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Missing voices

Written By: - Date published: 11:24 am, April 20th, 2017 - 39 comments
Categories: class, class war, us politics, war, workers' rights - Tags:

This is one of the voices we should also have been listening to and arguing about all these longs months. It’s well past time to get over hating liberals or rednecks, our only way out is to learn how to work and live together.

Former Trump supporter speaks Her Truth

*We’re all in this together. Please be kind to each other, the struggles are real*

39 comments on “Missing voices”

  1. adam 1

    So it looks like the democrat’s could have won, if only they picked a candidate that was not a corporate lackey.

    Funny thing history, some people get to say I told you so.

    I told you so!

    • Barfly 1.1

      Yup I would have greatly preferred President Sanders

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        While I’m on record here as being a 100% Sanders supporter, I’m also realistic enough to know that if he had won we would be witnessing another kind of political melt-down in the USA.

        • rhinocrates 1.1.1.1

          I agree with you RedLogix.

          A West coast ‘elite’ liberal atheist Jew would not have gained any votes among those who voted for Trump. Granted, he polled higher than Clinton initially amongst likely Democrat and independent voters, but Clinton used no attack ads against him and he never faced a campaign against him from the Republicans. They allegedly had a dirt file two feet thick even before Clinton was selected as the candidate. A lot of it wouldn’t have been ‘dirt’ from a liberal standpoint, but film of him stating approval for antiAmerican and socialist governments and movements would have been running 24/& had he been the Democratic candidate. That would have gone down like a cup of cold sick in the Midwest and the South, which is exactly where they needed to make gains.

          ‘Sanders would have won’ is delusional at best, and had he won, ‘Trumpism’ wouldn’t have magically evaporated. If anything, it would have been more virulent with even wider and overt anti-semitism.

          • weka 1.1.1.1.1

            Quite. But the point of the post wasn’t to rehash the US election, it was to look how to bridge the gulf between different parts of the community. I guess no-one thus far is actually interested in that 🙁

            • rhinocrates 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Good point.

              I’ve been watching a couple of films lately and while fiction, they present a culture and a situation and the writers/directors have their obvious and informed social commentary. One is Winters Bone and the other is the More recent Hell or High Water. Both presented a desolate social landscape abandoned or exploited by its institutions – portrayed as the banks – and people who were distrustful and resentful. Indeed, they’re fiction, but fiction that resonates with audiences because they see themselves there.

              Suggestions for healing the rift in America are going to have to be based on an empathy with the left behind, not by projecting New Zealand’s political norms and wishful thinking on to them.

              There is a huge split in American society, not just in economics, but in culture. Geographically it can be between the coastal states and the sneeringly-named ‘flyover states’.

              I don’t think that any one party can bridge that gap at a federal level. Ideally, a change to the two-party system would help, but realistically, without constitutional change, solutions have to be found nearer the bottom of the pyramid.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Talking to Canadians about the USA is interesting.

              First up Canadians really do see themselves as a very separate nation, with radically different histories and values. They do … very politely … look across the border with considerable disdain.

              Mentioned many times is how very debased and dumbed down much of the US education system has become. And how it has now resulted in generations of very poorly educated Americans with very narrow and limited views of the world.

              And what a diverse and incoherent nation it has become; stark divisions between the coastal enclaves and the fly-over states.

              Also apparent is the profound impact their military has. While the RCMP is a visible and potent element of Canadian life; it’s a benign and modest influence compared to how the US Armed Forces have become almost central to the US way of life.

              The enormous prevalence of people living on prescription drugs, the insecurity, distrust in Federal govt, the religious fundamentalism, the costs of education and health, the homelessness and racism, the profound cultural chasms …. all speak to a nation where diversity has transformed from a strength to a threat.

              Yet the vast majority of ordinary Americans are decent, hospitable and generous. An American contractor whom I worked with closely for some weeks was an interesting, entertaining and very authentic character. He expressed some very deep reservations about his country, how it has transformed in his lifetime from something hopeful and idealistic, into a ‘death culture’ that causes him anxiety and despair.

              Is a healing possible? From where I sit right now, I’d be very surprised if it got any better before it got a whole lot worse.

              • rhinocrates

                Also apparent is the profound impact their military has… the US Armed Forces have become almost central to the US way of life.

                http://www.gallup.com/poll/1597/confidence-institutions.aspx
                https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/americans-dont-trust-their-institutions-anymore/

                Trust in institutions has crashed, with the notable exception of the military.

                A very interesting book is Rosa Brooks’ How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything

                Available as audiobook and dead tree. You’ll find various snippets of interviews and articles around the net.

                First Brooks looks at how when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail (or a war), but the culmination of Brooks thesis (she’s a law and political science academic and former Pentagon staffer) is to compare the military with Wal-Mart. This is not facetious. One, The military is ubiquitous and provides services with basic competence, including employment welfare, medical care and education. Two, it’s ideal at none of these – but it’s the only one left offering them. Three, it’s an institution of service to the nation, as banks and government are no longer seen to be.

                Going back a bit, a military academic paper that caused stir in 1993 was ‘The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012’ by Charles J. Dunlap Jr

                Click to access dunlap_jr.pdf

                http://www.theatlantic.com/past/politics/defense/coldunl.htm#

                Dunlap’s thesis is that the US was primed for a military takeover not by a civil war or factional coup, but by a military that was given too many previously civilian institutional tasks when public confidence in civilian institutions were in sharp decline. The takeover would occur almost by default.

                While the thought experiment is set in 2012, the conditions described by Dunlap seem all the more apparent today.

                A president who routinely humiliates the military and intelligence services (not only by denigration, but by misusing them for immediate political gain as in the case of the Syrian strike and the lie about the USS Carl Vinson) won’t help…

                • RedLogix

                  It’s already true the US military is heavily involved in education; for most working class people joining the military is one of their few options for getting a good technical education.

              • simbit

                No. Since emigrating to Canada from NZ, I see ‘North America’ as a single conglomerate. Your comment on the RCMP is profoundly ignorant – their violent institutional racism is well documented- and illicit drug use is clipping too many lives daily. Sure the southerners have some serious issues but it’s a continuum and NZ is on the same slippery slope.

                • RedLogix

                  Obviously there are many commonalities, but the differences are important too. Complex histories and all their nuances are not covered off in a blog comment of a few hundred words.

              • Chris

                “Mentioned many times is how very debased and dumbed down much of the US education system has become. And how it has now resulted in generations of very poorly educated Americans with very narrow and limited views of the world.”

                Sound familiar? Such an integral part of the neo-liberal agenda. “Gotta keep the truth from the masses otherwise nobody will believe us.” Try turning the TV on to see if you can’t find some kind of reality show happening right then. Bloody near impossible. This is us, folks.

            • Incognito 1.1.1.1.1.3

              Bridge builders appear to be a shrinking minority while dam busters seem to be growing in number and force. The sad thing is that often they see themselves on the right side of the truth and gaining almost hero status – in their own eyes. They are never wrong, they never doubt or waver, they are supremely confident, they make my hair stand on end …

          • rhinocrates 1.1.1.1.2

            EAST coast liberal!

      • saveNZ 1.1.2

        Yep, if Sanders and Clinton could play together equally in the sand box without Clinton (and her aids trying to take all), we would not be facing the Don!

        Also if they were in touch with normal voters, not just the Hollywood set and the more disadvantaged. Society is everyone rich, poor, black, white, men, women, unemployed, underemployed, employed, sick, retired, over employed! Have a message for a better society for all, not just snap shots of it!

    • dukeofurl 1.2

      One persons opinion validates your previous view . Really ?

      Trump merely had the better slogan

  2. Ad 2

    In the circumstances, Trump is the best renewal programme the Democrats could have wished for.

    Bring on the mid-terms.

    • Nick 2.1

      The Democrat elite are not much better as they are also corrupted……really hard to lower the bar so low, but trump has done it and taking the country down with him.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        The Georgia runoff is a really good start.

        • joe90 2.1.1.1

          Where Bernie ‘not a democrat’ Sanders is doing his best to undermine Ossoff.

          Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, in an interview Tuesday in Louisville, Ky., said he didn’t know much about Mr. Ossoff, a 30-year-old former House staffer. Mr. Sanders said he isn’t prepared to back Democrats just because of a party label.

          “If you run as a Democrat, you’re a Democrat,” he said. “Some Democrats are progressive and some Democrats are not.”

          Asked if Mr. Ossoff is a progressive, Mr. Sanders, an independent who challenged Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primary, demurred. “I don’t know,” he said.

          https://www.wsj.com/articles/democrats-reload-for-georgia-runoff-but-party-divisions-remain-1492626238?tesla=y

      • dukeofurl 2.1.2

        Nick, you misunderstand the american political system. Its really really decentralised and through the primaries the voters choose the candidates AND the winner of the election.

        Braying on about democratic elite means nothing compared to NZ where financial members of the party ‘have some say’ in who their candidate is.
        People mostly register for one of the main parties or chose independent when they register to vote, thats it . No dues or such to pay.

        • red-blooded 2.1.2.1

          Duke, it costs $20 for someone in employment to join Labour, and $5 if you’re not in paid employment. I don’t think cost is the main factor for most people when they think about joining a political party in NZ. Plus, the primary system in the US is a big reason why the candidates need such deep pockets. While it looks very democratic, the effect is to cut out anyone but the independently wealthy or those with significant corporate backing.

          • dukeofurl 2.1.2.1.1

            I think you are still thinking of the 80s. They use the internet to bypass the corporate donors.
            Even Trump didnt need the usual GOP/ Corporate wealthy

  3. RedLogix 3

    On watching Hypernormalisation again last night, Curtis makes it plain … Trump is a shape shifter. Not in a physical David Icke fashion, but in the sense that Trump (and Putin) understand that in the modern and highly complex world, truth is almost entirely irrelevant. Instead they invent fake realities as they go along.

    This is why Trump can tell absolute blatant lies … and then apparently thrive on it …. because these are the tools he intentionally uses. When no-one is quite certain of what is real or not, everyone around him is a little back-footed, hesitant and unsure how to respond. Which creates the space in which the shape-shifter makes his next move in secret.

    It’s a very sophisticated dark magic show. Everything the magician says or does is about managing and diverting perceptions.

    • Stunned mullet 3.1

      Good analogy Red.

      I was always reminded of the ‘snake oil’ salesmen from the old cowboy movies whenever I watched a Trump rally on TV.

    • dukeofurl 3.2

      Historically Truth has changed over time, all thats different is for politicians, lying now has no real consequences

      Anyway as Einstein put it:
      ““Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth,”

      • RedLogix 3.2.1

        Curtis puts the case that it has gone beyond “lying has no consequences”. Politics as we have always known it is now redundant. The idea that a political ideology might make the world a better place is dead. A politician who claims truth and wants to want to make the world a better place is actively distrusted, mocked and hated.

        Now the lie IS the process; the fake reality IS the perception. That IS it’s power and we need to stop underestimating what we are up against.

        • greywarshark 3.2.1.1

          RedLogix
          It’s shocking what you say. And you give backing to your assertions.

          I was just reading Vladislav Surkov, Russian adviser.
          His chosen quote is from Nietzsche:

          We have art in order not to die from the truth.

          Seems to be the theme for the day.

  4. Keith 4

    Is it that US voters thought Trump, who does what he wants, was anti establishment, that he was for the ordinary and growing number of citizens left behind by “free trade”, their never ending wars and a government that is only interested in corporations and those with fat wallets who donate?

    How could it be that a rich man, a billionaire and worse one born into money would ever ever give a damn what they thought or wanted?

    I feel for the people of the US. They have been shit on by successive governments for almost as long as I can remember, probably from Regan onward at least. They deserve so much better.

    We had a taste of it here in Key and we are still trying to find a way past this.

    • garibaldi 4.1

      Keith says “I feel for the people of America”.
      I don’t.
      The Deep State in the USA has been in command since WW2 and they (the people) are too dumb to stop them. Time and again we have witnessed the stupid bloody yanks totally fuck things up. Your average American is nothing but an ignorant arsehole and they have got the government they deserve. Trouble is , the rest of the World doesn’t deserve America. Imo I think they are the number one threat to the World and it will be them that destroys us all.

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        Time and again we have witnessed the stupid bloody yanks totally fuck things up. Your average American is nothing but an ignorant arsehole and they have got the government they deserve.

        Three things.

        Their education system is very fragmented, inconsistent and often very narrow in outlook. I would make the case that the moment you let the profit motive dominate an education system, is the moment you have begun to make the result largely worthless.

        Try to keep in mind that their political system is almost completely dominated now by financial interests, gerrymandering and a desiccated two-party system that ensures the votes and interests of ordinary people have almost no discernible impact on what actually happens.

        And their working lives are remarkably stressful. Most people are underpaid, over-worked, insecure and enjoy very little in the way of annual leave or personal dignity.

        Yet despite all the things we can say about the fucked up society they live in, most people are still remarkably generous and decent as individuals. I think it important to keep that distinction in mind.

      • Red 4.1.2

        Nut bar alert warning on above

        A Chinese, Russian dominated world would be much better US ain’t perfect but sure glad they dominate than the alternatives

        • garibaldi 4.1.2.1

          You don’t know that Red. You’re guessing, and your reasoning is questionable. The Americans have proven themselves to be the ultimate Nut bars.

          • RedLogix 4.1.2.1.1

            We can quibble the details, but I would argue that ultimately ALL empires are evil. Wherever power is unchallenged, unaccountable it will be abused.

      • Peter 4.1.3

        (I think they are the number one threat to the World and it will be them that destroys us all.)
        Could not agree with you more.

  5. rhinocrates 5

    America is Regressing into a Developing Nation for Most People

    A new book by economist Peter Temin finds that the U.S. is no longer one country, but dividing into two separate economic and political worlds
    You’ve probably heard the news that the celebrated post-WW II beating heart of America known as the middle class has gone from “burdened,” to “squeezed” to “dying.” But you might have heard less about what exactly is emerging in its place.

    In a new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, Peter Temin, Professor Emeritus of Economics at MIT, draws a portrait of the new reality in a way that is frighteningly, indelibly clear: America is not one country anymore. It is becoming two, each with vastly different resources, expectations, and fates.

    https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/america-is-regressing-into-a-developing-nation-for-most-people

  6. Skeptic 6

    Two points from the comments above.

    1. Two of mty Professors at Canterbury were “runaways” from Reagan and stayed during the Clinton years. Both were Pols, but Jim Ocky’s leaning was anthropological, while Pat Regan was decision making. They had interesting views on the future of USA – some of which has come to pass – especially as a result of the wealth income gap over there (those of you who know the Manilla Study will be aware that when this gap reaches a certain point society fragments and revolution – violent revolution – follows in the historical fashion England 1640, France 1789, etc etc). Trump could very well be the last democratically elected President. Look at what happened to the Roman Republic after Julius Caesar. Jim & Pat said the USA had about 20 to 25 years – this was in the mid 90s. They’re spot on.

    2. The comment about the respect for the US military is a telling one. In every country where there has been a gradual and irreversible loss of interest in politics – or drastic polarisation in them, coupled with an inexplicable respect for military institutions, – i.e. people begin to trust their military ahead of their civilian leaders – there has been a military coup d’etat. Fiji is a classic example where military leaders are practically invited to take over whenever “those pesky Indians start running rough shod over native Fijian interests”. So were many South American countries in the 60s, 70s & 80s. Could the fate of Rome be about to be repeated in the USA and an actual American Empire be on the cards. Not beyond the realms of impossibility.

    Lets summarise:
    (a) We have a wealthy, immoral President who use nepotism and cronyism within his cabinet.
    (b) We have a large disaffected and marginalised “plebeian underclass” – almost slaves – wage slaves that is.
    (c) We have a well respected and well disciplined “legionary” – sorry, military-industrial complex – oops who said that.
    (d) We have a class of plutocrats who seem to be above the law – especially when it comes to buying up large areas of the Republic.

    Rome – 44 to 38 BC & USA 2017 to ??

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