Right Wing Elites Declare Total War On Poor White Communities

For decades (centuries?), the right has perpetuated the myth of white superiority by pointing at black communities that are being crushed by poverty and crime. It was, they said, evidence that black people were inferior because white communities didn’t have those kinds of problems.

Republicans played to this racism with the Southern Strategy, which told poor white people that everything was OK as long as they were better than Those People. More importantly, if they just voted for the GOP, Republicans would stop Those People from taking their jobs/white women/opportunities/etc. And it worked really REALLY well. Poor white people flocked to elect Republicans who then gave trillions away to the rich and threw some crumbs at the poor people that elected them in the first place.

But then the economy collapsed and while it hit the black community harder, millions of working class white people were suddenly in the same situation: No job, no money and no future. The result? A massive increase in dug and alcohol abuse, suicide and crime.

In other words, they responded in much the same way economically devastated black communities did (but for your own safety, don’t TELL them that!)

Now, a rational person would look at this and say, “Aha! So it’s NOT some kind of moral failing on the black of Those People! It’s Poverty and the lack of Economic Opportunities!” But the conservative elite are not rational. They’re the new French Aristocracy. They’re so dedicated to the premise that the Have Nots are morally, intellectually and spiritually inferior that they have begun to turn on their own base despite their matching skin tone.

Over at the National Review Online, the right wing’s premiere thought leader, you will find a growing hostility to poor white people. In a piece by Kevin Williamson, you will find this lengthy screed denouncing the Republican base for siding with Trump against their masters:

It is immoral because it perpetuates a lie: that the white working class that finds itself attracted to Trump has been victimized by outside forces. It hasn’t. The white middle class may like the idea of Trump as a giant pulsing humanoid middle finger held up in the face of the Cathedral, they may sing hymns to Trump the destroyer and whisper darkly about “globalists” and — odious, stupid term — “the Establishment,” but nobody did this to them. They failed themselves.

If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy — which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog — you will come to an awful realization. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that.

Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster. There wasn’t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America. So the gypsum business in Garbutt ain’t what it used to be. There is more to life in the 21st century than wallboard and cheap sentimentality about how the Man closed the factories down.

The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.

 

I was shocked at the tone. The absolute loathing for poor and working class whites is so thick you couldn’t cut it with a chainsaw. This is the kind of hatred usually reserved for black people and liberals. But it’s obvious this is not a newly formed opinion by Williamson. The dripping condescension of “Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs” reveals a long held contempt for what conservative elites like Williamson usually refer to as “The REAL America.”

And just to make sure the conservative elites are on board with how terrible and degenerate these poor (white) people are, NRO’s David French quotes that entire segment above and then adds his own hate:

These are strong words, but they are fundamentally true and important to say. My childhood was different from Kevin’s, but I grew up in Kentucky, live in a rural county in Tennessee, and have seen the challenges of the white working-class first-hand. Simply put, Americans are killing themselves and destroying their families at an alarming rate. No one is making them do it. The economy isn’t putting a bottle in their hand. Immigrants aren’t making them cheat on their wives or snort OxyContin. Obama isn’t walking them into the lawyer’s office to force them to file a bogus disability claim.

He goes on and on and on about how they’ve been seduced by welfare checks and food stamps and now they’re just lazy (sound familiar?).

These two rich and privileged men are finally dropping the charade that the real war in this country is based on race. It never was. Race was a ruse used by the rich to keep the poor squabbling while they stole the country. But now that the 1% has broken the economy for EVERYONE, not just minorities, poor white people are furious at the people that promised them they would be better than Those People.

The rich and their mouthpieces can’t help but be enraged by the lack of gratitude on display. Did they not drop crumbs for the poor to feast upon? Did they not pass laws to make life even worse for blacks and gay people? Now the poor whites that give the rich their political power are expecting to be treated like people? How DARE they?!

We are witnessing the end of conservative politics as we know it. The rich were able to keep the poor distracted with shiny objects and race baiting but now they’re in open warfare against each other with no realistic way to mend the schism between the greed of the rich and the needs of the poor.

Get more popcorn, it’s going to be quite a show.


Featured image author generated