Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Last Call For The Snobs Versus The Slobs

The best evidence that I have of Trump truly splitting the GOP in 2016 is from of all places, the National Review.  Last month the magazine endorsed Trump, or most of the writers did...but not all. Kevin Williamson and David French have finally said what the country club Republicans have been wanting to say for years: the immoral FOX News masses with their Trump worship need to get the hell out.

It is immoral because it perpetuates a lie: that the white working class that finds itself attracted to Trump has been victimized by outside forces. It hasn’t. The white middle class may like the idea of Trump as a giant pulsing humanoid middle finger held up in the face of the Cathedral, they may sing hymns to Trump the destroyer and whisper darkly about “globalists” and — odious, stupid term — “the Establishment,” but nobody did this to them. They failed themselves  
If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy — which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog — you will come to an awful realization. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that. 
Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster. There wasn’t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America. So the gypsum business in Garbutt ain’t what it used to be. There is more to life in the 21st century than wallboard and cheap sentimentality about how the Man closed the factories down.  
The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.

Now, Williamson is being ripped to shreds for saying this, mainly because it's partially true, and mainly because the "outside forces" Williamson is hand-waving away are the same County Club Republicans who screwed these poor white communities over in the first place in pursuit of globalization and profits, and everyone damn well knows it.  But the thing is, everyone knows the corporate wing of the GOP has always hated the plebs at the bottom of the pile and have been getting them to vote against their self-interests for decades.  It worked for Reagan, Nixon, and two Bushes.

No longer.

Note that the arguments Williamson (and French, in defending him) make are the ones white conservative pundits usually throw at people of color: that they're lazy, on welfare, they have too many kids, and that they alone are responsible for their own failure in being billionaires.  To have this be used by Williamson against rock-ribbed conservative "salt-of-the-earth" types is pure anathema. No wonder Trump supporters are furious at him. These are the same dog whistle attacks used against those people, and they know exactly what Williamson means by them.

The message is clear: the FOX News, talk radio, and comment section trailer trash rank and file want Trump, not the Country Club Republican-approved boys like Jeb or Rubio (or even Kasich at this point) and the civil war is now in the open.  It's Caddyshack writ large, Al Czervik versus the Judge, and Trump is Carl Spackler wiring the course with plastic explosives. The snobs against the slobs indeed. As Judge Smails will tell you:

"I've sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn't want to do it. I felt I owed it to them."

Time to watch the fireworks when Carl blows up the course going for that damn gopher.

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