Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by RomaGypsy, Nov 18, 2016.
I detect a theme.
Trump will guarantee a new President by declining to run again (at age 73).
I did not realize Biden was 73.
No, I mean that I don't think you're a racist. When you said "the American worker", you actually meant the whole working class. But what Arwon was probably implying when he said "I can't help but feel 'The American worker' in that rant doesn't cover all of them," is that you really meant, on at least a subconscious level, to talk only about the white ones. I don't actually think you meant that and I was trying to head it off at the pass. I was doing it in a way that was intended to look more sympathetic to Arwon than to you, even as I dismissed the suggestion that you were thinking in a racist way.
There's this thing going around. Whenever Person A says something about making the working class better off, people (by which I mean liberals) often misinterpret it to mean that Person A really means only the white part of the working class, provided that Person A is white. Basically anything someone says about class gets turned into race. It seems that much if not most of the current left is uncomfortable talking about class issues without bringing up race. I'm trying to fight that tendency, because class is hugely important and we need to be able to talk about it.
Ah okay Boots, and thank you for the explanation.
Here's the thing: if you're talking about restoring lost prosperity to the American working class you can really only be talking about the white ones. The New Deal and GI Bill were essentially segregated to win southern votes, and that plus redlining and loan policies pretty much locked non-whites out of post-war prosperity and certainly from the opportunitues to build human and financial capital enjoyed by maybe two generations of white workers. And of course during the era the white working class was making big gains as part of the post-war settlement, black Americans were also kept from exercising the franchise and locked out of political power.
All-in-all, the unionised well-paying boom times just were not there for non-white workers.
The fundamental divide is this - what the American white working class remembers and has lost, the rest of the working population never really had. The entire betrayal and decline grievance, when we talk about the American working class, is an unavoidably racialised one.
Racialised perceptions of welfare and of a "lazy" or "undeserving" inner city underclass also figure heavily in this whole discourse, of course.
Poverty and lack of opportunity was kept or made heavily racial as a result of these practices, which means welfare and unemployment has long had a black face in the American popular imagination.
To a significant extent, the self-identity of those old manual union white workers seems to have been encouraged to be built and defined against that "other". That means that being forced onto unemployment benefits is a demeaning loss of status partly because it means being like them. This for me, given US history, is the context in which to read CL's line about "disenfranchised workers who don't want food stamps, welfare, etc and just want to work". The whole traditional narrative about work vs welfare is marinated in a history of racial segregation and hierarchical assumptions.
I should note I'm not labelling CL racist in an individual character defect sense. That's pointless and inaccurate. Racism is a system we are all embedded in and our assumptions and perceptions all flow from that. My point is that as with most things, you can't talk about American labour without talking about race.
One of the nice thing about living in the Philippines is everyone here is pretty much the same race. Sure there are different religions and there's problems there but race? No problems. Nice thing about that is one isn't often confronted with such bizarre logic as that Arwon. Because I want people to get jobs and I'm older I'm a racist. Does this stuff keep you up night figuring out Arwon?
Look since you ask, probably, but it isn't your fault and it's not what's important. People need to stop interpreting any discussion of racism as being about the individual character of members of that society. The key is what we do to identify and overcome the assumptions and biases we all inherit.
In this case that means remembering that one cannot discuss labour and welfare in the United States without reference to segregation and its ongoing consequences.
I'll take that as a yes, it keeps you up nights. I however sleep soundly. Lets move on.
I don't see why age is an issue so long as the septuagenarian candidates have good health records. Sanders' health is pretty good for someone his age. Ignoring the Economic Populist wing of the party and nominating someone like Booker (See: Defending Bain Capital in 2012), will end badly. Tulsi Gabbard or Keith Ellison would address the age issues while also being progressives, but are dark horses with small bases, being from the House. Brown would be better, as a Senator from a swing state. However, his seat would be forfeit to the GOP if he won, barring the Democrats win the OH governor's race.
I have been thinking about this, and looking at the gerrymandering in the 2018 elections. The very necessary step is for people to register as Republicans in those districts, and to actively be involved in the primary process. Trump's massive potential is to steamroll any and all Republicans that get in his way. He cannot broadly damage a Democrat, their base is anti-Trump. But each and every Republican candidate is dependent upon Trump's magnanimousness (or apathy) to survive election or re-election. Your only hope at a vote is to be there during the primary, where you have a partial chance of influencing the candidate that will rule the district.
That is all mostly true, of course. Prospects for black workers did improve from 1941-65 (or so), but starting from an extremely low level and not reaching anything resembling the level of unionized white workers. They did finally start being dealt into the system of the unionized working class right as those jobs evaporated, and the decline that is so obvious to the current white working class started much earlier for the black working class. The rusting of the Rust Belt featured large increases in the black unemployment rate and consequent increases in crime, drug abuse, and hopelessness through the 1970s and 1980s, which fed into the racist narratives of "welfare queens" and the like at that time. The Rust Belt collapse eventually progressed to include the white workers too, and the process is now more or less complete. The pathologies that appeared in the white working class are similar to those that appeared earlier in the black working class and include very similar large increases in drug abuse, hopelessness and dependence on the meager welfare system, and a substantial increase in suicide that has some qualitative parallels to the increase in homicide observed in the 1970s and 1980s (reversing itself since then) in black communities.
The realities on the ground are more complex now. In the conversations I've had with working-class white people, I've found that the vast majority see their black coworkers in a roughly equal light, and instead draw a distinction between virtuous hard-working minorities and the undeserving poor. On the flip side, many of the "undeserving poor" are now white; there is a large amount of resentment among the working poor against the long-term jobless, now including the white ones. Is this problematic and still inherently racist, if not quite as blatant as in the past? Sure. But that doesn't mean it can't be exploited: the question is who succeeds in exploiting it.
Now, the poverty and lack of opportunity is somewhat more evenly distributed than it was - nowhere near true equity, of course, but most of what the white working class is experiencing has already occurred (and continues to occur) among the black working class. Native-born Hispanic workers are also in the same boat. We have an opportunity to spread an inclusive view of the working class as composed of people of all races who are struggling against an elite that does not have their best interests at heart. An inclusive populism can be created to counter the right-wing populist narrative, and I think it would play very well in precisely the places that Hillary Clinton lost.
So to answer the OP's question, I'm voting for Sherrod Brown. He has the type of left-wing Rust Belt populism that I think is the most promising antidote to Trumpism. Also, although she's not from the region, Tulsi Gabbard is probably the most promising younger politician we have in this mold. I think her gamble of endorsing Sanders will pay off quite well, and she seems to be a good orator based on the speeches I've seen of hers.
Being a Hawaii Democrat I imagine Gabbard has reasonable union cred too?
Must. Unions run Hawaii.
I believe so - I don't know about specific unions, but at the least, her positions on trade policy and other issues that matter to organized labor are decidedly union-friendly. She's also a veteran, so that's another helpful constituency.
I have no idea about union presence in Hawaii, but Gabbard does tick most of the right boxes for progressives.
I'm certain if Trump doesn't deliver jobs, specifically the return of long term factory jobs across industrial America, that there's no way in hell he'll be reelected. Remember very infinitesimally few people voted for Trump, they voted for their jobs. Can't elect a Repug pres without strong democratic support, lots of votes from centrist democrats, and he got that because these folks are hurting. Their good factory jobs have fled away and democrats voted for those promises. What was evidenced by this election is the divide between the college educated and the working class. The college educated left are doing fine and were shocked when rural rust belt democrats abandoned them, blaming racism and their standard boogeymen. Yet these folks gave them Obama and didn't abandon them then... If Trump brings home industry...factory jobs, the abandoned democrats that supported him will turn republican. If the repugs at the top realize this and suddenly start representing the jobs of the working class instead of selling their jobs off to China for the bottom line, the Grand old Party will once again be Grand, and might even get older. If the democrats keep dragging cavorting wretched half naked fowl 'celebs' up in front of rust belt crowds to gain votes, well they better get used to being the party of wretched celebs, because the working man and women will vote them down every time.
What's a "half-naked fowl celeb"? I never took ornithology.
Cheeks out baby, fugly language, rabid me-ism, making millions off the popularity of the immoral college educated I wanna be cool too set. Those folks.
Here ya go...
Separate names with a comma.