|Can Conservatives Deal with a Bigger GOP Tent?||The Primal Scream of the Policy People|
by Christopher Chantrill
March 15, 2016 at 12:00 am
WATCHING THE Chicago street theater on FoxNews as leftist groups shut down a Trump rally, I got to thinking that even Fox follows the liberal rules. They interviewed a lefty grandma outraged about fascism; they interviewed a middle-aged African American woman outraged about Trump coming into her neighborhood. We got to see African Americans disrupting the Trump event after the cancellation. But we never got to hear from a Trump supporter. And the next day Ted Cruz blamed Trump for the violence, and Hillary Clinton grated on about “divisive” rhetoric.
And then it occurred to me. There is one thing you are not allowed to do in America today, and that is cater to the tribalism of the white working class. You must cater to black racism; you must cater to feminist cant. You must cater to gentry liberal tribal totems. You can grow to love green crony capitalism. You can cater to Christians, and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. But you, Donald Trump, are a scandal. You may not inflame the tribalism of the white working class, not, as the protesters said, in our Chicago. No free speech for you.
This explains why the Republican Party has failed to earn and keep the votes of the white working class over the last few decades. It does not dare raise the issues that would let the white working class feel that someone actually cared about people like them. Until Trump.
Late last week I blogged about lawyer Michael A. Cooper, Jr., writing about “Trump’s America, where working-class whites are dying from despair." He says the problem is that both parties have abandoned them:
As productivity climbed, working-class Americans wanted their wages to rise also. Instead, Republicans gave them tax cuts for the rich while liberal Democrats called them racists and bigots.
No, that’s not the reason. The reason for white working class despair is that they have been designated as the sacrificial victim for the racist, sexist, bigoted sins of America, and nobody has been allowed to speak up for them. Until Donald Trump.
But why the white working class? It was starving on the land and working in sweatshops in Europe when all the sins of America were committed. How can it be to blame?
Let us turn to René Girard and his Violence and the Sacred. On his theory humans have learned to end escalating violence between factions by sacrificing a victim, a scapegoat. All of the hate and the rage of a divided community is diverted from hating each other and onto the newly selected victim. Somehow, at the civil rights revolution of the Sixties, the white working class got selected as sacrificial victim. Thus the necessity of Archie Bunker, racist, sexist, and bigot, that Norman Lear taught us all to hate.
But once the white working class had been selected as sacrificial victim to cleanse the nation of its racial sins it is obvious that every so often a wooden stake would have to be driven through its corpse to make sure it could never be brought back to life. It could not be permitted for anyone to say that right-wing militias are embarrassing but marginal, or that the remnant of the KKK is anything less than a demonic threat that every Republican politician must condemn without equivocation. The sacrificial victim must stay dead and buried.
Then Donald Trump pulled the stake out of its heart.
Here is how I make sense of the leftist student protesters doing fieldwork for their Safe Spaces 101 course at the University of Illinois Chicago at the Trump rally on Friday night, and why the Trump phenomenon is anathema not just to liberals but to many conservatives. If working class white issues were admitted back into the public square, then the sacrificed victim would be brought back to life, and who knows where it might end.
Now you know what liberal activism is for, and race studies and gender studies and diversity and political correctness. They are there to apply muscle for the ruling class, to make sure that the Verdict of the Sixties is never reversed. Black Lives Matter and MoveOn.org and the Friday night lefty coalition are all rushing forward to drive the wooden stake back in.
What is another name for street thugs indulged and funded by the ruling class? The word is Fascists.
The lefty protesters are fools. They don’t understand that they are not marginalized victims valiantly battling against the system, as Alinsky and Ayers have taught them. They are ordinary brownshirted government goons denying the American people the right to peaceably assemble and petition the ruling class for a redress of grievances. This ignorance in the protesters, and evil in their enablers, is not just a crime, it is a blunder.
So go ahead lefties. Make my day.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of agesthey seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society
We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.
E. G. West, Education and the State
Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures
The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since
1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and
philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West
Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its
characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then,
once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities
But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie
that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all.
In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness...
But to make a man act [he must have]
the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove
or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
When we received Christ, Phil added, all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh
The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital