Tuesday, November 22, 2016

David Brooks on HItting the Emotional Pause Button

David Brooks, throughout the campaign, could not disguise his contempt for Donald Trump, an honesty for which I had to like him.
But now he says those who are dismayed by Trump should pause, and in humility, listen to those to whom Trump's  bombast spoke, to acknowledge they were the people hurt by the Ted talk disrupters who spoke of sea changes but never bothered to think about the people left behind.
They gave "exciting speeches about disruption but don't known anything about the people actually being disrupted."

He notes the voters of the "post truth" era to be concerned only about their own loss of financial security and comfort, enough to vote for a Trump (or a Hitler) as long as they can get their jobs back in the coal mine or in the factory, jobs which are concrete, not some vague promise of "retraining."
These are people who do not believe they are good for anything other than working in coal mines. They told reporters, "I'm 59. What can I learn new? I want my job back." That job was mining coal.
I heard a voter from Vepo County, Indiana interviewed this morning who was talking about how his county is filled with "real people," not the people you see on TV or in Hiliary Clinton ads.
He had voted for Obama and would have voted for Bernie, but he also thinks in terms of "real people," which, I took to mean, white, Christian people like him.
"It wouldn't kill us Trump critics to take a break from our never-ending umbrage to engage in a little listening."
Listening to what? To low information, ignorant people who don't care what coal does to the planet, as long as they can come home with their lunch pails and feel respectable again? I should listen to this guy who thinks Muslims, colored, Brown, Black, Hispanics are not "real" people.
Screw him and may he rot in his coal mine.

"The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia," Stephen Bannon says.
Of course, this is not true. The Trans Pacific Trade Pact might have created a middle class in Asia, by insisting the Chinese pay their factory workers more than slave wages, so we can pay our assembly line workers more than subsistence wages here in the USA. But so far, we have no such agreement and  all this globization has only enriched the factory owners, not the workers.
Globalization wasn't a plot by the international Jewish conspiracy to enrich itself and foreigners. That's the subtext of Mr. Bannon's conspiracy theory, when he talks about "globalists." This is the old "International Jew" thing dating back to Henry Ford and other conspiracy dwellers.
lobalization was a force which swept the globe when the internet and ships and airplanes tied the world together and made Hong Kong as close as Peoria. 
Hillary tried to say the coal miners, the steel workers could compete with the Asian factory workers, but nobody heard that.
"They took our jobs!"  screamed the Rust Belt yahoos.  It was like an episode of South Park.

So after we listen to these half wits, what to do?
For my part, if I were in Chuck Schumer's position, it would be total war.
Vote against anything Trump proposes, including the infrastructure program, which you can point out is simply a scam to enrich his rich friends, and will provide nothing but privately owned roads and bridges.
Vote against them when the try to "fix" Medicare and Social Security.
Get out of Washington and visit Iowa and Wisconsin and rural Pennsylvania every day and tell them they are getting screwed.

Let Bernie, the only Democrat with any credibility left, carry the message.
Hope Bernie is enough of a patriot to help groom his owner, younger successors.
But fight them on the beaches; fight them in the fields; fight them in the hills and never surrender. And if this country lasts a thousand years, future generations will look back and say, "This was their finest hour."


  1. Jeez Mad Dog-"may he rot in his coal mine"...my, my that's quite a statement. Was steam spouting from your ears as you typed? You seem a little too quick to draw the conclusion that the Trump voter is racist because he uses the term "real people". Perhaps "real" wasn't code for white, but average, regular folk, not what one sees on TV. Neither the Duck Dynasty-Honey Boo-Boo set or the sea of vapid pontificating pundits populating the air waves would qualify as real..

    I agree with Brooks, listening for a bit would be prudent. All the Trump voters weren't racists and we've certainly seen how far not listening has gotten us. Secondly, worst case, it always pays to know one's enemies..

  2. Maud,
    Yes, you are correct. We ought to try to know more about those people. But do we not already know? Have we not heard them in our neighborhoods and even at our dinner tables?
    It's true we are hearing more from them on NPR interviews now, and what I'm hearing is they did not always buy Trump's anti Muslim rants, but they heard him say he'd give them their coal mining jobs back; they may not have believe illegal immigrants are racists, but they did believe him when he promised to get them their factory jobs back. And Trump himself is focusing on that Carrier air conditioning plant and keeping it from going to Mexico. The Democrats were too vague--oh, we'll retrain you, at age 59, for something. Trump pointed to a specific plant and said, "I'll get that plant to re open." In that sense, he was smarter than Clinton. She spoke abstract. He spoke concrete.
    The interviewed Trump voters kept saying, "I don't know if he'll be able to keep that promise. But at least he made the right promise." In that sense, he should have won. He knew what people wanted. Problem is, so much else came with it.
    Mad Dog