Tales of white male resentment…
Posted May 18, 2016on:
Happy Wednesday Widdershins. If I might, please excuse me for a moment.
Thanks for your patience. I needed to do my happy dance because against all odds, our gal Hillary won the great Commonwealth of Kentucky yesterday. It was a squeaker, but in a 90% white state known for digging black rock out of the ground, voting for someone with a plan proved to make good sense.
The naysayers, as naysayers do, said Hillary outspent BerningBum and campaigned furiously. Truth is: Hillary spent a paltry $70,000 more than BerningBum and spent one extra day campaigning. Hillary bested the Sand Crab because she won Jefferson County, the state’s largest county containing Louisville, which just happens to look like the Democratic Party. That is why she won.
I’ve said this before, Trump and Sanders are the flip sides of the same coin. They represent resentment and fear and, most importantly, anger. If white male grievance were an ocean wave, Sanders represents those seeking to attain status on the front side while Trump represents those who have lost status on the waning side. For either side of the resentment/grievance wave, the emotional response is anger.
It’s the tale of white male resentment. It has been the premier organizing philosophy of the Republican Party for the past thirty years. It is new to the progressive movement and that is disturbing. Progressives have always championed solutions. Progressives have known the inherent energy in positivity. Now a significant portion of people claiming to be progressives have turned to the dark side of grievance, resentment, and negativity.
These Sanders-come-lately people aren’t really progressives – they are Independents who have scurried through an opening to rage against the Democratic Party courtesy of a fly-by-night Socialist – a Socialist whose pedigree is long on outrage and miserably short on accomplishment. This rage is predicated on punishing the Democratic Party and Hillary for some imaginary wrong committed by a system in which they have chosen to play no part.
As Fredster’s excellent post on Monday demonstrated, the weekend events in Nevada were reprehensible. Threatening volunteer officials, their families, and even their grandchildren is beyond the pale. Throwing chairs, charging the stage, and profane disrespect for Sen. Barbara Boxer, who has labored her entire career in the pursuit of Democratic goals, are the actions of feral animals deserving no countenance within the party.
So what does Bernie Sanders do in response? He issues a statement that does not get around to condemning the violence until the tenth sentence in the third paragraph and then qualifies it with, “but, you people were mean to us first and rules suck.”
In his speech Tuesday evening, BerningBum followed up that shamelessness with a challenge to the Democratic Party to do “the right thing” by allowing open primaries and eliminating superdelegates. In other words, allow casual, drop-in-at-their-pleasure Independents to decide Democratic primaries. As for superdelegates, does anyone with half a brain think a governor, senator, or other elected official wouldn’t be elected to attend the convention? Superdelegates make it possible for 700 regular citizens to have a place in the party apparatus as well as thwarting another improvident 1972 McGovern massacre from occurring.
The negativism of white male resentment isn’t profound. Being negative is easy. It takes no thought, it takes no facts — it is opinion clad in anger and grievance. Being optimistic is a characteristic of striving for higher actualization. For instance, here’s an excellent article about things you won’t hear from Drumpf or BerningBum:
Job growth has been strong for five years, with unemployment now below where it was for most of the 1990s, a period some extol as the “good old days.” The American economy is No. 1 by a huge margin, larger than Nos. 2 and 3 (China and Japan) combined. Americans are seven times as productive, per capita, as Chinese citizens. The dollar is the currency the world craves — which means other countries perceive America’s long-term prospects as very good.
Pollution, discrimination, crime and most diseases are in an extended decline; living standards, longevity and education levels continue to rise. The American military is not only the world’s strongest, it is the strongest ever. The United States leads the world in science and engineering, in business innovation, in every aspect of creativity, including the arts. Terrorism is a serious concern, but in the last 15 years, even taking into account Sept. 11, an American is five times more likely to be hit by lightning than to be killed by a terrorist.
Is the middle class in dire straits, as Mr. Sanders contends? Yes, inflation-adjusted middle-class household income peaked in 1998 and has dropped slightly since. But during the same period, federal income taxes on the middle class went down, while benefits went up. Gary Burtless of the Brookings Institution has shown that when lower taxes and higher benefits are factored in, middle-class buying power has risen 36 percent in the current generation.
Is American manufacturing in free fall, as Mr. Sanders and Mr. Trump assert? Figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis show industrial output a tad below an all-time record level, while nearly double the output of the Reagan presidency, another supposed golden age. It’s just that advancing technology allows more manufacturing with fewer workers — a change unrelated to foreign competition.
Being positive, looking for answers, is an indicator of intelligence. It is also a marker of well-being. It used to be dominant within the progressive movement. BerningBum has hampered that. For a good part of my career, I had the great fortune of working with pioneers in the field of positive psychology. Here’s a Ted talk explaining positive psychology and its benefits.
The white male resentment takes little to communicate because it fails to educate. It is a hallmark of both Trump and Sanders for one simple reason: Both men are raging against a system to remake it in their likeness for their own aggrandizement – not to better the lives of others, but to feed their egos. Pretty much the opposite of what a true leader would do. Pretty much the opposite of what Hillary has lived and preached.
When Hillary said it takes a village, she never said, “First, burn it down and then remake it in my image,” as Sanders or Trump would have advised. Hillary said work positively within the system to make the system better. It isn’t as sexy. It isn’t as heady. It isn’t as macho. But it is much more effective and will lead to sustainable growth and well-being. That is the way to write the ending to the tales of white male resentment.
What’s on your mind today?
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