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Donald Trump: Establishment Candidate

Trump And GOP ElephantDonald Trump was our Establishment Candidate.  And on Tuesday night the Establishment won and won yuge.

Wait. How can this be?  Trump relished being the anti-Establishment figure, and his followers and the mainstream media purchased his narrative at full retail price.  And why not?  Here was a candidate running proudly on the credential of having never served his country in public office.  He spoke repeatedly of draining the swamp.  Exit polls revealed that voters who most valued a candidate who “can bring change” preferred Trump over Clinton by a jaw-dropping margin—83 to 14.  What additional evidence could one want to prove our President-elect was an anti-Establishment candidate?  So case closed, right?

Not so fast.

Who has that power?  

Before we fall back on the standard narrative of Trump as the anti-Establishment candidate, we need to take a stab at understanding what we mean by the Establishment.  Clearly this is not an inquiry that lends itself to hard-edged precise answers.  The Establishment surely includes practices and norms—an approved way of doing politics.   And Trump’s way of conducting politics is indeed novel, frighteningly so for many folks.  Trump positively revels in violating unwritten rules of campaigning.  Examples abound.  He threatened to jail his opponent, he claimed preemptively that the voting was rigged, he refused to release his income tax records, and he did not hesitate to publicly ridicule his own party’s leadership.  All pretty much unprecedented in the modern era. Trump does things his own way, and he expects unqualified loyalty.  Pity Paul Ryan, who stood athwart history and … whimpered.  Poor Mr. Ryan may well reap what he half-sowed.

So sure, Trump is shaking up notions of what is acceptable conduct in politics. And insofar the Establishment consists of adherence to unwritten norms, then Trump is downright revolutionary.

But the Establishment isn’t chiefly a process or even a set of institutions.  In the decisive sense the Establishment is a who—it’s the answer to the most fundamental question we ask in political science:  Who rules?

The Establishment is naturally comprised of rulers, but it also includes those acceptable groups from whom rulers may be legitimately drawn as well as those groups willing to defend the privileges conferred upon them by the prevailing order.   Consider a case from our history.  Before the Civil War, only a minority of Southern whites owned slaves. And yet many non-slave owning Southerners fought fiercely in solidarity with their slave-owning fellow citizens (and rulers) to preserve slavery.  Why? Undoubtedly economic reasons were paramount, as the Southern economy was predicated on slave labor.  But it is also true that slavery was an essential institution for whites, especially poor non-slave owning whites, to maintain a crucial favored status in society.  These white folks may have been poor but, by god, they were proud free citizens.  Unlike them.  Remove slavery and the array of discriminatory practices upholding the white Southern way of life, and poor whites risked peering into the mirror and seeing a social doppelganger of a darker hue staring back at them.

For the overwhelming span of our history, including now, who has been our Establishment?  Who are the groups from which rulers were drawn?  Consider the following oppositions and ask which of these groups wield political power.  This is not meant to be a challenging test.  No trick questions.

Male or Female?  White or Minority? Old or Young? Christian or Non-Christian? Straight or LGBTQ?

We know the answers; they are obvious. Now consider the sources of Trump’s support:

Males favored Trump 53 to 41.

Whites favored Trump 58 to 37.

Those over 45 years of age favored Trump 53 to 44.

White evangelical Christians favored Trump 81 to 16.

Straights favored Trump 48 to 47.

This too is familiar territory by now.  But what we have failed to sufficiently recognize is that every ascriptive category associated with the Establishment—our Traditional Establishment–voted for Trump, and when taken together, decisively so.

It’s worth reminding ourselves that Clinton won the popular vote. Clinton’s support, which turned out to be pretty deep despite her loss, came from minorities, from women, from the young, from non-Christians, from the LGBTQ community—that is, it came disproportionately from the historically disempowered.

Historically disempowered.  But not powerless today—and therein lies the key to understanding Trump’s Establishment appeal.  The Traditional Establishment still holds most power, but its grasp is no longer comprehensive, exclusive; its grip is weakening.  As American society rapidly becomes more pluralistic, it is just as surely—but more slowly—forcing the Traditional Establishment to share power with the new kids on the political block.  Tomorrow is not your father’s Establishment.

Thus far we’ve been discussing the Establishment broadly construed, abstractly.  But in a narrower and more concrete sense, the Establishment can be defined as our political parties and our elected rulers.  So perhaps we will find that Trump and his followers pursued anti-Establishment goals when we define the Establishment in this more intuitive and simple manner.  Let’s look at just two simple measures to hack through the thicket.   One is third-party support.  Were Trump and our fellow citizens earnestly seeking a revolution of our political order, either Trump, or the electorate, or both, would have ditched our creaky century-old parties.  Yet despite the presence of fairly high profile third party and independent candidates, the combined support for “alternative” candidates didn’t crack five percent of the total vote.  And astoundingly in light of the hoopla and drama of the primary season, it turned out to be a straight forward, politics as usual, party-driven election.  Never Trumpers be damned, self-described Republicans voted for Trump at 90%, signifying a titch more partisan loyalty than self-described Democrats.

Even more telling:  this was a patently incumbent-friendly election.  And here we seemingly encounter the ultimate puzzle: our alleged anti-Establishment voters turned out to have been pleased as punch with their incumbent rulers.  But this is only a puzzle if we drink the Kool-aid and purchase the standard narrative.  The reality is starkly different and tellingly pro-Establishment.  The GOP picked up two gubernatorial seats.  Republicans remained the majority in the House.   Republicans remained the majority in the Senate.   Any Democratic gains were negligible, effectively meaningless. Gone, however, will be the “change” president, Barack Obama, the putatively Kenyan-born President.  And barred from office (and possibly off to prison) is our first-ever female presidential candidate.  In their stead is a seventy-year old billionaire white male who believes he is entitled to play by his own rules.

The Anti-Establishment emperor is naked as a jay bird.

Nightmare on Meritocracy Street

The Establishment is not merely a random cross sample of ascriptive categories of peoples.  It draws its members from winners competing in America’s increasingly meritocratic society, where education and money serve as keys to the kingdom.  For much of the 20th century, society’s winners voted Republican, the party of champions, while society’s poor and huddled masses voted Democratic.  But in 2016, we witnessed a noteworthy turn.  Tried and true teams have become jumbled.

Indeed Trump’s beautiful electoral wall was built with whites without a college degree.  This portion of the electorate constituted forty-eight percent—basically half—of Trump’s total vote.  In contrast, whites without a college degree constituted a measly twenty percent of Clinton’s support.  These numbers disclose a dramatic and telling reversal of party fortunes.  Not surprisingly, voting preferences among voters in various income brackets shifted as well.  Clinton’s advantage over Trump among voters with incomes of $30,000 or under was a modest 12%, a nearly two-third loss of Democratic advantage from previous elections.

Something dramatic is afoot.

Stripped of its poetry, the American Dream is fundamentally hope for upward mobility, the chance to earn a better life than one’s parents.   Millions of Americans have come to suspect that the American Dream is more dream than reality, and not without reason.  Median incomes have stagnated for a generation.  Rising inequality has stretched the playing field, making it tougher to move up the income brackets.  Once a luxury, a college degree today increasingly feels like a necessity while also becoming a source of crippling debt.   Healthcare premiums are rising quickly and prohibitive for many.  Significant sections of the population are desperately bailing water simply to stay afloat.  Many are sinking, fast.

Poverty has always been wearisome and demanding—and sometimes fatal–but it hasn’t always necessarily resulted in the humiliation or moral degradation of the impoverished.  For long stretches of human history poverty was more or less the human condition for all but the fortunate few.  Poverty reflected the grueling nature of life but it did not automatically confer shame.

That ship has sailed, and what returned to port is taking no prisoners.

In a meritocratic and individualistic society, responsibility for one’s economic position in society is foisted directly on the individual.   Distributing society’s wealth and privileges on merit opens up a path of upward mobility for those who might otherwise be permanently lodged in a caste by birth, but it also removes the consolation that one’s poverty and suffering are result of just dumb luck.   Poverty in a meritocracy is shameful because it suggests a personal lack of merit and value.

All Politics is Tribal

Once upon a time maleness and whiteness inevitably placed American white male on the winning team.  I might not personally enjoy great riches or wield effectual political influence, but my team does.  And there is reassurance, comfort, and pride in that association.  There is nothing mysterious or insidious here.  We are tribal creatures, and we share vicariously in the emotional ups and downs of the fortunes of our tribe or team.  We glow with pride when our Cubbies win (or my beloved Royals in my case), and we chant “USA” with abandon during the Olympics.

We root root root for the home team, and if they don’t win we actually do feel shame.  And this shame and its attendant anger helps explain the Trumpism.  Working class white Americans trying to scratch out a living today face a double loss of jobs and status.  Their economic pain is real.  A dying town is an assemblage of shabby and degrading miseries.  Democrats are finally waking up to the reality that Obamacare’s brutally higher premiums are most burdensome on many of the people the law was designed to help.

Economic anxiety was a significant factor in Trump’s appeal. Full stop.  For many millions of people, economics was the most important factor in their decision to vote Trump, just as economics is always a factor in presidential campaigns.  My argument here is not to suggest that economics was unimportant but rather that it is not the only factor–or even, isolated from other concerns, the most important factor.  Political scientists have long thrown into question the idea of presidential “mandates” precisely because voters vote for a host of reasons, and it’s almost always impossible to locate one policy, or even one concern, as directing the electorate’s vote.

My argument here is that what makes the economic suffering and anxiety of many persons in the white working class all the more galling is that the traditional social hierarchy that once made every man a king of his own castle is dissolving before their eyes.   That doesn’t deny the role of economics in shaping votes.  It amplifies it in a way.  And Clinton’s followers were comparatively tone deaf to this pain.  Many of Clinton’s most self-assured supporters were either beneficiaries of the shifting social order or largely immune to the shift.  Professors such as myself and others in the chattering class live materially comfortable lives while also enjoying the privileges of high status work unthreatened by competition from minorities or immigrants.  What in the world could anyone see in Trump, we wondered.

A chicken in every pot?

And so the political brilliance of Donald Trump at last becomes evident.  Trump reached out to the white working class, but ultimately what Trump offered them was not exclusively, or even principally, economic at root.  Bernie Sanders sought the support of this group by appealing to their wallets.  Donald Trump aimed truer.  He fueled both their economic and social fears while appealing to their pride.  True, he promised in rhetoric a palliative to their economic woes, but basically what he offered them was Donald Trump himself and his brand: winning.

What Trump recognized was that our changing social order and faltering manufacturing base meant that working class whites were not only economically but socially forced to row together in the same boat with the multicolored and multilingual teeming masses also struggling to stay afloat.   The hope and change that Trump offered to the white working class was cloaked in the rhetoric of economics, but under the rhetorical surface of smarter trade deals and beautiful new walls and investment in infrastructure, was the real palliative for the white working class–the promise of absolution and restoration.  Absolution from the shame that necessarily results from failure in a meritocracy.  And restoration to one’s rightful place in a properly ordered social hierarchy.

Trump offered paltry little in substantive economic policy on which the working class could hang its hopes, but he did do something else, something crucial.  He let them know he felt their pain and he let them know that he perfectly understood the root cause of their pain:  Others.  Minorities.  Immigrants.  Foreigners.  And their questionably American President.  Trump’s talk of walls and trade deals and terrorists and law and order all pointed to the threat that those people pose to the economy, to the social hierarchy, and to their very lives.  By locating the cause of their anxiety and troubles in minorities and foreigners, he granted his followers license to bring into the light their darkest suspicions and fears.  To insist on tamping such thoughts down or to deny their obvious truth was to be held captive to the whiney enforcers of political correctness.

In effect, Trump was offering a restoration of the right and true social order, the Traditional Establishment.

Not convinced?  If the sole, or arguably even the fundamental, reason Trump’s supporters embraced him was economic, then voters who held the economy to be the most important issue would have voted predominantly for Trump.   Except they didn’t.   Such economy minded voters favored Clinton 52 to 42.  So what motivated the Trump voters?   Trumps supporters’ chief concerns were immigration and terrorism, in that order.  What connects both of these issues is anxiety about outsiders.

“Make America Great Again” is the most potent political slogan of our time.  Its four words depict a compact but powerful narrative that resonates with disaffected citizens.  Once upon a time America was great.  Then something happened to make America loses its greatness.  But it can be made great again.  How?  By restoring our economy through smarter trade deals, of course, but principally by restoring the social order to its proper and natural hierarchy.   Why did some 81 percent of evangelical voters support Trump? Perhaps because of Trump’s Johnny-Come-Lately pro-life stance.  It’s possible.  There are millions of single-issue voters.  But a subtler and more likely explanation suggests that evangelical Christians are deeply imbued in the doctrine that leadership is inherently a man’s job.  In the home, certainly.  In the pulpit, obviously.  In the workplace, preferably.  And by extension, well, everywhere.  As the ultimate alpha male, Trump fits the picture of the right kind of leader perfectly.  True, he is gross, but his excesses can be excused because at least they err in the right direction.  Fox polls taken immediately before and following the release of Trump’s infamous “grab them by” audio tape revealed that white males without a college degree actually judged Trump’s temperament more favorably in light of the disclosure.  The view of Evangelicals was basically unchanged.   Trump’s problem was basically one of insufficient self-discipline, not a despicable and backwards view of women.  In contrast, Clinton not only openly supports the sexual disordering of souls and of society, but she herself—well, she wears pants.

One suggestive factoid hints at the clout traditional social views continue to hold in shaping voter preferences. Among the tiny group who believed that both candidates were qualified, Trump won three votes for every vote Clinton garnered.  And for the fifteen percent of voters who claimed that neither Trump nor Clinton were qualified, Trump picked up four votes for every Clinton vote.   In effect, when the candidates come across to voters as roughly equally qualified or equally unqualified, Clinton’s political experience meant nil.  What mattered, and what gave Trump the advantage, apparently was a quality he possessed lacking in his female opponent.

Rebuilding a Beautiful Establishment.

In the long run, of course, numbers will prevail, as they always do, and our increasingly diverse population will eventually replace the Traditional Establishment.  How soon that will happen is anyone’s guess. Whether 2016 was the white male’s last gasp or instead an effective counter-offensive in a slow-motion rearguard action is unclear.

But what is clear is that the Establishment–the Traditional Establishment–and the Establishment’s Candidate, Donald Trump, won and won bigly.

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About Michael Bailey
Michael is Associate Professor of Government and International Studies at Berry College in Rome, GA. His academic publications address the American Founding, the American presidency, religion and politics, and governance in liberal democracies. He also writes on popular culture, and his articles on, among other topics, patriotism, Church and State, and Kurt Vonnegut, have been published in Prism and Touchstone. He earned his PhD from the University of Texas in Austin, where he also earned his BA. He’s married and has three children. He joined OTB in November 2016.

Comments

  1. drj says:

    Longtime lurker here.

    I just wanted to let you know I thought this to be a really insightful piece of commentary.

    Thanks.

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  2. Rondo says:

    The last time Democrats were this mad at Republicans was when the Republicans abolished slavery and let black people vote.

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  3. al-Ameda says:

    I see Trump’s election as vaguely analogous to the the election of Andrew Jackson – very retrograde, even by the standards of the times. Jackson had stature as a military hero, and Trump as a reality television star and CEO of many failed enterprises, and a few failed marriages. Each captured the attention of resentful white working men. There’s a strong know-nothing element that affixed itself to both men.

    We’ll see. American are attracted to a “telling it like it is” kind of person, quite often facts do not matter, we love a good con.

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  4. al-Ameda says:

    @Rondo:

    The last time Democrats were this mad at Republicans was when the Republicans abolished slavery and let black people vote.

    And now, actually since 1964, Republicans have wanted nothing to do with Black voters – go figure.

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  5. CSK says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Speaking of telling like it is, I read an interesting article fairly recently that claimed that the reason Trump, and Palin before him, attracted so many devoted acolytes was simply that both talk badly: sentence fragments; incomplete thoughts; rambling, disconnected tangents; poor diction and grammar; and crude or faux-folksy expressions. People, apparently, identify with that and regard it as a sign of authenticity. “He’s just like me! She’s just like me!”

    There’s always been a strain of anti-intellectualism in American life (Hollywood for ages promoted the virtues of the country bumpkin over the city slicker), but it seems to have grown stronger in the past 30 or so years. Talk radio may be responsible for part of it; Rush Limbaugh pronounces the word “intellectual” as if it were a synonym for “child molester.”

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  6. Mikey says:

    @Rondo: Well, a lot has changed since then. Now we have a lot of Republicans who are mad about that.

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  7. Franklin says:

    Dr. Bailey, welcome to OTB (I assume I haven’t missed some other inaugural post). Nice piece here.

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  8. An Interested Party says:

    The last time Democrats were this mad at Republicans was when the Republicans abolished slavery and let black people vote.

    Incredibly ironic that is as, these days, Republicans are trying to restrict black people from voting while blacks are a very important part of the Democratic Coalition…how the world turns…

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  9. Matt says:

    @Rondo: Yes crow about something that happened 156 years ago and not what they did 50 years ago..

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  10. C. Clavin says:

    @CSK:

    the reason Trump, and Palin before him, attracted so many devoted acolytes was simply that both talk badly

    Trump speaks like a 5th grader.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/03/18/trumps-grammar-in-speeches-just-below-6th-grade-level-study-finds/
    Explains Jenos, JKB, bill, Guarneri…and millions of other fools.

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  11. Pch101 says:

    The Republican establishment are traditional business interests that support free trade, supply-side economics and selectively enforced immigration laws, which were bluntly rejected by Trump the candidate. The establishment did badly in the election, although they may do just fine during the presidency. (The fact that the Heritage Foundation seems to be heavily embedded in the Trump camp would suggest that the policy may not match the rhetoric.)

    The fact that Trump received fewer votes that both his challenger and his predecessor would suggest that he did not resonate with much of the voting public.

    The fact that Gary Johnson won a record percentage of votes for the Libertarian party in spite of being practically invisible in 2012 and prior to the 2016 GOP primary would suggest that many Republicans were unhappy with their choices.

    I frankly doubt that even Trump expected to win. If Democrats had just shown up, he wouldn’t have. Let’s go easy on the historical revisionism, shall we?

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  12. Guarneri says:

    @CSK:

    I’m sure you meant “speak” badly.

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  13. grumpy realist says:

    Michael–welcome aboard!

    I suspect that watching the Trump Presidency is going to to be the circus beyond all circuses.

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  14. CSK says:

    @Guarneri:

    I did indeed, but I didn’t want to repeat the word within a single sentence, something most writers endeavor to avoid, unless there’s a rhetorical point to be made by so doing. In any case, “speak” sounds a bit more polished that “talk,” and the verbiage that tumbles unrestrained from the maws of Trump and Palin is anything but polished. Note that I just used the same word in a single sentence, but for a reason.

    But tell me: Do you think sounding like a boob, boor, or oaf makes one more patriotic or truly American? I hope not, because the United States has given the world some eloquent speakers. And I have no doubt of their patriotism.

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  15. Pch101 says:

    @CSK:

    Do you think sounding like a boob, boor, or oaf makes one more patriotic or truly American? I hope not, because the United States has given the world some eloquent speakers.

    You’re seriously asking a guy who gets his “news” from Zero Hedge about whether he has a preference for people who don’t sound like idiots?

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  16. Davebo says:

    This is a great essay Michael and the NY Times link with exit polling results for multiple election cycles is excellent.

    I truly look forward to digesting your contributions here in the future.

    Now, do you think you could do something perhaps to help out Charlie Strong in Austin? ;0)

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  17. Paul OMara says:

    I think it’s possible we have actually witnessed the election of a true independent candidate. This seems to be lost on those dissecting the results. Something to ponder Michael.

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  18. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Paul OMara:

    I think it’s possible we have actually witnessed the election of a true independent candidate. This seems to be lost on those dissecting the results. Something to ponder Michael.

    Pinocchio was more independent than Trump.

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  19. Consider the following oppositions and ask which of these groups wield political power. This is not meant to be a challenging test. No trick questions.

    Male or Female? White or Minority? Old or Young? Christian or Non-Christian? Straight or LGBTQ?

    Rich or poor? With or without college degrees? Urban or rural? Secular or deeply religious? Or, following the previous comments, people who talk grammatically correct, or people who talk like 5 y.o.?

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  20. Bookdragon says:

    In other words, Trump voters are not substantially different from Germans who supported Hitler: they didn’t personally hate Jews (although they didn’t particularly like them….) They just liked der Fuhrer’s economic policies and talk about making Germany great again.

    This does nothing to restore my lost faith in the basic human decency of my countrymen.

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  21. Tony W says:

    Outstanding essay, I will look forward to your long pieces going forward!

    You paint a picture of America that I think many of us who live in intellectually-driven, liberal enclaves do not see ourselves without help. Perhaps the next trip to Europe, should instead be to Indiana or Ohio.

    The most interesting slice of the electorate to me this year was the evangelicals. I get the idea that liberal Christians supported the tried-and-true actual Christian, Ms. Clinton, but evangelicals fell behind a ‘new Christian’ Mr. Trump – presumably because he promised his current anti-abortion stance was his real position.

    “Imagine no religion…..”
    – John Lennon

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  22. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @al-Ameda:

    we love a good con

    True, almost as much as conspiracy theories. The more outrageous and absent of truth the more appeal.

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  23. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Welcome to OTB. I enjoyed this first piece, and I think it will be fun for Steven to have another poly sci junkie to riff off of.

    I’m guessing you were working on your dissertations at UT at the same time.

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  24. Pch101 says:

    @Tony W:

    Much of the religious right is just a Jim Crow cake with Jesus frosting. No one should be surprised to see a bunch of hypocrites behave like hypocrites; they prioritize race.

    If anyone doesn’t trust Trump on abortion, it’s the GOP establishment.

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  25. stonetools says:

    Welcome to OTB. Insightful piece that I mostly agree with.Looking forward to more contributions.

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  26. Moosebreath says:

    Welcome aboard. Interesting first piece.

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  27. michael reynolds says:

    Yeah, that was thought-provoking. Nice.

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  28. michael reynolds says:

    @CSK:
    The echo effect. It’s one of the things that embarrasses me when caught by a copy editor – I should have ‘heard’ it.

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  29. michael reynolds says:

    By the way, I want to compliment all the wolves for circling so peacefully and in no way indicating that we’re sizing Dr. Bailey up in the likely-to-be-dashed hope that he’s a tasty lamb. Nothing in these woods. Nope. (Insert innocent whistling effect here.)

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  30. grumpy realist says:

    Well, it looks like Paul Ryan has convinced Le Donald to jump on board with his destruction of Medicare….

    I wonder if the poor fools who voted for Trump on the basis of his platform have realized yet how much they’ve been played?

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  31. Andrew says:

    I have come to a similar conclusion. Not as well thought out have you.

    Old. White. Men. in power.
    That is establishment.

    Ps. Welcome, Michael.

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  32. Michael Bailey says:

    @drj: Thank you!

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  33. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Bookdragon: This is where being a Calvinist can put one ahead of the curve. We don’t accept basic human decency as given to begin with.

    Where we fall off is in aspiring to emulate our faith in its supposed goal of helping us to decide to become more decent and to work toward that goal. In that sense, we are the avatar of what we see about humanity.

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  34. Michael Bailey says:

    @al-Ameda: I agree. I gave a little presentation about the election one evening and noted the comparison between Trump and Jackson. The shift to Jackson was a move away from the patrician elite and a move toward democratic inclusion. I’m not sure what exactly is being purchased by the move to Trump with respect to democracy. Let’s cross our fingers and hope that something good comes from it.

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  35. grumpy realist says:

    P.S. Speaking as a woman, this election as being the last screech of the unskilled white male doesn’t surprise me. I’ve always felt like a gaijin in the US (multi-lingual, female, scientist).

    What the Trumpenproletariat is going to learn (the hard way) is that they can’t return to their idyllic year of 1951 where they got lifetime jobs with fat salaries for semiskilled work and everyone else around them tugged their forelocks to them. Those days are GONE. They can via their demagogue Trump destroy the US in the fit of pique; there’s no way that they can take out the whole world. China, Russia, Europe….even Austrailia can pick up the baton and carry it on if we act like deranged toddlers and throw it all away. There are too many scientists and engineers willing to move wherever the opportunities present themselves…and there are enough multinational corporations who will be gladly happy to snap them up and whisk them out of danger if individual nation-states decide to have populist/nationalist tantrums. England is already having to deal with the fact that they will destroy the high strength of British science and engineering if they become personae non grata on European research teams. Singapore is already gobbling up tons of researchers in the biotech industry; so has Israel. Any country which wants to get a leg up on next generation technology only has to set up a bunch of research labs and offer an invitation to all scientists around the world in search of refuge. We’ll go.

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  36. Michael Bailey says:

    @Davebo: Charlie Strong. Just when he gives Longhorns hope, he then dashes it. Alas….

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  37. Michael Bailey says:

    @Miguel Madeira: This is a good point you raise. I intentionally only note “ascriptive” qualities in these oppositions–qualities associated with birth or inheritance, such as ethnicity or religion. Mike Pence is deeply religious, as are many many other elected officials. How many atheists are there? I can’t think of any. Rich favored Trump by a small margin. The poor (50,000 and under) favored Clinton, though the numbers are not broken down by race. Rural folks are decidedly overrepresented in our system given their relative population thanks to the Senate and the Electoral College. And as for the single Establishment anomaly on the list, college grads vs. non-college grads, about half of the essay is devoted to explaining that. So….I’m not sure whether we agree or not.

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  38. Michael Bailey says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Ha! Good insight about Steven and I being in school together. We certainly were. We’re still close friends today and love giving each other grief.

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  39. Michael Bailey says:

    @michael reynolds: Nope, nothing here for the wolves to sniff out. Just passing through to grandmother’s house. :-)

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  40. An Interested Party says:

    Well, it looks like Paul Ryan has convinced Le Donald to jump on board with his destruction of Medicare….

    It’s amazing that Paul Ryan actually thinks he will be able to get away with this…it’s one thing to go after Medicaid, a program that primarily helps the poor, but Medicare? I can see the scene now as people with canes and walkers descend on the Capital in a rage…and to think that Ryan put himself through college with government benefits…such typical hypocrisy from a Randian libertarian…

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  41. Jc says:

    If Trump was the savior of the establishment class and the establishment class is still a majority in this country, then why didn’t he blow away the competition? Why is he only barely near Romney’s losing total against a weaker candidate? Would he have galvanized the support he did if he was not on my TV and Internet screen 24-7? How true are his supporters if his administration fails? As Obama hit tough sledding heading into 2012, yet his supporters still believed. Will Trump’s supporters be as loyal in 2020 if his rule does not live up to the hype? Nice read. Regretfully it made me think a lot about Trump

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  42. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Michael Bailey:

    The poor (50,000 and under)

    You are literally the first person that I have seen that has set the mark for that class that high. Congratulations for getting it.

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  43. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @An Interested Party: Don’t you know the difference between “government benefits” and “bootstraps” by now?

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  44. gVOR08 says:

    @Paul OMara:

    I think it’s possible we have actually witnessed the election of a true independent candidate.

    Yup. The oligarchs can’t buy Trump. He was born bought.

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  45. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Jc:

    If Trump was the savior of the establishment class and the establishment class is still a majority in this country, then why didn’t he blow away the competition?

    Because he was a crass dick.

    And the establishment hates an OBVIOUS dick.

    They prefer their dickish ways to be subtle, backstabbing, with a twist.

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  46. James Pearce says:

    Good post. Lots to chew on.

    Whether 2016 was the white male’s last gasp or instead an effective counter-offensive in a slow-motion rearguard action is unclear.

    Last gasp? If we do indeed value a diverse and healthy society, the white male will have no last gasp. They will be welcomed and nurtured along with everyone else, as they should be. Ya know?

    @grumpy realist:

    I wonder if the poor fools who voted for Trump on the basis of his platform have realized yet how much they’ve been played?

    The suckering has only begun. It might take a while for them to catch on.

    If Trump is half the con-man I think he is, some of them never will.

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  47. Michael Bailey says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    $0-30,000 favored Clinton 53-41
    $31,000-50,000 favored Clinton 51-42
    >$50 favored Trump 49-47

    This would play out very differently, I suspect, if we could suss out race.

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  48. Michael Bailey says:

    @James Pearce: “Last gasp.” I meant as dominant power, not as full partner and crucial contributor to the public good.

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  49. gVOR08 says:

    There is another way to look at all this, that this election went the way that should have been expected based on real basic fundamentals. In 2004 Poli Sci Prof Larry Bartels came up with a very simple model based on analysis of US presidential elections since WWII. It was pretty accurate in the 2008 and 2012 elections. Seems to have a good reputation.

    (Please bear with me, Dr. Bailey, as I try to explain this to the general audience here. And please correct me if I’m off. I’m not a poli sci or econ guy.) Bartels didn’t offer this as a predictive model. It’s based on only two independent variables, length of time the incumbent party has held the presidency and change in Real Disposable Personal Income per Capita in the last two quarters before the election. It’s not good as a predictive model because preliminary Q3 income data isn’t available until days before the election. Bartels didn’t do it for prediction, but to try to understand how elections work. In that spirit let me elaborate a bit.

    First, I read somewhere that there’s a dirty little secret in Poli Sci that no one wants to talk about – the electorate are a box of rocks. Time of incumbency is important because of what Bartels calls “voter fatigue”. In comments I’ve called it the Unicorns and Rainbows Factor, “The Dems have been in office it seems like forever and we still don’t have unicorns and rainbows, throw the bums out.” Very hard to get three terms. Since Truman, only HW Bush.

    The second factor is personal income growth, but very short term, only the last six months count. It’s been a truism that voters don’t remember anything longer than six months. I don’t know if Bartels started that or if he’s confirming it. He found that personal income per capita was way more predictive than GDP growth. The nasty thing about Real Disposable Income per Capita is that it’s volatile, there are long term trends, but quarter to quarter growth is almost random. Even in good times, income growth may go negative for a quarter or two. It’s basically a coin flip. So voters react to time in office and an essentially random economic result. Bartels titled his paper Musical Chairs.

    I finally took time to figure out Bartels math (I think) and used the brand new Q3 prelim data. The model predicts a loss this year for the incumbent party by half a point. So it looks like Hillary beat the model by about 1.5%. Obama beat it by 1% in ’08, right after the financial collapse, and under-performed by a point or so in ’12. (But the Electoral College worked out better for him.) So maybe she wasn’t a terrible candidate. Maybe Trump’s utter ignorance and boorishness don’t matter.The candidates don’t seem to actually influence the results by much. (All other things being equal, which probably means they do have to mount a full scale, effective campaign.)

    It may be that all the horse race discussion, all the convention bounce, minor scandal, personality, peak too early/late, didn’t spend enough time in wherever talk is irrelevant.

    To me, this also says that once the candidates are nominated, it’s largely a coin flip who wins. This being the case, it falls to the Parties to gate keep and ensure they field a candidate who’s capable of being a competent President. The Republicans don’t seem to be doing this very well.

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  50. MBunge says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Here’s a hint. For the next four years, don’t expect much actual journalism from Josh Marshall. That link, if you followed it all the way through, was the 21st century equivalent of reading goat entrails. “Look! The words “flexible” and “modernize” appeared in proximity to the word “Medicare” on a webpage written up by some anonymous person affiliated with the Trump transition team! It’s impossible that it could be anything else but Donald Trump himself signaling his support for privatizing Medicare!”

    It would be nice to at least keep the Trump caricature straight. Is he the petty, vengeful bully looking to screw over people like Paul Ryan for their past slights against him, or is he a brilliant ideologue who has just been pretending for the last 50 years and will now finally fulfill all his hidden Randian fantasies? Is he the incompetent buffoon who barely knows what he’s saying from one moment to the next or the kind of omnivcompetent mastermind who signals his intentions in deviously subtle ways?

    Or to put it more plainly, you can accuse the alt-right of a lot of things but mindlessly wanting to gut the social safety net is not one of them.

    Mike

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  51. Michael Bailey says:

    @MBunge: Good comment! You’d find lots of support from lots of political scientists, many of whom kinda ignore the ephemera of campaigns. I think campaigns do matter, but only at the margins. Nate Silver and other prognosticators also thought that the Republican should win between two generic candidates.

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  52. grumpy realist says:

    @MBunge: I’ll go for the incompetent buffoon for $50, Alex.

    I suspect that Trump will very quickly learn he can’t run the Presidency on the sort of chaos he’s used to “running” his companies in. (P.S. May I point out that the only business that Trump has been in for several years is running off his mouth in front of a TV camera and licensing his name to be plastered on buildings.) Or he may not care, in which we go to the following:

    I suspect also that what we are going to see as a result from this is a) more power flowing BACK from POTUS to Congress as they quickly discover they’re going to have to be cleaning up Trump’s stupidities (removing knives from the toddler) and b) more power devolving to the civil service bureaucracy as they shield their own processes from the derangement above them. I saw this in Japan–the politician pontificate in front of the TV cameras and the actual job of running the government is done by the civil servants.

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  53. @Gromitt Gunn: @Michael Bailey: Yep, we have been friends since grad school.

    And it hit me this morning: we were awarded our Ph.D.’s 20 years ago next month. Time flies and all that.

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  54. Pch101 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I suspect also that what we are going to see as a result from this is more power flowing BACK from POTUS to Congress as they quickly discover they’re going to have to be cleaning up Trump’s stupidities (removing knives from the toddler)

    The Republicans in Congress, particularly in the House, have been making a mess for years. I wouldn’t expect them to suddenly behave themselves.

    What I think that you’ll find are Republicans trying to get their agenda through the system as they make efforts to manipulate Trump in order to get what they want while tempering Trump’s economic populism.

    Being the egotistical narcissistic control freak who he is, Trump is likely to respond by hiding behind an inner circle of advisors who are chosen largely because they are loyal to him and do not overtly challenge him. He will be deeply suspicious of most of them.

    This could go a number of ways, and it’s hard to predict where it will end up. Trump may figure out how to play the game, or he may not. He may think of himself as a genius who can rewrite the rules of the game, which could make him even more unpredictable as he experiments without concern for precedent.

    As a liberal, I am not happy. But as someone who likes to observe politics as a sport, I’m fascinated to see what will happen and whether Trump can cope or if he just gets played.

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  55. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Bailey:

    I meant as dominant power, not as full partner and crucial contributor to the public good.

    Sad that this must be clarified, but it’s necessary in this day and age. I’m a supporter of diversity and eclecticism, but I will admit to being confused as to whether social justice progressives want to end the run of white males as a dominant power or whether they want to turn white males into 2nd class citizens as payback for centuries of being the dominant power. These are two very different things.

    I mean, Hillary’s supporters weren’t “comparatively tone deaf to this pain.” They were cheering it on, laughing at it, even actively seeking it out. They abandoned their instincts towards equality and fairness and decided they were going to right some historical injustice by ending oppression changing who gets oppressed.

    The results of that approach speak for themselves.

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  56. grumpy realist says:

    @James Pearce: Hah. I’d be happy if we simply got to the point where we didn’t automatically assume the default generic human was “white male.”

    That’s what’s annoying to the rest of us. For instance, we still think of the health of the “average human” as being the health of a “white male”, with African-American health being “different”, ditto for the health of women (those unusual creatures.) We females get our health dissected into (general medicine == medicine of white male) plus (gynecology), whereas I bet black women get all that plus (medicine special to black people). It’s frickin’ annoying at some times.

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  57. gVOR08 says:

    @MBunge: @grumpy realist: I’ll also go for incompetent buffoon. Were Trump a “brilliant ideologue” and a “mastermind” he’d still be developing real estate in NY and be for real worth 15 billion instead of pretending to 10.

    I’ll also note that conservatives seemed for eight years to regard Obama as a totally clueless, inept, equal opportunity hire who was masterfully controlling every detail of the Federal government.

    I’ll take that as a segue to remind everyone that Obama has the economy back to normal and ISIS on the ropes before the GOPs take credit for both.

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  58. Monala says:

    @Miguel Madeira: Trump is all of the Establishment things you added. And a very large number of poor, non-degreed, deeply religious people voted for Clinton. They were just non-white.

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  59. Monala says:

    @An Interested Party: One of the amusing things I’ve heard about Ryan’s plans is that the idea to get rid of a government single-payer plan for seniors and replace it with a plan to allow them to buy private insurance with subsidies means that he is replacing Medicare with… Obamacare.

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  60. James Pearce says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I’d be happy if we simply got to the point where we didn’t automatically assume the default generic human was “white male.”

    I always assumed the default generic human is an Asian male, not a white one.

    And yeah, I’m fully aware of all the cultural forces that want us to think “white male” is the default, but that’s never been true, even in the antebellum south when white supremacy was literally the law of the land.

    My point is that we have a sophisticated scalpel of an idea (a non-racist critique of racial stratification) which becomes a blunt cudgel in the hands of the unsophisticated (white males are the problem). The last few years has tilted a little too far in the direction of the latter.

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  61. Monala says:

    @James Pearce:

    I mean, Hillary’s supporters weren’t “comparatively tone deaf to this pain.” They were cheering it on, laughing at it, even actively seeking it out.

    Really? Beyond college students on Twitter, who actually did this? Do you have some quotes that indicate that this was taking place, outside of some fringe SJWs?

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  62. James Pearce says:

    And of course, here come the downvotes for piercing the myth….

    For example:
    @Monala:

    And a very large number of poor, non-degreed, deeply religious people voted for Clinton. They were just non-white.

    Did you know that Trump got more of the black vote than Romney did? He also did better than Romney with Latinos and millennials.

    Hillary, on the other hand, did worse than Obama in nearly every demo: white women, Asians, young people, etc.

    The white vote was actually down this year, and Donald Trump still won. It’s almost like this idea that white people put him over the top is, well, not actually true.

    Also:

    Really? Beyond college students on Twitter, who actually did this? Do you have some quotes that indicate that this was taking place, outside of some fringe SJWs?

    I can point to some threads on OTB where it occurred, and not from “fringe SJWs.” Would you like me to?

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  63. Monala says:

    @James Pearce: You’re missing my point.

    In response to the author’s point that Clinton won more of the historically non-establishment folks based on gender, race, etc., Miguel wrote,

    Rich or poor? With or without college degrees? Urban or rural? Secular or deeply religious? Or, following the previous comments, people who talk grammatically correct, or people who talk like 5 y.o.?

    I don’t know Miguel’s thoughts, but I assume the “rich or poor” etc. point was to say that Trump won more non-establishment folks who are poor, non-degreed, rural, religious.

    I am saying that that’s not true. We already have statistics above that more lower income people voted for Clinton. Likewise, I am pointing out that a large percentage of Clinton’s non-white supporters are non-degreed and deeply religious. Trump’s numbers in whatever category may have been higher than Romney’s but Clinton still won a large majority of people who are “not the establishment” whether you define it by inherent factors (i.e., race, gender) or more circumstantial factors (such as poverty or lack of a degree).

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  64. James Pearce says:

    @Monala:

    You’re missing my point.

    Perhaps, but an alternate possibility is that I disagree with it.

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  65. Monala says:

    @James Pearce: What exactly do you disagree with? Author’s point: Trump isn’t the non-Establishment candidate, based on more non-establishment people (define by race, gender, etc.) voting for Clinton. Miguel’s point: yeah, but what about these other non-establishment factors? My point: even among people representing most of those other non-establishment factors (rural being the main exception), Clinton got more votes.

    Is that or is that not true? Or is it that, in your opinion, Clinton can only be the non-establishment candidate if she gets 100% of the non-establishment vote, and Trump can only be the establishment candidate if no non-establishment people vote for him?

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  66. James Pearce says:

    For example:@Monala:

    Clinton still won a large majority of people who are “not the establishment” whether you define it by inherent factors (i.e., race, gender) or more circumstantial factors (such as poverty or lack of a degree).

    From a NY Times story you can find if you Google this phrase*:

    Donald J. Trump fared very poorly in American cities in Tuesday’s election. Hillary Clinton did just as badly among rural voters.

    Hillary’s urban voters were “not the establishment” but Trump’s rural voters are the “establishment?” The people who inhabit the Rust Belt are “the establishment?”

    I don’t think so….

    * I’d provide the link but don’t want to risk the spam filter.

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  67. Monala says:

    @James Pearce: Yes, a hell of a lot of urban people are not establishment. A hell of a lot of urban people are poor and lack college degrees. Rural is probably the only non-establishment factor where Trump dominated. So again I ask, does Clinton have to get 100% of the non-Establishment vote before Trump stops being the non-Establishment candidate?

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  68. James Pearce says:

    @Monala:

    So again I ask, does Clinton have to get 100% of the non-Establishment vote before Trump stops being the non-Establishment candidate?

    In short:

    In 2016, “The Establishment” is not synonymous with “white male.” Progress has been made on this issue, and it’s time to acknowledge that.

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  69. Monala says:

    @James Pearce: Oh for heaven’s sake. Michael Bailey addressed this in his column:

    It’s worth reminding ourselves that Clinton won the popular vote. Clinton’s support, which turned out to be pretty deep despite her loss, came from minorities, from women, from the young, from non-Christians, from the LGBTQ community—that is, it came disproportionately from the historically disempowered.

    Historically disempowered. But not powerless today—and therein lies the key to understanding Trump’s Establishment appeal. The Traditional Establishment still holds most power, but its grasp is no longer comprehensive, exclusive; its grip is weakening. As American society rapidly becomes more pluralistic, it is just as surely—but more slowly—forcing the Traditional Establishment to share power with the new kids on the political block. Tomorrow is not your father’s Establishment.

    As a whole, women, minorities, non-Christians and LGBTQ communities still have less power than white men do today. Again, as a whole. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of white men who are struggling, or that there aren’t members of historically disempowered communities that have risen to the top echelons of power. But in general, positions of power and wealth in our society are by and large still held by white Christian men much more than by anyone else. They haven’t become the ones entirely at the bottom while everyone else is above them. The author’s point was that to call Trump the anti-Establishment candidate when by multiple metrics he represents the establishment, and by multiple metrics (not just race) so do a lot of his voters (or to ignore that by multiple metrics, a lot of Clinton’s voters are non-establishment) is not accurate.

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  70. Monala says:

    @James Pearce: Now if you want to talk about how many Americans, regardless of race or gender, are struggling in our current society, that’s a discussion we can have. The “we are the 99%” arguments make sense to me. But if you want to prioritize white rural people at the expense of all the people of color, non-Christians, or urban people who are also struggling, then what it feels like (and the message Trump communicated to many) is that you want to return to a time when white men were on top and everyone else was on the bottom.

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  71. James Pearce says:

    @Monala:

    They haven’t become the ones entirely at the bottom while everyone else is above them.

    So this is the metric, then?

    Earlier I wrote:

    I will admit to being confused as to whether social justice progressives want to end the run of white males as a dominant power or whether they want to turn white males into 2nd class citizens as payback for centuries of being the dominant power. These are two very different things.

    The confusion continues.

    But if you want to prioritize white rural people at the expense of all the people of color, non-Christians, or urban people who are also struggling

    Is that what you think I’m doing? No, I’m trying to get away from this position, so common on the left these days, that our society is “white males versus everyone else.”

    No, “white males” are included in the “everyone else.”

    Trust me, I’m fully aware of the resistance this totally non-racist idea will get on the progressive left. They’re invested in an ideology and won’t let it go, even if it serves them poorly. Maybe it’s time to retire the ideology?

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  72. Monala says:

    @James Pearce: Who is trying to turn white males into second class citizens? And I’m not talking about random Internet commenters. Even the SJWs aren’t trying to do that. News flash: telling someone to “check their privilege” (however obnoxious that might be, and whether you agree that the person being so told has privilege or not) is not the same thing as discrimination. Stating that black lives matter (meaning don’t kill us) is not the same thing as saying that white lives don’t matter.

    And of course white men are included in “everyone else.” That’s actually what most progressives want. What they don’t want is for white men to be above everyone else. Yeah, white working class people are hurting. So are working class and poor people of all races. When the latter are told to have sympathy for the former, but not the reverse — that’s what people are pushing back against.

    Trump has advisors that run white nationalist web sites and have called for a national registry of Muslims. Has anyone prominent on the left called for anything comparable for white men? Or even close? President Obama ran on bringing people together, and Republicans obstructed him at every turn.

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  73. Monala says:

    @James Pearce:

    @Monala:

    They haven’t become the ones entirely at the bottom while everyone else is above them.

    So this is the metric, then?

    Of course not, and you know that wasn’t what I was saying. My full comment was, “But in general, positions of power and wealth in our society are by and large still held by white Christian men much more than by anyone else. They haven’t become the ones entirely at the bottom while everyone else is above them.”

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  74. James Pearce says:

    @Monala:

    Who is trying to turn white males into second class citizens?

    Oh, there is no official effort to strip white men of their rights, that’s true. SJWs wouldn’t go that far. But they have aligned their movement against white men in a rather negative way. And it’s not just “check your privilege” or “Black Lives Matter.”

    It’s this idea that there is something inherently illegitimate in the white male perspective, that it unfairly benefits from decades of accumulated privilege so much of it can be discounted. And while I’ll acknowledge the “unfairly benefits” part, the “can be discounted” part is utter bunk.

    We could have worked to find common ground, we liberals and those rust belt states that voted for Trump, but did we? Did we even try? No, we were too busy chanting “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic.”

    It had the virtue of being mostly true, but at this point, I hope we can agree that it didn’t work.

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  75. Clemencia Ricardi says:

    This web site can be a walk-through for the entire info you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse right here, and you’ll undoubtedly discover it.

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  76. Grewgills says:

    It’s this idea that there is something inherently illegitimate in the white male perspective,

    Nope, not part of what the VAST majority of SJWs or other progressives are arguing.

    that it unfairly benefits from decades of accumulated privilege

    This is what is being argued and it is true.

    so much of it can be discounted.

    Again, not what is being argued.

    And while I’ll acknowledge the “unfairly benefits” part,

    With this, you acknowledge what is actually being argued by the privilege frame.

    the “can be discounted” part is utter bunk.

    It is bunk, as is your contention that this is what is actually being argued by SJWs, other progressives, and the privilege frame. This has been explained to you countless times, yet here you are again claiming that this is what we’ve really been saying all along.

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  77. Just 'nutha'... says:

    @grumpy realist: Re: knives and toddlers: did you mean “removing” or “taking” (or both possibly)?

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  78. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    You sort of have a point.

    White folks can be really whiny biatches, and we have to be sensitive about their feelings.

    So for example, “Black Lives Matter” sounds horribly aggressive and uppity to these precious flowers. Something along the lines of “We’re People, Too!” or another slogan that sounds generically pro-everyone and pro-police might have been a bit better, advancing the same agenda without any assertion of racial identity that could give white moderates an excuse to oppose it.

    And while I am being snarky, I actually meant much of what I just said. White folks are in denial of having any advantages and do not see themselves as being responsible for rectifying what they believe to be ancient history. Liberals should endeavor to get what minorities need while avoiding the appearance of posing a threat.

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  79. James Pearce says:

    @Grewgills:

    Nope, not part of what the VAST majority of SJWs or other progressives are arguing.

    Yes, that is exactly what you and the SJWs are arguing, whether you know it or not: That white males have decades (centuries?) of accumulated privilege so there is something unjust (ie, inherently illegitimate) about their perspective. It is “over-represented,” as they say, and must be replaced by the perspectives of the nons: the non-white, the non-male, the non-hetero, the non-Christian.

    And this is me: Sure, white males have had it good, but they’re people living in a certain context not the scapegoats of history. If they’re “over-represented” it might be because there are 140 million of them in this country, not all of whom are racist, sexist, or either of the ‘phobics.

    Perhaps now, after Trump was elected and “the first Mom in the White House” ain’t going to happen for a while, we can get back to basic measures of fairness? Did you get enough to eat? Are your bills paid? How’s the wife and kids, your folks?

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  80. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    White folks are in denial of having any advantages and do not see themselves as being responsible for rectifying what they believe to be ancient history.

    Out of nearly 250 million white people, how many do you really think are “in denial?” I would venture that 249,999,900 white people would read that statement and think, “Well, that’s not me.”

    This may, tautologically speaking, prove that they are, in fact, in denial. Or it might just speak to how utterly unformed and unpersuasive this argument actually is.

    Liberals should endeavor to get what minorities need while avoiding the appearance of posing a threat.

    Sure, do that. But also do not define yourself against what remains, and what will endure through our lifetimes, an electoral majority.

    It’s not white people, or even white males, you’re fighting. It’s injustice. Remember?

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  81. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    Out of nearly 250 million white people, how many do you really think are “in denial?”

    Well, you are, for starters.

    But like it or not, there are a hell of a lot of you, and we have to deal with your tender sensibilities and your intransigence. The Democrats need votes, not complete devotion.

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  82. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    Well, you are, for starters.

    Of course. I’m a white male, ergo…

    You’re really surprised this stuff is unconvincing? I’m telling you in very clear language that your stereotype of “White People” doesn’t describe the lives or views of millions of white people, but all you can muster in defense is that they’re in denial. Of course they are.

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  83. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    I am well aware that anything requires the majority to take ownership of the benefits that it has received at the expense of the minority will not be well received, and that this is particularly true in a culture that is as narcissistic as this one. Hence, my comment.

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  84. Grewgills says:

    @James Pearce:

    That white males have decades (centuries?) of accumulated privilege so there is something unjust (ie, inherently illegitimate) about their perspective. It is “over-represented,” as they say,

    There is a difference between inherently illegitimate and over-represented. That you cannot see that is all about you.

    and must be replaced by the perspectives of the nons: the non-white, the non-male, the non-hetero, the non-Christian.

    Not replaced by, but put on more equal footing with, again your conflating of these terms is on you.

    And this is me: Sure, white males have had it good, but they’re people living in a certain context not the scapegoats of history. If they’re “over-represented” it might be because there are 140 million of them in this country, not all of whom are racist, sexist, or either of the ‘phobics.

    Over-represented is independent of how many of them there are. If they make less than half of the 320 million of us (~42%) and hold more than two thirds of the power, then they are over represented by about half. That is what over-represented means. It doesn’t mean you just see more of them, it means that you see (many) more of them in positions of power (or in other contexts) than you would expect. Why do you continually misuse these terms and continually refer to raw numbers rather than ratios when this has been explained to you time and again. It is like you are completely unable to internalize anyone else’s perspective other than your own on this topic.

    It’s not white people, or even white males, you’re fighting. It’s injustice. Remember?

    Injustice that benefits white males like you and me and probably PCH. We are fighting the injustice, which unfortunately means that we end up fighting against a too large group of white males that either don’t recognize that they have any advantages gained by virtue of being white and male or who desperately want to cling to those advantages.

    Of course. I’m a white male, ergo…

    Given that you are arguing this with at least one other white male this comment is bs.

    Privileged doesn’t mean having every privilege or that your life is necessarily easy. Being disadvantaged or disabled doesn’t mean having every disadvantage or every disability, or that your life is hell. Not everydamnthing is binary. Being white confers advantages in our society (as you have acknowledged) therefor it confers privilege (which you can’t seem to wrap your head around). Being male confers advantages in our society (as you have acknowledged) therefor it confers privilege (which you can’t seem to wrap your head around).

    @Pch101:

    I am well aware that anything requires the majority to take ownership of the benefits that it has received at the expense of the minority will not be well received, and that this is particularly true in a culture that is as narcissistic as this one.

    Exactly.

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  85. Grewgills says:

    @Grewgills:
    Apologies to other commenters for going down this rabbit hole with JP again. I did try to resist, but…
    Anyway the thread was already long and the threadjack was already ongoing, so…

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  86. Pch101 says:

    @Grewgills:

    Injustice that benefits white males like you and me and probably PCH.

    I’m mixed-race. I grew up in white neighborhoods, and was on the receiving end of racial slurs and worse more than once. (On the plus side, the experience taught me how to brawl when necessary.)

    So no, I’m not particularly impressed by Pearce’s white guy victimization routine. Yet I also recognize that his group outnumbers mine, so we can’t just completely blow them off even when they insist on clinging to inane ideas.

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  87. bongstar420 says:

    Winner takes all is not meritocratic
    Pay to play is not meritocratic
    Nepotism is not meritocratic

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