Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Cure For Our Division

An Important Press Release from the Trump White House
Reed Galin writes a piece on Medium suggesting that the deep divides in our country need to be addressed--and how? By finding any common points of understanding and agreement. He suggests that there are two strands of agreement: better health care and more taxation of corporations.

  1. He notes that both sides of the aisle disagreed with the AHCA. 
  2. He notes that both sides of the aisle probably think it's okay to have more corporations pay taxes despite what Congress wants.
His suggestion is that people on both sides of the aisle reach out and understand the other side--maybe not agree--but at least understand their view-point. He goes into detail how folks in "fly over country" have, indeed, been left behind--that's while people in wealthy, vibrant Brooklyn are living it up watching HBO Go on their tablets.

While small-town folks are stockpiling anti-overdose drugs for saving loved ones taking to much Oxycontin, the yuppies in New York are enjoying high-grade marijuana. Yes: this is a big difference. Yes: one sucks worse than the other.

Despite writing a fairly coherent article he, uh, does not see the problem.

The problem is that Trump voters voted for points 1 and 2 and everyone else voted against those. Trump voters voted to kill ACA subsidies to help addicts of Oxy. Hillary voters wanted to preserve them. Trump voters voted to lower corporate taxes. Hillary would not have raised them by as much as Sanders voters wanted--but she wouldn't have made her first policy move a giant 1% tax-cut either.

The Omnivore has talked to Trump-Voters. The Omnivore, and you will have to trust him on this, understands what's going on here. It isn't what Reed thinks.

What's Going On

There's A Method To The Madness
Trump voters were and are essentially mad at liberals. They think that gay marriage is probably a bad idea, that refugees--despite going through years of vetting--are probably going to harbor terrorists. They think that black people are naturally lazier than white people. This is all pretty well established numerical data. It may not apply to any specific Trump-voter--but it certainly applies to his margin of victory.

The Trump-Doctrine, so much as there actually is one, is not big-government wrapped in Republican clothing. No. It's "Whatever pisses off the most liberals is what we do."

Is this empty, smug snark on the part of The Omnivore? No--no it isn't. 

Trump was elected--and Reed understands this even if he doesn't articulate it--as a massive "Fuck You" to liberals. His actions--the Keystone XL Pipeline, the removal of transgender bathroom protections--are not about any kind of coherent Make America Great Again policy. They are about striking blows in the culture war.

Failure to understand this is why the liberals keep getting Trump and Trump-supporters wrong. Liberals see Trump repealing Obamacare protections and go "But . . . but . . . people who voted for Trump rely on those--a lot of them anyway. Don't they . . . don't they see they got duped?"

The answer, is no. Sure--people who are directly fucked will be mad. That's the human condition--and some--about, maybe, 3%, have realized "they got duped."

But most people who are not directly fucked--they're still getting what they want: liberal pain. They can give him an "A" rating as he blunders about on Musim bans, opens hotels with prostitutes in China, lies about his election-size and his inauguration crowds, and all of that--because when he does it, he "wins." One of the Trump-voters The Omnivore knows stated his issues with Hillary: "She lies." The fact that Trump lies more and more transparently was, of course, immaterial to him. He wasn't concerned that Hillary lied--he just didn't want her to win. He'd have voted for a rock before voting for Clinton.

Trump wins by striking blows against liberals who, let's face it, have been winning for a long time. They've won in entertainment media. They've won in the popular press. They've had a 24 year winning streak in the White House when you realize that Bush was seen as not-a-winner by the right.

Trump is the last gasp to try and put some points on the board. The fact that may have destroyed "the party of Reagan," has (and is continuing to) humiliate America, and is trying hard to pass legislation that will hurt directly hurt a lot of his voters is immaterial to his constituency. 

Evangelicals ejected their morals because Trump would represent a culture-war victory they desperately wanted. Former fiscal conservatives are going to approve wasted billions on a wall if they can manage to get it past Democrats. Arm chair national-security hawks are suddenly okay with a clearly unconstitutional Muslim ban, Trump blundering around with China and North Korea, and having no clear policy on Russia or Syria.

So the question is: when you reach out to understand what Trump voters are going through--and you come to realize that Trump was a political brick thrown through the window of your SUV . . . what then?


  1. Replies
    1. Not sure what you mean? If you mean what was Russia's part in creating the rift--they didn't. That was conservative advertisers. Russia just amplified the underlying lies and drove action with them.

  2. Galen suggests that much of our political schism can be attributed to religion, which is not without some empirical merit. But didn't white evangelicals who attended church more frequently support Hillary more than white evangelicals who were less frequent church goers?

  3. Also, why does Reed Galen and others always seem to put the onus on Democrats to empathize with non-college educated whites? It's one thing to understand why some people are scientifically ignorant, racially intolerant, religiously hypocritical and unaccepting of modernity; it's another thing to not respect those values and characteristics.