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Speaker: No, there isn’t a popular uprising of the white working class against the status quo

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  • Moz, in reply to Cornford,

    at some point people might want consider that millions of people in many countries that once would be the left's nature constituency don't think you care more, or are achieving 'social justice'

    I'm yet to be convinced that they're listening to the left at all. I saw an apparently genuine commenter say "the far left went down in flames", and they seemed to be talking about Hilary Clinton. Which suggests that they have very little idea of what the left is, let alone the far left. Remember that in world terms Bernie is centre-right, a bit like John Key. My impression is that there's a significant group of voters who think Clinton really is the far left extreme of the political spectrum.

    So while it might be nice if there were some left-ish person who was nice enough that you would listen to her, I strongly suspect that in practice no-one can ever be nice enough. Did you see Samantha Bee on "how we made Clinton into an emotionless puppet?" "the left" can't ever be nice enough, or reasonable enough, or "not shrill" enough, unless they become the right. Tony Blair tried that. Killed a lot of people trying to be right enough. Still failed.

    I've been out campaigning, I've listened to all sorts of people at different times over the years, and one thing I've never heard is "oh, really, *that* is their policy? Gosh, I would have voted for them before if I'd known, but I'll definitely vote for them now". Just doesn't happen. I've had a lot of conversations with people go bad when I suggest The Greens might have something useful to say. Generally because "they already know it"... what they know is almost always wrong, but they don't care about "your facts" they care about "what I know".

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Cornford,

    the left’s nature constituency don’t think you care more, or are achieving ‘social justice’, they just think you’re self righteous narcissists

    Im guessing you mean "natural constituency"
    Its hard to argue when people feel as if they have been wronged in some way, and we all seem to be getting more thin-skinned everyday. So the downtrodden is the "left's" for the asking they just have to say the right thing? or anything? It seems a very superficial argument.
    The past 4 decades have seen a shift in many areas of human activity and I would argue that the political class (if there is such a thing). Just havent got their head around it at all, on all sides of this political mess.
    And are offering policies often in a vacuum. So if someone offers surety when all others are equivocating they may have some appeal in the short term, just for appearing to be bold.
    Now more than ever the politicians and populace need to make informed decisions and we're not. Its based on outmoded ways of thought, old prejudices, and fuck knows what!
    C'mon!

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Moz,

    I’ve had a lot of conversations with people go bad when I suggest The Greens might have something useful to say.

    While I agree with the Greens disapproval of Donald Trumps behaviour, I am having trouble understanding what they mean when they said they wouldn’t work with him. What are they saying?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • Kirk Serpes,

    Okay there's one other area there that I didn't quite address that's worth mentioning. The competing economic vs cultural back lash narratives. One says that large number of white people living the rust belt have been left behind by the modern economy and this is their protest vote. The other says that the speed of cultural change in the US, starting with a black President, but also LGBT rights, BLM, etc has rattled the rural white middle class who can't recognise their country anymore and want things to go back to the good old days.

    In reality it's probably a bit of both, but you can't ignore the fact that most of the coverage of this election was not dominated by discussion of economic policy but about race and gender issues (to put it very mildly). That's not to say a lot of people didn't vote against Clinton for her neoliberal policies, just that it wasn't the dominant theme, nowhere near enough to tip the scales I think... I could be wrong but this felt a lot more like a cultural backlash to the rapid pace of culture change. While part of me says fuck'em. They need to get used to the other people having as much rights and visibility as they've enjoyed, another calmer part of me says maybe we need to be less dickish about how we hold it over them in popular culture. After all they did vote for a black man twice.

    Either way the economic centrism of Clinton did hurt her with the left activist base. They were never as excited about fighting for her. They didn't preach about how she would change the world to their friends and family 24/7 as they did with Obama, and that mean turnout suffered. The election felt toxic and most of the time progressives didn't defend Hillary the same way they defended Obama from all the attacks. That meant a lot of voters saw her as "just as bad" as Trump and just didn't vote for either for either of them. That's how she lost the lead Obama had.

    Also yes I know there are many different varieties of "left". And for the purpose of this very quickly written blog I kinda used that term a little too broadly at times. There's the DNC elites DWS, Clintons,etc, the cultural elites like Bee, Oliver, etc, the far far left like Occupy, Jill Stien, the mid-far left of Bernie, etc, the business left mostly based around Silicon Valley. All those groups LOVED Obama but only one of them loved Clinton. Most were meh, some were all out anti. The Obama coalition isn't the Clinton one.. every successful candidate creates their own but she didn't. It's not that she didn't try to appeal to the rust belt workes, or BLM activists, or whatever, it's that most of them never really bought it. Be honest, even you knew that she would sell us out at the first opportunity if the going got tough. There you go, that's your enthusiasm gap.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Kirk Serpes, in reply to daleaway,

    I didn't need much convincing that a lot of men wouldn't vote for Clinton because she was a woman but I would really love someone to explain to me how a majority of women voted for Trump? It was like 53% or something. I really hope someone is focus grouping that shit because I just really can't fathom how.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Kirk Serpes,

    After all they did vote for a black man twice.

    I look at it as they were voting for the least establishment character. Which they continued to do so in voting for what Trump represented.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Kirk Serpes,

    Also yes I know there are many different varieties of “left”.

    Yes! There are sexist, racist, homophobic leftists. “left wing” party’s have to cater to them economically, and by vilifying wealthy people.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Kirk Serpes,

    there are many different varieties of “left”. And for the purpose of this very quickly written blog I kinda used that term a little too broadly at times. There’s the DNC elites DWS, Clintons,etc, the cultural elites like Bee, Oliver, etc, the far far left like Occupy, Jill Stien, the mid-far left of Bernie, etc, the business left mostly based around Silicon Valley. All those groups LOVED Obama but only one of them loved Clinton. Most were meh, some were all out anti.


    splitters...!

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2210 posts Report Reply

  • mccx, in reply to tussock,

    They didn't block Bernie. He got in, and he lost. He was even less popular with the Democrat base, even in those swing states.

    I think you'll find that in the three states that really cost Clinton the election –Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania – Sanders won the open primaries in Wisconsin & Michigan and lost the closed primary in Pennsylvania. That would seem to indicate that he was more popular than Clinton in the places that really mattered.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2012 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • mccx, in reply to Kirk Serpes,

    In reality it's probably a bit of both, but you can't ignore the fact that most of the coverage of this election was not dominated by discussion of economic policy but about race and gender issues (to put it very mildly).

    I don't think that claim is anywhere near "fact" status. There was *heaps* of economic policy discussion in this election if you count the, erm, unorthodox manner in which Trump discusses economics. He consistently referred to bad trade agreements that 'send jobs overseas' and that he was a businessman who knew how to get the US better 'deals' in its economic relationships with other countries. The way Trump framed economic policy doesn't look like how the left and third-wayers talk about economic policy (redistribution, productivity, etc.), but Trump's framing appealed to the gut-instincts of rust-belt voters ("we're sending our best jobs overseas and it's the government's fault.")

    Why did Clinton lose upper midwest/rust-belt states that Obama won (and in most cases won twice)? I don't see how race explains that.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2012 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Farmer Green,

    You would listen to a"denier,” and try to see his point of view?

    It depends. Would you discuss the finer points of chemotherapy with someone who denies that smoking gives you cancer?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to mccx,

    Trump's framing appealed to the gut-instincts of rust-belt voters

    It was also impossible for Clinton to push back against, since Bill Clinton signed the NAFTA agreement into force in Dec 1993, and Hiillary repeatedly spoke in favour of it from 1996 until 2007 (when she was setting up for a 2008 White House bid).

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Would you discuss the finer points of chemotherapy with someone who denies that smoking gives you cancer?

    I would be interested to hear that argument.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to andin,

    we all seem to be getting more thin-skinned everyday.

    We all have chinks in our mail, right?

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

    This writer is quite interesting.
    Tin Foil Territory?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-12/beware-shadow-government-ron-paul-warns-president-elect-trump#comment-8448209

    Old Radical Marijuana is quite hard to read, but here are a couple of lines from the comment linked :-

    “THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HILLARY CLINTON AND DONALD TRUMP WAS THAT SHE CONTINUED TO DEMONIZE RUSSIA AND PUTIN, WHILE TRUMP DID NOT!
    Therefore, some political progress appears to be possible on the most important issue, which is to not drive tensions between countries with an abundance of weapons of mass destruction to escalate to the point where those could end up being used in ways which spin out of control. ”


    " On those grounds, during the recent unpopularity contest between Presidential Candidates, the individual who won was the one who most probably would be able to prevent war using weapons of mass destruction from spinning out of human control"

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • mccx, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Interesting is one way of putting it. But no, considering how ZeroHedge is a consistent pro-Putin/pro-Russia and pro-Trump bloviator, I don't see how that's interesting.

    Getting a bit far from the original post's topic aren't we [and by we I mean you]?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2012 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to mccx,

    Of course, whatever you say. But no, considering how [ . . .]is a consistent pro-[ . . .]/pro-[ . . .] and pro-[…] bloviator, I don’t see how [any comment published there] could be interesting.

    Shut it down, any way that you can :-)
    You want that I should get my coat?
    LOL

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to mccx,

    original post’s topic

    "Why did TRUMP win" was not the topic?
    Sheesh I got that wrong.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Like so many of the online troll farm that form The Dimpost’s commentariat you seem to have reduced “the left” to a gaggle of online dilettantes.

    Yes, it's not been helpful analysis, certainly not reiterated every week for years.

    I've come to think that "positioning" really has little to do with political choice and thus political success. It doesn't matter where your party is positioned in the issue space, if its gravitational pull is tiny. Peter Dunne straddling the exact center has shown this over and over.

    It's not nothing, but it's not explaining anywhere near as much as strategists would seem to believe.

    Because even the big parties often can't pull voters whose actual position on every issue places them exactly on it's own centroid. You might be the archetypal Labour voter on every issue, as represented in your own opinions and those of the rest of the Labour voters, and yet not actually vote Labour. You're just a bit more likely to be a Labour voter than the other options. In fact, you could be significantly to the left of all of the parties on every issue, and yet still vote for the ACT party. You obviously see the world differently to the average ACT voter, but that doesn't seem to stop people.

    People are pretty random, really. Every person makes up their own mind in their own way, and I don't think they even really know why they vote the way they do, even when they can articulate their reason. In fact, the polls give us reason to believe that even when they articulate who they are actually voting for, that this might not even be accurate.

    Which is why I can't really get with the soul searching. America has basically rolled the dice. Changing the government is always a roll of the dice, and I think there's a bunch of people at all times who are of the mind that a roll of the dice might be better. You have to be miles ahead of the opposition for the randomness of that to be eliminated. Clinton was never miles ahead, and this time the Democrats lucked out. Did America luck out? We shall see. Fortunately, for now, it's still a democracy, so they can re-roll in 4 years.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    N.B. luck out is one of those phrases that is its own antonym (meaning either 'ran out of luck' or 'came out lucky').

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    OK, but there is an uprising against Donald Trump, the actor who plays Donald Trump. The first of the legal challenges on the 28th feature lead actor Donald Trump, playing Donald Trump, under oath. Will he try to make shit up? Stay tuned!

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to steven crawford,

    Metiria Turei said it, but your assumption that she speaks for the Greens is only valid for those who believe in the 19th century concept of political representation. Our representatives are more likely to spout personal opinions nowadays. Some do try to articulate whatever the relatively objective commonly-held view in the party they pretend to represent currently is , but such old-fashioned attempts to be authentic are increasingly rare.

    The Greens representation of the green movement has always been flawed, and at times like this a fair-minded person is likely to view such fatuous sectarianism as an insult to the intelligence of the folks in the broader green movement - however to be charitable to our co-leader I'll suggest that she was taking a moral stand against a highly unsuitable role-model. I doubt she was implying that as leader of the Green govt of Aotearoa she would decline an invitation to visit President Trump at the White House. Too bad, eh? Could have been a fun way to grab the headlines...

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Nah, it's perfectly sensible on her part: too much risk that the headlines wouldn’t be the only thing grabbed.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank,

    Kirk, that was a good all-round appraisal. I suggest you rethink this bit: "I honestly have no fucking idea why all the progressive white males I know keep saying we need to listen to the angry and disenfranchised people who voted for Trump. ..It’s beginning to scare me that you want to listen to what is very clearly a solid core of racism and misogyny."

    I agree that listening to racism & misogyny is unpleasant & share your dislike. However I suspect all those progressive white males are more open-minded than you think: they probably are actually referring to anti-establishment voters.

    The establishment destroyed most of the american middle class eight years ago in the gfc, thereby alienating a huge number of voters who had hitherto been supporters of the establishment. Tne american dream, the primary collective motivator for most of the past century, became a nightmare. Hillary Clinton decided to front as the establishment candidate regardless.

    She & Bill no doubt assumed middle-class folk are too stupid to understand the relation between cause & effect - but the vote tally suggests only half of them are. In some of those states the experts predicted she'd win, too many voted against the candidate funded by the class who profited by taking their homes - voted against the likelihood of being screwed again.

    Also consider the possibility that viewing the situation through a left/right frame is misleading. A visceral political reaction usually doesn't incorporate traditional political alignments for most people. Polls have been showing in recent years in the USA that the non-aligned have passed both left & right in size. All political commentators must therefore adopt a triadic frame (instead of the antique binary) to avoid becoming irrelevant.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

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