May 23, 2018

Tired of trying to understand conservatives?

A number of people have recently written about that.

My take is different.

A certain amount of red-state "everyday" conservatives are easy to understand. I get fears of your economic future. I also "get," while rejecting, bashing immigrants for doing jobs that white Americans won't — or bashing Obama as a secret Muslim, etc.

It's called being a mudsill, which I have written about here, here and here. (I have at least one further installation, and probably two, if not more, already planned.)

I halfway get believing in trickle-down economics. You've been brainwashed over nearly 40 years now, and you've also been brainwashed to think the only reason it hasn't worked better is because of Clinton, Obama, Mezzcans and some black Americans.

Well, you let yourself be brainwashed at some point.

I get the intersection with neocons. Both of you believe that America is a Christian nation, unless you're a Jewish neocon, in which case you believe it's good that others believe this.

That's not going to get you 'everydays' a better job. It might get one of your kids signing up for another unnecessary war because he or she can't get a better job. It will get you more taxes, because the rich big-biz conservatives aren't going to pay for more bombs, more weapons and more wars themselves.

The big-biz conservatives are more cosmopolitan on social issues. Of course, they, as they shade into full-on libertarians at one end and into right-neoliberals at the other, are internationalists who don't care if America crumbles more as long as their stock and hedge fund portfolios continue to ride high.

What I do not get, the two-dimensional picture above (a generalization, but NOT a stereotype), is why some libruls (not leftists!) think listening tours or whatever are necessary. Like Arlie Russell Hochschild with "Strangers in Their Own Land." Conservatives in general will by no means become more open-minded because of this. And, they're certainly not going to reciprocate on open-minded listening tours.

So, why try?

I guess librulz think this is what they're supposed to do. And, they think that after understanding comes "respect." Wrong. And in the MSM, at the WaPost, surprisingly, Paul Waldman totally gets that that's a mug's game.
The right has a gigantic media apparatus that is devoted to convincing people that liberals disrespect them, plus a political party whose leaders all understand that that idea is key to their political project and so join in the chorus at every opportunity.
And Waldman is NOT some leftist. Maybe some librulz halfway get it.

Many don't, though. 

And, that's another reason why I'm a leftist.

Isaiah's "Come, let us reason together" applies to all parties, not just selectively.

And, the Trump Train doesn't want to reason. In many cases, it wants to play the martyr.

And, per Jaguar's comment and my response, that's the bottom line as I see it. And Trump's vocalness on both bigotry and misogyny has given them even freer reign to do this.

Beyond that, the real issue, which I failed to note?

Lack of reciprocity.

Show me a conservative, especially stereotypical Trump voter, who talks about trying to understand liberals, or beyond.

And, given that, I'll probably do a follow-up, with different header, and that idea, after my next couple of mudsills posts are in the hopper.

Sometimes, conservatives don't want to be understood, because they don't want to understand, or accept, reality.

Take Harley-Davidson, getting a ton of Trump Tax Scam breaks, then turning around and closing the plant in Kansas City, while announcing plans to open one in Bangkok.

Here's welder Tim Primeaux:

-->
“I blame the company more than I blame the president," he said in the NBC News interview.
 I think the church has a blessing about this. Oh, yes –

"The self-willed ignorance that passes all understanding."

5 comments:

paintedjaguar said...

Mmph. Go try that line about "jobs that white Americans won't [do]" on someone who used to make a decent living in meat packing or construction, or factory work. Just be ready to get punched in the face. Whatever one's feelings about immigrants might be in a theoretical vacuum, nobody likes a scab. The standard "liberal" stance of dismissing any and all concerns about immigration as racism and ignorance is stupid, both practically and politically.

Though I'm often appalled at conservatives, I don't find them hard to understand. The people I don't comprehend are the hard core Hillaryites and other Dem partisans, I suppose because many of the values they betray are MY values. Like the right wingers, they pay lip service to a bunch of things that in practice they abhor and are totally convinced of their own virtue.

Gadfly said...

Immigrants may depress wages, certainly on jobs that don't have adequate safety protections.

BUT ... working class whites buy the big-biz conservs' safety deregulations Kool-Aid along with various other forms of Kool-Aid.

To the degree that unions might help in the fight for a safe, as well as better-paid, workplace, how many "Reagan Dems" or "Reagan hard hats" applauded when he busted PATCO? Of course, many unions have their own long, and convoluted, histories on racism. That gets us back to blacks hired as 'scabs' in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Many unions kept blacks out at that time in the first place.

And, on the immigrants coming here in the first place? The 'illegal' ones? To some degree, the fault of both mainstream parties .... not just on NAFTA, but on foreign policy in Central America.

I understand big-biz and neocon wings. I also understand the 'white working class' wing, including its various resentments.

But, I stand by what I said ... that all three divisions ... don't want to "reason together." It's true that national-level Dems often don't have reason-able options for the working-class whites wing, and are willingly in bed with the first two wings.

But, of course, that's why I did my duopoly exit. I'm not looking for the first two wings to change because their politics are predicated on their stances. I would, per Thomas Frank, "look for" the working class whites to change and stop acting against their own self-interest.

But, they have to do that on their own. Per Marx, I can't pull their chains off them. They have to decide to drop them themselves.

leonids11 said...

"Mmph. Go try that line about 'jobs that white Americans won't [do]' on someone who used to make a decent living in meat packing or construction, or factory work. Just be ready to get punched in the face."

Portraying white working-class Americans as prone to violence perpetrates a class stereotype.

Gadfly said...

To quote Tevye; "Well put!"

But ... is it a stereotype, or a generalization?

Using ideas from informal logic, I differentiate between the two based on this.

If, to the best of our determination, a definition applies to more than 50 percent of a group, even if far below 100 percent, it's a generalization. It's a stereotype if below 50 percent.

As for other issues? Whether I speak directly to them that much or not, all of my brothers have racial issues, and one of them, and his older son, arguably fall a lot in the working-class whites group. That said, people in the oil patch can't have jobs exported to China, and, because the cost of fucking up an oil rig or well is pricey, are less vulnerable to replacement by illegal immigrants than a meatpacker at IBP or chicken cutter at Tyson.

Mining, as another extractive industry, is pretty much the same. Don Blankenship would have replaced miners with Ill Eaglez rather than robotic machinery if the deal had been better.

leonids11 said...

"To quote Tevye; 'Well put!'"

Thanks, especially since I noticed my typo after I posted my remark. (I meant to type perpetuates.)

I'll have to remember the 50% threshold for differentiating between a stereotype
and a generalization. Regarding whether I think white working-class Americans
are above or below that threshold for being prone to violence, I'm afraid I
have some bad news for those who valorize this reputed trait. Like most people,
working-class whites are prone not to violence but instead to docility; happily,
"Them's fightin' words!" doesn't eventuate a punch to the face but instead to a plausible-sounding
rationale for why the offending party will be let off with a warning.