms of various issues: economic reform, labor organizing, environmental regulations, basic tolerance, broad rights and freedoms, etc. My argument is this wouldn’t be possible if liberal-mindedness itself hadn’t become more manifest and fully expressed in the general population.

      Along with this, I’m not so sure that those in the liberal class are the best and most accurate representatives of liberal-mindedness. I suspect that those in the liberal class are more strongly conservative-minded in many ways, specifically those working in the highly competitive and hierarchical institutions/organizations of politics, think tanks, academia, and corporate media. To be successful in careers in these areas requires conservative-minded traits like orderliness and a lack of liberal-minded traits like high neuroticism.

      Consider the thick-boundaried compartmentalization that has developed in universities since they began to be managed in the style of businesses and since they’ve increasingly been funded by corporations. There is high pressure in academia these days. This particularly seen at the best colleges. They aren’t attracting or creating strongly liberal-minded individuals. To be successful at the highest levels of college and then to have a highly successful career in our present economic system requires a heavy dose of conservative-mindedness: intense focus, exclude all distractions, task-oriented, workaholism, groupthink, desire to please, comformity, etc. The kids coming out of these elite colleges and entering into positions of power and influence aren’t going to be creative, independent thinkers. They are very different from the general population and from the kinds of young people who end up at a community college.

      http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2001/04/the-organization-kid/302164/

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/a-ruling-elite-of-well-educated-sheep/

      The most liberal-minded people would not be the most successful people in a capitalist society that is highly class-oriented with strong elements of Social Darwinism. You are more likely to find the most liberal-minded people working in jobs that are often neither high in pay or power: public education, psychotherapy, caretaking/nursing, personal hands-on social work, local community organizing, alternative labor organizing (e.g., worker-owned and democratically-operated businesses), creative non-fiction, speculative fiction, art, computer programming, video game design, or any other field that gives them a fair amount of freedom to use their creativity, follow their curiosity, and/or express their egalitarian and compassionate sensibilities.

      This is problematic. If most of the social science research and polling is done by people who psychologically are moderately liberal-minded to conservative-minded, you aren’t likely to see much good research on strong liberal-mindedness. The interesting bias in the social sciences is that most of the research is done on the political right and some oddly make the argument that this is proof of a liberal bias, as though liberals wouldn’t want to do research on liberalism. If this is a liberal bias, it indicates that liberalism doesn’t mean what those making this argument think it means.

      There is narrow understanding of liberalism that is held by the liberal class in the United States. It relates to the issue of the WEIRD (Western Educated Industrialized Rich Democratic) along with white privilege. Most social researchers and pollsters are some combination of liberal class (often living in creative class enclaves), WEIRD, and white. This is what creates the out-of-touch identity politics that helped Hillary Clinton lose, the privileged white middle class feminism in particular that minority feminists have been complaining about for decades. Similarly, social scientists and pollsters are also out of touch.

      Most of them are of very specific demographics. About social science research specifically, much of it is done in universities and most of the students who are used as test subjects share that same narrow set of demographics. The bias of that world is shared both by the researchers and the test subjects. There is other research done in other non-Western countries, but it isn’t as widely known because most of it isn’t in English. The way ideologies are understood in the Western world are primarily based on research done in the English language.

      This is seen most starkly in linguistics. Chomsky has promoted the view that simply studying one language (i.e., English) will tell you everything you need to know about the basic functioning and structure of all languages. This same problem is found in personality trait research, since the model was developed by looking for basic psychological concepts within the English language, based on the assumption that this would equally apply to all people in all cultures no matter their language. But it is seen in diverse other fields. It’s a panoply of biases: class, race, culture, language, education, etc. The problem with these biases is that they represent outliers, both in our society and in the larger world. They don’t represent anything other than their own tiny niche.

      We also have to keep in mind that our entire society (capitalist, individualist, etc) is highly abnormal. Using a country like this as a measure of universal human nature, social functioning, or whatever is extremely misguided. These biases often feed into the stereotypes of liberalism, because the self-proclaimed spokespersons for liberalism are atypical in so many ways, not representative of humans and general and probably not even representative of liberals in general.

      Your late grandfather was right about at least one thing. These people weren’t like him.

      http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/05/weird_psychology_social_science_researchers_rely_too_much_on_western_college.html

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/psychology-studies-biased-toward-we-10-08-07/

      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7302/full/466029a.html

      http://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/why-should-psychological-science-care-about-diversity#.WFv4LPkrLIU

      http://freakonomics.com/2013/03/11/are-all-research-participants-outliers/

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2015/06/psychology-studies-too-reliant-on-college-students/

      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/44671874_WEIRD_languages_have_misled_us_too

      http://bigstory.ap.org/article/866bce884b014088923034135427c29a/big-datas-streetlight-effect-where-and-how-we-look-affects

    • What we identify as depends on our experience and context.

      Your late grandfather saw the world from one particular niche. Those in the liberal class see it from another particular niche. But interestingly, in sharing the same culture and being influenced by the same media reporting and political framing, both your late grandfather and those in the liberal class share many of the same biases. The liberal class would agree with your late grandfather that he wasn’t a liberal. And your late grandfather would agree that those in the liberal class are liberals. From a different perspective, though, an entirely different conclusion would be made.

      How we determine ideologies as it applies to individuals depends on the standard we are using for a
      measure.

      Compared to most people in the world and compared to most people across history, both your late grandfather and the liberal class are strongly liberal (politically, socially, and psychologically). But compared to a place like Canada, even the American liberal class as seen in the Democratic Party seems a bit conservative-minded in how it often embraces what would be considered conservative politics elsewhere, how tolerant it is of: neoconservatism, neoliberalism, corporatism, etc. Which comparison is correct? It depends on which you wish to privilege.

      If we were to privilege and so use the most strongly liberal-minded as the measure of liberalism, we would judge something as conservative-minded to the degree it is distant from that standard. In that case, the liberal class would appear as relatively conservative-minded. And based on that context and framing, we would have to give the liberal class a new name to accurately describe its position on this ideological spectrum. We might call them the moderate class, the sitting-on-a-fence-post class, the WEIRD class, or the privileged largely white professional middle-to-upper class.

      The problem is that the minority in positions of power and authority (politicians, think tank analysts, talking heads, journalists/reporters, social scientists, etc) determine the definition, standard, context, framing, comparisons, and analysis of what informs social identities, ideological and otherwise. These are people who are detached from the experience and worldview of most people. Yet they are in a position to tell others what their experience and worldview means. As ideological gatekeepers, ideological trendsetters and ideological rhetoricians, these people have immense influence on how the entire society thinks and the choices made based on that thinking.

      This is why it is almost impossible to meaningfully talk about ideologies, especially in terms of labels.

  2. Here was an interesting thread on conventional liberals and the limitations of it, especially in tackling the alt-right

    I found Alex Bloom’s comment interesting:

    “””The question is whether you object to ethno-nationalism always, or only in specific contexts and uses, right? Many folks would say that ethno-nationalism as a tool of defense from oppression is acceptable while its use as a tool of attack is not.

    The question is what Jewish-nationalism has to teach us about this. Because here we have an example of defensive ethno-nationalism turning into offensive ethno-nationalism. If you believe this inevitable, then all ethno-nationalism is bad. If you believe this historically contingent, then you can probably live with ethno-nationalism in its defensive form and work to forestall its ever becoming a tool of oppression. “””

    One of my warinesses towards identity politics is exactly that: that it can be a slippery slope from advocating for a group being discriminated against based on group identtity, to ethno-nationalism and tribalism. From advocating fairness to hotepism, to white nationalism, to seperatism, towards demonization of out-groups. I suppose one fallacy concerning the link in the link is that “white” isn’t an ethnicity, LOL. In all seriousness, one issue with ID politics left, or more accurately ,identity existentialism left, is that they talk about how they ultimately want equality, kumbaya per se. But can a tribal thing like id politics really lead to non-tribal end? The main danger of the ID politics social justice scene, is whether tribalism can actually be a means to a non-tribal end. If, as Alex Bloom says, ID politics is useful when in a defensive context, because people of a certain ID are discriminated against based on the ID and hence must unite under that ID to effectly fight the discrimination based on the ID, then at what point does the ID become transcendable? If group A oppresses people they percieve as group B, then people considered group B uniting under that banner to fight back might be an effect way to stop group A from discriminating against them, but at what point can people move beyond group A or B? Defensive ID politics has potential to be useful, if it can be used to advance people who are shit on because of that ID, but it’s a careful path to tread, for it can easily veer into ID essentialism and tribalism.

    • Here is the argument I’ve made before. Identity politics is inherently and fundamentally conservative-minded. Because of this, it attracts the conservative-minded. It’s a game the liberal-minded will never play well and will never be able to ultimately win, even if they gain short-term victories. Either the liberal-minded side loses to their conservative-minded opponents or, in winning the identity politics game, they stop being liberal-mined or get co-opted by the conservative-minded. There is no way to separate the means from the ends. That is basic human nature.

  3. “If we were to privilege and so use the most strongly liberal-minded as the measure of liberalism, we would judge something as conservative-minded to the degree it is distant from that standard. In that case, the liberal class would appear as relatively conservative-minded. And based on that context and framing, we would have to give the liberal class a new name to accurately describe its position on this ideological spectrum.”

    I wonder who, then, gets the honor of being dubbed the most strongly liberal-minded? Is there some pristine definition of what constitutes a perfect example of liberalism? From what I’ve heard so far personally, and what I read having googled it just now, it seems there are two basic concepts involved, that don’t seem particularly related to me.

    First, as evidenced by the root-word, it suggests the prioritization of liberty for individuals… which carries along with it the idea of equality among individuals (if we are all perfectly free or “liberated”, then we must also all be equalized on some level, because unequal status or opportunity would breed unequal freedom).

    Second, Liberalism seems to prioritize progress and change, especially as opposed to Conservatism, which tends toward leaving well enough alone, and not fixing what isn’t broke. In other words, an affinity for the status-quo is a conservative tendency, while a desire for change (sometimes, perhaps, even just for the sake of change) is a liberal one. I think maybe this is the sense in which the word “liberal” gets used in fields other than politics… such as calling someone a liberal theologian.

    If we want to categorize people and find our “pristine liberal”, I think that the second concept is more valuable, because it has a more direct effect on an individual’s behavior and attitudes. A relatively conservative minded person can hold a high personal estimation of the value of individual freedom and equality, and yet favor a milder expression of this position for the sake of his/her respect and affinity for order, consistency, and the status quo. I don’t know how historically accurate this may be, but in the movie “The Great Debaters”, the black protagonists end up debating in support of de-segregation… and in their rebuttals, the white opponents always agree that the “negro” ought to be fully equal under the law, but also maintain that the country is not ready for the kind of upheaval this would cause. That strikes me as a classical stance for Conservatism in my second sense.

    • I’m not arguing about ideological purity. I couldn’t care less about that. My interest has always primarily been about social science, what makes humans the way they are. But the problem is that the ideological confusion in our society can lead to confusion in the social science research.

      Anyway, confusion aside, a social science approach offers no answer to questions about a supposed “pristine liberal”. There are simply many aspects, factors, traits, etc that can be correlated to what we come to associate with liberalism. None of this absolutely proves what liberalism is or what is most essential.

      For example, are liberals neurotic because they are liberal or because some of the most liberal parts of the country happen to have high cat ownership that leads to toxoplasmosis which is a known cause of neuroticism? It’s not clear that neuroticism has anything directly to do with liberalism, as it might just be an accident of other conditions. But because of those conditions we have come to associate neuroticism with liberalism and see it as a defining feature.

      We really have no clue. Ideological labels change meaning as conditions change. In the 19th century, being a liberal likely had nothing to do with neuroticism, as people rarely kept cats in their homes at that time. And of course, by today’s standards many of those 19th century liberals would be considered conservative today, far right even.

      There is no outside standard by which to measure anything. It’s sort of like IQ, as the average IQ has increased over the generations. An average IQ person a century ago would be considered ‘retarded’ by today’s average IQ standards. But obviously an average IQ person from a century ago wasn’t really retarded.

      We never escape the context of meaning we inhabit. Still, going by the context we find ourselves in, we can speak conditionally of the present correlations. Even if neuroticism isn’t a universal factor of ideology, it is still a factor in our society as it is at the moment. Neuroticism is strongly correlated with those who are associated with liberalism, either by self-identification or by views held.

      As such, we could look at those with the highest levels of neuroticism and determine their demographic profile. I doubt the highly neurotic would do well in academia, for example. But I could be wrong. It would be interesting to know what kinds of jobs are worked by the most highly neurotic and it wouldn’t be a hard thing to figure out, if someone bothered to research it… and maybe someone has researched, in which case I’d love to see the results.

      That is the direction I’d like to see research go in. We need more specific knowledge. This requires us to go be more careful in questioning our assumptions, formulating them as hypotheses to be tested.

    • I don’t have any clear answers. The point of this post was to put greater emphasis on the questions themselves and the doubts that lead to those questions.

      My sense is that something is getting left out, overlooked, misunderstood, or something. All of it doesn’t quite add up. The framing and definitions somehow seem skewed. I keep wondering that, if we had more pieces, they might fit together in ways we can’t even imagine right now. But the challenge is we don’t yet have what need to gain a better understanding.

      The following quote captures my mood in contemplating such things:

      “Too much time is wasted because of the assumption that methods already in existence will solve problems for which they were not designed; too many hypotheses and systems of thought in philosophy and elsewhere are based on the bizarre view that we, at this point in history, are in possession of the basic forms of understanding needed to comprehend absolutely anything. I believe that the methods needed to understand ourselves do not yet exist.”
      ~Thomas Nagel, The View from Nowhere

      • I like that quote, definitely. It reminds me of some Chomsky that I read, where he was basically saying that it’s all but impossible to REALLY know much of anything about things like Psychology or Sociology. All the experts can really do is guesswork, because the subject matter of human brains and cognition and social interaction is just too complicated to really nail down concretely the way you can nail down geometry, or even physics and geology. But his point wasn’t so much that we don’t really know anything, but that we should all feel empowered to try and understand things for ourselves, because the so-called experts aren’t much more knowledgeable for having learned all the previous guesswork of people who were just guessing like we can anytime we want. Now that’s a pretty extreme position to take, and I think he probably went too far with it, but it does remind me of the quote you shared, both in terms of the limitations of previous discovery, and also in the sense of empowerment it affords everyday thinkers to maybe have some valid insights without years of formal education.

        As far as what true Liberalism really is, I think the elevation of change as a goal over maintaining the status quo is probably integral, at least from what I can see. If that’s really the case, then I would wonder what a Liberal utopia might look like… because if we hypothetically ever achieved that utopia, would true Liberalism still be pulling for change by definition, or would it finally settle down to defending and maintaining the (finally satisfactory) status quo?

        Another fundamental tenet (although I’m sure this is putting it in conservative terms) is the affinity for “big government”, and broader powers for government intervention to achieve moral ends. Conservatives would say in general that bigger more powerful government with higher taxes and stronger regulation is in itself a failure, even if the end goal is ultimately beneficial in a sense. Liberals probably wouldn’t say that bigger government is an end in itself, but if there’s any job that needs doing or problem that needs fixing, they seem much more likely than conservatives to ramp up the scope of government to achieve that end.

        Lastly, for now at least, is what I’ll call the Robin Hood method. Liberals (probably in their quest for equal liberty and opportunity for all) seem to prioritize a level playing field, even when it requires “robbing the rich to feed the poor”. Conservatives (even, ironically, the poor ones) value the ability to hold on to the fruits of their labor. After all, aren’t the poor people ALSO receiving the fruits of THEIR labor in having become poor? The almighty market supposedly blesses the worthy at the expense of the unworthy, and hard work always pays off in the end. Liberals, on the other hand, see in accumulated wealth some measure of hard work, mixed with a healthy portion of good luck as well. Since bad luck can visit us all, why SHOULDN’T we all share the burden of supporting the current victims of the same bad luck that could strike any of us down tomorrow?

        • Chomsky goes further than I would. He doesn’t seem to like social science much, which is common for left-wingers for some reason. I think it might have to do with the influence of certain thinkers such as Marx who emphasized the importance of material conditions. Many left-wingers see social science as woo, only slightly above religion.

          I’ve never been dismissive of social science. I’d rather have biased social science than none at all. There is plenty of awesome research out there that offers important insights and understandings. The correlations found are significant, but we haven’t quite figured out what they’re significance is. In particular, the direction of causality is always tricky. Throw in confounding factors and inevitably confusion will follow. Even so, only someone entirely lacking in curiosity wouldn’t want there to be further research to make sense of those correlations.

          My position is that of a critic, but I criticize from an attitude of active interest. I want to see social science research improved because I want better data. To my mind, there is a lot at stake when it comes to understanding and misunderstanding our humanity. The consequences are far-reaching, as it seems to me that much of our society is built on false premises.

          In response to your second point, I agree that change is central. That fits in with the research done on the openness trait and thin boundary type. This is an area that social science has a basic (and seemingly accurate) grasp about ideological mindsets. Still, it remains unclear what are the applications of this knowledge to the broader society and to demographics (and other cultures) that are neither WEIRD nor WASP.

          Your question gets at the kind of thing I’m always wondering about. We already have a fairly liberal society. Even the dominance of reactionary politics simply proves the success of liberalism as a paradigm, so it seems to me.

          Liberalism has already made immense gains of progress over the past centuries and that is why the mainstream liberal class can seem so conservative-minded in their defense of the status quo, as they are trying to maintain more than they are trying to push for further progress. In a society where liberalism is the core political tradition (rights culture, individualism, free markets, etc), those defending that tradition are by definition the traditionalists. But how does the liberal class manage to be both liberals and traditionalists simultaneously? Well, I’d argue they don’t do it very well, often by sacrificing their liberal-mindedness.

          This relates to why so many self-identified liberals have in many ways given up on a strong liberalism, in any sense of the word (politically, socially, and psychologically). And this relates to why the most liberal-minded people in this society don’t self-identify as liberals.

          All of this would be different in a liberal utopia, whatever that might be. When thinking of liberal utopias, my mind always returns to my youth when I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation. In the future Federation world, there is nothing serious to worry about or fear, at least within the society. All basic needs are taken care of and the culture is focused on tolerance, curiosity, self-cultivation, public service, the common good, and progress. I think those are the only conditions under which liberal-mindedness could operate well, when people aren’t desperate with fear and anxiety, desperate with poverty and hunger, etc.

          The Star Trek Federation certainly was big government. It also fit the technocratic fantasies of the liberal class. But I’m not sure it is the most liberal-minded society I could imagine. It still was conservative in that it seemed to be hierarchical and militaristic. I actually think conservative-minded people would be quite happy in that kind of society. Even communist societies were strongly conservative on social issues and conservatives in those societies were strong defenders of the system. Conservatives have never been against big government on principle. Big government is actually more conducive to conservative-mindedness than to liberal-mindedness, at least the kinds of big governments that have so far been seen these past millennia.

          Big government is only associated with liberals in our society because our entire society is based on the liberal paradigm. But that is true of any society, depending on the dominant paradigm, where big government would be associated with other things: feudalism, monarchy, theocracy, fascism, police state, etc. Most big governments throughout history have not only not been liberal but have been quite illiberal or even anti-liberal. It’s about impossible to have a genuinely and fully liberal big government, although some liberals do dream of such a thing.

          There is the leveling the playing field, but it goes deeper than that. For centuries, liberals have been concerned about how conservatism justifies theft from the commons and destruction of the common good, internalizing benefits to private interests while externalizing costs onto the taxpayer and the poor.

    • The most arrogant and simpleminded SJWs irritate me to no end. And, even as they are a minority on the left, they give a bad name to all leftists. Yet I don’t think this election had much of anything to do with SJW, at least not directly and primarily. It’s just a side issue. I’m sticking with the view that this election came down to two things: 1) mass corruption and failure in our society, specifically in the collusion of certain political and private interests; and 2) it’s the economy, stupid!

  4. I think the suburban culture can be a very isolating one ultimately, which is why you see suburban kids often acting out eventually. It’s not to diminish working class issues, in many ways suburban issues can be “first world problems” but it’s not a competition. To be cliche, suburban achievement culture is very conformist and can be hard on people without the temperament. I always struggled to fit into the suburban “good kid” type who does everything right, for example, and it wrecked my self esteem. For a while I wondered if I had aspergers until I realized that upon moving away I had no problem connecting with people once I left “the bubble.”

    You know the big five? I have quite low conscientiousness and agreeableness, above-average extroversion, quite high neuroticism, and very high openness. Regardless, I always struggled in school and I’ve struggled with flare-ups of resentment towards my past experiences, especialy when traumatic things happened. For example when my childhood aquaitance committed suicide resentment towards the trophy-chasing, status obsessed suburban school pbringing I had really flared up again. I ranted about this when it happened, but one huge resentment was that given that our school was a fairly well-off one, we had ample oppertunities. My friend was an excellent seamstress. Growing up I was always artistically inclined but in HS when I joined the elite-school-resume rat race I never took advantage of sewing classes for example, because I was busy looking good for college because of the “elite school or bust” culture. Yet when I arrived at my sub-elite school I crashed and burned. And have been slugging along all through college, doing so because “its the thing to do” and my parents not understanding anything. When I crashed at an elite school (the closest I ever came to suicide) my parents had me go back to class again instead of taking time off to work or something because “you’ll lose momentum” but that’s BS.

    I think it’s an immigrant thing honestly. You feel you worked so hard to get here and make it that you have little tolerance for “alternativeness” in your kids and just wnat them on the mainstream, “good kid” track, I understand it.

    One of the biggest disillusionments I had was realizing that on november 9, I was the only person among the suburban-ivy-leagye culture people I knew who was not surprised at the election outcome. Indeed, I’d been following the election from the primaries to general and I literally could not believe myself when I realized that I had been more “right” than all these well credentialed, people that I had always felt “inferior” too because in my narrow world, these were the people you were supposed to be like and if you wanted to be “good” that’s their image. However, I;ve never been academically inclined and always struggled with school and prefereed to work with my hands and physically active. A lot of it was also ADHD which I’ve struggled with all my life, though I didn;t get officially diagnosed until this semester. Either way, November 9 was when I realized that I had been “duped.” Moving to a working class area this summer somewhat opened my eyes, but I think November 9 really drove it home that the world I had grew up in was, well, a bubble
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    • I do think that there are many stresses that are unique to the middle-to-upper classes. As inequality grows and economic mobility reverses, the pressure to succeed becomes immense at the very moment that succeeding becomes more difficult and the consequences of failure become ever more harsh.

      If you’re born poor, life is in some ways simpler, as you assume from a young age that you’re unlikely to succeed at much of anything that is valued in society, no matter how hard you try. A poor person feels little pressure to succeed. The pressure a poor person feels is simply that of stereotypes, an expectation to fail.

      That said, if you fail as an upper-middle-class kid you will still likely be better off than most of the poorest kids who ‘succeed’.

    • It was based on the claim that she was the non-whites’ candidate that Sanders and his supporters were attacked. This was despite the fact that most young minorities and poor minorities preferred Sanders. So, why is it that the Democratic establishment and the liberal elite only think that minorities only matter as long as they aren’t young and/or poor?

  5. The moment I knew the general election was lost was at the last town hall between Bernie and Hillary. Anderson Cooper asks her what she would do to court the votes of the half of the Democratic party that was supporting Bernie, and she yells with those proud, crazy eyes, “I’M WINNING!”

    I mean, what the fuck. I don’t have to represent the other half of the Democratic party–they have to vote for me. That’s the kind of thing you say to galvanize people against you–and it did.

    • Trump was extremely far from inevitable. There are probably thousands of other people who could have ran as candidates and beat Trump. It just so happens that Clinton was one of the worst candidates Democrats have nominated in a long time, not bland like some Democratic candidates in the past but actively hated by large numbers of voters.

      • When a geriatric socialist Jew with a New Yawk accent gives you a run for your money and probably would’ve beaten you if the process had been fairer, maybe that’s a sign you a weak candidate

  6. think running around with undiagnosed ADHD all these years is part of the problem, meh. Especially because I’m high functioning and not overtly distractice, I kind of flew under the radar, but school has always been hard for me. High functioning as in I wasn’t failing classes.

    Grew up in academia, that was the standard growing up. I think one reason why I often think differently from a lot of ppl around me is because of that alienation though. Sometimes shits innate. Like I’m just not wired for academia, my temperament just isn’t there.

    Anyway, one of the issues with academia is orthodoxy. Yes there’s many very bright people in the scene, but academia has a way of insulating you from how things might be working on the ground. I find that many academics struggle to think in different way, to think outside the box when the situation calls for it. Basically, it’s like they’re musicians who lack the ability to improvise when the situation is less than perfect for their meticulous training. They may have trained on their instrument to play a piece to perfection, but on stage where anything can happen?

    • Academia can be insulating because it can be isolating. It’s sort of like being wealthy, in that the profession and lifestyle doesn’t necessitate dealing with the general public. The only academics forced to deal with people outside of academia would be anthropologists doing field research.

      Part of this has to do with how unusual and unrepresentative are most communities where major universities are located. I know about this because I live in such a community.

      Even in a small college town like this, it is surprising how much the world of academics is disconnected from the rest of the local population. Academics are able to maintain a fairly self-contained social world. A working class neighborhood, a trailer park, and farmland wouldn’t be physically far from the university here, but there would be very little overlap between those worlds.

      • Dumbest thing I read today:

        Former prof on facebook: “These idiot deplorables resent us academics as elitists, but we’re flying coach while the businesses people are flying first class. And we’re elite???”

        • That is amusing. Most people rarely fly at all because they can’t afford it. If you are regularly traveling by flight, you are way more economically well off than the majority of Americans. In that case, you may not be part of the economic elite, but for damn sure you are pretty far up the economic ladder compared to the rest of the population.

  7. My professor emailed this to me, to which my working class latino friend read and said “WTF, experiments? These are people’s lives we’re talking about!!” and “seems like a really sterile, academic view”

    With the privilege discourse–I am not sure where the emphasis on shaming and confession comes in. I don’t think anyone needs to be ashamed of their privilege, nor should people worry about confessing those times when they benefited from it. That seems counterproductive. I think people need to be aware of it though, despite the alt-right I think the vast majority of damage done to people of color in this country is based on individuals not examining their biases and assumptions. This leads to the ‘racism without racists’ or more exactly it allows people to be racist without consciously admitting the sources of their bias. I think the strength of identity politics is that it makes it clear that everyone’s story is not the same. The most damaging part about privilege is the privilege of getting to think there is no privilege. Identity politics shouts that this is not the case. Should white males be ashamed of their privilege? Not really, but should they take a hard look at the playing field they are on and consider what it would take to level that field? Absolutely. That doesn’t shame me, but it does force me to consider ethical questions about the kind of society I want to live in. Some people will look at the system that put them ahead in the race and say ‘sweet, whatever it takes to win’ others will see it as unjust and try to fix it. Can I shame someone for being white? No. Can I shame them for not caring that the playing field is uneven and they are doing nothing to fix it? Yes, but the shame comes from the ethical choices they make not from the group they were born into.

    When we move from acknowledgement into action I think we need to focus on the structures that lead to unevenness and fix those. For this reason I am not that interested in reparations being made by Georgetown for its years of slave ownership, but I am very interested in investments in education that spend more money on low-performing schools. There is lots of evidence that more money doesn’t produce higher test scores in under-performing schools, so I think one needs to address pre-K, food-stamps, public housing, health care. These aren’t for one particular racial group, they are for kids all over who don’t have the basics to succeed. On the other end, I think we should make it harder to produce runaway wealth–tax estates, tax the hell out of really high income, tax capital gains. Create incentives to reinvest profits into companies and make it ludicrous to pay out huge bonuses to the top execs. I love the rule in Sweden where your speeding ticket is assessed not as a flat rate, but as a fraction of your income so that the CEO of Nokia ended up paying $55k for driving too fast. Where this viewpoint gets confusing for me is in things like affirmative action. I don’t like the idea of institutionalizing privilege based on race–even if it runs counter to much broader structural forces, but I see the need for people from disadvantaged backgrounds to get a college education if we are going to have a chance to break things up. I prefer a broader set of admissions criteria that sees value beyond things like SAT scores but I will readily admit that this puts a lot of subjectivity into the admissions process and creates plenty of opportunity for bias and abuse. One of the areas where I am interested in having lots of different experiments running so we can see what seems to work and what doesn’t.

    • To someone living a fairly comfortable life, they can discuss such problems with a detached attitude. It doesn’t personally effect their life or likely anyone they know. There is no sense of moral outrage and urgency. It’s only an interesting thought experiment, to be considered and maybe attempted somewhere else to see how it effects other people. This is not how someone talks about the problems they struggle with in their own life.

      There is no emotional investment in the consequences, just experiments that might succeed or fail, and then you try other experiments, but the fact of the matter is that even this level of engagement expresses mostly indifference. It is irrelevant whether any actual experiments follow and such people will never go out of their way to demand anything fundamentally changes. In this context, experiment translates as tinkering a bit without disturbing the status quo.

  8. ““The other thing you have to recognize in American politics is that people’s attitudes towards poor people are so conditioned by race,” Fowler said. “A lot of evidence has been compiled by political scientists that say when some people say they’re for small government, it’s really a non-racial way of saying ‘I don’t want black people and Latinos getting my tax dollars,’” Fowler said.”

    • People’s attitudes about poor people are conditioned by many things that have nothing to do with mere economics. These attitudes are conditioned by race, along with being conditioned by ethnicity, language, accent, religion, immigration status, place of birth, region of country where one lives, education, state-sanctioned violence, mass incarceration, ghettoization, political disenfranchisement, etc. Class politics in a class-based society is shorthand for talking about almost everything else.

    • There is some truth to articles like that. But I do get tired of broad generalizations.

      Most liberals aren’t wealthy white people. Large numbers of liberals have working class jobs and/or are minorities. I find it sad that mainstream thought has come to limit liberalism to such a narrow demographic, for the simple reason that this is the narrow demographic shared by most people working in mainstream professional jobs in media, academia, politics, etc.

      Still, the article is correct when speaking about this narrow demographic. But if I were a minority, I’d be most concerned of the smug attitudes of middle-to-upper class minorities like Bill Cosby, Ben Carson, and such. For a long time, there has been a harmful class divide within minority populations in this country.

    • This problem is larger than it gets portrayed. The disconnections aren’t limited to a single demographic. We are such a large country that is divided in so many ways. This mattered less in the past before the post-war ascendance of the US as a global empire. Our role in the world was limited and most Americans were focused on local issues and local politics.

      There is no solidarity in this country in any kind of way. A poor minority living in an industrial city in the Midwest has little in common with a poor minority living in the rural Southwest. Even in the same city, a poor minority will have little in common with a middle class minority. We all live in our separate worlds with separate experiences and often separate media.

      Liberal elite have become symbolic of that problem. But the problem is so much more vast than the tiny part of the population that is liberal elite. What makes them disconnected isn’t that they are liberals, since most Americans hold liberal views. It’s the simple fact that they are elite and most Americans, by definition, aren’t elite. As elite, they have more understanding of conservative elite than they do of the liberals in the lower classes.

      This is where identity politics comes in. We find our demographic niche and we label ourselves accordingly. Liberal people who aren’t elite often assume that, therefore, they can’t be liberals. This is how we get the weird situation of politically and socially liberal voters self-identifying as conservatives. People are disconnected from their own views and values because so much emphasis gets put on demographics.

  9. See:

    We’ve gone over quite a lot about how many (mostly white) people who claim to be ‘left-wing’ can be just as bigoted towards asians (asian-looking men especially) as anyone on the far right, they’re just better at hiding it. And sometimes they don’t even hide it like the the oscars ceremony where a bunch of prominent american liberal role models launched unfounded bigotry towards asians for the world to see. And yes, I definitely understand that “liberal” areas like the SF Bay Area can be pretty fucking bigoted towards asian-looking men both in terms of dating and career glass ceiling. And to add insult to injury there’s obviously the phony asian female ‘progressives’ we all know about who join these white ‘liberals’ in their rhetoric.

    All that being said, this hypocritical treatment by many liberals (who claim to promote universal tolerance toward all minorities but are instead selective) is probably a big reason why it strangely seems you have too many reactionary asian/hapa men who join the white-dominated alt-right anti-sjw brigade present around the internet. I dislike that these asian/hapa men decided to go that way, but that’s probably the reasoning.

    I took a different route. I went even further left. Reading actual leftist literature and discussions, it’s pretty interesting to see that most of them have the same misgivings against today’s phony modern liberals that many of us asian/hapas do. Many leftists also dislike how these liberals are only selectively, rather than universally, progressive. Many leftists are also disgusted at the mainstream liberal (obviously including phony asian ‘progressives’ too) support of corporate neoliberalism mixed with non-intersectional identity politics that often defines their actions and results. I know many here regard these phony anti-asian ‘SJW progressives’ as leftists, but they really aren’t. And they really aren’t even SJWs too, because many actual ‘SJWs’ would pick out their flawed fake liberalism just as much as we can.

    I still think everything being said, the actual left are our natural best allies considering they’re just as much against the white supremacy that many fake liberals and also many WMAF couples push. Obviously phony progressive corporatists will try to gaslight and otherwise shut down our arguments, but go further on the left (various types of socialists, be they moderate socialists, anarchists, communists, etc) and you see much of the same arguments against white supremacy/neo-colonialism, phony liberals, and other topics that we discuss. They’re just doing it from a more universalist standpoint whereas we tend to approach these topics from the hapa/asian standpoint.

    It is pretty easy to go further left than these mainstream fake liberal ‘SJWs’ (which includes a lot of these asian-american ‘progressives’). One big thing about them like you mentioned is the constant focus on identity (and in a seemingly non-intersectional way) compared to issues of economic justice and intersectionality. I mentioned intersectionality because a fake anti-asian ‘liberal’ will just say we’re full of crap because of male privilege or whatever, because they only focus on one identity many of us have (male) while excluding the other ones that people most often judge us more by (asian/hapa). A more real leftists sees that there are many qualities one has and just because they’re male, being asian we’re also very negatively affected by the system and have valid reasons to speak against it.

    I definitely am behind justice against bigotry towards minority identities and agree that we need a lot of action on that front too, but like you mentioned a lot of them focus only on parts of it at a surface level just to appear good but at the end of the day still support the same corporatist oppression as any right winger, they instead just want the oppressors to be more diverse rather than white men.
    In regards to real leftists, they are a breath of fresh air compared to these anti-asian fake ‘liberals’ you see online or around the SF bay area.

    • Americans (of all races, classes, and ideological labels) are raised with disingenuous and deceitful rhetoric, with education that too often serves the role of indoctrination and mainstream media that of propaganda. Few people ever escape the groupthink in order to learn to think for themselves.

      Most inconsistencies are based on a lack of self-awareness and a dishonesty turned inwards. People want to believe they are morally good and so it is hard for people to question deeply, as it brings up uncomfortable truths that come too close to home.

      This intellectual and moral failure is found in every area and strata of our society. Those of us who manage to escape it somehow are the lucky few. All of the bullshit really fucks with people’s heads and no one remains unscathed.

  10. Millennials like us are definitely flipping off conventional dems and republicans but I think Berniecrats outnumber. Alt right along millennials despite overlap concerning economic and foreign policy and others. Survey actually said plurality millennials don’t have a strong opinion on alt right though the one that do favor it but as comment says alt right is vague. The favoring of alt right doesn’t mean the subreddit it could mean Donald trumps movement which alt rights acknowledge as not really alt right. It could mean dislike of sjw but a more useful survey I’d like to see is attitudes Pnc ethnonationalism; traditionalism, etc.

    I think a lot of alt right is just hotepism for white dudes. Still, the comment on millennials embracing far right good old days as a reaction to the uncertain world we as a generation are in? Either way

    • There are probably several million times as many Harry Potter fans than there are alt-right advocates. Also, the world portrayed in the Harry Potter stories are more likely become reality than the fantasies of the alt-right.

      But it only takes a small group of dogmatic ideologues and zealots well positioned to cause great harm. Many authoritarian governments begin that way. Or failing to gain power, they can always turn to terrorism, if conditions get bad enough.

      Harry Potter fans, despite their larger numbers, aren’t likely to try to force their views onto others or to attack those who disagree with them. Yet I suspect Harry Potter says more about shifting public opinion than does the alt-right. Ideologues always make a lot of noise, which rarely correlates to their actual relevance in the long term.

  11. Millennials are a lost generation in a lot of ways. We’re basically smack dab in the middle of upheavals, the guinea pigs first generation of many changes. We are confused. Even gender relations wise we’re the generation on the test run, the one where the old ways were ripped out and we’re the ones trying to figure things out where to go from here.

    I’m not really sure about this, for a start the ‘incel’ community is tiny and it’s weird that they included it, /r/theredpill and /pol/ /r9k/ and all that is probably better but she seemed to not be able to find examples so readily.
    These online groups found young white men at their most vulnerable & convinced them liberals were colluding to destroy white Western manhood
    This is a partial copypaste, but I think that there was also a couple of good posts in a /r/OutOfTheLoop thread about 4chan, pepe and the ‘alt right’ a while ago.
    So you have a board with a stereotypical population as young men with low self-esteem, often with poor social skills, usually difficulty in finding gainful employment, and a general sense of being abandoned by society, against a greater cultural backdrop of rising left-wing rhetoric which insists that they’re incredibly lucky and privileged.
    So you end up with a very large number of internet-savvy outcasts, with poor life prospects and who are actively mocked and shunned, and who are (to borrow a stereotype) young cishet white men. They feel disconnected from conventional society, and they don’t really have any life prospects, and yet whenever they try to raise concerns over this the above stereotype plus accusations of ‘privilege’ are used as a silencing tactics.
    Basically, what you end up with are the exact kind of people who make up the bulk of the alt-right political movement. It’s an ideology which is incredibly seductive to them because it seems to treat their concerns seriously, promises to address the perceived discrimination against them, and promises to put their oppressors back in their place while finally giving them the ‘fair’ shot at education and romance and employment that they deserve. You might also notice this rhetoric is basically identical to the one peddled by the social justice movement: the only real difference is whether or not you’re declared to be privileged by the dominant culture.
    added to this is an interview with Dan Cassino of the fairleigh dickinson university public mind group where he’s analysing his own data about the formation of an ‘alt right’ identity, he basically says that parts of the right wing media have been trying to sell the idea of a white working class identity and voting block motivated by grievance at ‘special interests’ for decades, but it only started to take hold after the 2008 crisis
    what’s happened is that we have enormous levels of economic resentment, the way we haven’t seen previously since we’ve been doing these studies since the 1960s, by economic resentment I mean people saying that the economic system is rigged against them, people like them cannot find a job, and that level of economic resentment that we saw coming out of the 2008 recession (remember that early on sociologists called it a ‘mansession’ and it was disproportionately white men losing their jobs, that has lead to this racial gender and other resentments coming forward.
    So people have been trying to sell this alt right ideology for 20, 30 or more years, pat Buchanan has been trying to sell it personally for 20 years and it never got any traction until very recently, and it turns out what was missing was that economic resentment where white blue collar men no longer feel like they can get ahead in society, increasingly they are blaming what they feel are special interest groups…[and that ties into all these other groups, we’re seeing…] higher levels for instance of anti Semitism which is something we actually took off most of these surveys because no one was admitting to anti-Semitic attitudes any more, and we’re now seeing people on surveys saying that ‘jews tend to stick together’, that ‘jews are greedy’. People are willing to say things to an interviewer that simply weren’t socially acceptable before.
    So partly this is the shift in the job market that means that ‘breadwinner’ jobs are harder to find for people with a high school education and the 2008 crash, recession and poor recovery of these ‘breadwinner’ jobs has caused peopel to feel like ‘the system’ is stacked against them.
    But I think also that there is some pretty substantial evidence of teachers discriminating against boys in schools, i.e. giving them lower grades for the same work and punishing them more harshly etc, and generally the education system in the US underwent reform specifically to make it better for girls, and this seems to have been an association with an alienation and a pathologising of boys. I should also say that other countries made some effort to Because most of the ‘alt right’ are young perhaps this is having an effect.
    You could add to this the role of internet and general social justice ideology, Scott Alexander’s radicalising the romanceless does a pretty good job of detailing the polarisation (along rough ideological lines) of some of the internet communities of pick up artists (and lonley guys etc that she’s talking about) with regard to feminism. I would also add that some of these guys act just like how feminists (etc) want them to act and have bad experiences, and then turn to something like /r/theredpill to learn to be more successful.
    In a broader sense these groups have been milked for outrage and been clickbait boogiemen for liberal outlets for ages, I think that the opprobrium and dismissals of internet feminists and the wider social justice community among ‘establishment liberals’ (of which Vox is a big part) basically played a role in knitting together disperate communities of guys into the ‘alt right’ (which is officially small) and into the wider feeling that shows up on opinion surveys. I think it was relatively small overall but ‘gamergate’ was a great example of this process, the ‘social justice’/liberal parts of the gaming and tech media basically drove a not insubstantial part of the gaming audience (of young white men) onto Breitbart because they were the only media outlet who basically didn’t call them turbo misogynists and terrorists etc. This doubled their traffic stats with young impressionable men and paved the way for them to become a major media company during Trump’s run
    In the last year [2015], Breitbart News has experienced explosive growth. Last year we were averaging 12.5 million uniques and 62.5million pageviews. Now, on a rolling 30-day basis, our high is just shy of 22 million uniques and 110 million pageviews. And there’s no question that the social media strategy we conceptualized and executed over the last year has played a powerful role in helping us achieve significant measurable results.
    I should also point out that Matt Lees, the author she recomends on this actually thinks that the media weren’t hard enough on them and that is a way to solve the problem (rather than get him paid) and Leigh alexander another one of the people she talks to wrote articles rage baiting the audience and attacking various members of the other side. It’s depressing to me that liberals can’t see that this is having an effect.
    More specifically defining of ‘cis white males’ as an outgroup and the trivialising of problems specific to them by large parts of the social justice part of liberal orthodoxy has coincided with this. And then along come these guys who are validating you, taking your problems super seriously and saying that you don’t have to feel guilty for x, y and z thing and maybe also giving you a sense of belonging and identity, etc, etc and that attracts people. They have real problems and one side takes the seriously and the other dismisses them and sees them as an outgroup.
    I think that lack of empathy also permeates through this article and is one of the reasons why it seems odd, it has to explain the but not admit that ‘my side’ did or is doing anything wrong.

  12. On the original survey millennials hold favorable views of blm across all races. This with high awareness of blm. In contrast alt right has low awareness but among those who are aware more are favorable than not but this is also across all races. This was October survey.

    I’m interested in survey a year from now on millennial views towards alt right since by then more will know about it

    • As an ideological label, alt-right is such an immensely vague and amorphous category. It rolls up into a single grouping so many diverse people who are feeling dissatisfied and critical about the status quo.

      The Tea Party did a similar thing. It became symbolic of what was going on. And initially Tea Party had a fair amount of support. But now Tea Party is one of the least popular labels around. The socialist label gets immensely more positive response by Millennials than does the Tea Party label.

      Most people don’t know what alt-right means. My guess is that they never will know. It’s a term that will come and go. It won’t survive Trump’s presidency because rightly or wrongly it will become conflated with Trump.

      • http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/10/31/poll-millennials-black-lives-matter-alt-right/92999936/

        When I think of alt-right, Trump is not actually alt-right and alt-righters admit it. They just see Trump as a potential step towards that direction. The white nationalist trad-con pro-authoritarian (what I call the White Taliban) isn’t really that prominent even among Donald Trump supporters at all. On reddit, the ultimate millennial space, The_Donald steers well clear of white nationalism, social regressiveness like eliminating women’s suffrage, and other White Taliban stuff

        I’d say that a more prominent sentiment among millennials is anti-SJW or PC backlash per se, but whatever chauvinism or racist exists among it is still far from NR territory

        • We can’t conclude much from that data. BLM is simple in its message and almost everyone basically understands what it’s about. The BLM message is fairly in line with mainstream public opinion at this point. The alt-right is entirely different. I doubt many people even understand what is the alt-right.

          It is irrelevant what alt-right thinks since so few people are alt-right and even fewer care about alt-right. The alt-right will be defined not by what alt-righters claim but by how they are perceived. Like it or not, they are now and will always be associated with Trump. It’s partly the fault of alt-righters who got excited about Trump and also because there were those like Bannon who were happy to manipulate alt-right rhetoric to his own ends.

          I’ll be curious to see what public opinion will be during and following the Trump presidency. I suspect this is going to be a formative period specifically for the politics of the Millennial generation. Public opinion in general might shift quite a bit in the coming decade or so, not that I think it will necessarily change in entirely predictable ways.

  13. It’s what the media does. They don’t have to make a direct statement or connection, they just conflate constantly so that the word association works it’s magic in your brain.
    They did the same thing after September 11th. The Bush administration and the media never directly linked Saddam and Iraq to the events. They just used “9/11” and “Iraq” in the same sentences so often that people made the connection they wanted. And because of it half the country thought Iraq was behind 9/11 and was okay with us going to war with them.
    Same is happening here. The media is never properly detailing what Russia did. Which was expose the DNC’s dirty talk and secrets. The media are constantly using the words “hack” and “election” to lead people to the idea that Russia hacked our voting machines. That’s what they want people to think. Keeping as little mention of what the actual “hack” involved so people are properly misinformed in the direction they want.

    • I’ve noticed that. It’s obvious that the mainstream media acts as propaganda in our society. Those like Chomsky have spoken of the propaganda model. Some of it is simply echo chamber in a society where people are isolated and segregated by demographics. But it goes beyond that.

      The mainstream media is first and foremost corporate media serving corporate interests. This doesn’t require a conspiracy theory, just a basic incentive structure built according to a dominant corporate paradigm. Those working in mainstream media intuitively and largely unconsciously know they have to be good corporate stooges to keep their jobs and promote their careers. No one has to tell them to be agents of corporatist propaganda. It’s simply the entire world they know and so the act accordingly.

      Corporatism forms a vast power structure that controls or otherwise manipulates and influences every aspect of our society, economy, and government. I can imagine the immense pressure in the corporate media to promote particular info, frames, and narratives. The corporate media is entangled with corporatist politics, including the two main parties. Many of the guests on corporate media are talking heads from think tanks and lobbyist groups that get their funding primarily from corporations and those associated with corporate interests. It’s ideologically incestuous with very little opportunity for new ideas, viewpoints, and voices to break in.

      I always feel the need to emphasize that none of this requires a conspiracy theory to explain. There is no single secret cabal controlling the world. Just a thousand backroom deals, cronyism, and hobnobbing among the movers and shakers. They all exist in the same bubble, having the same life experiences, working at the same places, going to the same churches, sending their kids to the same schools, and on and on. Their minds are in lockstep because the same conditions are shaping how they experience reality.

      It’s probably hard for the average person to understand how disconnected and pressured these people are. It’s a highly success-oriented and brutal. For those who fail in that world, it’s a long fall down.

  14. One guy on quora made an interesting comment regarding how whites feel about no longer being in the majority. He labeled himself as a liberal, but he said that ultimately he wants the USA to be a country for all, but as someone that knows that minorities are second class citizens, at some level he’s apprehensive about how whites might be treated. A lot of sjw rhetoric and academics are already changing definitions of racism so that nonwhites can’t be racism, and that makes him uncomfortable as to how whites like him will be treated.

    • There definitely is a dark side to identity politics. Liberals are playing with fire when they try to use identity politics for liberal ends.

      The fact of the matter it is that there is nothing more conservative in the world than identity politics. Conservatives are the masters at it. And anyone who becomes a master at it will become conservative to that extent. There is no way to separate identity politics from conservatism. And once you’ve gone down that path, you open the political stage for tribalism, groupthink, authoritarianism, etc.

      I’ve always said identity politics can be potentially used toward positive ends. And sometimes it is simply necessary. But it should always be kept in mind that it is dark magic. The rule of dark magic is that it is easily turned against you.

      • “The rule of dark magic is that it is easily turned against you.”

        There’s nothing particularly sophisticated or original about alt-right, but they’re in a good position to pounce on the double standards and holes in SJWism. That’s pretty much where their strength comes from.

        ”We have a political economy that’s based on ethnic group dynamics and uses liberalism as a veneer. At bottom, that’s what you get in Charles Mills’ Racial Contract and Harold Cruse’s Crisis of the Negro Intellectual.

        But we also have a lot of company democrats invested in sustaining the veneer and they haven’t figured out that the game is up.

        Now is the time to talk about democratic socialism because the standing fraud of American liberalism will only embolden guys like Spencer because in a way, he is closer to the truth than the company dems.”

        “The immiserated individuals liberalism produces make great consumers, but they are awful at everything else, that’s why America has always been a nation of groups. The question going forward is whether you want a nation of ethnic groups, especially once white people start clanning up in the open, or do you want to create politically defined groups with public accountability like Unions.

        Bernie may have made democratic socialism possible, but Spencer makes it necessarily because liberalism is too hollow to deal with Spencer’s variety of ethnic nationalism at this late stage of capitalism. There is too much anxiety in the air. That’s why the Dems only have 13 damn governors in the US.”

        • I basically agree with all of that. But I’m not so sure that it makes much sense to call Sanders a democratic socialist. He is simply an old school social democrat. He isn’t even as radical as the fairly moderate sewer/municipal socialists. Full socialism is an extremely radical idea in a capitalist society like ours. Sanders isn’t a radical. He is simply a politician advocating for basic reforms within the system, even though it is true that he wants to push reforms much further than makes comfortable those in mainstream positions of privilege, power, and influence.

  15. “I don’t see much about the alt-right but what I have seen is positive,” says Samuel Watkins, 19, of Lima, Ohio. “I feel like they’re getting a good message across.”

    This person is under the category of knowing enough about it to comment on it? I’m not confident that they could tell me much about the ideology of the alt-right or any of the people associated with it.

    Actually, I’m willing to bet that only a very small percentage of the population could name anyone actually associated with the alt-right, certainly lower than the 55% of respondents who said they did know enough to have an opinion. And even those who could name someone, it’s most likely to be Milo named, but actual altrighters think he’s a “Degenerate Homosexual and an Ethnic Mongrel”) so I don’t think that much of the actual alt-right actually likes him (“Milo Yiannopoulos, a Jewish homosexual, has a history of engaging in sneaky Jewish tricks.”).Those quotes aren;t mine

    “I think they’re a little radical,” says Anatasia Van Ryck Degroot, 21, a student from Hoboken, N.J. She called the movement “out of touch with society right now with their super-conservative values.”

    Using the label “ultra-conservative” doesn’t make me think this person is all that knowledgeable about the alt-right either. It makes it sound like alt-righters are just regular mainstream conservatives who take the ideas to more of an extreme (more religious, more against gay marriage, etc.), but that’s not right. There’s overlap in ideas but the alt-right “core” of white nationalism is something added, not just amplified, compared to mainstream conservatism, in my opinion.

    Overall hotepism for white dudes

    • Many alt-righters are openly and proudly reactionary. If all they wanted was conservative-minded nostalgia about a fantasy traditionalism projected onto the past, they would have little use for much of the rhetoric used in alt-right. That alt-right rhetoric isn’t always sophisticated, but it is very much modern and often co-opted from the political left.

      Alt-righters are sometimes fairly intelligent and capable of making compelling arguments that are convincing to those who want to be convinced. They aren’t simply advocating to trust the authority of the Bible or whatever. Many alt-righters are quite anti-traditional, even sometimes atheist. I wouldn’t be surprised if alt-righters have higher rates than the general public in the category of ‘no religion’.

      They do tend to be more informed of history than the average person on the political right. Alt-righters are very much concerned about history. Maybe alt-right is hotepism for white dudes. I don’t know. Not even hotepism is advocating to return to ancient Egyptian imperialism and the dedication of the entire society to building massive pyramids dedicated to god-like rulers. For many people, history is just a sometimes convenient tool for an ideological agenda that usually has little directly to do with actual history.

      When I think of the genuine alt-right, I think of more of the HBD types and other race realists. These include some smart people who make intellectually credible arguments. What stands out to me for HBDers, in particular, is their tendency to create just-so stories which are basically bedtime stories for adults to help them to fall back asleep and have sweet dreams.

      As far as I can tell, the alt-right is sort of an equivalent to the liberal class. The alt-right seems to mostly consist of white people in the middle class along with token minorities like Asians/Asian-Americans. The demographics of the alt-right and the liberal class are probably quite similar. The main difference is that the alt-right feels more disgruntled. But even so both groups are relatively comfortable compared to the general population. And both are disconnected from the general population.

      That is why the alt-right has come to the attention of the liberal class. They are two sides of the same coin. The alt-right is the shadow cast by well-intentioned good liberals of the professional class. Liberals are the Tolkien elves and alt-righters are the orcs that elves get turned into when they fall out of their protected world and get captured by dark forces. Alt-righters are the failed refuse of the liberal class.

  16. You know, I’m just gonna say it. I think, except at the elite end, in a lot of ways, we’ve failed our millennial boys and young men.

    • It’s sort of amusing watching someone try to talk around their racism. He should simply state what he feels. On a visceral level, he doesn’t like and trust people who are different from him.

      Having too many people different from him makes him feel uncomfortable. He surely would rate relatively high on conservative-minded traits. I doubt it is even primarily about race. He’d probably be uncomfortable if large numbers of people moved into his neighborhood who were of a different ethnicity, national origin, primary language, religion, socioeconomic class, gender identity, political ideology, etc.

      He knows he isn’t supposed to feel prejudice because he has been told it is bad. He doesn’t want to be thought of as a bigot because good people aren’t bigots. Yet in his heart of hearts he realizes that, in the end, he basically agrees with the prejudiced bigot. And so he writes a comment like that trying to make sense of how someone like him who thinks of himself as a morally good person could have thoughts that he knows aren’t morally good thoughts.

      It is hard to be a conservative-minded person in a liberal society. This person is trying to moderate his views, trying to justify what he feels. You can sense how much he is struggling. He really doesn’t want to be a bad person. For many people like this, they get frustrated with that struggle to maintain their sense of moral goodness and so they eventually come around to cynically embracing reactionary politics. If enough people attack this guy, his views will slowly harden, until one day he becomes fully identified with that prejudice.

      I was looking at his other answers on Quora. He has a lot of them and some of them are about race. He comes off like a guy who has intellectualized the problem of race. None of his answers show any personal experience with racism and racial conflict. But he is far from ignorant and acknowledges racism in our society. He is one of those people who is attempting to portray himself as moderate. The problem is that there is no moderate position about racism. You’re either for or against racism.

      This guy doesn’t identify as a liberal. But there are many self-identified liberals, specifically in the liberal class, who would share similar views. It’s this kind of attitude that is common in the Democratic Party. I did notice this guy had positive comments about some of Obama’s policies and so he is probably a Democrat. This is the ‘moderate’ racism that one gets by voting for Democrats. It’s not really all that different from the moderate racism of the Clintons. This kind of moderate racism is one of the defining feature of the Clinton New Democrats.

      BTW I’m assuming that this Paul Lehman isn’t the same as Paul R. Lehman. The latter is a black guy who is a professor and writes about race issues.

    • That is just plain fucking stupid. Someone like that neither understands nor cares about racism. If he wanted to be honest instead of rationalizing, he would take a much deeper look.

      Racism is every fucking where in our society. It’s in both parties, in the government, in the economy, in social institutions, in liberal politics, and even in the minds of minorities. And it is inseparable from all the other bullshit in our society. What a liberal sees as freedom is that the poor people and minorities will be given the opportunity to join wealthier people and whites in also oppressing everyone else through neoliberalism, corporatism, neo-imperialism, mass incarceration, militarized police, etc.

      Anyone who thinks the Democratic Party isn’t full of racists is a worthless piece of shit who doesn’t deserve the time of day. The Clinton New Democrats are brimming full of racism. The Clintons would never have gained power without it, as Bill Clinton was dependent on the kind of voter who supported Trump. Bill Clinton’s Democratic base had a lot in common with Donald Trump’s voters. The Clintons were and still are masters at racism.

      What about the nearly half of Americans who didn’t vote at all? In terms of overtly racist people, probably more of them didn’t vote for Trump. As for racist people who want to support racism without having to admit they are racists, most who did vote probably voted for Clinton. Find the Democrats who voted for Bill Clinton in the 1990s and there you have your most dangerous racists in the country because it was the Clinton New Democrats who helped further normalize racism for this new era.

      What about voters like me who either voted third party or didn’t vote at all? Many of us couldn’t stand the racism, classism, neoliberalism, and such of either major party. Many of us didn’t believe the empty rhetoric of the two main candidates. Long before this election, although this election clarified this issue, I was critical of the Clintons and Democrats because of their racist/racialist policies and their too often dog whistle rhetoric. Partisan voters accepted Democratic racism as normal and tolerable… does that make them racists too? I’d argue it does.

      But there is nothing surprising about this. None of us really escapes racism in a racist society.

      I have to shake my head while reading that article. Why is it that this kind of otherwise intelligent liberal would in different situations talk about race as a social construct but in situations like this make everything about race?

      Racism isn’t just about what a few people think and what motivates some voting. That is a completely ignorant and clueless view on racism. There is no way to separate racism from racial thinking of any variety. Our entire society is racialized because it is based on centuries of racism. It’s built into every aspect of our society. Scapegoating some people as bigots to make yourself feel superior isn’t helpful. Race is a social construct. But social constructs are powerful. They fuck with your head in ways that can never be unfucked. It doesn’t matter how much good intentions the good liberal has.

      The kind of shallow thinking expressed by the author depresses me to no end. I swear that identity politics drops at least 20 points from the liberal IQ. To be fair, identity politics doesn’t lead to much intelligence among any group, as identity politics can only be effective to the degree it shuts down independent thought and gets people to accept a social label as their identity. Both parties use identity politics and they do so to dominate public debate, shutting our alternatives to the two party system.

      • Steve 934
        12/8/2016 1:11 PM CST
        I’ve seen a few reasonable critiques that involve the relative distribution of attitudes for interracial marriage among different races. Pew Research has some illuminating data:

        http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2010/01/12/blacks-upbeat-about-black-progress-prospects/

        See the chart under the headline Interracial Marriage.

        First, you will notice that Pew employs a nuanced version of this question, resulting in a more accurate perspective on attitudes towards interracial marriage. In every line of the chart, more than 90% of respondents would either be fine with, or at least accept, interracial marriage. The proportion of respondents that would not accept it never exceeds 6 percent.

        More importantly, on average Hispanics and Blacks appear to be just as likely to express an unwillingness to accept interracial marriage. I have not run a formal test, but given the sample size the differences are probably not statistically significant; if nothing else, they are not practically significant.

        This data supports some of the critiques expressed below. If this metric is a proximate indicator for racism, then Prof Tesler should apply it universally and analyze the comparative trends between racial groups.

        In Prof Tesler’s defense, he does spend some time in his book Obama’s Race addressing racial resentment among groups other than whites. However, his current blog posts have been addressing a highly salient debate regarding the outcome of the 2016 election, and they have been disappointingly one-sided–so much so that it gives the impression of an agenda. I would strongly encourage Prof Tesler to apply the same methodology to all races so that we can gain a more comprehensive perspective on this subject.

      • Joe703
        12/8/2016 6:08 AM CST
        “about one quarter of whites who didn’t even think blacks and whites should date each other still supported Obama for president.”

        Or maybe that question is simply not a good indicator of who is prejudiced and who is not. I would bet that the answers to this question by black people would be about the same. It’s simply too vague a question to be considered reliable proof of racism.

        submandave
        12/8/2016 8:16 AM CST
        I had the same thought. I’ve known several people who weren’t racist but still thought interracial dating was bad because of fears of OTHER people’s racism.

        richard40
        12/9/2016 2:31 PM CST
        Also, plenty of blacks, asians, Jews, Muslims, and Hispanics dont like marriage outside of their subgroups either, at perhaps the same rate as whites. Does that mean they were also motivited in their voting by racism?

      • RadicalDreamer
        12/7/2016 10:18 AM CST
        Seems like a possibility of false causality. I don’t even necessarily think there is a 1:1 correlation of opposition to interracial marriage to racicts (While I could be be convinced that most people who oppose inter-racial marriage are racist, I am not convinced most racists oppose inter-racial). Honestly I think approaching this from the race angle is a non-starter if your hope it to change people’s minds. As soon as you accuse someone of racism, all chance of meaningful dialogue immediately comes to an end.

    • It goes even deeper. With advertising and corporate media, consumer-citizens are indoctrinated in what and how to think. The very frame of limited choice is internalized. We occasionally get a glimpse outside of the frame, but we spend our lives struggling against an entire society that makes independent thought almost impossible.

    • That might be right, in terms of what he focuses on. It is probably a good first step as we face this changed political situation. But in some ways it feels like fighting an old battle that has been fought so many times before. Maybe it has to be fought. I wish there was a way of changing the game so as to fight new battles that might lead to entirely new possibilities. We are stuck as a society where every movement forward loops us back to the same path we’ve been on.

  17. Millennials as a whole are in a position to question and rebel against the system. Besides the most privileged we are disillusioned with status quo. This opens us to being vulnerable to alt right, especially for young men who feel lost. Though I’d still say more millennials are turning to Bernie type scenes rather than alt right ones

    • I’d just like to see the terms of conflict altered. That is what excited me about Sanders’ campaign. It wasn’t so much Sanders himself as a candidate. It was the fact that socialism could be spoken of in the mainstream again, but with an entirely new context. What socialism means now isn’t what it meant last century.

      We are at a point where we are entering a territory that previous maps can’t guide us through. Something like alt-right is nether an ideology nor a movement. It’s simply a reaction to the uncertainty. The same goes for the new Trumpian Republicans. Nothing holds any of this together beyond reactions to what is happening at the moment.

      Everything is being shook up and thrown up into the air. That is why ideas are so important right now. The frames of thought that come to dominate will form the shape of the emerging future, as the pieces fall back into place. The idea of socialism got a foothold and that is maybe the greatest achievement we could have hoped for at a time like this. It’s a seed planted, maybe seemingly buried for the moment under falling debris, but it will grow.

      That is why we on the political left must fight so hard against the liberal class and the “company Democrats”. They are trying to put back into place old narratives. But those old narratives will inevitably fail. If the political left doesn’t offer something radically new, the right-wing reactionaries will be given the opportunity of a lifetime to create a world that won’t be a happy place for most of us.

  18. Eric, there’s another thing I want to add. I forgot to mention that I believe I read one of those articles you linked to a few weeks ago. If one of them is the one I’m thinking of, I found the case for racial animosity being the overriding factor compelling. As well, I probably shared a link to it in Twitter or Facebook.

    Carrying on as I concluded in a previous comment though, there’s something much more pressing that we should be concerned about IMO.

    This debate is so tedious to me. They’re analogous to nature vs. nurture, or free will vs. determinism, or group vs. kin selection.

    We can go on forever in our communities over this and exhibit many of the well-known tribalism.

    I mean, people are very angry about this topic.

    My concern, and this is a concern that I hope to cause to instill in others is “What is behind all of this that is causing such anxiety and increase resentment between groups”?

    Is it racism? Or is it economic struggling?

    Do you have a relatively confident belief that it is one or the other? OK. Here’s the important question now: what do you intend to do about it? And what do you believe we should collectively do about it?And finally, how importantly ultimately is it to you?

    Is it enough for you to be committed to solutions that have date establishing work to address whichever is the larger basis for the anxiety?

    If most of the answers to those questions are “no,” or “maybe,” or “I don’t know,” then the final question is “Can you see you position realistically changing so that you answer affirmatively to the questions and that you have solid answers for the solutions to address these anxieties?

    If the final answer is “no,” then why are we talking about it other than to get it off on chests that we believe that some other people are wrong on the Internet?

    I just want to know who I can count on to work with me to address these issues, and to know that I can count on myself to be truly dedicated to address them. Feel me?

    Confession: I think the answer to the original question is both but that it doesn’t matter which plays a larger role, as so much of the material results have 1) the same cause (which I definitely will not go into here), while 2) the biases humans have is just another curse of being animals that evolved that we will always have to be vigilant to be mindful of.

    • That is disappointing. Did Pinker really say something that stupid? If so, he demonstrated that he isn’t particular superior, except in his own mind. I’m always amazed when reasonably smart people make ignorant comments. Social disconnection, like identity politics, is one of those things that make people stupid.

    • This is damning criticism:

      “Might not too much investment in teaching Shelley mean falling behind our economic competitors? But there is no university without humane inquiry, which means that universities and advanced capitalism are fundamentally incompatible. And the political implications of that run far deeper than the question of student fees.”

      Maybe the reason The Guardian could offer that kind of conclusion is the fact that they’re not corporate media. They are owned by a trust that puts journalism before profits:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Guardian

      “Might not too much investment in teaching Shelley mean falling behind our economic competitors? But there is no university without humane inquiry, which means that universities and advanced capitalism are fundamentally incompatible. And the political implications of that run far deeper than the question of student fees.”

    • The entire system must be challenged. There is no way to solve one problem while maintaining the status quo that is inseparable from that problem. And Hillary Clinton is as representative of that status quo as any male politician. She is the problem, not the solution.

    • “Every African-American I know will vote for Hillary”

      Well, who people say they would vote for may not be the same as who they actually did vote for. Many people might have gotten to the poll booth and in the end felt unable to be complicit in supporting someone as bad as Clinton. Many others may have felt so demoralized that they couldn’t even make themselves vote at all, despite how much they might have feared Trump.

      It should be noted that many African-Americans, like many other Americans, didn’t vote this presidential election. Almost half of eligible voters didn’t vote. For the African-American population, this could relate to the fact that Sanders had won the support of the majority of young and the poor, including among minorities.

      The majority of older and more economically well off African-Americans may have voted for Clinton. But there is no evidence that the majority of eligible voters in the African-American demographic voted for Hillary Clinton or necessarily voted for anyone else. And a surprising number of minorities even voted for Trump, helping him win states like Florida. If all eligible minority voters had gone to the polls and voted for Clinton, she would now be our president. Think about that.

      Don’t underestimate how much people despised Clinton and everything she represented.

    • Umphlove 5 days ago
      I think most people would agree this was in bad taste and wasn’t funny at all. The worrying part is the digital lynch mob and institutional censorship. Because in the moronic context of this oh-so-woke dialogue it wasn’t meant as it sound and didn’t necessitate this public condemnation.

      Mariano 6 days ago
      Better possibilities for Drexel would have been:
      1) Ignore
      2) Issue this statement: “[reference to the tweet, followed by] Professor Ciccariello-Maher exercised his right to free speech and meant to be satirical. We encourage those wondering about the latter to research the current usage of the term ‘white genocide.'”
      The Slate article is more about regretting Drexel’s reaction than defending Ciccariello-Maher satirical prowess. On the latter, I agree with the posters who found his tweets unimpressive.
      It’s good to remember here that free speech is not there to protect only the nice, polite, unoffensive folks. Neither is tenure.

      SoapOnAFork 6 days ago
      @greg The problem with Twitter is the length and stupidity of what people say on the platform makes it nearly impossible to be sure if something is satire or mere idiocy.

      ATLBen 6 days ago
      Tweet elicited the desired reaction from the desired groups. Said groups enjoy a few days of easy outrage fodder. Slate gets irresistible clickbait. Everybody is happy, perfect troll culture symbiosis achieved.

      aturner339 6 days ago
      We got Trump campaign chiefs wishing for the death of Obama and calling the First Lady a male gorilla and and now is the time they want to play the victim.
      Give it a minute guys. Let it cool off first.

      aturner339 6 days ago
      Professor makes dumb joke. Whips up trolls. Trolls them back. University disapproves

    • This piece makes an important point. But it is a bit simplistic.

      Many well educated professionals didn’t like Hillary Clinton. Millennials who, as a demographic have higher rates of education, preferred Sanders. And Trump’s initial strongest support came from those who were average to slightly above average (compared to the general population), not the poor but those in the lower middle class who feared falling out of the middle class.

      Still, the point remains that the Democratic Party has become dominated by a class politics that is disliked by a large part of the citizenry. This class politics has disconnected the political elite from reality on the ground. And this is obviously problematic.

      • As someone who did the sat, college app, thing, my own resentment mostly comes from the anti-Asian racism that was part of the ladder, which I’ve shown you before.

        As an alternative person though also from the realization even from a young age the issues with it. It’s just naturally not me

        “Certainly a big kernel of truth here about why the election ended up how it did. It really made me think because I’ve heard variations on this theme many times now. I’m more interested in asking what should have been done differently, for next time, to manage to elect a competent, non-disgraceful candidate.
        The closing implication haunts me though: the “best and brightest” are to blame, because they naïvely assumed that being smart and hard-working is something the country uniformly celebrates. And that actually, this is what won’t win elections, because much of the country isn’t interested in trying?
        I get it: maybe those who passed this gauntlet of SATs, college apps, unpaid internships, propelled by some privilege, aren’t, you know, the best and brightest politicians? That the people climbing one particular ladder are only admired by people on the same ladder?
        I don’t even think that’s the argument being advanced here though (and not sure I’d characterize the DNC as full of generic technocrat Ivy Leaguers). The suggestion is that much of the electorate will vote against someone they even believe is smart or hard-working, out of spite, because they resent that kind of thing.
        Of course, if true, we are lost. The country will fracture. ‘Haves’ who by privilege or skill or whatever obtained some success in this world, live a life without severe pressures, and have no particular reason to disbelieve in the basic facts of this world, and no strong reason to opt out of a default optimism in technocratic progress.
        The have-nots fall behind, and feel pressure of declining standard of life, and must increasingly choose between accepting a painful reality, or else forced in a lurid parallel universe of anti-facts which eternally stars them as noble victims, not merely the unlucky or unselected. This rings truer to me. Most people are very much climbing a ladder too, just some are on the wrong one in the wrong direction at the wrong time. The consequence is the unbearable part, driving many to escape into a different reality.
        If so, then the idea of having smart or qualified political leadership is indeed irrelevant and we are lost.
        I don’t want to believe this, but I think I do now. I just did not see that the country was full of well-meaning people who would have responded to the right logical policy messages, but were left cold by fumbling, irrelevant eggheads. There actually were a bunch of people believing an unprecedented level of nonsense. Sure, let’s not just chalk it up to simple “racism.” Many people were voting from a whole parallel information dimension crafted to make, say, birtherism a coherent, moral position. That was the problem. Not try-hards trying earnestly to talk about values and policy.
        I can’t imagine the right strategy would have been to embrace a world of disinformation or water down facts to something half-true to make it play. Fighting the good fight still means offering opportunity, rewarding merit and hard work, keeping the playing field level. I don’t even argue I know that can win, but it’s the only way to avoid the fracturing happening now.”

        • There is one thing the article didn’t explain well. It isn’t some broad anti-elitism and anti-intellectualism. The complaint isn’t against meritocracy but a pseudo-meritocracy of a tilted playing field. Most of the best and the brightest aren’t rising to the top.

          The assumption that every person finds their own level of deserved achievement within the system is obvious bullshit. Most people probably can’t articulate their frustration. They just have a sense of being deceived, manipulated, and taken advantage of, a sense of being dismissed and talked down to.

          Even many highly intelligent and well educated people are getting fucked over in our present system. Those of the younger generations entering the workforce are experiencing this the most acutely. But also many older people who thought they were moving up in the world through hard work and merit are coming to realize that the odds are stacked against them.

          • From an Asian respective:

            Took me until a few months ago to realize that telling a kid to purposely avoid stem or market themselves as anti-stereotypical to get into college was a wee bit fucked up and racist

            Also my English teacher telling me I should write college essay on a crush because it would “humanize” me and set me apart from “tunnel visioned Asian kids”

          • It is racist. But knowing that doesn’t make it any less a dilemma.

            Not only is the advice racist for it also is in reference to racism. Knowing there is racism, it forces the individual into the weird situation of feeling like they either have to embrace or reject a racial stereotype. And this situation constrains the choices and incentives, since the consequences are very much real.

            There is an honesty of sorts in the advice. It’s a fact of our social system that directly challenging racism is unlikely to be of personal benefit to racial minorities. This kind of advice is explaining how to relate to the racial order in order to get ahead. If the advice is followed, that leaves the racial order unchallenged and unchanged.

            If you are the right kind of racial minority and you play the racial game well, then you get to be a stereotypical model minority. In that case, your position in the racial order is secured and you will likely do well within the present system. The advice is about how to navigate around the pitfalls of the racial order, something that wouldn’t be necessary if the society weren’t racist.

          • I complain about the racism but suburban millennials of all races are now speaking up about the toxicity of the suburban culture. It seems that the Trump victory has made the misgivings about conventional liberals hit the mainstream; conventional suburban lbierals are coming udner a LOT of fire. Undoubtedly many are feeling defensive.

  19. “This type of narrative has been fostered by the right for a long time. It is not helpful to the Democratic Party for it also to be promoted by the left. And besides, it is wrong-headed in the way it is presented. On the right, the George Wallace campaigns paved the way to show Republicans how to break apart the New Deal coalition and appeal to working class whites to leave the Democratic for the Republican Party. This is why we have seen the kind of “aw shucks” presentation of self of Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and then in full George Wallace mode, Donald Trump, despite each of them representing the very wealthy. This narrative on the right has aligned with attacks on the “liberal media” and “government is taking your money for ‘those’ people” appeals to the white working class.
    On the left, the narrative is more complicated, but equally damaging to the Democratic Party. The short version is that with the rise of the Anti-War Movement in the 1960s and then when the New Right took over the Republican Party in the 1970s, those in professional occupations (and students) moved from the Republican to the Democratic Party.
    Since at least the Civil Rights Movement, in order to win, the Democratic Party has needed to hold together a coalition of the white working class, race and ethnic minorities, and white collar professionals.
    Historically, there has been a trade-off in votes between the white working class and race and ethnic minorities. When the Democratic Party emphasizes the class issues of the white working class, they risk lower turn out among race and ethnic minorities. When the Democratic Party emphasizes race/ethnic issues, the white working class stays home or votes Republican. Unfortunately, white collar professionals have played a role in playing off one of these groups against the others, and in doing so, as a legacy of the New Left, they have treated the Democratic Party as the enemy rather than the Republican Party.
    During the War on Poverty days, professionals and students championed a civil rights agenda by challenging the influence in the Democratic Party of the white working class, union members, and white ethnics, especially those who controlled urban party organizations. Think 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.
    As the Democratic Party has become associated with a civil rights agenda and the vote of race and ethnic minorities, some of these same white collar professionals have chastised the party for “forgetting” the white working class. Think of books like Edsall and Edsall, Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics, or Teixeira and Rogers, Why the White Working Class Still Matters, and then Thomas Frank, What’s the Matter with Kansas, and more recently, Listen Liberal.
    Note that it is the very group who played an instrumental role in challenging the influence of the white working class, especially union, influence on the Democratic Party, who is now criticizing the Party for having “forgotten” the white working class and who is now arguing that the Party needs to appeal to white working class interests. But the professional class in the Party is not blaming themselves for this situation, but rather they are blaming the demands of race and ethnic minorities and their influence on the Party.
    In my book, The American Non-dilemma: Racial Inequality Without Racism, I call this a conflict between class (focus on the economy, jobs, and unions) politics versus race/ethnic (focus on civil rights and social agenda) politics. The most important area of conflict between a class based versus a race/ethnic based politics is over access to jobs. The Democratic Party needs to bridge this gap and resolve the conflict between the politics of class and the politics of race/ethnicity in order to hold together their coalition and to win elections.
    Professionals and students who have, since the New Left, treated the Democratic Party as the enemy and turned their fiercest criticisms for those inside the Party instead of toward Republicans have undermined the ability of the Democratic Party to win. (The exceptions of the Carter, Bill Clinton, and Obama presidencies are too complicated to discuss here, but each was able to bridge the class versus race divide.) Over the fifty years since the Civil Rights Act was passed, white collar professionals have contributed to internal Party dissension, even though, they have switched sides from time to time, sometimes attacking the the Party for supporting the white working class supposedly against the interests of race and ethnic minorities, but then sometimes attacking the Party for supporting race and ethnic minorities supposedly against the interests of the white working class (as now).
    Given the outcome of the 2016 election, the current criticism is of the supposed overblown influence of race and ethnic minority interests on the party (or more broadly “identity politics), and an appeal to “remember” the white working class. But in the past, these same white collar professionals have attacked the Party for supporting the interests of the white working class, instead of a civil rights agenda and programs for race and ethnic minorities.
    This is not elitism as such, certainly not in the way that this article suggests, but it is a kind of moralism that is always against the other, who is portrayed as not pure enough in their liberalism. And it has played into the right wing agenda of undermining the Democratic Coalition, long ago, the New Deal coalition, and keeping those who should support the Democratic Party fighting among themselves, rather than coming together as a unified social movement to challenge the increasingly right wing Republican Party.”

    • That is the first part of the comment by Nancy DiTomaso. The last part of the same comment is really clueless.

      Her grasp of the data is superficial in the way I’ve seen in much of the mainstream. It’s the same old tired Democratic rationalizing and scapegoating we’ve been hearing for decades.

      This rhetoric is a perfect example of why Democrats lost. As she is a professor and author, I’d expect better.

      It’s ironic that she criticizes the article that is essentially about people like her. She is talking down to the author, in the way that the author has described irritates so many people.

      Democratic partisans and leadership, specifically of the liberal class, don’t want to take responsibility for any of their failures. It’s almost amusing.

      Among all of the other factors that contributed to Donald Trump winning the electoral college — the gutting of the Voting Rights Act, widespread voter suppression in states with Republican governors, the rogue actions of the FBI, especially James Comey’s news conference in July, the Russian hacking and Wikileaks releases, the news media continually highlighting supposed scandals of Clinton while giving Trump free media, and so on — the most decisive factor in Clinton’s loss of the electoral college was the over 8 million votes (almost 6% of the vote when every vote counted) for Johnson or Stein, with the margins in all of the states that mattered greater than Clinton’s loss to Trump.

      And this should be laid at the feet of Sanders attacks on the Democratic Party. He stayed too long in the opposition, feeding the narrative of Clinton as corrupt and providing a framing that was used to ill effect by Trump and the Republican Party. And the Bernie or Bust group that attacked the DNC for its support of Clinton (after she had already clinched the Democratic nomination with more than 4 million votes) undoubtedly encouraged that third party vote that sealed the fate of Clinton’s candidacy. See, for example, Kurt Eichenwald’s analysis in Newsweek: http://www.newsweek.com/myths-cost-democrats-presidential-election-521044.

      As a final indignity, take note that Jill Stein was seated at the same table with Michael Flynn and Vladimir Putin at the Russian TV event, in which she calls for a more collaborative relationship with Russia. Even now, on her website, she says with regard to that dinner: “While the objective of that dinner was not to engage in serious discussions, Putin did appear to respond in his formal remarks to the call for greater dialogue and collaboration made by myself and three other political figures on the foreign policy panel earlier that day.”

      See: http://www.jill2016.com/stein_in_russia_calls_for_principled_collaboration

      So Putin’s flattery worked for Stein as well. Stein also said that Trump would be far better than Clinton. Yet another example of the left undermining the Democratic Party.

    • That did come up a little bit. But it usually was at best a passing observation. It has never been central in public discussion within the mainstream media.

      I’ve had a number of thoughts. The most obvious is that if Hillary Clinton had gained or rather simply maintained the same support Obama had then she would have won. Or if she had secured her own demographic of women voters… Or if all minorities who were eligible voters had come out to voter for her, she would now be president.

      Clinton didn’t get the kinds of support that either Obama or her husband got. Either of those represented different strategies for winning a presidential election. But she did neither. It felt less like she was trying to inspire anyone to vote for her and was more just trying to turn people against each other, hoping that in the aftermath of voter demoralization she would inevitably win based on the false assumption that voters had no other choice.

      Clinton played chicken with the voting public. But the voting public didn’t flinch and didn’t swerve. And Clinton crashed. That result wasn’t in her playbook.

    • Over the years, I’ve read many writings from academics. And I’ve interacted with quite a few as well.

      The average academic doesn’t seem all that insightful to me. I doubt insight is a prerequisite for becoming a professor. Besides, they tend to only be well educated in a narrow area of expertise and so are prone to the smart idiot effect. Along with that, their lives and careers exist within a demographic and ideological niche, a gated community of the mind.

      The views at that link are unsurprising. They really have no idea what is going on in the world. The conclusion stated up front showed the kind of disconnection that is problematic. But it also shows a paternalistic arrogance.

      “Democratic Party relied on a time-tested political playbook to try to reel in the progressive supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders while appealing to centrist and independent voters, many Dartmouth political observers say.”

      Political playbook? It gives the sense that voters are there to be manipulated, that voters are too stupid to think for themselves and be allowed to influence politics. Just because you know how to manipulate people doesn’t mean you should. This playbook politics is the equivalent of those sleezy sociopaths who claim they’ll teach you how to hypnotize women to get them in bed.

      Ignoring that demented worldview of a ruling elite maintaining control of the masses, what is clear is that academics like this don’t even know much about the general public. Those progressive supporters include centrist and independent voters. These academics have spent so long in an echo chamber that they don’t realize how far left the entire population has shifted. Even many of Trump’s supporters had fundamentally liberal economic concerns that were being ignored by the Democratic establishment.

      It’s not limited to only the most mainstream academics. The problem for most academics is that they live fairly comfortable lives, as compared to most people. This doesn’t allow them to get a visceral sense of what is going on. They don’t realize how bad it has gotten and how late is the hour.

      Think of leftist academics.

      Like clockwork in every election, Chomsky tells the political left to vote for the lesser evil candidate in the Democratic Party. I nearly lost all respect for Chomsky when he told people to vote for Hillary Clinton. That is what goes for ‘radical’ in academia. And when asked what we can do, he refuses to give further advice, instead simply saying that people have to figure it out for themselves.

      Another example is Corey Robin. Like Chomsky, Robin is far above average among academics. I’ve learned a lot from reading him. But it seems like his insight only goes so far. He kept denying that Trump could win, even when people like me kept saying he could. It was unimaginable in the bubble of academia that Trump could win. That isn’t the world the typical academic understands.

  20. The only consistently good public schools are in upper middle class suburbs where there is a property tax base to support them and not quite enough wealth to drive the majority of families into private schools.

    • Or else enough expensive housing, high regressive taxes, and economic segregation to exclude or limit the lower classes from the school district. If the lower classes can’t afford to live there, the lower class students will be kept out of those well-funded public schools.

  21. Because we live in a democracy and unless we can win at least some of them to our side, we get President Donald J. Trump.

    And this means you, ArdRigh, you and your ilk bear significant responsibility for Trump. Read this: http://reason.com/blog/2016/11… and do some soul-searching.

    You need to decide in your own heart which you care about more: a) Feeling self-righteous on the internet or b) Improving the lives of the marginalized people you claim to care about.
    1 Reply

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    ArdRigh Jimbo28
    a month ago
    You’re not on my side. I know what you are. Drop the act.
    Reply

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    Jimbo28 ArdRigh
    a month ago
    So I’ll put you down for “a”, then.
    Reply

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    ArdRigh Jimbo28
    a month ago
    Go play with the rest of your troll kin.
    Reply

    Avatar
    SeanusAurelius ArdRigh
    a month ago
    This debate would be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic. I’m a hardline conservative in most respects, so let me say this in a personal voice that the very reasonable liberals here can’t:

    The way you treat other people repulses me. The fact that as soon as someone disagrees with you, you immediately assume that they are bad people and call them mean things repulses me. The way that you actually espouse abuse of literally hundreds of millions of people repulses me.

    The amount of hate you have for people like me, because of what my reason and conscience dictate must be my beliefs, repulses me.

    The fact that you ignore the morally salient fact that I don’t treat people who disagree with me the way you do people like me, repulses me.

    In fact, in general, you and your kind repulse me so much, that if given the choice between a loathsome racist and loathsome you in an election, I’d go with loathsome racists. That’s how bad you are.

    And so, in a rather more extreme fashion, you have 2016 all over again.

    PS Atlantic liberals, you should be proud of yourselves and your consistency regarding tolerance and free speech. If I ever saw a mirror image of this sort of thing in National Review, I would hope to act with as much grace and forthrightness as you all have. I dislike the left wing a bit less for having seen this guy’s reception.
    see more
    1 Reply

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    ArdRigh SeanusAurelius
    a month ago
    I could not care less what a far-right bigot is “repulsed” by, given your behavior and the harmful policies you support.

    All this comment does is broadcast what a terrible person you are. I treat you far-right trash half as bad as you treat others, and you all whine like martyrs.

    Sincerely, go f*** yourself.
    Reply

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    SeanusAurelius ArdRigh
    a month ago
    On the plus side, everyone, we’ve got the closest thing you’ll ever see to experimental validation of an opinion piece.

    Maybe time for a concerted effort to flag the troll’s posts?
    Although I got to have my go feeding him, so I can’t grudge anyone else.
    Reply

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    ArdRigh SeanusAurelius
    a month ago
    In a thread full of literal and open neo-Nazis, this conservative wants to silence me and harass me.

    That speaks volumes about your character, or complete lack thereof. GO back to Breitbart you alt-right piece of shit. Take your Nazi buddies with you.
    Reply

    Avatar
    Tristain Gomez ArdRigh
    a month ago
    So far the majority of your arguments have resorted to just labeling people “altright conservative trolls ” ArdRigh.
    After reading this article I think YOU might be the undercover alt-right troll trying desperately to illustrate Conor’s point!
    25 Reply

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    ArdRigh Tristain Gomez
    a month ago
    If you have something of substance to say, say it. If you don’t, remain silent. Try and control your trollish and immature urges.
    Reply

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    JerseyCowboy ArdRigh
    a month ago
    Your complete lack of self-awareness when it comes to this comment is telling.
    19 Reply

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    ArdRigh JerseyCowboy
    a month ago
    It’s cute how obsessed all of you terrible people are with me. I’d be flattered if it didn’t sicken me.
    Reply

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    Tristain Gomez ArdRigh
    a month ago
    We are terrible people! I came on this comment board to point out a similar point that EVU made at another article. I am terrible for this! JerseyCowboy’s comment seems quite apt!
    7 Reply

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    ArdRigh Tristain Gomez
    a month ago
    You’re a troll, and not even good at hiding it. Shoo.
    Reply

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    Tristain Gomez ArdRigh
    a month ago
    Pff – I beg to differ Mr. Troll that YOU are the troll, and this is my response to thee:
    https://heirsofdurin.files.wor
    1 Reply

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    Catwalker ArdRigh
    a month ago
    Oh my, Mr. or Ms. ArdRigh you are quite upset, obviously. However, even if I agreed with you, and when you are not busy calling people names and being angry in general I can see some agreement, but your very method puts one who might support your views off.. so, are you just here to feel self-righteous and vent anger, or do you really have some point to make? If you do, your approach is helping you no more than Mr. Trump’s helped him (with many of us.)
    1 Reply

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    marketkarma ArdRigh
    a month ago
    “Where is the actual evidence that people are motivated by their egos rather than anything else?”

    you need evidence for that?
    4 Reply

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    ArdRigh marketkarma
    a month ago
    On the issue of politics and voting preferences, yeah I do. If you have some, kindly present it.
    Reply

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    Brasidas44 ArdRigh
    a month ago
    Of the people I know in the group, some are motivated by their ego, but many more just like to feel comfortable. If you have read J D Vance, you will understand that there are real obstacles to learning appropriate behaviours for people coming from marginal groups. Most of the extreme ideological leftists (in my experience) just do not want the hard work of understanding the complexities of the situation.
    Note that some decades ago I worked for a large company on understanding obstacles to full integration for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The amount of plain laziness and oversimplification I saw was incredible.
    Reply

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    St Reformed SD
    a month ago
    Well stated. Moral self-righteousness is its own reward in one’s own mind in one’s own time. History will record the self-anointed as self-deluded fools.
    Reply

    Avatar
    Blooperman SD
    a month ago
    That’s all well and good, but it seems to me simply pointing out morally indefensible and utterly illogical opinions is now marginalizing you as a sanctimonious elitist. In other words, the default safe space many trolls on the right run to rather than defend their indefensible positions. So if we call ourselves that too they’ll listen to us? I seriously doubt it. I give respect when I get it.
    Reply

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    ArdRigh SD
    a month ago
    Not a single good person has upvoted this. It’s astounding. The upvotes here are a whos-who of alt-right trolls, racists, spammers, and general idiots.

    I really wish the Atlantic was paying attention. This site would be 10000x better if you removed these people.
    Reply

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    Earl of Sandwich ArdRigh
    a month ago
    “”Not a single good person has upvoted this.””

    How exactly do you identify “good people”?
    4 Reply

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    InfinityBall Earl of Sandwich
    a month ago
    People who upvote him. And now we have a null set problem
    Reply

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    InfinityBall ArdRigh
    a month ago
    From the guy who no one upvotes. Kind of sad.
    Reply

    Avatar
    LokVahKoor
    a month ago
    Let’s shorten this: If Bernie Sanders is a white supremacist and David Duke is a white supremacist, then (1) “white supremacist” is about as meaninglessly overinclusive a term as “human”, and (2) the accuser is not destroying Bernie Sanders, he is rehabilitating David Duke. Because Bernie (and the overwhelming majority of his supporters) will quite rightfully shrug the accusation aside, and meanwhile, you’ve given David Duke cover to normalize himself.
    24 Reply

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    EStamps LokVahKoor
    a month ago
    The problem with Drum’s post and with Conor’s article is that Nancy explicitly did not call Bernie Sanders a white supremacist.
    She said his response to the questioner (which completely ignored any actual political agenda on the part of the woman, and addressed only Sanders’s assumption about the woman’s thought process) was an example of behavior or thinking that diminishes the contributions of women (or minorities). Her further conclusion was that such behavior or thinking in the long run maintains white male supremacy (or privilege) in the political power structure.
    Conor says that Nancy’s conclusion is egregiously uncharitable to Sanders. I disagree with him, but whatever. But, in my opinion, he and Drum are both uncharitable to Nancy because they both got wound up by the phrase “white supremacy” and it effected their ability to process her actual point.
    2 Reply

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    LokVahKoor EStamps
    a month ago
    If a column uses 50 different adjectives or phrases for a person or a person’s ideas, and 49 of them are anodyne and one of them is “Nazi,” then the author of the column should reasonably expect disproprotionate attention to be paid to that one. If you’re writing for persuasion, you’re expected to be aware of that; if you’re writing for clicks, of course, you don’t need to care.
    3 Reply

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    EStamps LokVahKoor
    a month ago
    Your statement was that she had somehow equated Bernie Sanders and David Duke. My point was that she in no way did any such thing.
    1 Reply

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    Jimbo28 EStamps
    a month ago
    If you say they’re both guilty of the same thing, then either you’re equating them in some way, or the thing that you’re accusing them both of is so universal as to be completely innocuous: Sanders and Duke both breathe air!
    1 Reply

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    EStamps Jimbo28
    a month ago
    That’s my point she didn’t say they were both guilty of the same thing. Not even close.
    Reply

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    Jimbo28 EStamps
    a month ago
    Here’s the quote in context:

    “It is true that in order to end racism and sexism we have to begin by giving women and people of color a seat at the table. But that accomplishes very little unless/until we listen to them and find a way to work with them in coalition. To the extent that Sanders wants to avoid doing that in order to foster division within the Democratic Party, he is merely defending white male supremacy.”

    Are you making the case that the qualifier “to the extent that…” means she isn’t outright accusing Sanders of white supremacy? Or are you making a case that “merely defending white male supremacy” is different than “being” a white supremacist?
    Reply

    Avatar
    EStamps Jimbo28
    a month ago
    are you making a case that “merely defending white male supremacy” is different than “being” a white supremacist?

    Yes. Chiefly because the next sentence in her blog post is this: “I’m not suggesting that the senator’s agenda is necessarily white male supremacy.”

    And the rest of that paragraph is this: “If he were to actually listen to what that woman wants to accomplish as the second Latina senator, he might find ways that their vision overlaps. But giving her a seat at the table means that first of all, you don’t assume that she has none, and second of all, you hear her out. (emphasis added)”

    She was pointing out Sanders’s assumptions that 1) being a white male is not an identity that carries any political weight [it’s just the default thing and all other aspects of “identity politics” differs from, and 2) that a woman who says “I want to be the second Latina senator” thinks people should vote for her just because she’s Latina.

    Call it defending the patriarchy, or white privilege if that makes the distinction more clear.

    Drum (who I also read on a daily basis, and generally agree with) and Conor (who I have only started reading recently) both skipped over Nancy’s point. (edit) Or I should say, dismissed her point as insulting to Sanders.

    Based on what he said, Sanders seems to assume that if a Latina wants to run for office, she comes with no agenda other than being a Latina. He repeats that charge with regards to women of other ethnicities. That is remarkably insulting. And then he suggests that the only way they can become “good enough” is if they embrace his agenda. That is precisely how white men have always attempted to dominate their spheres of influence. If you are a woman or a person of color who has tried to have your voice heard, you’ve experienced that response regularly.
    see more
    Reply

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    Jimbo28 EStamps
    a month ago
    Maybe we’ll just have to agree to disagree, because I don’t understand how she gets to “Based on what he said, Sanders seems to assume that if a Latina wants to run for office, she comes with no agenda other than being a Latina.” from what Sanders said.

    To me, it sounds like he is imploring her to voice a strong, well-articulated progressive agenda, not assuming that she has no agenda. Maybe you still think that’s patronizing, or domineering of him, but he is attempting to lead a loudly progressive movement–obviously he’s going to make a case for his agenda.
    1 Reply

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    EStamps Jimbo28
    a month ago
    I don’t understand how she gets to “Based on what he said, Sanders seems to assume that if a Latina wants to run for office, she comes with no agenda other than being a Latina.” from what Sanders said.

    I’m happy to agree to disagree on this point. FWIW, here’s how I think Nancy gets there from what he said: the set up for the question was Sanders’s giving a speech which (at least partially) implored Democrats to give up on identity politics. That’s the frame for the situation in which a woman said “I want to be the second Latina senator, what’s your advice on doing that”. Sanders’s response was [paraphrasing] ‘assuming people will vote for you because you’re Latina isn’t enough’.

    Sanders (from everything I’ve read about this) made no attempt to find out the woman’s agenda, and didn’t just say “hey these are the things I think people care about that you can get traction with”. He made a point of trying to separate her Latina identity from the political agenda he thinks people should care about, after a speech in which he basically said that the Democrats lost because they relied too much on “identity politics”. And not to belabor this point too much – as though being a white guy, or a white working class person, is not itself an identity.

    That’s why it sounded like (to Nancy, to me, and to several other people) he made the assumption that this person had no other political agenda than “hey I’m a woman, and I’m Latina, so you have to vote for me”.
    Hillary occasionally got accused of the same thing. Obama got accused of the same thing. But they were usually accused of that by people with wildly different political agendas who were attempting to dismiss their candidacies. When a guy trying to lead a loudly progressive movement, who has no obvious political reason to dismiss someone’s candidacy also says words to the effect of “you think people should vote for you because you’re Latina”, then that’s going to raise some eyebrows, or cause pushback.

    I have absolutely no problem with Sanders loudly making a case for his agenda. Neither does Nancy. That’s why all the “she said Sanders is just like David Duke” commenting is so wrong headed. But one of Nancy’s recurring themes is that the political powers that be will be better off if they are willing to fully engage with aspiring politicians and activists of all stripes, and that dismissing people from underrepresented communities is bad politics.
    Reply

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    Seb Guest
    a month ago
    Social media is THE problem. Why can’t we just admit it? Are people really so addicted?
    1 Reply

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    Ed VanDyke Guest
    a month ago
    Yep. My hyper-pragmatic neuroses can’t even clear their throat in 140 chars. Facebook conversation “syntax” is too hard to follow. Disqus FTW! 🙂 .
    1 Reply

    Avatar
    Tony
    a month ago
    The point is well taken. Liberals are bringing an academic debate to a political fight, and that’s dumb on its face.

    But recall that Clinton and yes Sanders started using the language of black activism because that’s what was demanded of them by that constituency.

    Clinton used soak-the-rich rhetoric till the end because the Sanders wing demanded that of her.

    The problem is that the Democratic party is multifaceted. The black activism stuff turned off the white socialist wing, but you need both to win. You also need some of middle America that is turned off by both.

    At some point you’re going to have to ask one or more of the interest groups that make up the Democratic coalition to take a back seat for the sake of winning. Which ones should we ask to do that? I think the answer depends on whom you’re asking–and it’s always the other guy.
    18 Reply

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    m w Tony
    a month ago
    Some parts of a coalition can’t be kept on board without lying to other parts.
    6 Reply

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    JerseyCowboy m w
    a month ago
    Like the Muslim and LGBT coalitions when it comes to anything, or the Asians and blacks when it comes to affirmative action.
    5 Reply

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    Tony JerseyCowboy
    a month ago
    United by the antipathy of Republicans.
    Reply

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    Erick Jones Tony
    a month ago
    I agree with your general idea but believe there is a middle ground.

    A lot of the ‘wings’ of the Democratic party seem separate but really could be combined. For instance black activism and white socialist. The BLM movement would be much better served if it included whites. Unarmed whites get shot by police too and citizens against unarmed killings would not make it feel like police loving citizens have to take a side.

    Also middle America can also be combined with the white socialist wing if their support extended to things that interest them. For instance you can tax the rich and pay for college, but how about community colleges and trade school or other post secondary training that teaches things like farming, farming equipment repair, small rural manufacturing business, etc. A lot of the white socialist wings ideas could benefit everyone if they wanted it to which brings my next point.

    The Democratic establishment simply failed to show how their policies would benefit everyone as they undoubtedly would have. Their champion was an untrusted and unliked career politician who focus on the debates was vilifying a champion that won 20 million votes in the primary. After every debate I lamented how she never talked about how her polices could benefit everyone in a way that resonated, but I could always remember her rebukes of Donald and how she was fact checking him.
    5 Reply

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    DavidBN Erick Jones
    a month ago
    What has been termed “identity politics” doesn’t help the Democratic party unite its constituents, though. Racial identity politics, for example, drives wedges between the Democratic party’s more ethnically diverse constituencies, while solidifying the mostly white Republican opposition.

    I do think, however, that a major power demographic in the Democratic party – the urban upper class – has interests that run intrinsically counter to those of the working class, and that no party will be able to contain both for long.
    2 Reply

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    DavidBN Guest
    a month ago
    I think that they do care. The urban upper class, which is severely pressed by housing and educational costs, has interests that are often different from the exurban upper class, which leans Republican.
    2 Reply

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    InfinityBall Erick Jones
    a month ago
    Also middle America can also be combined with the white socialist wing if their support extended to things that interest them

    They’re just not fans of the giant middle class tax increases required, though
    Reply

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    truthynesslover Tony
    a month ago
    Clinton and the DNC didnt even thing they needed DEMOCRATS to win…..

    Hillary and the 3d way DNC didnt think they needed Sanders voters or Democrats to WIN….

    FAUX Pretend Dems like HRC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Chuck Schumer who
    admitted up front that they were no longer going to try to appeal to the
    working class and instead focus on moderate Republicans.

    “For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up
    two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can
    repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.”

    Chuck Schumer

    How’d that work out?

    So they not only ignored their own base and intentionally decimated the
    progressive arm of the party and wonder why they lost to a baboon?
    5 Reply

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    Tony truthynesslover
    a month ago
    She could have won with bigger turnout among blacks in swing state urban areas as well. Maybe she should have ignored the college socialists and focused on them more. Because what I saw was a whole lot of caving to the demands of the Bernie people.
    1 Reply

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    FlamingTelepath Tony
    a month ago
    “The problem is that the Democratic party is multifaceted. The black
    activism stuff turned off the white socialist wing, but you need both to
    win. You also need some of middle America that is turned off by both.”

    The Democrats aren’t just ‘multifaceted’, they only exist because they’re not Republicans. While it’s not monolithic, we generally know what the Republican Party stands for. We don’t really have as great a sense of what the Democratic Party stands for.

    Every election, we get to vote for “Party R” or “Well At Least We’re Not Party R”, but never get to vote for a “Party D”.
    3 Reply

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    Brasidas44 Tony
    a month ago
    Both United States major parties, and nearly all parties everywhere with real power, are multifaceted. Most parties also have a real concern for the general public interest. The reason the Democrats lost the election is that too many voters felt that the Democrats in general, and Hillary Clinton in particular, did not give enough weight to the general public interest, and were too friendly with special interests.
    Time will tell if the Republicans do any better.
    1 Reply

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    PJ Thompson Brasidas44
    a month ago
    and then there’s that “not all votes are created equal” structural problem that is only going to get worse for Democrats as time goes on.
    Reply

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    DB
    a month ago
    Suggesting that a guy like Sanders champions white supremacy, no matter how you split hairs when defining “white supremacy,” renders the phrase “white supremacy” meaningless.

    Just like saying all white people are “racist.”
    17 Reply

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    mttwls DB
    a month ago
    It’s certainly not a way to win friends and influence people. Which is kind of what politics is all about.
    3 Reply

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    Jacob Martinson
    a month ago
    There is an element in the left that wants to attach indignation as a constant element of some sort of brand. It’s understandable; people enjoy being indignant and sharing frustration with people who already agree with them. That’s the basis, after all, for media like talk radio being a viable commercial enterprise.

    Unfortunately, indignation is not a viable way to communicate a need for political change. It’s not even a viable way to foster sympathy. In our personal life, even people facing grave personal calamity find it hard to preserve their relationships if their default mode leaves little room for emotions other than anger, frustration, and misery. It doesn’t work any better in public discourse with strangers, but that’s pretty much where some people on the left put themselves.

    Our feelings toward anti-discrimination demonstrate this in depth. Anti-discrimination is, for obvious reasons, the moral imperative of the left. Therefore, there is a tendency to assume that given the morals involved, the only appropriate response is a constant expression of outright rage, and that whether we are really in favor of our principles can only be proven by our capacity to participate in the circus of scorn cast at whatever specific thing happened today.

    This is an understandable compulsion that suffers from the fact that It’s completely wrong. There’s not a relationship between how many times I yell at someone on social media and how I feel about racism.

    None of this actually matters; the rage bubblers are going to rage in their bubble no matter what we do or say, and I think most people interested in a just society are better off just letting them do their thing while rejecting their invitations to participate in outrages of little value, such as trying to get some sheet metal worker with a nazi tattoo fired after an activist website doxxes his name and his employer’s phone number.

    So stop worrying about whether or not someone thinks you’re a “false ally” or whatever, because actually It’s them. They aren’t your ally. They told you so. If someone argues that Sanders was insulting his rally attendee by making an implication that he did not make, then there’s no reason for us to care about that specific viewpoint since It’s based on a fiction.

    People who live in a world of fictional slights are a liability; It’s not anyone’s job to try and bring them on board with a broad coalition that they want no part of, and nothing good can come of trying to do so. If someone is mad because you don’t express agreement with them in the method they prescribe, oh well. Put on your big kid pants.
    14 Reply

    Avatar
    urban_wanderer Jacob Martinson
    a month ago
    When it comes to “fictional slights” nobody is more perpetually wounded and offended than low-education white men who, instead of facing up to their own personal failings, blame blacks, women, etc.
    Reply

    Avatar
    Jacob Martinson urban_wanderer
    a month ago
    Well, most of those people are a core Republican demographic and outside the scope of this article, which is focused on individuals who disagree with people whom they agree with because someone failed to tip-toe around egg shells.
    Reply

    Avatar
    Perry Widhalm urban_wanderer
    a month ago
    Man …. you paint with a wide brush. Perhaps if you wandered out of your urban environment you’d discover a whole new world where people are not quite like you label them. Or, maybe not.
    Reply

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    Terry Jacob Martinson
    a month ago
    The left has gone over the deep end with identity politics and doubt that there is a common meaning to be anti-discrimination.
    Reply

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    Perry Widhalm Jacob Martinson
    a month ago
    Well-written sir.
    Reply

    Avatar
    Wyck Thayer
    a month ago
    Conor continues to do God’s work. There are still some good people out there trying to save Liberalism from being destroyed from within.
    30 Reply

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    ArdRigh Wyck Thayer
    a month ago
    You can’t save liberalism by watering it down on the issue of rights. You don’t save it by kicking the can down the road on inequality. That’s been tried. The Third Way just failed, spectacularly, and already it’s proponents are demanding more of it as a solution.

    Watching alt-right trolls upvote this only makes clear how much it just enables such people.
    3 Reply

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    Murry Chang ArdRigh
    a month ago
    That’s not what anyone is suggesting. We need to be more inclusive about rights and less exclusive. We need to talk about how the working class and lower class in general need help, because that’s the facts on the ground.

    We need a trickle up economics model to present to the people. We need to tell them that we’re getting them better jobs than working in a coal mine, not just that we’re shutting the mine down. We need to figure out some way to get good education and jobs to the downtrodden minorities in inner cities. We need to do more than what we’ve been doing for a good 20 years now, which is talking a big game about helping people out but not actually changing their day to day lives in any appreciable way. Above all, we need to figure out how to communicate that things are being done for everyone and do our best not to make it seem like we’re excluding any group, even if that group is old white men…because, in the end, everyone is a human, even an old white racist guy.

    And we need a candidate that will actually talk to the people, rather than visiting Scranton to put on $2.5k/plate dinners for plutocrats. Oh and midterm elections, we need to get on that shit like yesterday.
    7 Reply

    Avatar
    ArdRigh Murry Chang
    a month ago
    That’s what quite a few alt-right trolls here are suggesting, and what people like the author enable when they push this narrative of pandering to white “moderates” regardless of the cost and of their prejudices.

    A class first message ignores important differences in outcome based on identity. It’s been tried, repeatedly, in US history to use colorblind policy to raise everyone up. It hasn’t worked.

    Tossing generalities and ideals at me doesn’t fix the problem. There’s a cost for what you’re mentioning, and that cost is paid disproportionately by some. It’s never the white moderates or the liberal gatekeepers who pay it.
    Reply

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    Murry Chang ArdRigh
    a month ago
    That’s not at all what the author is saying. White ‘moderates’ are people that need help too. White ‘moderates’ desperately need universal single payer, white ‘moderates’ desperately need college loan relief and white ‘moderates’ need decent paying jobs as much as anyone else. They live in the same country as you and have as much right to their opinion and to cast their vote as they feel fit as you do. You might not like it, you might think their opinion is evil, but you either have to live with it, figure out some way to change their minds or at least figure out how to get them to vote for someone that will help everyone and not just a specific group of people(the rich).

    What have the Democrats actually done for, say, inner city blacks besides locking up their men for 30 years? Their not color blind policies haven’t actually helped either. And, really, most or all of the times the US has used colorblind policy, that policy was specifically designed to benefit the upper classes.

    I’m not sure what else besides generalities can be hashed out on comment threads. This isn’t a policy meeting, we’re not policy makers, we’re common people and the best we can do at this point is to try to figure out what generally needs to be done…from there we can take our message to politicians and policy makers who can enact specific ideas that hopefully move us towards the general solution. That’s how this kind of thing works. Sure, there is a cost for what I’m talking about, but if people don’t want to pay it then we’re stuck in the same situation we are now.
    7 Reply

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    ArdRigh Murry Chang
    a month ago
    White “moderates” voted against all that, and consistently do. White identity politics seems to be what wins with them.

    Wow, that’s some grade A right wing talking point bullshit there. You’re not providing much of a reason to respect your opinions here.

    Speak for yourself. Some of us actually do policy. Not all of us are content to stroke our egos and trade generalities. Ironically precisely what the holier than thou moderates accuse “leftists” of doing.

    There’s a cost and it won’t be white moderates paying for it. It’ll be minorities. But let’s not ask them, because we have an article by a white libertarian and some other articles by white moderate liberals and clearly that’s enough to just accept the narrative, right? So we’ll ignore racism for another decade and wonder why things got worse.
    1 Reply

    Avatar
    Murry Chang ArdRigh
    a month ago
    Haha right wing talking point bullshit, that’s good:) I’m a communist, bucko, and that’s the actual facts on the ground.

    Good I’m glad you do policy! Can you help get us some damn universal single payer? Because everyone desperately needs it. Maybe figure out some reason/way to get rid of the stupid drug laws that have killed minority communities over the past 30ish years?

    “There’s a cost and it won’t be white moderates paying for it”

    You keep saying that but don’t say what this ‘cost’ is. Yeah, it’ll be a monetary cost, and if you do your policy right then the right people will pay for it.

    “So we’ll ignore racism for another decade and wonder why things got worse.”

    You think we can only do one thing at a time, don’t you? If you actually ‘do policy’, that’s scary.
    4 Reply

    Avatar
    ArdRigh Murry Chang
    a month ago
    I’m foreign policy/national security/counter-terrorism. I’d like single payer as much as you, but that’s not where my knowledge lies. I’m very likely to lose my health insurance under Trump.

    The cost is ignoring the issue of racism and inequality to keep white people comfortable. Just like we did in the ’90s. We’ve seen how well that worked out haven’t we?

    I know that leeping white moderates comfortable and confronting racism, are mutually exclusive. That’s backed up by plenty of polling and survey work. White people don’t want to talk about race.
    Reply

    Avatar
    Erick Jones ArdRigh
    a month ago
    In the 90s we didn’t ignore racism and inequality quite frankly the country embraced racism in order to get law and order as result inequality spread.

    The Clinton’s ran on a very progressive policy before they lost their governorship and flipped the script to law and order and told the people what they wanted to hear to win that then the presidency.

    Its not racist to want law and order. It is racist to tell people that to get law and order you have to crack down on the “coloreds”

    You seem to have the thought that people are racists just because they feel entitled or whatever. That not true. People support racist policies because they believe they stand to benefit. Truth is most racist policies are smokescreens made by upper class elites that actually make their situation worse. I.e. the war on drugs turns out white people who like meth and coke are also going to jail and not getting help for addiction either.

    Now we have a new problem, the economy has left people behind. Now they are supporting racists policies against immigrants to solve their problems. But once again it won’t help, prices for goods will go up and the lower demand as a result will probably cost jobs and lower the GDP.

    The problem isn’t that people are racist but rather the people presenting racists solutions to their very real problems are more convincing then the people with better and generally not racist policies.

    They don’t care if you call them a racist if they feel like being racists improves their situation for them and their family. And frankly if I was them I wouldn’t either.

    The whole point of the article was saying rather then putting ourselves in their shoes and coming up with solutions that benefit us and them we stigmatize them which alienates them further hurting OUR cause.

    No one is trying to ignore racism, but the best way to solve it is to show that we can both prosper together. Except for a few nutjobs no one wants to be racist with the person who helps them thrive.

    • So much of the discussion of demographics and identity politics is confused to the point of being meaningless. I get the sense that few people ever bother to dig very far into the data. They simply read a few facts and conclusions from some articles and then they repeat them for years, never bothering to verify the data or to look at the broader context of data.

      For example, minorities have higher rates of religiosity and social conservatism than whites, in many cases more than even whites who identify as conservative, and yet they have a long history of radical left-wing politics. Some of the strongest support of communism in the US came from working class blacks in the South. That is still seen today with blacks presently showing more positive opinion of ‘socialism’.

      As another example, working class whites also used to be strongly radical and left-wing in their politics. If you talk to some older working class whites, they can tell you about how earlier last century labor unions were strong with large memberships and they were often aligned with Marxist and communist politics. This was seen in mining regions in Appalachia. Along with Appalachia, some of most major labor battles happened in Indiana where Eugene Debs came from. Yet Appalachia and Indiana are thought of as a conservative today.

      The unionized and often radical working class, black and white, used to be the backbone of the Democratic Party. It’s been fairly recent history that this has changed. This election is the first time in a long time that Democrats lost the white working class. What the hell do some people think labels means? Hillary Clinton is neither a moderate or centrist. She is a hardcore neocon and neoliberal, further right than Nixon and probably further right than Reagan as well. How can people be so uninformed about where is the center of public opinion now and where it has been in the recent past?

  22. My evidence is anecdotal mainly, but i can’t tell you how many people in my extended family and friend group unfortunately (much to my wits end) voted for Trump because they thought he was the more moderate candidate ( I am not kidding). And these are smart, college educated, white collar people. People who have voted Dem in the past. The frustration some have with the Left pointed out in this article are real. This is real, the perception of the left has become real.

    I know Clinton is a moderate but whether it was the failure of her campaign or the brilliance of Trumps….she was painted as an elite self-righteous smug career politician. Many saw Sanders and his followers as more centrist. And the smug comments made by leftists as illustrated in the article only prove the point.

    • This is an important topic. But this article is so simplistic and confused as to do more harm than good. I could spend hours dissecting the assumptions and biases while offering evidence to the contrary.

      For one, we live in a corporatist state of oligarchy, plutocracy, and cronyism that is somewhere between soft fascism and inverted totalitarianism, a country built on slavery and genocide that shortly after the revolution was taken over by anti-democratic imperialists (AKA ‘Federalists’). Democracy, at best, has only ever been a thin veneer.

      I then hear idiots say that a republic is better than a democracy. Republicanism is one of those near meaningless labels. Democracy is one type of republic among many. Some other types of republics are fascism, communism, theocracy, etc. Technically, a republic is any government that isn’t a monarchy, although some have argued for a republican monarchy.

      Many of the worst governments in the world right now are essentially monarchies. Any dictatorship is a monarchy by another name. North Korea is basically a monarchy at this point. A theocracy like Saudi Arabia has a royal family and so is basically a monarchy as well. These are among the most violently oppressive governments in the world. How can the author be so idiotic as to advocate for monarchy?

      As Winston Churchill explained it: “Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…” And he was talking about a society that was only partly democratic. So, even a partly democratic society is better than the alternatives.

      Let’s first aspire to democracy. Once we’ve actually established a fully democratic society, then we can judge it as either a failure or a success. Calling our country a failed democracy is like calling a fundamentalist church a failed gay bar.

      Articles like this make me sad. I don’t know why worthy discussion is so hard to achieve.

    • I’m always of mixed opinion about so-called American democracy. Technically, the US is a democracy. It’s mostly representative democracy, although the question is who are they really representing. Even monarchs usually claim to represent the people.

      Can a democracy still be representative when it isn’t clear that the representatives represent the people? Is democracy more than an unsupported claim? Is a non-functioning democracy still a democracy, even in theory?

      A fundamentalist church may have wine for communion and a few in-the-closet gay congregants. But that doesn’t seem like strong evidence for arguing it’s a gay bar. The preacher declaring gays are going to burn in hell is much more compelling evidence to the contrary, even if a sign outside claims they are a welcoming church.

    • The thing is the US is only democratic in very minor ways.

      The vast number of public officials aren’t elected and so don’t represent the public in any meaningful way. Even the elected officials are primarily determined by a corporatist political system that excludes serious challengers and reformers. The most powerful political agencies and institutions in the country (CIA, FBI, Pentagon, Homeland Security, etc) have little oversight, trasparency, and accountability — all prerequisites for a functioning democracy.

      The closest the US comes to democracy is at the local level. But even there direct involvement of citizens is rare and often limited by design.

      Mainly, we are a democracy in aspiration because we like to think of ourselves that way. If we think of ourselves as a democracy for long enough, then maybe after a few centuries we will actually become a democracy. But for the time being, we must admit that aspiration is a far distance from reality as it is.

  23. Also, people who know Clinton say she’s honest, but not transparent. People see her as guarded, therefore possibly deceptive, while Bernie is seen as “what you see is what you get”. Trump is a much bigger liar than any of them to the point of being pathological, but people similarly saw him as “what you see is what you get”. I think that’s the crucial factor here.

    • I guess it depends on what one means by honest. I have no reason to think she isn’t honest with people she is close to, personally and professionally. Those are people with which her interests are aligned.

      The problem is more about what she admitted in her transcripts, where she stated that she says one thing in public to tell a target audience what they want to hear while saying something entirely different in private to her cronies and corporate benefactors. She explained that she only really means what she says in private and that the public statements are simply for show.

      I consider that dishonest. But there is a kind of honesty in admitting to the dishonesty, at least privately. As a professional politician, it seems irrelevant that she can be honest if her honesty is limited to her inner circle and immediate social circle.

  24. That machine turning on Bernie would have been ugly. The difference is that I think he is better able to meet criticism head on.
    I think it’s precisely because Bernie comes across as authentic and more comfortable in his own skin that those kinds of attacks would be less successful against him. Her heavily guarded mannerisms and carefully chosen, lawyeristic speaking style just tended to reinforce people’s opinions that she was not completely honest and forthright.
    The GOP threw everthing they could at Obama in 2008 as well, and most of it bounced off, because people actually like him.

    • I doubt the machine turning on Bernie would have had much impact. He doesn’t seem like a guy who gets ruffled easily. And he has been playing with the big boys in Washington DC for a long time. He knows how the game is played and probably wouldn’t take any of it personally.

      I was wondering that the problem, if anything, is that he has played the game too long. That could be why he so easily gave into Clinton when she stole the nomination. Maybe he has grown cynical enough that he didn’t think there was a point in continuing the fight, even when there is nothing more important to fight for in a democracy than to fight for democracy itself.

      • Maybe one reason he bent over was because he thought he’d have more leverage in the long run.

        Look at now. He’s basically the de facto democratic leader and he’s not even a dem. If he didn’t endorse her and denounced her though he’d be vilified and blamed for her loss. Instead he’s pretty much the only dem with public credibility right now.

        • But does that undo the damage to what little democracy exists in this country? How does Sanders seek democratic reforms while not protesting the further destruction of the very democratic processes that would make democratic reforms possible?

          That is why I think that maybe Sanders has been a professional politician too long. If he thinks that is a good deal, he has grown too cynical to be a serious challenge to the corrupt system.

          His credibility might not mean much at this point. He would have had a thousand more times credibility if he had stood on principle against injustice. What we need right now is a MLK, not just another professional politician trying to win the political game.

          His choices so far don’t inspire confidence. I understand that he is a professional politician and so thinks like one. He is simply doing what almost any professional politician would do, if they were in his situation. That is precisely the problem.

  25. Sanders’ stump speech has a simple formula that people need to copy.
    Say what you think is morally right
    List off how you are going to achieve it
    Belive in everything you say
    There are anecdotes floating around about Clinton that contradict her cagey public image. My favorite was always her advice to Obama on the Bin Laden raid during the correspondent’s dinner, which verbaitum went something like “fuck the White House correspondents dinner, god forbid we ever make an important decision based on something stupid like that.”
    That is the kind of lead-from-the-front integrity we never got to see from Clinton. Maybe she couldn’t come out and do that because of sexism, maybe she was making a political calculation. Either way, she misread the electorate horribly. She was always a policy nerd at heart who tried to be some grand leader and the act just did not work.
    There are center-leftists out there who would do better and wouldn’t screw us over in the process.

    • There is no doubt that she misread lots of things. That is the very reason she would have made an ineffective president. She simply doesn’t understand what is going on and the mood of the times. I’ve said that she would have been a decent president in the past when her kind of politics seemed more relevant to people. Also, with a younger Bill Clinton by her side, she could have put forth a formidable campaign. But she is old and Bill is old and more importantly their politics is old. She represents the past that is never coming back. It’s a new world.

    • That is another article that misses the point. The author selectively looks at data to fit it into a narrative.

      What gets ignored is that most conservatives live in urban areas, not rural counties. And the concentration of conservatives in urban areas increases with every election. What is seen with rural counties isn’t just conservatives isolated from liberals but conservatives isolated from most other conservatives as well.

      It’s simply a shrinking population in places that have jobs decreasing, young people leaving, downtowns dying, public schools closing, and entire towns disappearing. It’s not a happy scenario for those left behind.

  26. Hardcore clintonites are still in denial.

    I don’t know about millions I know people in real life who liked Bernie more than Hillary, but were worried he couldn’t get anything done because of smears like this that we are now seeing were completely untrue

    In chaotic situations there’s room for leaders to step up — that needs to be us. I’m seeing Hillary supporters who disagreed with me countless times during the primary slowly coming back, saying maybe we should’ve gone with Sanders all along, maybe breaking up the banks and increasing social security isn’t so bad after all. That’s powerful, right there. We have to use it for real progress, real movement forward on the issues. Dwelling on the past is only going to remind all of us how bad the primary got. I’m not saying we should forget what happened or stop trying to change DNC power structures etc., but the vast majority of people aren’t the few pundits and politicians who acted awfully during the primary. They’re just people, like us, looking for leaders.
    So talk about the minimum wage. Talk about social security. Talk about climate change. Talk about the big banks, about finance running amok, about CEOs earning more in a day than factory workers do in a lifetime. Those are the issues — they’re what matters. Get ordinary people back on our side.

    I guess what I’m saying is that a lot of people are realizing they were tricked. We don’t really need to rub it in.

    • I don’t see it as rubbing it in. It is simply an issue of whether or not we want democracy. We’ve been experiencing the systematic denial of democracy. That is a problem. All else is irrelevant until that is dealt with.

  27. “The system is pretty much what it’s advertised as being. There’s no great deception being perpetrated. Everyone in politics believes pretty much what they claim to believe.
    Once you assume that, everything in politics starts to make a terrifying amount of sense.”

    • That isn’t how I would put it. I do think we are constantly barraged with lies, propaganda, spin, and manipulation. Very little that politicians say is the honest truth. But you can trust what politicians do. Pay attention to what they do, not what they say.

      The Iraq War didn’t fail for it achieved its purpose as planned, even though the real purpose was never openly stated and officially declared. Obama didn’t close down Gitmo because he never wanted to. We got corporatist healthcare insurance reform instead of single payer or whatever because that was the agenda of the political establishment, Et cetera.

    • I hope that articles like this keep coming out for years. The lesson of this election will sink in, eventually, if not with those in power now then with those who will be coming into power in the near future.

  28. Ever since the election I’ve attempting conversations with diehard Hillary fans, and also with moderates who were not at all thrilled with either dominate POTUS candidate. The stunning thing is how many diehard Hillary fans absolutely refuse to even entertain any objective discussion regarding Hillary’s weak points, her campaign’s horrendous political ineptitude, or even the path forward. They spent months bashing, banning and censoring anybody that questioned whether the Queen-in-waiting had any game, and now they are still clinging to the belief that more of the same is the answer, and that it could not possibly have to do with running a very unlikable candidate and an abysmal, piss poor campaign. They’re just sticking their fingers in their ears, going “lalalalala . . . . I won’t hear you.” They got what they deserve. Unfortunately, the country was at stake in their little charade. Their arrogance may have knocked this country permanently out of equilibrium.
    The reality is 43% of voters are not affiliated with either side of the status quo duopoly and I expect that to rapidly climb to 50%. By 2020 it could well be over 60% as people start to realize that they are getting nowhere with partisan politics that only benefit the 1%.

    • These are the same people who have been forcing more of the same on us for decades. The only thing that changed now is more of the same is no longer an option. It doesn’t matter what they want. We are at a point where our society can’t continue as it had for so long. We will either change as a society or outside forces will force us to change, the latter might not lead to happy results.

  29. A standard alt right talking point is that only white people have liberal and progressive views and ideas. The rest of the world is already alt right, and basically, it’s a weird martyr complex where they hate liberal views but think they make white people unique and morally superior. you can say it’s an orientalist view of the non-west

    • I’ve noticed that. It really is bizarre. They take pride in the liberalism of Western countries as an indication of the racial superiority of whites. Yet these people fundamentally hate liberalism. They are a confused lot.

    • They are irrelevant now. They are the walking dead. But that in some ways makes them all the more dangerous. It could take them a long time to all die off. And in the meantime, they could cause plenty of havoc and damage.

        • If she ran and was elected NYC mayor, that would be a massive demotion. It would basically be a retirement gig, just a way of staying in the game a little bit longer. Her recent loss was a public shaming and now she needs to win something, anything, so that she won’t be a total loser.

          About the link, I like the sentiment. But it’s quite a bit simplistic. There was a lot going on historically and personally with those earlier Democratic presidents. That was a time when the Democratic Party was big tent. To the degree they were more willing to scrap, it was because the party wasn’t entirely dominated by liberals. Much of the labor support of the Democratic Party was powerfully left-wing.

          Democrat leaders weren’t always willing to be tough and it required a left-wing to force them to be tough. Even someone like FDR was responding to the largest left-wing movement in US history that was demanding that he take action and were threatening actions of their own if he didn’t. This gave FDR much leverage among the political elite, as he stood between them and the angry masses.

          • Speaking of leadership, there is absolutely no excuse for Hillary not addressing her supporters on election night. At a time they needed …they NEEDED her words more than ever. Frankly they deserved better treatment…they sweated blood for Hillary. They expended massive time, energy, emotion, prayers and hopes on Hillary’s success…then to be told after hours of waiting…just go on home folks….

            That in and of itself speaks to Hillary’s lack of Character…Is this an example of how she would governed?? When things don’t go her way….? Just don’t show up? Is this her example of a “strong woman” leader?

          • The answer is that Clinton never really was a leader. Just a person with naked ambition, who did not have the right qualities, let along the integrity necessary to lead.

            During the election, in one of leaked emails, Colin Powell astutely noted on Clinton that ““Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris,” which is a pretty big indictment of her considering how close Clinton was to Powell at times.

            In many ways, Clinton is an example of what is wrong with Washington politics. Voted for war, class warfare at home, accepts corproate money, and screws up everything, while trying to avoid responsibility. Meanwhile, she looks down on the common people with contempt.

            As far as her running for NYC mayor, I hope that the people of New York know better than to elect this person.

          • I do think that Hillary Clinton is a highly effective professional politician, in that she got things done. That can be interpreted as either a compliment or a criticism, depending on one’s view of professional politicians and depending one’s opinion about what she got done. But she never was leadership material.

            It has nothing to do with her being a woman. She simply had neither the personality nor the moral character that would have ever made her a great president or even merely a likable president. And this really was the wrong time for someone like her to seek such a position of power.

            The main problem is that she would have been unknown in mainstream politics, if her husband hadn’t already been president and she the first lady. The reason people had positive feelings of her was largely because the 1990s was a relatively good time for the country, a fairly peaceful time between Cold War and War on Terror. It was a time when New Democrat politics was on the upswing and the future looked rosy.

            Her political career in the intervening years has been less than inspiring. I don’t get the sense that even most of the people who voted for her this election were all that excited about her. It’s become clear to pretty much everyone at this point that she is a garden variety professional politician. The only thing that makes her unique is the level of her ambition. No one could ever doubt that she takes seriously the game of political power.

  30. I guess the difference is that there are conservatives (the right) who despise Donald Trump and actually do question their morals. Being “on the right” can refer to socially conservative and economically conservative.
    The alt right as a whole publicly announces raced base nationalistic policy with a basis from white supremacy or white birthright (i.e. Whites founded America therefore America should be built for whites.
    The right, as a whole, does not publicly acknowledge race explicitly as a factor contributing to issues in America and are somewhat likely to adopt a “I don’t see color” attitude yet still harbor racial biases. Racism in just the right is expressed through proxies, such as being tough on immigrants and the poor (groups statistically more likely not to be white).
    So there is an important reason yo distinguish the two.

    • As time goes on, alt-right seems ever more vague, ambiguous, and maybe meaningless. Then again, I regularly question other labels as well. The confusion isn’t in the labels, but in how we use them. Confused people will use labels in confused ways. There is no way of getting around that. For that reason, making distinctions is always tricky business.

  31. “Research has supported the contention that low-ranking individuals do not always show in-group favoritism – an otherwise robust phenomenon. Low-ranking individuals show out-group favoritism and make decisions to serve the interests of high-ranking individuals at the expense of their own. This imbues higher groups with more respect.”

    • Probably so. Then again, most humans “do not always show in-group favoritism”. That is partly because what others perceive as someone’s in-group may not be how the individual self-identifies.

      Is a poor white’s in group the poor or whites? Is a middle-to-upper class Asian’s in-group the middle-to-upper class or Asians? Is a suburban Hispanic’s in-group suburbanites or Hispanics? Is a Middle Eastern Christian’s in-group Middle Easterners or Christians? Is a Midwestern Amish’s in-group Midwesterners or Amish? Is a French-speaking Canadian’s in-group French-speakers or Canadians?

      Is a Southern black’s in-group Southerners or blacks? Is a light-skinned black’s in-group light-skinned people or blacks (and does it matter what percentage of European genetics they have)? Is an African immigrant’s in-group those of African descent or immigrants?

      Is a wealthy and powerful professional politician white woman’s (e.g., Hillary Clinton) in-group white women (who the majority voted for Trump) or wealthy and powerful professional politicians? Is a privileged white man’s (e.g., either Roosevelt president) in-group the privileged (whose monopolies the Roosevelts broke and whose companies they forced to comply with New Deal policies) or white men (the majority who were working class at the time and benefited from the New Deal)?

      Context is everything. In a large, diverse and complex society, there are many possible in-groups someone may choose from. In-group is defined by the out-groups (along with the social order and economic system) that change over time.

      During the Cold War, one of the most important in-group categorizations in the Western world was simply not being Russian or left-wing. But being a Russian left-winger today in the Western world would almost make you a novelty and relatively non-threatening at that, considering the Russian government is now right-wing. Or consider one of the oldest conflicts of in-group and out-group. Despite all the continuing racism, a black president and other powerful black leaders has changed the equation of the perceived American in-group.

      The dominant in-group is constantly shifting, from one generation to the next, from one international conflict to the next, from one historical period to the next. And sometimes that shift happens in a single lifetime. Besides, the exact perception of the in-group will be seen as different depending on where an individual lives. The perceived in-group of the Upper Midwest is different from the Deep South, as is that of the Southwest different from New England. The local dominant in-group likely has more influence on people’s daily lives.

    • “The age of Barack Obama may have been our last chance to break from our neoliberal soulcraft. We are rooted in market-driven brands that shun integrity and profit-driven policies that trump public goods. Our “post-integrity” and “post-truth” world is suffocated by entertaining brands and money-making activities that have little or nothing to do with truth, integrity or the long-term survival of the planet. We are witnessing the postmodern version of the full-scale gangsterization of the world.

      “The reign of Obama did not produce the nightmare of Donald Trump – but it did contribute to it. And those Obama cheerleaders who refused to make him accountable bear some responsibility. […] What a sad legacy for our hope and change candidate”

    • Why is it those who think they are clever are so often not particularly clever?

      By this simpleminded logic of nationalism, Hispanics should refuse to speak English and reclaim the Spanish Empire which is most of the present United States, Native American tribes should refuse to speak English and reclaim their former homelands before being sent to reservations, and white people should all return to where their ancestors came from or at the very least remain within the original borders of the former British colonies.

      The thing is modern racial supremacy and nationalism contradict each other because white and black aren’t associated with any single country. Also, in the US, there are more minorities than whites that have ancestors that go back to early America. There is no rationality to any of it. Pure emotional rhetoric that has no practical application to the real world.

    • I understand the argument made. But I wonder if it is much simpler.

      We are at an end point. The system can no longer be managed and maintained. It was bound to end at some point and maybe we are at that point. People are agitated because they know massive change involving a global realignment is likely inevitable. Many people intuitively sense this, whether or not they could articulate it. This makes people act edgy and weird. But there might not be any purpose in reading too much into it beyond that.

      Consider the main point made. So what does immigration represent? For those of us who know a little bit about what is going on in the world, the immediate thought is that this directly relates to the refugee crisis and sociopolitical instability caused by climate change, specifically drought. Climate change is only going to get worse. Immigration isn’t causing the instability and the populist reaction. Immigration itself is just another effect of larger issues.

  32. It’s funny that sanders won Hawaii, literally the least white state in the union.

    Anyway what annoys be about cadre is that’s they’re white nationalists who won’t own up to it. Everybody knows they don’t actually have issues with immigrants, they just hate non-white people. Also they shit on non-immigrant native non-whites a lot for a group that is supposedly just anti immigration.

    And everyone knows Steve sailor is a racist bigot under that “citizenism” rhetoric. All of them have unhealthy hang ups regarding race honestly.

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-great-bernie-sanders-whiteness-crisis

    • I do wish people would simply be more honest about what they believe. I don’t see the point of playing games. It’s not like these bigots are fooling anyone. So, what is the point of pretending? Are they afraid or ashamed to admit what they are? You’d think that they’d have white pride about their white bigotry. Just own it.

  33. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t highly pissed and angry about the way the Clinton campaign weapon used and cynically abused identity politics, substanceless clintknian id politics. Yes I’m angry. I’m upset and angry

    • Though Ithink the clinton campaign dosen’t care about any of that stuff, for them id politics, women, minorities, was just a weapon to hit Bernie Sanders with regardless of merit. Dosen’t that just anger you?

      • Clinton isn’t a hardcore feminist, social justice warrior, civil rights leader, and progressive visionary.

        She is simply a professional politician who will do and say anything to gain and maintain wealth and power. She is able to hire the best speechwriters in the world to ensure her rhetoric is perfectly honed and she is a capable enough speaker to deliver it half-convincingly.

        It’s all an act. And the same goes for others who did make it to the presidency. Trump isn’t an outsider. Obama wasn’t the second coming of MLK. Bush wasn’t a regular guy. Clinton didn’t feel anyone’s pain. Et cetera.

        Endless bullshit.

    • I’m not sure what was the point of that. It seemed like the author was excited that someone outside of his small world had acknowledged his existence. Getting someone to acknowledge your existence online shouldn’t be that difficult. It’s not that great of an achievement.

    • Louis Weeks
      Jan 5

      What a load of garbage.

      Bill Clinton was famous for positioning himself just a fraction of an inch to the left of the right wing candidate where he would get voters from the right, the center, and all of the left. The arrogance was that all those to the left of the Conservative candidate will just fall into line behind Clinton.

      But what did Clinton give us? Deregulation that caused the banking/housing meltdown, new crime laws warehousing Blacks into prisons, welfare reforms mostly targeting Blacks, and TARP that has caused the most losses of high paying jobs in America. That is not centrist.

      But look at the changes to that Democratic party today compared to back then. Identity politics, more concern about who uses what bathroom than lost jobs, more worry about same sex marriage than terrorists. There is simply no way to compare the modern Democratic party to that of Bill Clinton’s era.

      And what else did Bill Clinton discover? The corporations, bankers, and Wall Street who were willing to dump a lot of money into his pockets, and his wife got ten times more than he ever did.

      Voters who supported Obama two times switched to support Trump, not because they were racists but because Trump was the only guy talking about hope, several interviews Van Jones had during a program on CNN had him asking previous Obama voters why they switched to Trump, and none of them expressed a single pinch of animosity to other races. They kept talking about how Hillary seemed untrustworthy and part of the elitist Washington as usual crowd that got us to these problems in the first place while Trump was the only guy talking about trying to rework trade deals and enforcing the laws of America and changing tax codes to both reward American companies that keep jobs here and punished companies who export jobs.

      People are wanting Government to go back to the basics. Enforce our laws, help the people find and maintain jobs, protect our people from those who want to harm them. Get spending under control.

      Obama will leave office with a $20 trillion dollar debt. He started out with about an $11 trillion dollar debt. At some point we have to address this, sooner or later the credit cards get shut off and then what? Do we want to end up like Greece?

    • Torben Dieter
      Jan 5

      If Hillary had won a few more votes in a few specific states, you would never have written this article. You would be crowing about how wonderful the electorate is and how the progressive vision has been ratified. Why is it that the loss of a few votes has you whining about how terrible America has become? Get a life. The Democrats will never recover if you don’t Move On.

    • Walter Crockett
      Jan 5

      This is a mind-boggling article, in that it sets up discredited neo-liberalism and bankrupt Third Way philosophy as our failed bulwark against “white nationalism” and “conservative populism.”

      Not a word of Bernie Sanders or any ideas of progressive Democrats, who are THE HOPE for the party. It is almost beyond belief that someone would write this article in 2017. If you don’t understand the mandate to fight income inequality and corporatocracy, then you really should go back to grad school and take up finance. You’ll find a more congenial home among the venture capitalists.

    • Freddie deBoer
      Jan 5

      When did you become such an inveterate hippy puncher? Like, I don’t remember you being part of the relentlessly left-hating neoliberal set, and then one day, you were Jon Chait. I don’t get it.

    • Mike Upchurch
      Jan 5

      “There exists a surprising left-right consensus that white workers have been “left behind” by the economy and the Democratic Party, even as people of color continue to make advances.”

      Based on what? I haven’t seen or heard any substantial commentary from the left implying that people of color have disproportionately benefited from Clintonism. Or from ANYTHING.

    • John Albertman
      Jan 5

      “the first Democratic president elected after the Cold War,”

      Wasn’t he the first president, period, to be elected after the Cold War? And weren’t Dems ascendent in the legislative branch, as well as in most statehouses, all throughout the Reagan-Bush era?

      It’s also pretty remarkable how the degradations caused by Clintonism, such as welfare reform and the rise of the prison-industrial complex, go unmentioned here.

    • Christopher S. Freeman
      Jan 5

      You are wasting your time speaking of white nationalists as if they are resurgent or making a comeback, or even that their complaints matter to anyone outside of their whiny little bubbles. Their champion only won as many total votes as Mitt Romney, and if not for the nightmare that is Hillary Clinton, Trump would have been sounded defeated and sent back to his TV shows.

      This white nationalist crowd is pitching a fit now because they know that their day in the sun is quickly approaching its end, that demographics aren’t playing out in their favor, substance abuse is decimating their communities and depression and alcoholism devastating what is left.

      No one fears Donald Trump or his followers, a group of ideological misfits who lost a war here in the US in the 1860’s and lost another global one in the 1940’s. These losers will always be losers, so why even write about them?

    • John M Coolidge Jr.
      3 days ago

      The “center” gave us Bill Clinton, and the explosion of the prison population, as his only possible response to critics who claimed that he would somehow prove to be “soft on crime”…which is dogwhistle for suggesting that black people will be out of control.

      Bill Clinton’s policies orchestrated the further destruction of the black middle-class and entire black communities. He oversaw the rise of militarization of policing, mandatory minimums, including 100 to 1 crack sentencing- which is so unapologetically racist, he should be prosecuted for hate crimes.

      He unleashed private prisons, and we saw the adoption of 80%, 90%..and some with even 100% full-to-capacity contracts with the states. In just his first four years, Bill Clinton oversaw the largest rise in prison populations in America of ANY President in U.S. history. Over 70% of which was non-violent, drug related imprisonment of poor people, mentally ill people, homeless people..and Black people.

      He also dismantled Glass-Steagall, as a response to the “Right”, which is always claiming that regulation and oversight limit their ability to piss on the heads of Americans, and call it “trickle down economics”. This is what gave us the eventual “subprime bubble”.

      Bill Clinton used NAFTA/GATT to ship countless jobs offshore..then snuk them back in as prison labor, so Wall Street could engage in 13th Amendment legal slavery, and put “Made In America” back on its products.
      All of this- plus turning a blind eye to Haiti, after actively destabilizing its government, and interfering in their Presidential elections… destabilizing Rwanda, creating a genocide and then standing back and watching..claiming that his hands were tied.

      Bill Clinton also dismantled the Caribbean banana business, which destroyed many of those economies, all for political gain. I’m saying all of this to point out the tendency towards political “overcorrection”, between the Left, and Right…which leaves blacks and the poor as the “Center”.

      The middle of the road is where you’re most likely to get run over.

      Bottom line, Left, Center or Right- its all white nationalism.

    • Silliness, as always.

      The very category of ‘whiteness’ was built on immense multicultural diversity within Britain, mainland Europe, and the colonies. Over the centuries, so-called whites have included hundreds of different cultures, languages, traditions, political traditions, etc. They’ve even included a divergent set of genetics, although the genetics and the diversity was increasingly mixed together over time, specifically as imperialism took over.

      The notion of whiteness only became useful propaganda for immense empires trying to dominate the minds of subjugated European ethnic tribes and populations. It was white supremacists who oddly destroyed the very multicultural diversity of ‘whites’, by harassing and terrorizing ethnic minorities and by outlawing (or severely restricting) languages and religions.

    • Voters like him didn’t fit the mainstream narrative. The problem is most of the population and most of reality doesn’t fit almost any mainstream narrative. If they did fit, then the narratives wouldn’t be necessary.

  34. This little blurb from 538 is very telling : Trump is projected to win Iowa, which is no surprise — our forecast had him as a nearly 70 percent favorite to win the state. But perhaps it should have been a surprise. Iowa has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and an economy that is strong by most measures. So it might be surprising that Iowans are so eager for a change.
    Last year, I visited Davenport, Iowa, to try to learn why voters there were so pessimistic despite data showing economic growth — what I dubbed the “Iowa paradox.” Some people I met flat-out didn’t believe the data and suspected meddling by the Obama administration.

    It really looks like this all came down to hatred of Clinton.
    If you look at the more progressive things on the ballot, raising the minimum wage, legal marijuana (recreational or medical), and legalized assisted suicide all mostly passed. But then we have a Trump presidency. This is going to be a very interesting 4 years.

    • There was no doubt many Iowans, as there were many people all across the country and all across the demographics, who disliked or even despised Clinton. But it takes local knowledge to understand what happens at a local level. There are a number of factors and issues that are important.

      First of all, most Iowans live in highly concentrated urban areas and most of the bigger cities are in Eastern Iowa, close to the Mississippi River. This includes liberal cities like I live in and the old factory towns that used the river for transportation. But most of Iowa is rural. Most counties are rural. And even in counties like I live in, very little of it is urban. Farmland is everywhere. And small dying towns are everywhere.

      Of course, liberal cities went to the Democrats, which had little to do with Clinton. These are simply the hotbeds of Democratic partisanship. But the old factory towns are hotebds of organized labor, the strongest and oldest support of the Democratic Party. Those working class whites are the party base. The problem is that Democrats have been losing their base. An election can’t be won by the small numbers in the liberal class, no matter how loyal are those liberals.

      Even many of the relatively smaller towns used to be factory towns. They often don’t seem like much today, after so much of the population has left. But even just a few decades ago, these were booming local economies and thriving communities. And most importantly they were highly unionized and Democratic voting.

      Charles Murray grew up in such a town (Newton, IA) where a Maytag factory was located until it was relocated to Mexico. Now that town and many like it have high rates of unemployment and poverty. It’s true Iowans aren’t as bad off as people in other states. But the economy hasn’t been kind to the working poor anywhere in the country. Besides, unemployment data is inaccurate since the permanently unemployed are excluded from the data. And you better believe there are a lot of permanently unemployed people these days.

      Yes, many Iowans don’t believe the “Iowa paradox.” They have good reason not to believe it. Such a theory doesn’t match their experience of reality on the ground. When you are permanently unemployed and excluded from the unemployment data, you start to question the validity of the data. People don’t like having their entire existence excluded as if they don’t exist and don’t matter.

      It really is quite simple. It’s the economy, stupid! Iowans would have gladly helped to elect Sanders to the presidency. But the Democratic establishment didn’t give them that choice. Given the choice they were given, between two evils, they apparently decided that Clinton was the greater evil to be prevented.

      https://newrepublic.com/article/100450/charles-murray-maytag-man

  35. Back in the day she was a lot more real, and she got crucified for it. Remember “I could have stayed home and baked cookies”? That was her being real, and she got raked over the coals for that. As far as I can tell that was the last time she ever let her true self show in public.
    She should have realized that the modern electorate craves authenticity in a way that the 90s electorate didn’t, though I’m not sure if she’s even capable of it anymore. It’s been too long.

    • I’m not sure why that earlier statement is somehow more real. It might be a true statement. But I’m sure she still says things in public that are true. Even the most egregious liars speak truth on occasion.

      That doesn’t seem like the issue. It’s the political corruption and game-playing that has been part of the lives of the Clintons for decades. So, that isn’t exactly a new characteristic she developed over the recent campaign season.

      Even if she actually used to be more authentic, it still would be irrelevant. There is no way for her to be authentic about her deceptiveness and duplicity, which seems to be what she is about.

      The problem as a professional politician is that she isn’t as talented as her husband in pretending to be authentic. But that kind of talent can’t be learned. A politician either has the charisma and charm or not.

  36. “When I left xxxxxxxxx, I gained the perspective that for all its supposed liberalism, it was actually very culturally conservative. Not in the Bible-belt sense, but in its intolerance towards anyone who didn’t fit into one of the acceptable categories.

    • “I think that young people have to stop blaming your school or yourselves for not doing enough because I think when someone is mentally ill they are not in a place that is reachable.”

      That misses the point. I’m sure there is plenty looking for blame. But the issue is taking responsibility for what we can change. The mentally ill are reachable, if you live in a society cares even slightly about reaching them. We just so happen not to live in such a society. We don’t have the education about mental illness, the public funding for mental healthcare, the access to resources, etc. We don’t do what is done by more well functioning social democracies.

      “I was unlucky, because my son had a serious mental illness that I didn’t cause, and he didn’t cause and society didn’t cause. It just came, out of no where, like a sly darkness.”

      Society contributes massively. We Americans are so fucking ignorant. Massive amount of research shows the immense effect that larger conditions have on individuals, families, and communities. For example, high economic inequality is correlated with higher rates of mental illness. Yet we have growing economic inequality and we consider it normal.

    • If Comey had did his job, Clinton might be in prison already. Among many intentional acts of failed justice, Clinton and other witnesses weren’t put under oath. So, Clinton was allowed to lie freely. And even when she was caught lying, she couldn’t be charged because she wasn’t put under oath.

    • Trump is full of shit. He isn’t a real Republican or a real anything. He is a showman.

      But he knows how to play a role. And he is presently playing the role of a right-wing Republican. He won the election by pushing to its inevitable conclusion everything the GOP has been moving toward for decades.

      It’s irrelevant what Trump is. What matters is that he is giving voice to what the GOP is. He is making absolutely clear what the GOP has always stood for.

    • The article is one of those idiotic, ignorant puff pieces. It doesn’t really say anything. It’s not even trying to make a rational argument. It’s just some pseudo-journalist hack who has to put out a piece resembling journalism every so often in order to keep her job. I’m sure she purposely combed through thousands of possible quotes to find the ones most stupid sounding.

      So, we don’t need to deal with the problems of unemployment, underemployment, poverty, inequality, deindustrialization, neoliberal globalization, etc. Just make it a gender issue. How fucking clueless.

      There are more Americans looking for jobs than there are jobs available. And that doesn’t even include the permanently unemployed who gave up looking for jobs. If more men went into pink collar jobs, that would simply increase women’s unemployment. The unemployment rate between men and women is about the same. How does shifting workers around into different jobs in any way solve the problem of unemployment which is a simple lack of jobs?

      Could you imagine if FDR had tried to solve the Great Depression by telling all the desperately unemployed men to quit complaining and do women’s work? If all the unemployed men during the Great Depression did women’s work, then there would have been no jobs left for women. I’m all for gender equality and equity, but large-scale economic problems that are hitting hard both genders aren’t going to be solved by demographic analysis of corporate media mouthpieces who are disconnected from the lived reality of most Americans.

      Besides, the only reason that some work is considered women’s work is because it is paid less. In countries where certain kinds of work get higher pay (e.g., teachers), there is more men in those fields. People work where they can make a living. If there was a surplus of pink collar jobs that paid well and had good benefits, men would be flooding into those jobs.

      Nursing is some of the hardest work in the world and nurses are overworked, regularly working double shifts and no weekends. I’ve talked to nurses and they admit their jobs are horrible and getting worse. Some hospitals are understaffed not because there aren’t enough nurses but because they won’t hire more nurses because that would cost more money. But if for example we allowed import of cheaper drugs and such, we could drop hospital costs by massive amounts and they’d be able to afford to hire more nurses and to pay more the nurses they already have.

      Let’s be honest with ourselves. Most women don’t work pink-collar jobs either. There are more women than men working crappy, low-paying entry level jobs. What is keeping all those poor women from becoming nurses or whatever? Maybe because economic mobility is so low in the US, compared to other Western countries. It’s difficult and expensive going back to school. And not everyone has the capacity to do so. It used to be that, if you were willing to work hard, then you were almost guaranteed a job — high IQ or low IQ, educated or uneducated, professional training or not.

      How about this. Why don’t we pay every citizen a living wage and ensure even the unemployed have a basic income to survive on? Why don’t we make education and professional training available to every citizen at no cost to the individual? Why does everything have to be a desperate competition where one group can only get ahead by another group being left behind? Other countries manage to solve their unemployment problems without having the corporate media write puff pieces scapegoating the unemployed.

      • It’s interesting how a lot of liberal sympathy goes out the window when the suffering person isn’t part of a trendy group to care about. Now suddenly liberals are bootstrappers lol

        Then again hypocrisy is a fact of life. Plenty of people who tell others to bootstrap wouldn’t feel that way if same shit happened to them or someone they cared about

        • The liberal class in the US has always been the lapdog of capitalists. The harshest criticisms of Marxism, communism, anarchosyndicalism, and such always came from professional liberals.

          We live in a corporatist system that is relatively liberal in social terms and the wealthier you are the more socially liberal freedoms you have. This is why even economic conservatives are often fine with pro-choice, marriage equality, etc.

          Just as long as it doesn’t harm their privilege, wealth, social position, and political influence. The wealthy in the US are even fairly supportive of a basic social safety net, as they don’t really want to deal with the problems. But they only support the social safety net to the degree they think it will prevent a social uprising and a political revolution.

          Sweep it all under the rug. Let later generations deal with it. The problem is that we are those later generations that earlier generations shoved their problems onto. We were born into these externalized costs. There is no where else for these problems to be externalized now.

          The buck stops here, for the simple reason that we’ve hit a brick wall. Pushing down on the accelerator won’t make the car regain its momentum.

          • There is a fair volume of literature from political economy that shows homogeneous societies are better able to provide public goods and social goods. Practically speaking, this means that they’re typically better able to fund things like education, healthcare, social safety nets (welfare) and public broadcasting. The logic here is that with ethnic or cultural heterogeneity typically overlaps with economic cleavages. You end up with the better off group feeling they’re subsidizing “other people”; i.e., their ‘national healthcare’ covers people who they don’t fully feel to be part of their nation. This inspires them to oppose such policies. In the US, for example, some whites feel that public healthcare, education, and welfare resources are disproportionately used by people whom they don’t consider to be fully American.
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          • There is an even larger literature from diverse fields that show it’s more complicated than that. Many of the most developed countries in the world have both more diversity and more social services than most other countries in the world. On average, basic social services and a social safety net are less likely to be found in the most homogeneous societies, as many of them are highly authoritarian. But in the Nordic countries, even highly diverse areas of the country do better and so there is something more going on.

            That also misses the point that what we now perceive as homogeneous was once diversity that required at least centuries of assimilation to create. The difference is that older societies have been mixing it up for a lot longer. England, has a couple millennia of near constant mixing of separate people with separate cultures, languages, religions, and political traditions. This led it to becoming an empire. Yet it is a well functioning social democracy with few countries in the world with more social services and a stronger social safety net.

  37. Btw while sjws are idiots I find that “anti-sjws” like Claire Lehman are too. Anti-sjws aren’t the “fair truth seekers” they think they are and a lot of them seem motivated not to change things for the better but to justify any current unfairnesses and aren’t particularly insightful either. They seem more about sticking it to sjws than the “truth and fairness” they claim and they aren’t as open and fair as they think

    • There are certain areas of debate that don’t attract the most brilliant minds, on either side of the debate. The most brilliant minds look at such debates and realize their time would be better spent elsewhere.

    • I always look at the details. And put them in context.

      Most Americans didn’t vote, considering that only about half of eligible voters registered and only about half of registered voters actually voted. Most white people neither voted for Trump nor voted against Clinton. They simply didn’t vote. Also, consider who supported the candidates. Early on, the average Trump supporter was basically lower middle class, slightly wealthier than the average American. These weren’t poor whites. I doubt many poor whites voted this election or, for that matter, vote in any election. It’s as if lower class whites don’t exist. Lower class whites are the single largest demographic among the poor, welfare recipients, the homeless, the arrested, police brutality victims, the prison population, US soldiers fighting on the frontlines, etc. Sure, there is still racial bias and this leads to disproportionate results. But the fact of the matter is the poor and disenfranchised white population is larger than the poor and disenfranchised black population or poor and disenfranchised non-white Hispanic population.

      It’s like saying that the world is a better place because there are disproportionately fewer slaves in the world than there were in the early 1800s. But that is only because there are more people in the world today. So, in terms of raw numbers, there are more slaves now than ever before in history. Plus, there are more blacks in US prisons than there were blacks in slavery before the Civil War. If you are poor white or an imprisoned black, talking about proportionate analysis of data doesn’t comfort you even in the slightest. Whether or not there is a whitelash, it doesn’t change anything. These problems have been around for generations and, in many cases, worsening for decades. The progressive vision did have real impact and there were moral victories in recent political history, but not everyone benefited equally and large numbers didn’t benefit at all.

      It’s hard to make sense of what a Trump presidency means. He was the most unpopular candidate in recorded history. He was even unpopular among most whites. Trump is hardly the representative and leader of all white people or even most white people. He is just a rich asshole and everyone knows it. The point is that Trump didn’t win the election. Clinton lost and everything that happens from here on out is entirely the fault of Democratic partisans and the Democratic establishment. I don’t think calling it a whitelash is helpful. That assumes that our present situation is what most white people want. But this has little to do with the general public, white and otherwise. What we are experiencing is a total failure of democracy, what little democracy we ever had. If whites must be blamed, I’d blame the majority white liberal class and the majority white establishment. They threw a tantrum in threatening that they either were to get their way or we would be punished with a Trump presidency. So, that is how we got here.

      I’d also not let minorities off the hook. Poor minorities have as much or more to fear from middle-to-upper class minorities. It was economically privileged blacks, along with older blacks who grew up at a time of greater economic mobility, who supported the tough-on-crime laws that targeted poor young minorities and decimated minority communities. Then it turns out that the very reason that violent crime had grown was because these kids had been poisoned with lead toxicity. The young generation of minorities were victimized in multiple ways and often with the complicity of many minorities. Many of these same minorities were strong supporters of the Clinton New Democrats that was built on dog whistle politics to solidify the white vote. If MLK was here, the first thing he’d do is chastise black leaders for their failure and complicity.

      All of this sets the stage for where we are now. There is plenty of blame to go around. The amazing thing about the American society is how class politics is used to maintain the racial order, even getting many minorities to cooperate in oppressing other minorities along with oppressing poor whites. Everyone higher up the economic ladder gets to fuck over those below. Why isn’t anyone talking about the backlash of young and poor whites, minorities, and women who supported Sanders? That was a much larger backlash that was actively suppressed by those now complaining about a whitelash. The arrogant dismissal of most Americans pisses me off. They have no fucking idea about how bad a backlash can get, but they will find out one day.

  38. Perhaps most importantly is the sociological implications for understanding ethnic/race relations in the context of American history: there is a tendency for minorities to be punished in times of economic, political and/or geopolitical crises. Times of social and sytemic stability, however, tend to mute whatever underlying tensions exist between different groups. In times of societal crisis—whether perceived or real—patterns or retractability of American identities have erupted to the forefront of America’s political landscape, often generating institutional and civil society backlash against workers from other nations

    • There is a tendency for all of those on the bottom of society to be punished in times of crises. That goes for racial minorities, non-European ethnics, immigrants, non-Christians, and poor whites. See how poor whites right now are getting blamed for Trump and for everything that is going wrong, even though the vast majority of poor whites didn’t vote at all and have been victimized by the same worsening conditions that have been victimizing others.

      Everyone has their preferred scapegoat. And the various targeted groups are incited to attack each other to make sure their group won’t be on the bottom. This is how identity politics is used as social control. All the disadvantaged groups are turned against one another. Meanwhile, those in power refuse any responsibility and continue to reap the benefits.

    • A professor and a student disagreeing. How is that political winds shifting? Back in early America, when professors and students disagreed, a fight broke out and sometimes led to violence.

      Ask Jefferson all about it, as it happened at the university he founded, University of Virginia. A professor, as I recall, was beat up. In a later incident, it led to a professor being murdered.

      Bickering on social media is not equivalent to political winds shifting. Even that violence in early America came decades after revolution, not before it. The only political winds that shifted was a demand for the end of the violence and a demand for greater social order.

      Some people need to put things in perspective.

      http://backstoryradio.org/2014/10/08/riots-and-religion-at-mr-jeffersons-university/

  39. Hmmm thats interesting. So the trump situation(and here in the U.K. Brexit) is not a sudden swell of support for right wing ideals but rather a situation that has always existed hidden under the skin of society suddenly coming out in the open and therefore can now be tackled head on?
    That’s a much more hopeful world view than the one I have been working under

  40. On young white men being lured to alt right

    I have long shared the author’s dark impulse to read awful corners of the internet, so I’ve known about this for a long time. I would consider this phenomenon similar to the radicalization of Islamic terrorists — an awful ideology that is right out there, ready to be picked up by entitled and frustrated young men, giving them someone to blame and something to focus on. Unfortunately I don’t know where you even start to combat this. Like the author says, poor, disenfranchised white people are an easy target for racist ideologies too, but these guys here seem to be mostly middle class.

    That’s the thing, they are just hardly squeezing into that term. Even if they are middle class purely based on a relative definition, they still do not have the ideal middle class life they thought they would (a white wife with 2 kids, a dog and a big house away from ethnic minorities).
    They don’t have the stability associated with middle-class life, so they are inherently drawn to more radical ideology. It’s pretty much the same thing as poor whites except they’re a bit more technologically capable since they’re all computer nerds and can therefore get IT jobs.

    It also bears resemblance to young Muslim men in the West who get sucked into radical Islam. No gainful employment, no wife, no kids, no future. And they have an additional layer of alienation from their ethnic culture and the Western culture in which they live.
    The neoliberals are reaping what they’ve sown in miring everyone, not just women and minorities, in financial instability and wage stagnation.

    Exactly, when people say I don’t know what the solution is, I’m a little baffled. It seems fairly obvious. Give people a job that adds value to their lives and an ability to take care of their families and a lot of these reactions lessen. But people then always say, ‘globalization! nothing can be done.’ and walk away with their hands in the air.
    Well more and more of the wealth in the western world is going to the top 1% and the bounty from increased productivity is not actually going to the people whose productivity has actually increased.
    Until the increasing wealth inequality in the world is addressed, none of these radicalisation issues will ever lessen. Its all rather maddening.

    • The two eras of radicalized right-wing terrorism among whites in US history came during economically troubled times. People forget the decades of violence that came at the beginning and end of the twentieth century. Consider the several decades of regular violence by anti-abortion terrorists who beat up, kidnapped, and murdered people and who committed bombings, arson, and other acts of violence. They were mostly active when I was younger, but strangely few seem to remember them as terrorists. The point is that was an era of severe economic change with increasing neoliberalism, globalization, breaking of unions, deindustrialization, offshoring, stagnating and declining wages, decreasing economic mobility, etc. It was a time of great frustration and there were those, typically Christian fundies, who used it to radicalize people.

  41. Not that tribalism doesn’t exist on its own, but sometimes it can seem like the reactionary stuff and radicalization is helped by economic and future uncertainly, certainly. As in those push people to radicalize who otherwise wouldn’t. Otherwise tensions are more likely to be dormant, but are they still there?

    Would Donald trump be president is the 2008 crash never happened?

    • Those in power understand this. There is a natural alliance between radicals and authoritarians because they feed into each other. Some people purposely create bad conditions knowing that it makes populations more easily manipulated by fear, propaganda, and other social control methods. It’s not an accident that those who push the policies making economic conditions worse are also those pushing for more police, prisons, military, and surveillance. But if they push too far, they can lose control.

  42. yes…i’ve been thinking this for a while…every time period, we go through liberal periods and conservative periods. Always..I feel like we’re well on our way to entering a very ugly Conservative one, laden with racism, xenophobia, sexism, fascism, ultra-nationalism etc…pair this with issues that will come from climate change and the future looks bleak.

    “I think that the actual reason for the rise of the ‘alt right’ are much more broad, complex and motivated by material concerns in the US and others in Europe, but they combined with other things to produce it.
    There are genuine ideological themes that alienate boys from liberal social justice identity, and internet social justice critical theory inspired ‘privelage’ understanding of society and the tendency of online media/communities to popularise clickbait and outrage opinion pieces has exacerbated this.
    How can that understanding of the world prosper and compete with the ‘alt right’ one that treats the (sometimes very real) troubles and concerns of young white men (and some women) as super legitimate and proports to explain their troubles through further deamonisation of the people they feel are attacking them.
    The scandals and dramas in male centric internet culture seem to have a lot of influance on how thie disgruntlement is expressed. Gamergate was one of the things that ‘made’ brietbard media. It was both a big audience recruiter and it allowed them to finely hone their editorial line to appeal to the new audience they got by being almost the only prominant media organisation to not vilify them or call some section of computer game fans names, it also made some of their ‘stars’ like the Yannopopolous guy who didn’t care about games before it.
    Previous to it was a long running theme of clickbait social justice articles calling x, y and z part of the culture (or some stuff people like) sexist, racist, etc and doing this in a very un productive way. This seems to have created a mitosis effect and basically made a constituancy who hated that social justice part of the community and were involved in the scandal later on. It also seems like it’s been repeated in various other parts of male-centric culture. The lack of diverse opinion or acknowedgement of their position (imo) in the media pushed that audience, some of whom are young and forming their identity, onto sites like brietbart and other ‘alt right’ platforms and forums. Here they see their ‘side’ and their troubles treated as sacrosanct (rather than dismissed) and linked to a wider identity involving racial and other reactionary elements who are fighting against the people who’ve shown them no respect etc. I think that this becomes part of their identity for some in the same way that there is a sort of left/liberal social justice identity.
    I don’t know how to resolve this really. What seems to be being implied in this article is that the liberal establishment media should ‘go harder’ against these people and deamonise them further, but I think that basically only plays into their hands as they thrive off of the ingroup/outgroup relationship. They might not be the majority but they are quite commited. Maybe they can hope that Trump betrays this constituancy in favor of others and the ‘alt right’ becomes unpopular with him, but to really fight it you need to acknowledge the problems of these people and that doesn’t really seem like it’s going to happen in the relm of the internet ‘culture wars’.

    • What the liberal class fears most of all is that the fact that they’d have to do something to make the world a better place for others, not just themselves, instead of scapegoating those harmed and negatively effected.

  43. I think it is very interesting that young, sexually frustrated Muslim men have been prone to mass radicalisation as well, with devastating consequences. If white communities were subject to colonisation and had their countries bombed and devastated by foreign interests it is possible white men would form terrorist organisations too. When Muslim men in the West get radicalised, people tend to put the blame on Islam or the Koran. But the process of radicalisation is obviously linked to self-interested ideologues offering simple solutions to angry, frustrated men and harnessing that influence for political purposes. We can observe similarities in the way jihadi groups and Stormfront recruits and grooms marginalised men, and in the way manosphere groups like TRP and PUA courts young men with the aim of turning them into followers and customers.
    I just hope people understand how easy it is for young adults to fall prey to radicalisation and tackle that head on, instead of blaming those who are radicalised. It is really important to educate children and teenagers not to drink the bitter koolaid of hate in this digital day and age.

    • It isn’t just possible. There is a history demonstrating this. Europe was built through centuries of internal imperialism, colonization, and radicalization. Look at the centuries of radicalization and organized violence in northern Ireland colonized by England.

  44. That’s why millennial minoritiy wanted Sanders

    Heard something interesting from an older black woman irl. Her logic was basically that, well, as a black woman, she has a lot to lose if Trump or someone gets in. Essentially, she was risk averse, and thought Hillary was more electable. It wasn’t like people didn’t ;like Sanders, but that they thought they didn’t want to risk Trump and thought Hillary was more “safe”

    It also discounts the effect that the media had on Sander’s campaign with the lack of exposure in the first few months to their intentional bias in Hillary’s favor of reporting superdelegate commitments as set in stone votes for Hillary the entire way which, in many ways, was the biggest factor in Hillary’s winning the nomination than any disagreements with Sander’s platform/proposals.

    https://np.reddit.com/r/altright/comments/5dfwra/bernie_didnt_just_lose_because_the_dnc_rigged_the/

    • They only believed Clinton was more safe because that is what the corporate and Clinton-aligned media kept telling them. It’s unsurprising people believe anything, even propaganda, when repeated often enough. But that doesn’t excuse people from allowing themselves to be so easily manipulated just so that they won’t feel uncomfortable in breaking free from enforced ignorance in order to think for themselves.

    • Some of those people need serious psychiatric intervention and medication. They are obviously very unhappy people with many personal issues. Projecting those personal issues onto a racial ideology isn’t likely to make them or anyone else happier. They are miserable people bound and determined to make everyone miserable around them. I would call it pathetic, but it’s just plain sad.

      • I’m not alt right, but… I’m not racist, but… I’m not anything bad that other people might judge me about, but… This is one of the unacknowledged forms of political correctness. People don’t want to sound bad, even when they are saying things that they know sound bad. It doesn’t stop them from saying it.

    • The problem with many people like this is that they lack historical knowledge and so they lack historical perspective. Nation states and ethno-nationalism are recent inventions. They aren’t separate from imperialism for they are the result of imperialism. Not that many centuries ago, there was no singular ethnic identity of Germans, French, British, etc. It required a long history of imperial enforcement to destroy the differences in order to create what we now perceive as homogoneity.

      Europe used to be tribal. Few people in the modern world seem to understand tribalism. Look at some of the tribes in places like Africa or the Amazon. Tribes that have lived in proximity for hundreds or maybe thousands of years often have separate cultures, languages, religions, and even genetics. That is what early European tribalism would have been like. Each Germanic tribe was a separate people and they were spread out across Northern Europe. They constantly fought one another and didn’t not see each other as being the same.

    • One of my favorite authors. He was a rare breed. It’s too bad he isn’t still alive to be writing about the present. There are a number of writers I’d like to resurrect from the dead because we need some powerful voices right now who could cut through the bullshit.

  45. “I had a professor in college who taught a class on diversity. He talked about how multiculturalism can work and can even be beneficial BUT it wont’ happen on its own. People need training to counter their instincts and learn how to listen to each other. Now why do Asian immigrants hope for successful assimilation of their kids but do NOTHING to help it along? It is because the tales of assimilation, of the ease by which the immigrant becomes “just another American” was cemented in America’s earlier years, before 1965, when the majority of ‘immigrants’ were actually other white people. Where fitting in only meant working on your accent, wearing different clothes, and Anglicizing your name. No wonder everyone thinks it’s so easy, you just cut old allegiances, be American, stop being hyphenated, and your set.”

    • You know my perspective. Many European immigrants clearly looked different. Many of them had dark skin, dark hair, and dark eyes (southern border Germans, French, Italians, Spanish, etc). They most definitely did not look like northern Germans, Scandinavians, or British. Prejudice between those groups lasted from the early colonies in the 1600s into the early 1900s. It was an extremely slow process of assimilation, but they had the advantage of starting the assimilation process so much earlier than later immigrant groups.

  46. I was thinking about how if you look at the people who radicaliE into isis and such, it’s never the immigrants or refugees but their kids. The ones who grow up in the west but feel alienated from it

    “The American system saves and supports the Asian immigrant every step of the way. The university system is very immigrant friendly. Some, like my father, even get scholarships. After that, the system is there to give them a job and American culture bends over backwards to support the ‘man with the accent’ given our history as a country with immigrants.
    His social needs are met by clustering w/other Asian immigrants, but his other core needs are all catered to by the American System. The System also lauds him as a “true hero” in the Horatio Alger theme of a man who ‘beat the odds’ as an immigrant to the new land; he is further flattered with his own ‘hero’ status and makes a point of mentioning his ‘sacrifice’ constantly whereas, as mentioned, the System supported him thoroughly.
    Meanwhile, the System makes no allowances for the ‘American’ who looks different but is attempting to be accepted by the mainstream (and doesn’t get special allowances because they aren’t ‘foreign’). Our standard and expectation was to be accepted by the mainstream (our parents should never have encouraged that to be our standard; knowing the disappointment non-whites face when they do this). The System trivializes his problems. His lack of “belonging”; the respect that is denied him because of his face. The social exclusion and things that cannot be measured. The System does not care about the 2nd gen or 1.5 gen; it does not recognize his suffering and neither too do his parents. After all, if that Country thinks the 1st gen is a hero and one is flattered by that, that same person would “listen” to the Country and its society again when it says “there are no problems facing their children”. We give importance to people that flatter us and mainstream America flatters Asian immigrants.
    The social suffering of the 2nd gen is an “inconvenient truth” that impinges on the ‘immigrant minority hero’ status felt by the 1st gen. What’s worst is that while the System accomodates the immigrant, it doesn’t the problems of the 2nd gen, and therefore even more so the 1st gen being adults and in a position to help ought to take steps to assist the next gen because American society will not. But they are too bound up by a heroic self-perception and willful ignorance towards the next-gen; it is the arrogance and ignorance that thrive on the same tree that causes them to abandon their children to social consequences of being an Asian growing up in the West.”

    • It’s relative. Compared to other countries, the US has surprisingly low rates of immigrant violence, whether of the first or second generation. You are more likely to be harmed by a white American whose family has been here for centuries than by an Islamic immigrant.

      This is because, besides Latin Americans, most immigrants to the US are above average in wealth and education. They come to the US with more advantages than the average American. We aren’t getting massive numbers of refugees, as is happening in Europe.

      Also, the US doesn’t have as much segregation these days and so immigrants are more spread out among the general population. Back in the early 1900s when there were more ethnic enclaves for immigrants to move to, there was also vastly higher rates of violence among those populations.

    • Endless ignorance. If white supremacists want their own country, they should go back to the countries they or their ancestors came from. It’s that simple. The US is and always has been diverse. That is the nature of a country that was built on the colonialism of multiple empires on a continent that already had established societies. For those who don’t like diversity, they are in the wrong country and they should get the fuck out, posthaste!

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