Saturday, April 30, 2016

The More You Think Your Life Sucks, the More Republican -- and Trumpian -- You Are.

A recent Pew Research Center lays out the facts: If you're a Republican, you think you're going to Hell in a handbasket.

Young, not gifted, and white.

First, a slight nod to David Brooks, who got me onto this while he was waxing philosophic and bemoaning the sorry state of his tribe:
Donald Trump now looks set to be the Republican presidential nominee. So for those of us appalled by this prospect — what are we supposed to do?
Well, not what the leaders of the Republican Party are doing. They’re going down meekly and hoping for a quiet convention. They seem blithely unaware that this is a Joe McCarthy moment. People will be judged by where they stood at this time. Those who walked with Trump will be tainted forever after for the degradation of standards and the general election slaughter.
And what, as a pundit, was his role in this madness?
I was surprised by Trump’s success because I’ve slipped into a bad pattern, spending large chunks of my life in the bourgeois strata — in professional circles with people with similar status and demographics to my own.
Welcome to the world, David. Now let's see how long you can stand it before you slip back into Bobo's paradise. But give credit where credit is due. Brooks has seen the light, even though it took his tribe's adoption of Donald Trump to wake him up to the perils of, as a career choice, ripping the throat out of reality on behalf of a political party that would end up like it has.

Now to the statistics of where Brooks' tribe has chosen to live: the village of the damned. According to Pew:
Among GOP voters, fully 75% of those who support Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination say life for people like them has gotten worse, compared with 63% of Ted Cruz supporters and 54% of those who back John Kasich. While Democratic voters generally express more positive views of how life in the U.S. has changed over the past 50 years, those who favor Bernie Sanders are more negative (34% say life has gotten worse) than those who support Hillary Clinton (22%).
The takeaway from this poll is that if you think your life sucks, the more likely you are to support Trump, and it descends from there. Once you get to Sanders, you're less likely to think life sucks, and with Hillary, you have the best outlook for your present and, by extension, your future.

It's pretty obvious that Trump supporters inhabit a dark world, a world where blacks, browns, immigrants, women, and atheists have gotten over on them, with their welfare, their farm-worker jobs, their birth control, and their unChristian hedonism.

Keep in mind that the main charge Sanders supporters level at Clinton is that she's an inauthentic, phony progressive. Ouch! This gap can be bridged, but I'm off-topic.

A final word on Brooks: The rest of his column devolves into an attempt to avoid what he really means to say, which is that he can save his soul is if he becomes a liberal!
We’ll also need to rebuild the sense that we’re all in this together. The author R. R. Reno has argued that what we’re really facing these days is a “crisis of solidarity.” Many people, as the writers David and Amber Lapp note, feel pervasively betrayed: by for-profit job-training outfits that left them awash in debt, by spouses and stepparents, by people who collect federal benefits but don’t work. They’ve stopped even expecting loyalty from their employers. The big flashing lights say: NO TRUST. That leads to an everyone-out-for-himself mentality and Trump’s politics of suspicion. We’ll need a communitarianism.
Sounding a little like a socialist, bro.

Sorry, David. For you, that's a bridge too far, but face it, it's actually your recommendation to yourself. Good luck with that.

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