Tuesday March 21, 2017
Rich to Trump Voters: 'Drop Dead'
Frank Rich's New York Magazine piece, “No Sympathy for the Hillbilly: Democrats need to stop trying to feel everyone's pain, and hold on to their own anger,” is like a breath of fresh air amid the post-Trump Democratic hand-wringing. What can I say? I'm sick of stupid people ruining the world. They mock empathy, think government is the problem, belly up to corporations, buy the bullshit hucksterism of people like Reagan and Trump. Done. See ya, don't want to be ya. Just telling it like it is.
Rich is probably better, sharper, when attacking the Dems:
While the right is expert at channeling darker emotions like anger into ruthless political action, the Democrats' default inclination is still to feel everyone's pain, hang their hats on hope, and enter the fray in a softened state of unilateral disarmament. “Stronger Together,” the Clinton-campaign slogan, sounded more like an invitation to join a food co-op than a call to arms. After the debacle of 2016, might the time have at last come for Democrats to weaponize their anger instead of swallowing it? Instead of studying how to talk to “real people,” might they start talking like real people?
But the closer is a killer:
So hold the empathy and hold on to the anger. If Trump delivers on his promises to the “poorly educated” despite all indications to the contrary, then good for them. Once again, all the Trump naysayers will be proved wrong. But if his administration crashes into an iceberg, leaving his base trapped in America's steerage with no lifeboats, those who survive may at last be ready to burst out of their own bubble and listen to an alternative. Or not: Maybe, like Hochschild's new friends in Louisiana's oil country, they'll keep voting against their own interests until the industrial poisons left unregulated by their favored politicians finish them off altogether. Either way, the best course for Democrats may be to respect their right to choose.