It’s Not Just Racism, Stupid

On the rise of Trumpolini, Thomas Frank is indispensable:

“What Lewandowski and Nussbaum are saying, then, should be obvious to anyone who’s dipped a toe outside the prosperous enclaves on the two coasts. Ill-considered trade deals and generous bank bailouts and guaranteed profits for insurance companies but no recovery for average people, ever – these policies have taken their toll. As Trump says, ‘we have rebuilt China and yet our country is falling apart. Our infrastructure is falling apart … Our airports are, like, Third World.’

Trump’s words articulate the populist backlash against liberalism that has been building slowly for decades and may very well occupy the White House itself, whereupon the entire world will be required to take seriously its demented ideas.

Yet still we cannot bring ourselves to look the thing in the eyes. We cannot admit that we liberals bear some of the blame for its emergence, for the frustration of the working-class millions, for their blighted cities and their downward spiraling lives. So much easier to scold them for their twisted racist souls, to close our eyes to the obvious reality of which Trumpism is just a crude and ugly expression: that neoliberalism has well and truly failed.”

I probably take a little too much pleasure in watching Trump destroy the Republican party from the top down.  But Frank is crucially correct to point out that my vote for Hillary is basically a tacit endorsement of the notion that non-coastal, small town Americans should basically just go die slowly in poverty.

Then again, Obamacare is working.  Whatever safety net is left to the rural poor in America is going to be destroyed a lot more quickly if a Republican becomes president.

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