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Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Who Can I Turn To?

The 1964 musical Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd featured a song by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley:
Who can I turn to
When nobody needs me
My heart wants to know
And so I must go
Where destiny leads me
Now 52 years later, the blue collar class asks the same question. Who can I turn to?

Two writers of different political stripes and backgrounds grasped this. On the right is Kurt Schlichter is a retired infantry officer (lieutenant colonel)  in the infantry who became a civil defense attorney. He wrote a column, "So Conservatives, What Have We Learned From This Trump Thing?"

On the left is T. A. Frank, a Vanity Fair contributor who covers politics and policy. Frank preferred the Democratic convention to the Republican one.

But Frank wrote:
But I must admit, for what the feelings of one viewer are worth, I also found the pageant of Philadelphia alienating. While I’m mostly a caricature of blue-state America—sharing most of its enthusiasms, habits, and tastes—millions of my fellow citizens want to live quite differently, and I suppose, as blue-state America celebrated itself on-screen, I felt their pain. For a long time now, red-state America has been losing the culture wars, steadily, and sometimes quickly. Its people are in a defensive crouch. And, because the losers are seen as defenders of the indefensible, those on the winning side tend to view them with scorn and smugness. There was more of that in Philadelphia than most Democrats seemed to notice.
Let me explain that discomfort Frank felt: alienation of the majority of the citizenry by elite governors can have dire consequences.

Now from Schlichter, the better of the two:
Did we ever actually listen to our people? I mean all our people, not just the people who went to the same colleges as us and who hang with us at the same awesome restaurants and read National Review. I mean the actual voters out there in wherever actual GOP voters live. Did we pay attention to them and their concerns? Did we listen to them about illegal immigration, about the impact of free trade, about the wars we supported? And did we fight? I don’t mean just give lip service to how bad and unwashed liberals are, but really get in there and stand up to these flag-hating, gender-inventing, God-booing jerks? Or did we look down on the very people we were depending on at election time?
The answer of course is they did not listen. Today's conservatives do not believe this applies to them:
Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
That's from the Declaration of Independence.

The way we throw off bad governments in the 21st century America is through the ballot box. For now. As the conservative commentariat learned, the ballot box works.

Schlichter concluded:
So what have we learned about ourselves? Maybe that many of us are snobs. There's a lot of class warfare going on here, a lot of backroom snark, with a lot of conservatives who want to believe that the only people who could ever support Donald Trump are knuckle-dragging morons who can't cut it when it comes to anything besides digging ditches. Too many of us choose cultural solidarity with the liberals we live among over political solidarity with the people we expected to vote with us.
“Gosh,” we tell ourselves. “These people can’t even see what’s in their own best interest.” Except maybe they don’t like what they see. Maybe it’s because they decided we aren’t worth listening to. Maybe they don’t like us conservatives. And maybe we better figure out how to fix that instead of whining.
Of course, the political eunuchs at The Weekly Standard and National Review do not see that they now hold dear the same bigotries the Left does. Remember when the Pigs dined with the Farmers at the end of Animal Farm?

Everyone labeled the pigs as sellouts.

What about the farmers?

Stay brave.


"Trump the Press: Don Surber's take on how the pundits blew the 2016 Republican race" is available as a paperback. Please order here.

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  1. I like LTC Schlicter. He is a good writer and he GETS it. We, the great unwashed, are still a majority. It is difficult but incumbent upon us to follow through on the Declaration of Independence and throw off this current government and provide new guards for our future security. Otherwise, our "betters" in government (BOTH parties) will continue to feed us their crap sandwiches. - Elric

  2. Frank, of course, wrote "What's The Matter With Kansas?", in which he whined about why Middle America couldn't see how the Lefty Democrats were the answer to its prayers.

    Schlichter is a hardcore NeverTrumper who couldn't find a good thing to say about Trump to save his life. If he's seen the light, more power to him.

    1. He's not Nevertrump. He says he will vote for him, but only out of a sense of duty. This may be just to satisfy his bosses at Townhall, who are Nevertrumpers. I try to stay away from all of their associated sites.

  3. "The way we throw off bad governments in the 21st century America is through the ballot box. For now."
    What comes after if "for now" doesn't get your desired results Don? With Christie, Gingrich, Ryan and a host of others apologizing and criticizing Trump for acting like the whiny narcissist he is - are you starting to see that not even Trump will bring about your hoped for change? About time.

    1. Yeah. Don Surber is going to single handedly carry out a regime change in our government. Now, tell us great Nonnyass, just what are the changes Don is going to bring about when he takes over? You can read minds so wonderfully. Most of the people who claim to be able to do so are nothing but intellectual narcissists, but we know you're different. The all seeing all knowing Nonnyass.

  4. “Gosh,” we tell ourselves. “These people can’t even see what’s in their own best interest.” That's because the writers, media, and pundits KNOW what's in our "best" interests, and think we're stupid for not agreeing with them.

    1. Don't sweat it Sam. Surber thinks your stupid if you disagree with him? Crazy cycle isn't it. "Nobody's right if everyone's wrong."

    2. Wow. Your insight into Surber's mind is really astounding. Maybe you can explain how you do it someday.

    3. As soon as Surber explains how he knows everything that the "Washington insiders" are thinking.

  5. The M.O. is:

    1.) Insult the conservative voters
    2.) Ask for the conservative voters' vote.
    3.) Accept the conservative voters' vote and immediately insult them again.

    Is it any wonder those voters are now asking:
    "As I head for the door I turn around to be sure
    Did I shave my legs for this?"

    1. I think they may have learned this method from Nonnyass. He's so smart. And calmly persuasive.