Trump is not the problem

Mar 14 2016 Published by under General Politics

Donald Trump is not the problem. He isn't.

The real problem lies with the 30-40% of US Republicans that favor him for President.

As I saw someone put it, these people do not disappear if Trump is defeated in the primaries, during a convention fight or in the general election.

Those people are still there.

And they, with their affection for violent, fascistic nativism, are what we need to dismantle.

57 responses so far

  • Grumble says:

    Are you really advocating for "dismantle"-ing "those people"?

    Why do you think "those people" support Drumpf? Just because they are racists? That is only part of the story, and if you understand only part of the story, you can't effectively act to change what is happening.

    For in-depth analysis of the Drumpf phenomenon, start with these very cogent articles:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-creamer/can-fascism-triumph-in-am_b_9456408.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-lakoff/why-trump_1_b_9372450.html

    In a nutshell, "those people" who support Drumpf are furious at their economic impotence. Many people blame the wealthy and the corporations for this state of affairs (most of us support Bernie), but many others (concentrated among the white working class) blame the poor because they are perceived as receiving all the government assistance. Drumpf is a showman with an exquisitely honed ability to stoke exactly that resentment, and to make himself understood to be a novel and effective solution to the perceived problem.

  • OlympiasEpiriot says:

    They're always around. Lurking. Years ago I bought a copy of the John Birch Society's Blue Book at a second hand shop...how to maintain the "polite" face of white supremacy. Not sure how to dismantle, think that dividing is best we could hope for.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Yes Grumbke. I am literally calling for dismemberment of all Trump supporters. Preferably in the public square with plenty of rotting vegetables close to hand.

    And who said anything about their Trumpery being "just" because they are racist bigots?

  • Jonathan Badger says:

    Grumble has it right. I think this is because the Democrats have been so focused on social policies for the past few decades while sucking up to big business that they've lost their core working-class supporters to the Republicans. Yes, "What's the Matter with Kansas" and so on -- it's clear that whatever populism Republicans espouse never translates into actual policies helping the working class, but they've managed to do it because until Bernie, no Democrat for years even bothered to address their issues other than say things like education will make all the former steel workers computer programmers or something.

  • dr24 says:

    Every group of people, including the so-called inclusive left, is xenophobic about out-groups. This post is an example of that. Those disagreeing must be dismantled and defeated, not constructively engaged.

    Understanding why and how the Trump supporters are feeling how they're feeling, and learning how to confront them productively, would be nice. They're just like us. They just despise their "outgroups" for different reasons.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Don't confuse me with the inclusive left, dude. I am unapologetically at war with h8fucks. Not all of the left agrees with my approach and your fake moderate RWNJ apologetics fail to make that so.

  • DJMH says:

    The point about economics and free trade was made especially well by Thomas Frank, writing in the Guardian. His point is Trump voters are people who feel the D and R parties, which support free trade, both contributed the destruction of the working class. Trump is advocating old-timey protectionism and it sounds pretty good to these folks. Read the Frank point about the video of a mass firing at an Indiana plant and you can see why.

    A 538 analysis on who these people are was more or less in agreement: Trump's bigotry isn't the thing pulling (most of) these people in--it's the promise of bringing jobs back. Take away the bigotry and add some time spent in Congress and a more leftist social outlook, and you'd have...Bernie?

  • drugmonkey says:

    Exactly, DJMH. If these more palatable economic issues were the motivating factor, Jesse Jackson would have been the first black President. And right now, Bernie would be running away with everything.

    The fact that the Trumpeter continues to side with politicians that are the antithesis of *everything* good for poorer white Americans and everything they allegedly believe in *except for their nativist racism* tells us everything we need to know.

  • Grumble says:

    Well, DM, I still don't know what you are calling for because you didn't spell it out. Presumably your post means you have a problem with Drumpf's supporters more than Drumpf himself, but my point is just that his supporters actually have a right to be angry and to want things to change. How do you get them to redirect their anger away from the poor and immigrants, when they've spent decades harboring the fantasy (stoked by Fox propaganda and politicians' dog whistles) that it's all the fault of the immigrants, blacks, and welfare queens?

    To me, it's really remarkable that two populists have attracted so much support. The root problem is really that the entire political system is corrupted by the power of money. That is why politicians in both parties never do anything to help ordinary people fiscally. The wealthy and corporate interests outright buy the support of politicians of both parties for policies that keep the wealth firmly in their hands. And the only way that politicians can do that while still getting elected is by pushing the social issues that the majority of their constituents favor. So we see lots of bloviating, and sometimes actual laws passed, on abortion, guns, gay marriage, etc, but rarely anything that actually helps people financially.

    Until now. I think people have finally seen through the corruption, and that is why the democratic socialist and fascist movements have emerged so successfully.

    The question Bernie supporters should be asking is, how do we attract Drumpf's supporters (without, of course, stooping to racist words and actions)? Imagine if Bernie could tap into their rage as effectively as Donnie. He would be unstoppable.

  • drugmonkey says:

    I don't want Bernie to "attract" racists and nativist asshole haters. I want him to show that they and their ideology of selfish hatred is precisely what has let the oligarchy screw us all over for decades. I want them to be diminished and to eventually disappear.

    Why should you be amazed that populists are attractive to the US voter? This has always been the case. Which is precisely why the Republican Southern strategy was so key to their very survival post-Civil Rights. It is what supported two Reagan terms and two Bush II terms.

  • dr24 says:

    If you're "unapologetically at war" than I fail to see how you're any better than the people you despise. Hatred isn't only hatred if it's also politically incorrect.

  • drugmonkey says:

    That is because you are a fake moderate apologist for the oligarchy and for RWNJery.

  • dr24 says:

    If course it is. It's funny how much you assume about my politics. You're about 75% wrong, but I'm not telling you which 25% you've got right.

  • dr24 says:

    One thing you're really wrong about is me being a "fake moderate". I don't claim to be a moderate, so I don't get how I can be a fake one. I'm very bad at moderating ANYTHING in my life (see: alcoholism), and politics is no different.

    What I am not is either a leftist or a rightist. I hold positions on various topics from middle, hard left, and hard right.

  • DJMH says:

    Jesse Jackson ran at times of far less income stratification, so the populist message was not as powerful as it is right now. 538's numbers, which come from a longitudinal study of people's political views (so they aren't simply measuring reaction to Trump), make several things pretty clear. Trump's constituents are not more conservative than other R candidates'. In fact, they're more pro-choice, to take one social issue. They are only marginally more racist than Cruz's or Rubio's supporters.

    You can argue about whether NAFTA is good, rationally, for white working class folks, but they generally see it as bad. They see the jobs going elsewhere and they want someone to fix that. They're socially at the conservative end of the Democratic platform or the liberal end of the Republican platform, so Bernie's very liberal social views are too much for them. So they go to Trump. It might not be super smart, but it's not a great idea to imagine that they're solely motivated by bigotry.

  • Namnezia says:

    @grumble
    And Trump isn't a product of and represents the interests of corporate America? Sounds to me know me his supporters are being used.

  • drugmonkey says:

    It's funny how much you assume about my politics.

    I assume nothing beyond what you express on social media. If it doesn't well represent your supposed true attitudes, you should think harder about whether this is your intent or not (and whether or not you really consciously understand your true attitudes).

  • drugmonkey says:

    Jesse Jackson ran at times of far less income stratification

    Whether this is true in quantitative terms or not, it it is politically untrue. The recession of the late 70s and into the 80s coincided with the Reaganist acceleration and amplification of the Southern strategy.

    The poorer whites were very much feeling like they were being left behind (remember the acquisitiveness and crass materialism of Yuppiedom?) and the Republicans surfed on the racist and nativist impulses.

    They are only marginally more racist than Cruz's or Rubio's supporters.

    Wtf kind of distraction is this? The whole GOP is permeated, pervaded and driven by racist impulses of both base and oligarchal elements in US politics. Also see sexism, if you need something that you actually care about.

    You can argue about whether NAFTA is good, rationally, for white working class folks, but they generally see it as bad.

    I don't really do trade policy but I trend protectionist. Even in science careers (yikes), albeit tepidly so.

    it's not a great idea to imagine that they're solely motivated by bigotry.

    who said "solely"? You are falling into the dr24hrs trap.

    You, yourself, are in the midst of diagnosing this. Bernie should be their guy. To the degree his brand of populism is supposedly out of step on the more social stuff, Trump is even more out of step in his obscene displays of wealth, his bragadaccio, his narcissism, his ultra hypocrisy / late-comer to this current political positioning, his utter lack of believable religiosity, etc, etc, et fucking cetera. If they can overlook this, they can, in theory overlook the minor issues with Bernie. The fact that they do not leaves you searching for the common denominator that makes them overlook all the facets of Trump that should be repulsive to Middle America. It's pretty clear what that is.

  • dr24 says:

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. You're cute when you're making shit up, DM.

  • PaleoGould says:

    "To me, it's really remarkable that two populists have attracted so much support."
    It really shouldn't be if you know anything about the 1920s. Simultaneous rise of all sorts of populism (left, right) all across Europe.
    It was huge growth of wealth for Everyone that kept populism at bay for the first three decades after WWII. Now we're back where we were... in the Belle Epoque/Guilded age. With slightly less brutal squalor.

  • dr24 says:

    But you're right, it's likelier that you know my opinions and positions, based on a deliberately extremist conscious agenda-bias of your own, than I know myself.

    Patriarchy much?

  • Newbie PI says:

    How can you talk politics when there are so many more important things going on in the world, like the meetings of the study sections reviewing NIH ESI MIRA grants today!?!?!

  • Craig says:

    The republican party has for years preached that government needs to be smaller, that it does nothing for the average middle-class to lower-middle class individual. For the past 7 years, they've been cynically making sure that the government can't do anything, fulfilling their vision that the government doesn't work by ensuring that it doesn't.

    After so many years of this, is it really surprising to anyone that Trump would have his success? For years, republican primary voters have been nominating outsider tea-party types. It just finally reached a point when a plurality of them stand to actually nominate their outsider for president.

    I'm fully behind the democratic party out of necessity, considering if you want a functional government that's where you have to be these days. That said, Clinton is symptomatic of the problems with the current two party system as well. I'm not saying that the over-crowded republican field was a good thing (it helped Trump get his early footing), but where were the serious candidates on the left?

    There were 5 "democrats" running in an open presidential election, and two of them were Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee. Why did the establishment line up behind Clinton in such an unprecedented way? As much as Sanders is the progressive horse in the race, he's also become the "not Hillary"/outsider option (e.g. his winning independents in Michigan). People don't like it when they lose the freedom (or illusion) of choice/power.

  • Grumble says:

    "I don't want Bernie to "attract" racists and nativist asshole haters. I want him to show that they and their ideology of selfish hatred is precisely what has let the oligarchy screw us all over for decades. I want them to be diminished and to eventually disappear."

    First, there is no way to convince a racist to not be a racist. Racism is an emotion to which most racists do not admit. It is unperturbed by reason.

    Second, scorning them will neither diminish them nor cause them to disappear. Scorning them just makes them madder. And as you yourself pointed out, even if they lose big time in this election, they're still here with us.

    Finally, Drumpf is not at all out of step socially with Republican voters. He is anti-gun control, anti-woman (bypassing the whole abortion thing, which is just a fascade for being against women's rights), pro-big-military, etc. "His obscene displays of wealth, his bragadaccio, his narcissism, his ultra hypocrisy" are all part of his attraction; people like him because of this bullshit and not in spite of it. It signals to them that here's someone who can't be corrupted, who shares their anger, and who speaks their language. The racism is just a part of it, just as it is has only been a part of every single previous fascist movement.

  • DJMH says:

    Whether this is true in quantitative terms or not, it it is politically untrue.

    Ok, but it is true quantitatively, and I bet that mattered. Here's a Wiki graph on the share of income going to the wealthy, over time--the 70s-80s were some of the lowest inequality periods in the last century.

    If they can overlook this, they can, in theory overlook the minor issues with Bernie.

    Fair point.

    Also see sexism, if you need something that you actually care about.

    Unfair point.

  • DJMH says:

    Oops here's the actual link to the graph on income inequality.

  • k elliott says:

    Sorry DM. I don't know what h8 and or h8fucks mean!. It is not in your glossary. do you mind telling the meaning. I must have missed some of the discussions/posts. Thanks

  • qaz says:

    The question that I want to know is whether this 8% of the population (40% of the 25% who are actually republicans) is a lower proportion than historically? What was it in 1960? What was it in 1860? My impression is that this is the last gasp of the civil war (when it was a lot more than 8% fighting for slavery).

    Certainly, we need to speak up and show that Trump's racism and violence is unacceptable. But I also think we need to not lose sight of the progress that has been made (and is continuing to be made).

  • drugmonkey says:

    do you mind telling the meaning.

    try pronouncing it phonetically. You'll get it eventually.

    also, this was hardened into use by the fact that Cali had a ballot Proposition 8 awhile ago that was all about a certain domain of RWNJ H8fuckery. It became fashionable in the coalition of the decent to refer to it as Prop H8.

  • drugmonkey says:

    How can you talk politics when there are so many more important things going on in the world, like the meetings of the study sections reviewing NIH ESI MIRA grants today!?!?!

    srsly.

  • k elliott says:

    I got it. Many thanks DM.

  • anon says:

    Love those last two sentences. You decry nativism by calling your opponents 'those people'. You follow it up by calling for the 'dismantling' of violent people.

    This is a parody post, right?

  • drugmonkey says:

    You decry nativism by calling your opponents 'those people'.

    What part of "the policy of protecting the interests of native-born or established inhabitants against those of immigrants" or "a return to or emphasis on traditional or local customs, in opposition to outside influences" is similar to me opposing the hateful behavior of native born and highly established tea bagger and/or RWNJ traditionalist who want to take "their" country back? Do you even know what words mean?

    You follow it up by calling for the 'dismantling' of violent people.

    Yes, and as I stated above, clearly what I meant is that all Trumpista should be drawn and quartered in the public square, with overripe fruits close to hand for the observers. Obv.

    This is a parody post, right?

    Detectably less so than your comments.

  • anon says:

    Perhaps it's not nativism, but it's certainly tribalism. It's much easier to resort to ad hominem and call a group you disagree with racist/sexist/'those' people, rather than thoughtfully consider their concerns*. And it's that same mentality that has lead to the rise of one Donald J. Trump.

    And your 'dismantling' comment is pretty rich coming from the guy who complained on the Tweets about "GOP folks deploy[ing] violent eliminationist rhetoric to political disagreements constantly**." Of course, I'm sure you don't really mean it, but those bad GOP guys definitely do!!!!!11one

    *Even if you don't agree with their solutions

    **https://twitter.com/drugmonkeyblog/status/674718748943585280***

    ***Is there a formatting guide to this site? Knowing how to embed links would be kinda cool.

  • drugmonkey says:

    And it's that same mentality that has lead to the rise of one Donald J. Trump.

    Really? When have we had the sort of widespread h8ery that pervades RWNJobbery on the left? and don't bring up some random preacher in some berg, neither. We're talking sustained for decades, part of major political party platforms, espoused by many, many mainstream politicians and the media that orients their way. When have we had a left-ward political orientation calling for beating the crap out of nonviolent protestors from the bully platform of a major party candidate for president? hmmmm?

    go on....we can wait.

    I'm sure you don't really mean it
    Why not? for the third time, yes, you have absolutely interpreted me correctly to suggest the tea baggers should be the first against the wall, come the revolution tovarische. there is no possible other explanation.

    Is there a formatting guide to this site? Knowing how to embed links would be kinda cool.

    basic html works in comments.

  • anon says:

    Really? When have we had the sort of widespread h8ery that pervades RWNJobbery on the left? and don't bring up some random preacher in some berg, neither. We're talking sustained for decades, part of major political party platforms, espoused by many, many mainstream politicians and the media that orients their way. When have we had a left-ward political orientation calling for beating the crap out of nonviolent protestors from the bully platform of a major party candidate for president? hmmmm?

    You missed my point. If you can't see that there is a large population of voters who feel left behind, you need to readjust your views of politics. Both major political party platforms have essentially been kow-towing to the donor class for decades, and thus the backlash against candidates such as Hillary and Jeb!. While it's unfortunate that Trump had to be the beneficiary of the backlash on the right, marginalization of large parts of the electorate - yes, by both parties - are responsible.

    Why not? for the third time, yes, you have absolutely interpreted me correctly to suggest the tea baggers should be the first against the wall, come the revolution tovarische. there is no possible other explanation.

    Exactly my point. When you talk about 'dismantling' people, or the president talks about 'getting in their face' or 'punching back twice as hard', it's obviously sarcastic. If a candidate with an (R) beside their name says something different, it's obviously violent fascism. Double standard much?

  • David says:

    I agree that many Trumps supporters are low income white folks, but one aspect that hasn't been mentioned here yet (unless I missed it) is the outsider status post tea party election. Many Trump supporters I know (and unfortunately I know more than zero) are angry at the lack of action from Republicans voted into office since Obama was elected. The tea party movement gave Republicans a substantial "mandate" in the house and senate. Those politicians ran on a platform of no compromise and "traditional values." Congress passed nothing of consequence to those voters and now those voters are rebelling. They want someone who will force their agenda on the nation. Now, I have no clue why they expect that Trump could accomplish that (short of declaring a dictatorship), but that is the mindset that I have heard.

  • dr24 says:

    A country run by partisans of the sort of politics DM subscribes to would not be meaningfully less autocratic or fascist than one run by Trump-style partisans.

  • drugmonkey says:

    The teabaggers aren't smart are they? They were used by traditional entrenched GOP powers which had no intent to honor their supposed "mandate".

  • Geo says:

    Dismantle? Exactly what sort of aggression are espousing?

  • drugmonkey says:

    Taking apart. That kind.

  • WH says:

    The more this blog talks about politics, the less I want to visit.

    Anyway, I did come across this R01 application by Donald Trump. I found it amusing: http://imgur.com/1DOw1VQ

  • drugmonkey says:

    The more this blog talks about politics, the less I want to visit.

    You cannot possibly imagine how much this concerns me.

  • WH says:

    I'm sure it doesn't concern you at all.

    However, for me, it is/was nice to have a place where I could come, read, and be depressed about having a career in science without becoming depressed about politics. There are plenty of places on the internet for the latter.

  • drugmonkey says:

    oh, there are plenty of places to be depressed about a career in science too.

  • Grumble says:

    I still don't get what exactly it is that you want to "dismantle," DM, or how. It's nice to think that an entire racist, nativist, etc agenda espoused by many thousands (millions?) of people could be dismantled, but it can't be.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Why not?

  • k elliott says:

    It is very difficult, yes, but not impossible. It would require a lot of involvement (activism) by smart citizens from all walks of life and social strata in helping convincing the disillusioned and angry Americans that Trump is not prepared to solve the problems but rather to aggravate them.

    "Mr. Trump’s calls to violence are the sickest part of the con that is his presidential campaign. Yes, some people who attend his rallies are bigots; others are simply upset with a nation, or a life, that’s dealt them a bad hand.

    But Mr. Trump, who blathered on about “winning” on Sunday, has not a single solid, truthful idea about how to address the roots of this seething anger. He is basking in the energy created by turning one American against another, hoping hatred will propel him to the Republican nomination." (From today's NYT)

  • SciNY says:

    Long time lurker, now moved to comment. I share a lot of concerns about the direction we are headed in. There is a lot of pain in people at the margins (economically, culturally, politically...) that has boiled up in this election. Our two-party system hasn't caught up entirely with this re-alignment. There's also the deep-seated identity politics that drove previous re-alignments (Goldwater being the most famous example, until his failed outlook was ultimately repudiated by Obama's decisive mandate). We're back to a jump-ball situation culturally -- does the pendulum swing back to the most ancient nativist fears, anxieties about globalization and America's decline as the superpower, and worries about terrorism (the modern equivalent of the British Empire's worries 200 years ago)? A lot of this doesn't fall into a clear left-right axis, but instead speaks to how secure people feel about their lot in life, and the opportunities they and their children have for the future. Personally I will be very sad to see this President leave office (he's the best I've seen in my lifetime, and seems personally admirable in ways I can relate to) and hope we can move forward to a more inclusive and reality-based society. However we all have dark worries that keep us up at night. For some this is enough to go all Howard Beale and just rage against the system and how unjustly it's treating us. For others, we are too used to the injustice, and are instead sustaining only by our hope for a better and fairer tomorrow, no matter how dim.

  • Grumble says:

    "Why not?"

    You're the one who wants to do the dismantling. Why don't you propose some specifics about how to go about it? I'd really like to know. Because I simply find it hard to believe that you can convince people whose racism and nativism is borne of a deep sense of aggrievement and anger to change their ideology.

  • E rook says:

    I think the establishment lined up behind Hillary, because, like it or not, she's a super competent manager with a VERY large following of super competent bureaucrats (who both grease and turn the gears that move the giant ship), whose world view more or less lines up with a majority of Dems. She was a First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, there are no other Democrats with equivalent experience (and massive following of competent bureaucrats). Prior to that, she was an accomplished lawyer, and Bill used to say (like Barack said about Michelle during the campaign) that she's smarter than he is.

    My reservation with her is with regards to things like Benghazi (I know it's not her fault, but we'll have to hear about it), the emails, and now the Reagans' "national conversation" on HIV/AIDS -- it just piles the eff on with her. And, despite her managerial skills and coalition bringing together hard-working and bright Millenials with experienced and well-connected Boomers....we will have eight eye-gouging years of email-gates, Benghazi-gates, Nancy-gates, etc. but it for goddam sure beats the alternative.

  • E rook says:

    I should add that compared to a political party that can't even swear everyone in properly as a member of congress when it resumes control of the budget-apportioning body of the government, or cast the necessary votes to keep the effing lights on ... an army of competent bureaucrats is a welcome sight.

  • Grumble says:

    Yes, an army of bureaucrats completely obedient to the wishes of Wall Street and the CEOs of giant corporations is indeed a welcome sight to the millions of people in this country who are scared shitless about their economic future because they haven't had a raise in 30 years and they can't afford college for their kids. Right.

  • jmz4 says:

    ^Really living up to your name there.

    While I don't subscribe to the "armies of well-trained bureaucrats" theory of Clinton, I do support her. The media and other cultural forces have been stoking the flames of resentment and bitterness on both sides of the aisle, and *that* is the main source of the insurgent candidates' appeal. However, I think these histrionics both magnify and oversimplify our problems (eg the middle class is dead because banks' greed drives income inequality). I prefer a moderating, conciliatory presence in the White House, who will continue Obamas legacy of slowly making things better, while trying hard not to fuck up. That seems like Clinton to me.

  • drugmonkey says:

    SciNY- never become used to injustice. Never.

  • Grumble says:

    "The media and other cultural forces have been stoking the flames of resentment and bitterness on both sides of the aisle"

    Yes, we should all go calmly marching on, when all the massive gains in gross domestic product of the USA over the last few decades have gone straight to the people who own everything already, leaving the rest of us to eke out a living fraught with fear for our jobs and livelihoods. We should be happy with our lot, and if we are not, it is the media's fault.

    "Obamas legacy of slowly making things better"

    Things have gotten worse, not better. That is why the Bernie and Drumpf phenomena are both happening now, not 4 or 8 years ago.

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