I am growing tired of the Angry White Voter excuse. The one that says, “Hey, these people have been overlooked and left behind” and offers that as an explanation for why Republicans have been gaining ground for more than a generation right up to putting a dangerously unqualified and unfit man in the Oval Office. I never much bought into it anyway.
First — and most importantly — to say that the Angry White Voter has been overlooked and forgotten seems to forget the fact that these voters have been incrementally moving from progressive values to conservative ideology and putting people contrary to their interests in public office from the local to national level since Reagan began to win over his “Reagan Democrats” over thirty freaking years ago! It is these elected officials, representing the will of an increasingly conservative working class, that has been leaving those so-called angry white voters behind.
Well, WTF! If you vote for people who pursue policy that runs counter to your interests, guess what…you might get left behind. And even exploited. Indeed, there is something like a Stockholm Syndrom going on with almost any Republican voter today who isn’t in the upper reaches of America’s socioeconomic ladder. Perhaps there is no better proof of this than the adoration of a debased idol like Donald J. Trump. He stands for absolutely nothing in common with the overlooked working class and poor in this country. Nothing. Worse, he barely embraces even the most basic tenets of American democracy and its history and its values, literally calling into doubt even the basic structures of our elections and courts. Respect for law is a matter of convenience for him.
Things have gotten so outrageous, we forget that the American right hasn’t presented meaningful policy or legislation of any kind in years. That doesn’t look to change anytime soon, as to today’s Republican leaders press on with campaign sloganeering about cuts and repeals without any plan, purpose, or priority.
Contrary to being left behind, if indeed we can trace Trump’s victory to Angry White Voters, then Angry White Voters own this one. It is not they who should be angry, it is the rest of us of who be as this country lurches to the right leaving decency and progress in the destruction it has wrought.
Ultimately the real culprit is an unsophisticated voter, one that does not understand the issues and his relationship to them. To create an apologetic that only gives their anger legitimacy misses this key part. Angry White Voters will only get angrier and angrier if they keep turning against their interests in what is left of our democracy.
And I am sorry if anyone’s feelings are hurt or otherwise offended. But you don’t placate a child who has just smashed his dinner plate because he doesn’t like the food you served him. Right? You expect him to grow up. Appeasing the child is not the way to help him grow up.
Just getting a little pissed off…