How to talk to the Deplorables

Use. Small Words. Point to mouth. Speak slowly.

It’s only a matter of time before the publishers come out with a how-to manual titled “Deplorables for Dummies.” A kind of field guide, if you will, for the bien pensants, the cultural elite, the social justice warriors on how to deal with the inevitable Trump supporter, should he be encountered in the wild. (Look him in the eye but no sudden movements.)

William McGurn explores this emerging literature in his column in today’s Wall Street Journal. He finds that:

“The liberal contempt for middle America is baked into the idea of identity politics.”

It is a theme that the white lab coats here at the Policy Werkes have sounded for many a manifesto. (Just one example: “The problem with race and gender studies: they promote hate.” — 12-22-2016.) McGurn cites an article in the New Republic that explains to its left-of-center readers that these strange Deplorables who voted Donald Trump “go to church.”

They have friends (“and sometimes even spouses”) “who are Republicans.” “They don’t feel self-conscious saluting the flag.” Who knew?

HillbilliesA writer at the on-line Slate puts it in terms his liberal-progressive-socialist audience can understand: “What attitude should we be taking toward people who voted for a racist buffoon who is scamming them?” Here’s McGurn again:

When Mrs. Clinton labeled Trump voters deplorable (“racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it”) she was simply following identity politics to its logical conclusion. Because identity politics transforms those on the other side of the argument—i.e., Americans who are pro-life, who respect the military, who may work in the coal industry—from political opponents into oppressors. …

The attraction of identity politics is its usefulness in silencing those who do not hew to progressive orthodoxy. This dynamic is most visible on campuses, where identity politics is also most virulent. — “Why Elites Hate.”

Over at National Review, an accounting is made of the Left’s political violence — both rhetorical and physical: the silenced speakers, the broken windows and roughed-up professors.

Here in the Emerald City, there is little evidence that the Left’s self-screwing hatred is getting through the impermeable bubble our … acquaintances inhabit. So far, it’s just former mayor Dave Cieslewicz. Here’s another quote from his piece in the 06-2-2017 Isthmus:

Identity politics — whether it’s white, evangelical identity politics on the right or gay, black, Hispanic or gender identity politics on the left — is the very root of the problem. We’ve stopped thinking of ourselves as Americans or Wisconsinites and started thinking of ourselves as members of a tribe assigned by gender, skin color, or sexual orientation.

What I yearn for isn’t a new state party chair, but a party that has a message about inclusion that is truly inclusive. What it has now is a message that essentially blames straight, white guys for everything.

Let’s give McGurn the last word:

… it helps to remember the tail end of Mr. Obama’s snipe about guns and religion: it was a crack about voters clinging to “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them.” Sounds like a pretty accurate indictment of contemporary American liberalism.

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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4 Responses to How to talk to the Deplorables

  1. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    One of the many toxic side effects of identity politics made the news recently when a student at James Madison Memorial High School demanded that it be re-named because Madison–founding father, fourth President, and guiding spirit of the Constitution–was (you guessed it) a slaveholder. She claimed that attending a school named after Madison made her, as a person of color, feel “marginalized” and “unsafe”–two essential buzzwords in the lexicon of identity politics. Of course, in the catechism of the Left, having owned slaves is THE unforgivable sin–one that instantly and completely negates any and all achievements, no matter how noble. I suspect that liberals have decided to chip away at our nation’s legacy by targeting the lesser known slaveholders–Madison, Monroe, Jackson–before targeting the big names–Jefferson and Washington. Then one glorious day in the not-so-distant future all those schools will be named after minorities, no matter how obscure (think Pearl Bailey High in “Family Guy.”)

    Of course, instead of dismissing this student’s idiotic demands, Madison liberals went into extreme hand-wringing mode. One local columnist suggested not only dropping Madison’s name form the high school but renaming the city for good measure. His suggestion was “Dejope” (!!!) Mine is “PC Central.”


  2. madisonexpat says:

    I’ve had many conversations with Africans of many different nations and cultures asking, “What is the best form of government for their country?”.
    Democracy seems to be a universal desire. It, however, always crashes and burns on the obstacle of Tribalism. As a new nation we had escaped much of that.
    Thank god for the U.S. Constitution and confusion to its enemies, foreign and domestic.


  3. Batman says:

    I find it hard to believe that HS students even consider the name of James Madison Memorial HS in a historical context. One must be looking really hard for something to be aggrieved about to focus on the name of this HS, of which I am an alumni. The vast majority of HS students are absorbed with all things important to kids that age and it is not the history of James Madison.
    I do not believe that student genuinely feels unsafe and marginalized by the HS name but instead feels she is doing good social justice work. People feel unsafe around hostile violent people and marginalized when disfavored or excluded. Really doubt the HS name is engendering either.

    Still, the argument can be made that certain statues and building names unjustly glorify those guilty of past sinful deeds. The question then is what to do about that. Shall we whitewash our history or use the occasion to educate how Americans responded to slavery, Indian genocide, women’s rights issues, etc.? Educate and contextualize all of our history, both the good and the bad. America has come a long way and certain symbols can help explain our historical timeline.
    Contextualize within the period as well as within the bloody, brutal history of humans throughout all time. Virtually all tribes, villages, civilizations, and countries have a sordid history of horrible brutality towards other humans and animals. In just the past 200yrs the Rwandan, Bosnian, Cambodian, American Indian genocide come to mind, plus the Holocaust. Am I forgetting anything.

    Instead of removing all controversial symbols; new buildings, streets, bridges, etc. shall be named after a variety of races and ethnicities until things are balanced. The vetting process had better be infallible however, because if one looks hard enough there are few people without some dark stain in their life. Margaret Sanger is one example.


  4. Batman says:

    Dennis Prager’s version of public school if he was the Principal. I would enjoy attending this school.
    A five minute speech.
    Trigger Warning!


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