Democrats have deserted the blue collars

The Good Hands-on people

Why is Madison more progressive than, say, Wausau? The answer: Class warfare. Not rich versus the poor nor even capitalists versus workers, as the Marxists would have it.

The divide demarcates people who work with their minds versus those who work with their hands, NY Times columnist Ross Douthat postulates.

It’s why MAGA supporters support the Canadian truckers’ blockade while 1619 Project believers root for Pierre Trudeau’s clamp down.

First, a little local history. Madison historian David Mollenhoff recounts how Madison once made things. In February 1901, Mollenhoff recounts, an after-dinner speaker told its members that ‘prejudice against making the city a manufacturing center has disappeared.”

Madison made stuff

Soon, farmers came to the foot of Willy Street just east of the Capitol to buy their plows; bistros and bike shops populate Machinery Row now. Next door, where Fauerbach brewed beer, up-scale condos reside now. Gisholt made machine tools and Mautz made paint on E. Washington Ave. Now those old factories are surrounded by and have been refashioned into high-end hostelries and high rises housing young computer scientists.

To the southeast, the Garver mill started out processing beets into sugar; now it hosts fashionable eateries. Madison Kipp foundry — “an important addition to the dinner pail brigade” when it opened in 1903, is harassed by enviros today. Oscar Mayer once butchered hogs. Today it grows weeds.

Lee Snodgrass tweet

Leave it to the experts, who are progressive

Madison’s stock in trade today is, overwhelmingly, intellectual property: Epic, Exact Sciences, Promega, Raven Software, medicine, education, government lobbyists and service providers. Douthat illustrates the divide in this year’s Canadian trucker standoff. On one side:

Justin Trudeau, a condensed symbol of meritocracy-blurring-into-aristocracy — with degrees from two of Canada’s three best universities, but also the pedigree of being Pierre Trudeau’s son.

On the other side you have the truckers and their allies: … defined by an exhaustion with pandemic restrictions and a strong connection to the physical portion of the economy, the part that relies on brawn and savvy, not just the manipulation of words and symbols on a screen.

The trucker protests have sharpened a division between “Virtuals” and “Practicals” — meaning the people whose professional lives are lived increasingly in the realm of the “digital and the abstract,” and the people who work in the “mundane physical reality” upon which the virtual society still depends.

His citation quotes Christopher Lasch’s The Revolt of the Elite:

The thinking classes are fatally removed from the physical side of life… Their only relation to productive labor is that of consumers. They have no experience of making anything substantial or enduring. They live in a world of abstractions and images, a simulated world that consists of computerized models of reality – “hyperreality,” as it’s been called – as distinguished from the palatable, immediate, physical reality inhabited by ordinary men and women.

Tr(i)ump(h) of the deplorables

Even five years ago, after Donald Trump stunned America by defeating Hillary Clinton, Obama’s Labor Secretary Robert Reich warned Democrats:

The Democratic party once represented the working class. But … has been taken over by Washington-based fundraisers, bundlers, analysts, and pollsters who have focused instead on raising campaign money from corporate and Wall Street executives …

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Since then, Democrats have been have been defunding police, defending rioters, conjuring ever more government giveaway programs, telling parents to butt out of their kids’ schools, promoting drag queen story hour, and blaming “white privilege” for their work ethic. Intellectually precious, perhaps, but not the real world people can actually feel and touch.

Do you use your hands?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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9 Responses to Democrats have deserted the blue collars

  1. AdamC says:

    North side and East side of Madison are waving goodbye to to solid good paying jobs (Oscar Mayer-gone, Rayovac-gone, Hooper-gone, and on and on). City doesn’t lift a finger to keep century-old companies. East Towne is headed for the dumpster too.

    Instead we get multimillion taxpayer funded low income apartments and homeless huts. And that stupid “public market” that has been “imminent” for over a decade is going to revive the area!? B.S. if you ask me. A privately funded multi-vendor food market has run circles around the City and is in operation with rave reviews already. Didn’t take them 10+ years to plod along and burn taxpayer money in the process.

    This is NOT a recipe for a sustainable long-term economy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • georgessson says:

      That’s negative thinkin’, Adam, and it helps NOT MDSN’s plowed-under-minorities; Nor does it give their Progressive life-savers credit for all that they have accomplished. Oh, Snap ! Progs have accomplished zip, nada, Zud in long/short term goals. Lemme change my emphasis here -That’s realistic thinkin’, Adam. And I thank thee !


  2. pANTIFArts says:

    If humans were still a hunter/gatherer society, this would be, yet again, an example of the “Mimes of Hypothetical Basket-making”, (alternative, and interpretive design division), wanting to decide how to divide up the buffalo that the hunters struggled back to camp with.


  3. Bill Cleary says:

    Thank you for bringing this up. But I think you can add some classes of people to your list. For your consideration, mine would look like this.

    1st class is those in power in the federal government. The higher the power, the better.
    2nd class would be those in the media that will spout whatever those in government want them to make us believe.
    3rd would be the business tycoons like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and others that have the money to influence elections whether covertly or out in the open.
    4th class is those who make a lot of money.
    5th is the class of all the rest of us who work with our hands to make a living
    6th is the class that is retired from the work place
    7th is the class who have not ever worked and have always depended on the government teat for all of their lives.

    A lot of us who have worked with our hands for a living and am now retired are blown away by the salaries and the pensions that those in government and those in the education system make.


    • richard lesiak says:

      You forgot state government. Where did Vos get his power to finance a million dollar snipe hunt? Not from Evers that’s for sure.


  4. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    “Now those old factories are surrounded by and have been refashioned into high-end hostelries and high-rises housing young computer scientists.” Don’t forget the art galleries and yoga studios without which the lives of Madison’s elites wouldn’t be worth living.

    The Democrats had one brief moment when they might have turned things around: the morning after the 2016 election, when the disastrous results of their embrace of identity politics and abandonment of the working stiffs were visible to all but the most hardened fanatics–in other words, the current “leaders” of that party.


    • richard lesiak says:

      There have been 30 repub governors in our history, 13 Dems. Where were these guys? The state leg. was part-time. Now we are burning money over these lazy lifers. Where’s Ryan and Walker? Gone with the wind and ROJO will be next.


  5. tartanmarine says:

    I was a brain worker except for some time in the Marines. Always been very conservatavive. For Goldwater in 64. ~Bob

    On Mon, Feb 21, 2022 at 2:19 PM Blaska Policy Werkes wrote:

    > David Blaska posted: ” The Good Hands-on people Why is Madison more > progressive than, say, Wausau? The answer: Class warfare. Not rich versus > the poor nor even capitalists versus workers, as the Marxists would have > it. The divide demarcates people who work with their min” >


  6. Madtownforsure says:

    The Fauerbach owners were great, E. wash Ave is now called Epic lane, anything at the fingertips. Even lower speed limits whereas neighborhood s in the burbs still screaming for speed bumps, or radar units, but noooooo says our leader. Leader of 7 weapon violations in 10 days.


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