I have obviously spent most of my life being naive.
Until very recently, I had faith that the overwhelming majority of my fellow-Americans were really good people. Wrong sometimes, certainly. Confused sometimes. But essentially kind and well-meaning, and –importantly–receptive to reality and able to learn from it.
I accepted that there would always be a small minority of people who are damaged in some way. I still think that “damaged” explains more than “evil,” but I’m less certain that the distinction is helpful (and Mitch McConnell has convinced me that some people really are evil).
During the past few years, I’ve read more American history, and a lot of that history isn’t pretty. The Internet has put more information at our fingertips (some credible, some not), and much of that information has been depressing. And then, of course, came November of 2016. It was like ripping a bandage off a very ugly sore.
If there is one central thread running through my various disillusionments, it is some people’s evident need to divide humanity into “us versus them”–and to dominate “them.”
Paul Krugman recently published a column responding to Stephen Moores’ comparison of the protestors storming state capitols to Rosa Parks. (If you missed that bit of Trump administration idiocy, I assure you I am not making it up.) I was particularly struck by this observation:
The modern right is driven in large part by the grievances of white men who don’t feel that they’re getting the respect they believe they deserve, and Fox-fueled hostility to “elites” who claim to know more than guys in diners — which, on technical subjects like epidemiology, they do — is a key part of the movement.
Krugman is restating what social science research has confirmed: white male grievance explains most of Trump’s base support. (There is also significant evidence that white male grievance has motivated most mass shootings.)
As Rebecca Solnit has observed, these are white men who feel threatened because they see life in America as a zero-sum game–a game that rightwing media and the Republican party are constantly telling them they are losing. They were born into a culture that told them they were entitled to dominate us “lesser” folks: black and brown people, women, gay men, non-Christians…that they were the “real Americans.” Suddenly (or so it seemed), those “lessers” were demanding a place at the civic table, and they had to defend their superior status.
We saw that resentment in Charlottesville. (It’s important to note that we also saw it in the appalling behavior of now-Supreme-Court Justice Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing. White male grievance isn’t the exclusive province of people we can dismiss as “yahoos” and “uneducated yokels.”)
As a column in the Washington Post put it, shortly after Charlottsville,
More than a half-century ago, minorities, women and immigrants began to challenge the economic, political and legal hierarchy that had favored white men for centuries. Their efforts produced a white backlash that burst into the open after Barack Obama’s election in 2008.
Donald Trump has tapped into this anger and manipulated it to his political advantage. The bond between President Trump and his white followers is not based on policy but on grievance. They both reject the cultural changes over the past half-century, and Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan signals his intent to unravel them…
Until the 1960s, white men sat unchallenged atop the United States’ cultural and economic pyramid. They did not have to compete against women or African Americans in the workplace, and they benefited from laws and customs that sustained their privileged position. They not only ruled the workplace, they dominated American politics and exercised virtually unchallenged power at home.
That automatic dominance based on skin color is changing. Slowly and unevenly, but it is changing. And a significant number of white men simply can’t deal with the change.
My problem is, I’m having an equal amount of trouble dealing with the realization that these attitudes characterize something like 35% of American voters.
43 thoughts on “The Politics Of White Male Grievance”
And yet SOME women could find a way…
I am reminded of a 95 Lb 4’11” aunt – Married to a BIG roughneck husband. Next door was her sister and HER roughneck husband who beat the sister and kids.
My tiny aunt figured it out. She told her hubby:
“You see how Wally beats my sister next door? I want you to know, If you EVER raise a hand to me like that, I will wait till you are drunk and sleep and I will BEAT YOUR BRAINS out with the Frying Pan”.
He NEVER got out of hand with her or the kids. Wisely, he believed her.
Or maybe he never had it in him to be like his brother in law next door
but THAT was what some women had to do in the 50’s to feel SAFE at home.
We sure don’t need a return to THAT glorious time in US History.
The Trumpsters loved that period. NOTHING could touch them.
(except maybe a 3 AM Frying Pan)
I reached the conclusion that “those people”, like my staunch Republican parents (Mom was Republican Vice-Precinct Committeewoman) base their party loyalty on the same reason generations of parents gave children to follow orders. “Because I said so!” Comparing armed protesters today with Rosa Parks was the best of the worst examples they could conjure up.
“If there is one central thread running through my various disillusionments, it is some people’s evident need to divide humanity into “us versus them”–and to dominate “them.”
This is the basic foundation of white men who dominate women , not only in politics, but in their religion. The white male dominance is blatant regarding race. This dominance was never more dangerous in the United States than it is today with Trump the titular head of our government which is actually being run by an old white Kentuckian whose powerful hold on the Senate seems to be a life long appointment rather than a politically elected office. Kentucky, like Indiana during the Civil War, was considered a “border state” but in reality was part of the Confederacy and both remain like-minded today.
So, what do we know about the large number of white women who also support Trump and join his rallies? What is the motive behind their actions? We all know white women who have married or rented (think mistress) themselves out to rich and powerful men, going along to get along. My question is not about them, but what of these others? The ones who protest in the streets, decked out in the flag, some carrying weapons, all viciously angry and full of rage? What is their resentment about?
Where are the sociologists when you need them?
An equally important issue is that our political system allows that 35%, through geographical distribution, gerrymandering, and rules manipulation, to permanently control all three branches of the government with an iron fist, election after election, in blithe disregard of the wishes of the majority. That ain’t democracy.
A wounded narcissist eventually digs a hole too deep his/her adversaries need not campaign to show people what is happening.
There have always been women who let their husbands do their thinking for them. It’s the way they were brought up, usually in some religious tradition.
Sorry to disappoint, the US of A is a republic, not a democracy. We have, over time, become more democratic, but we’re not quite there yet.
We’re feeling the trickle down effect of Libertarian dark money on local government throughout the US. Also since Reagan the pay for workers has remained stagnant, and our federal protective systems are crumbling before our eyes. The current administration constantly lies, and stirs animosity of its base and furthers division. Put on top of that, the threat of an indiscriminate deadly virus, and we’re reaching a breaking point. #3 obviously is punishing his enemies for his impeachment, by holding back essential PPE’s from Blue States. His negligence & incompetence also indicate that his attention & effort are somewhere else. I would dare to speculate it’s strategy on how to rig the presidential election in the fall, and continuing robbing us blind!
Those white women who are connected to those poor grieving white males follow the Trump formula for – probably – (1) So as not to rile that poor grieved, insecure fool they’re with, or (2) they feel aggrieved too and are just as racist and bigoted as their male partner. In this partnership, the main differences between them is that the male is poisoned by testosterone and reaches for his, uh… gun when things get upsetting or emotional for him
Ultimately, our “grieving white males” are behaving just as tribal members would when their tribe leader fostered grievance against competing tribes…you know, as they undoubtedly did 200,000 years ago. Read Rebecca Costa’s interesting and chilling book, “The Watchman’s Rattle” for more details. Simply put, humans have evolved much faster socially than biologically, yet still retain some of those ancient instincts that allowed our survival.
That ex-FBI agent I’ve mentioned here a few times, and his wife fit this profile perfectly. He was raised in upstate New York, and she is a belle of South Carolina, so it’s not a geographical/cultural thing. It’s more primitive than that. These two Trump faithful followers operate on the theme of “giving away free shit to ‘those people’.” That summarizes their political myopia.
That 35% consists of those who are too intellectually lazy or inept to address the larger picture that allows societal progress to occur. They live in a self-imposed trap of grievance, inadequacy and delusions of superiority. They will always be there no matter who is president. Those of us who presume to have a working intellect must maintain our agenda and respect and defend the Constitution and the rule of law no matter what.
LOL! The current POTUS, the current Vice president, the current Atty. Gen., and the current Secretary of State, all prove that eugenics was a lie! The color of one’s skin does not make anyone smart nor anyone dumb. Needless to say, eugenics, which attempted to assert superiority, was started by British and American scientists, and adopted by the Germans during the 2nd world war. The 4 individuals alluded to above, really make the case! One doesn’t have to possess intellect, morals, ethics, compassion, or a conscience, to be voted into public office by those who lack the same. White skin, DOES NOT give anyone, any of the above-mentioned.
Manifest Destiny, American Exceptionalism, American Romanticism, Tocqueville touched on a lot of these, he himself was falling into the trap, he was falling in love with his whiteness, so had Rudyard Kipling! We can’t take away accomplishments of some of the intellectual and decent people who are white, there are many! But I’ve seen some of those many, sway with the breeze from an onslaught of gas bags constantly pounding their opinions and ill thought out theories as some sort of fact! It’s hard to argue with the stupid one! And, association with the stupid ones will make you stupid, it will also make you do and say things that you will regret and actually know are wrong.
14 The wise one has his eyes in his head; but the stupid one is walking in darkness. I have also come to realize that there is one outcome that befalls all of them. (King Solomon)
18 The one who conceals his hatred speaks lies, And the one spreading malicious reports is stupid. (King Solomon)
“The one walking with the wise will become wise, but the one who has dealings with the stupid will fare badly.” (King Solomon)
“The start of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end afterward of his mouth is calamitous madness.” (King Solomon)
25 I directed my heart to know and to explore and to search for wisdom and the reason behind things, and to understand the wickedness of stupidity and the folly of madness. (King Solomon)
Proverbs 26:18, 19,
“Like an idiot throwing firebrands, arrows, and death, such is a man who deceives another and says ‘I was just joking, you know!’” (Referencing Donald Trump?) (LOL)
Just like those with white skin love to point out that those dark skinned people were cursed! And as it turns out, one of the progenitors of the Caucasian ethnicity, was Ham’s son Canaan! Wow!
And, let’s not forget all of the statues, the idols and carved images, the paintings, portray Jesus Christ as white! Not just a little white, but real real real white! I guess they didn’t get the memo, Jesus Christ was a Jew!
So, those fragile egos and self aggrandizing and narcissistic falsehoods, are just like a house of cards, or, a beautiful castle built on a sandy beach next to the raging ocean, extremely fragile!
Says it all…read the chapter on narcissism. Dangerous-Personalities: An FBI Profiler Shows You How to Identify and Protect Yourself from Harmful People. By Joe Navarro.
Sheila, I agree, every word here is what i personally have witnessed as i am around these very people daily. but, to continually fuel it,is where we should ask,who? the murdochism i refer to is a state of journalism that undermines the goverment,and the democracy we live in today.
propaganda has a new twist,its capitalistic,and bent on divisiveness. to publically call out on todays tube,to the people to,slowly become a wave to literally overthrow our way of goverment.(by blind ambition)
mcconnel will not come clean why he protects this very propaganda. we see it,we listen to it,in double talk,and silence as he chops up our form of goverment,and drowns it. reagans own words that goverment is the problem,and from a staunch anti communist,was pure bullshit. he too sought to drown our goverment,and replace it with the rich,who have no boundaries. whether it was planned this way by orgs like alec,and heritage found,or, the republican ticket was a conveyor belt to a new political org to do just that,give the wall street crowd this goverment.(along with many,limousine liberals)
i profess a subject that many ignor,or havent seen the so called writing on the wall. (democracy)but,if the trend is there,like a duck,if it quacks…..being a working person who engages these people almost daily, i do,and will continue to speak of a democracy over their need to,inflate..seems my in your face discussion does silence this,while im talking the subject.why?because i do not fear them,i fear what has influenced them. my rants here may seem out there,im not educated to a point i serve as such.
i do respect the candor and words provided to all here,in a civil discussion. im not civil at times,and sometimes i blow a subject apart,my own need to make a point to get a point across to the people who want or have become the very reason why,we have a goverment today,bent on distroying democracy..they,the whiteys i refer to, are led by a think tank generation,bought and paid for by the rich..they want our country as their own world,the number one nation in the world. they have witnessed chinas expansion,and form of goverment,and the riches china has recieved over its own playbook. how they control its amsses,and the retribution if you screw up..the influence is there,ill call it out. wall street demands our total control, no matter the playbook, and those who follow first,the dumb asses we never educated to become a American citizen,just a bunch of crows..and we can thank the lack of education we amasse in many states.we have allowed a political move to undermine our democray,under their paid for think tank come ons,and who we elect,by how they address our questions,and questions,not allowed answers to us anymore,after all, write a politcal in wash DC and find continual generic answers,and no resposability for their reasons.. like russia said a long time ago, start with the youth. november is coming
Theresa Bowers, if you have access to Netflix, the woman you describe might be personified by the character in Ozark named Darlene Snell. She is married to a white nationalist but one gets the feeling that she is fully invested in this, perhaps even more so than her husband. My feeling is that she is full of rage (her father? brothers?) and has no place to put it.
As my own dear husband once said, people haven’t been thinking for a very long time and they often don’t do it well. I suspect these women are not introspective.
I don’t recommend Ozark even as I may or may not finish watching it; it is indeed very dark and exceedingly ugly.
john Sorg, a quick look at Wikipedia and one learns that eugenics as it is now understood was first espoused in Great Britain at the turn of the last century. The ideas spread to the United States and then to the rest of Europe and eventually the Nazi latched onto the ideas as a part of their view and an excuse to develop a master race. Even as the Nazi were exterminating Jews in the 1940s, here in the U.S. the idea that some people were inherently inferior led to sterilizations of institutionalized people. It presents an ugly history of a scientific theory based on conjecture gone mad.
Gday! i wanted to answer your reply from yesterday
regroup, we have a chance to again,start where we left off before dr trump,and his medicine show..
november can kickstart us to atleast,believe, we can change again,if we can settle the voting questions or not be under siege trying to vote..i beleive many Americans now see how fragile our democracy is,and will, do better,to keep this present crap from gaining control again..
Joe may not be a saviour,its who we pass that torch to,after Joe..
Oh easy labelers….how do you explain “Blacks for Trump” and the relatively strong support for the GOP among Hispanic/Latinos. Is abortion a “white male grievance”? I think not.
We are dealing with a toxic brew and we’d best understand all in the mix…
I’ve noticed how much everyone else blames their life struggle upon “the white man”. You all are a part of the cause of these Trumpsters. These are ignorant fools who are tired of feeling blamed for everyone else’s whoas. The 1% ultra elite rich are the enemy. I understand oppression, power and control dynamics, words to empower and encourage. But I’m here to tell you…poor working class white folks are tired of being blamed for everyone’s problems. Poor working class white folks struggle as much as any of you. I’m just trying to say here that many of you are just as offensive and repulsive as these Trumpsters….just on the other side of the fence. Everyone needs to open their eyes to see this is a political war about resources, money, greed…..power. Everyone wants more and everyone is scared they won’t have enough. Political machines stir up irrational emotions in us. No one even knows truth any more. Here’s the bottom line….you post shit slamming “the white man” you are creating the terrorist nut….and you’re a dumbass equal to him and lose my respect just as quickly. It’s my understanding that black voters gave us Biden….dumb, dumb, dumb. Oh well, I have privilege….white, veteran, man….blah, blah, blah. My heart just hurts seeing all of you struggling instead of using love to turn this Karma around. For my friends I’ve thought of as “woke” people working on issues of racism and gender equality, you haven’t been impressing me much. But I understand, it’s easy to get caught up in our own fears.
The data that I’ve found (see below) shows that white men are “the main problem”. It also shows that white women, particularly non-college educated women are a definite problem also! Unfortunately there are white women who support patriarchal overtly and covertly racist leadership.
——–WOMEN COLLEGE EDUCATED NON-COLLEGE EDUCATED
CLINTON TRUMP CLINTON TRUMP
BLACK 91 6 95 3
NON-WHITE 76 19 81 16
LATINO 65 28 70 25
WHITE 51 45 34 62
BLACK-M 82 13
BLACK-W 94 4
LATINO-M 63 32
LATINO-W 69 25
WHITE-M 31 62
WHITE-W 43 52
……Joe may not be a saviour,its who we pass that torch to,after Joe..
The only change I would make in your comment would be the word: AFTER. I would change it to
BEFORE. Neither Joe, nor the Democratic Party is going to be the saviour in this episode. It’s way too late for them.
Thanks for doing the digging. Yes. 2016 showed who the voters who voted really are. The fly in this statistical ointment is the 92+ million who didn’t vote, and the hundreds of thousands who voted, but did not vote for either presidential candidate. Then, that also shows who we are.
One of my favorite conservatives (because he has a massive vocabulary), George Will has said, “The Democrats nominated the only biped on Earth who could lose to Donald Trump.”
Bravo to Sheila and many excellent comments today about the 35-40% of Americans; those of you who touched on the Ego and psychology have tapped into the “Grand Illusion” prevalent in our society today.
I believe Freud analyzed the conscious and unconscious mind in the 1930s. Nearly all of you are pointing out the psychology of this group who have been influenced by Billionaires, who prescribe to Ayn Rand’s objectivism vs. collectivism. Ayn specifically called organized religion, an outlet for the weak. Poor Ayn had her narcissistic personality form when the Russian’s stole her daddy’s business. Talk about a grievance or resentment!
C.G. Jung polished up Freud’s analysis of the psyche somewhat, but would probably concur that what we are witnessing today is the self-destructive path of the Ego; individually and collectively.
Buddhism tells us our suffering is the result of our attachments. Guess what drives those attachments?
Albert Einstein told us that our capitalistic system rewarded greed and was evil for what it does to our psyche. Same for communism. Neither political or economic systems embrace the whole human; they represent one extreme or the other.
We are witnessing the manifestation of these egoic personalities in both a micro and macro sense. Unless we have another enlightenment period soon, our collective Ego will destroy us and the planet. This is the nature of the Ego and the attachment to it.
Us versus Them. Winning at any cost. Whatever it takes—mine, not ours.
Terry A. Moore; new voices and points of view are always welcome here. But the sure cure for your hurting heart is to remove yourself from the source of your pain; or stick around and learn something from opposing voices and points of view. You will quickly learn that we do not always agree and do not hesitate to say so.
Here we go with silver bullet stats. Have you never heard of resistance to successful women? Or all the supposed crookedness of the Clintons? Or the pathetic strategy of the Clinton campaign to ignore the Midwest states? Or the Bernie supporters who stayed home? Etc…
Why must everyone want simplistic answers to our complex world?
You are fighting a natural tendency. Most women will submit. Most men will dominate. A few brutal men will rule. That is biological fact, but not destiny, and no, it is not fair. Lord of the Flies.
The only solutions:
1) Destroy religon (and any other false teachings)
2) Implement universal education based on facts and science
“I have obviously spent most of my life being naive.”
Thanks, again, Sheila, for hitting the nail on the head.
Now the “sister” article should be “And the Women (and Black People) Who Stand Behind Them.”
When I see black & brown people at Trump’s rally, am I looking at Stockholm syndrome victims?
And the women supporters I have chalked up to Phyllis Shoofly wannabees who are standin’ by their man.
And no, the grievance group isn’t just yahoos & yokels — I’ve lived too long in the South to believe that.
1950s. Rio Grande Valley, Texas. My MOST LIBERAL friends had this attitude, which Sheila expresses as the current worst of attitudes: That white men did not and should not now have to “compete against women or African Americans in the workplace…”
The really descending white dopes in 1950s Texas purported that in reality coloreds were so inferior that the best of them, without cheating in some way, without a liberal finger on the scale, could never be as successful as the worst of white men.
Back in Indiana, now informed and sensitive of the attitude, I recognized it sprinkled among many Hoosier descending white men. In Florida, too, and California, New York, Hawaii, Ohio, Kentucky, and Arkansas, all the places I lived from the 1960s until 10 AM Eastern Time, May 6, 2020.
What I’m seeing today is what I saw then–that many semi-successful white men are not only outraged that some blacks and other minorities are doing better than they are, but that millions of blacks are doing better than white Cousin Joe, who has never held a job and is in prison for the immediate future.
For the descending white man, to realize that white Cousin Joe, as awful a human being as he is, is not still superior to all blacks in today’s culture is unbearable. Such travesty could only happen through some devilish trick of reality. Descending white men look at the American cultural world and see a false universe which must be reset .
THE POLITICS OF WHITE MALE MARTYRDOM has a more proper ring to it.
Unfortunately, the generous liberal and anal logical in many of us make it very near impossible to see clearly the depth of the descending white man’s “grievance”.
I find grievance too timid and gentle a word. It connotes that the cause of the grievance is real and the resulting regret is reasonable. Oddly, the word we need should be nearer in meaning and connotation to “grievous” in grievous bodily harm. To Descending Whitey, he has been grievously swindled into grievous inferiority; grievously defrauded; grievously duped; grievously fleeced; and yet, “grievance” fails to describe the rock in his gut and the ember in his brain.
“Martyr Complex” works better for my understanding of the descending white man’s condition.
THE POLITICS OF WHITE MALE MARTYRDOM has the proper ring to it. The ring of radical. The ring of myth. The ring of vengeance. The ring of fervor. The ring of insanity. The ring of danger. The ring of finality.
If you all are not familiar with this series of podcasts from Duke University, it really reinforces what Sheila says. https://www.sceneonradio.org/seeing-white/
IMO, the grievance group is much more centered in the mostly male, white middle class population than are the less educated, less wealthy. less politically connected. These are the men who have been in middle management, pastors of large mostly white religious congregations, business owners who are well connected to the local political officeholders. They have likely held racist and misogynistic views for their entire lives, quietly and subtly reinforcing their superior status as white males. 45 has brought all of that out into the glare of anger at lost status instead of the truth of unearned entitlement guarded by the 2nd Amendment distortion.
Women who support them in their grievance have always enjoyed the superior status of their male partners, the trophy wives, the pastor’s wife, the boss’s daughter, etc. Their status is threatened as well. Who will care for their house, yard, hair, nails, children, clothing, meals and shopping for them while they spend their time in cloistered enclaves of privilege that are increasingly open to the “other” who threaten them?
Those who are truly at the bottom and kept there with intent are justifiably angry, but they blame the “other” instead of the real suppressors. The real question is, who has the power? It isn’t the “other”. It is and always has been those without scruples or ethics who wield their entitled power strictly in self-interest, fiercely defending that entitlement without any real basis for making their claims other than forceful suppression.
They say for every alcoholic there are 6 enablers. I suspect that for every white aggrieved male there are 6 women who will enable him. I decided at age 12 I would not get married because it seemed to me like women got the short end of the stick. I never bought into the feminine mystique. The women protesting want us to return to “Father knows best” and “Leave it to Beaver”. Even though I have happy childhood memories from the 50’s, I don’t want our country to go back there. I want more women and people of color to be in Congress, and the White House and its administration. And I want to see Native Americans guiding our policies on protecting the earth so we can have an ecosystem that supports the human race.
I think Todd, that Jung would say that Trump is the voice of the shadow of American society. So are those protesters carrying guns. Every time I see them, I am forced to look at not only the ugly history of our country but at those forces within me that sabotage my desire to be a tolerant person who respects others. I am reminded that when I point a finger at someone else, I might have 3 pointing back at me.
I understand the billionaires, millionaires, and the Corporate Hierarchies voting Republican. The Republican Party has delivered lowering taxes and de-regulation to the 1% and big corporations. As a side bar Unions have been neutered and organizing a union is fraught with danger.
The Reactionary bible thumping Evangelicals are rock solid in their support for Republicans and The Trumpet and Pastor Pence in particular.
In the 2016 election, Protestants constituted about half of the electorate and reported voting for Trump over Clinton by a 56% to 39% margin. Catholics were more evenly divided; 52% reported voting for Trump, while 44% said they backed Clinton.
Overall, whites with a four-year college degree or more education made up 30% of all validated voters. Among these voters, far more (55%) said they voted for Clinton than for Trump (38%). Among the much larger group of white voters who had not completed college (44% of all voters), Trump won by more than two-to-one (64% to 28%).
At least from what I see and read on Face Book The Trump voters have a fear of Socialism (they post crap about Venezuela and Cuba as examples of Socialism), opposition to any abortion and “gun rights”. The Trumpet has his appeal to Male-Macho-Authoritarianism. The Trumpet has his women followers who seem totally brainwashed into accepting second class or steerage as their place.
According to a report by the American Medical Association and substantiated by studies, magazine articles, and books worldwide…
In 1907, twenty years before German agencies adopted eugenics practices, a law passed by the state legislature and signed by the Governor of Indiana provided for the involuntary sterilization of “confirmed criminals, idiots, imbeciles and rapists.” That law is widely regarded as the first eugenics sterilization legislation passed in the world. In 1927, a revised law was implemented and before it was repealed (not until 1974), over 2,300 of the State’s citizens were involuntarily sterilized.
Though Nazi Germany modeled enforcement of its eugenics program after the California enforcement provisions, Germany imported an Indiana eugenics “professional” to advise the German program’s administrative (selection) process. See IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black, 2001, Crown / Random House.
The Indiana man (whose name I cannot find) was an employee of DEHOMAG, the German subsidiary of IBM, who invented a punched card technique for his system that later inspired punch-card computing.
John D. Rockefeller put up much of the money to finance the application of eugenics in Germany. In Rockefeller’s terror of Socialism’s potential spread of worker-power and tycoon hanging, anything seemed fair.
History tells us that anything is possible when leaders are crazy. I’m not sure what history tells us is possible when leaders are flagrantly stupid.
“I’m not sure what history tells us is possible when leaders are flagrantly stupid.”
One thing for sure is that the opposition leadership better be “Smarter than Hell.”
A couple of points: Race, to me, is an abstraction. Our ancestors spent roughly 130,000 years in Africa. It was only when that environment got challenged to support us by natural climate change that we started to leave. 15,000 years ago we had finally settled when we ran out of other places to settle. It’s interesting to me that when we send spit to get our DNA checked they begin our ancestry near the end of our story, after our skin had adapted to where we ended up.
Yesterday I wrote : “I personally prefer to change even right and left to authoritarian vs liberal, or competitive to collaborative and the positions on the spectrum measured by the span of a circle of responsibility regarding both groups of people and time scale.”
Combining those two thoughts leads me to believe that those of us who have a very small self centered circle of responsibility tend to focus on what personal attributes make us entitled to “extra” helpings of everything. We become extreme authoritarian/competitive people. Those who are taught to have a large circle of responsibility both in time and other people can be found nearer the left end of liberal/collaborative people. As our personalities develop we get culturally attuned to those more like us, and in some locales that might include most everyone in our environmentally small circle. Those exposed to more diversity by the nature of urban locales see first hand that things only work when we collaborate with others significantly different than us.
We are products of what we were born with and into. Where is part of into. Our genitalia is part of with. Both matter.
I have a theory on how male dominance came into being and how it is evolving. It involves strength and innovation. Thus I think the prehistoric Ugg Glugg had his way with women via strength and replenished the race. History since has recorded the story of man but not of woman up to and including the 169 years of experimental Athenian democracy (but not so democratic as to give women and slaves the vote). The story was about men; no women need apply, and even our revered founders centuries later continued to deny slaves and women the vote, contrary to the thrust of the language of Jefferson’s Preamble.
I think the real beginning of women’s liberation began, strangely enough, with the invention of Fulton’s steam engine. How so? The steam engine was put to many uses, and thus the importance of human strength was less necessary to accomplish tasks, and now, with robots and other exotic machinery doing the work of assembly lines and the promise of AI truck drivers, warehouse workers et al., yet even less human strength is necessary to do the work of the society. Men have accordingly watched the need for their superior physical strength dissipate while the Madame Curies and Merkels of this world are proving what was true all along, to wit: that men do not enjoy a monopoly of brains (as, anecdotally, we can all bear witness with this cretin in the Oval Office).
To be sure, there may be other and better explanations than my view of strength and innovation as the explanation for declining male dominance, and there are plenty of domineering subjects available for testing and, if such a survey is to be done, researchers are advised to tell such subjects to leave their guns at home.
My farmer father was a liberal, a feminist, and smart as a whip. His family’s Quaker roots made him a devoted defender of civil rights. He was a Christian Sunday school teacher and a fan of UAW leader Walter Reuther who reached out to support and help striking workers.
But he identified TV as a lamentable contributor to male grievances. Unlike him, I seldom watch traditional network TV, but when at my parents’ house, I watched what they watched and had to agree with his assessment. Sitcoms in particular made men look like silly, inept, and insensitive fools at home, at work, in their neighborhoods. It was made for comedy, but it contributed to male alienation.
For decades, I’ve felt that TV trivialized women as sex objects and/or slaves to household chores, especially in commercials, but I’d missed that men had been trivialized too, especially in programming.
Morning Joe (a little of him goes a long way) once commented that Trump’s victory was due to his riding the crest of the culture wars that Trump exploited. Racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia were exploited and piled onto the straw that’s been breaking the male camel’s financial back for over 40 years – replacement of breadwinners’ jobs with vacant factories and mechanization. Financial desperation paved the way for scapegoats (as Hitler learned so well). Trump provided those scapegoats in abundance and offered himself as the solution to Make America Great Again.
After WWI and during the depression, Germany and Europe got Hitler. Thankfully the US got FDR. In 2016, Wall Street was booming, the economy was growing, but so many were still left out or left poor, and we got Trump.
Everybody, excellent comments!
Myself, I’ve been interested in the eugenics program and have been writing about it for about 20 years. Also, American Manifest Destiny, American Exceptionalism, and American Romanticism, about the virtues of white domination and the white ruling class in America! And, not to mention those that wanted to make it to the ruling class! The South was a huge believer in American romanticism, hundreds of thousands of slaves working on immense plantations that were built on the land of native Americans! Manifest Destiny was going to be in agrarian society spanning the oceans and the North and South American continents. American exceptionalism had to do a lot with the style of government and the goodness of government, which, depending on your ethnicity, wasn’t very exceptional at all.
The Romanticism, the Romeo and Juliet mentality of American white power was worshipped all over the globe.
Now, I cannot say that all white people are bad, if you look at my avatar, that was taken last fall, I was brushing up on my tracking skills up north on one of the rez reserves.
So, a lot of white folks will see me in my hat, my denim trucker jacket, my jeans and my boots, and they feel comfortable espousing those deep down musings. It was the same before I retired, guys were making $200,000 a year felt so threatened by an influx of non-whites, they plotted to make life miserable for them so they would quit.
My father’s peeps were German, my father’s father was a Nazi! My father hated his father! My mother’s family were native American African and Italian, my father loved my mother’s family more than he loved his own! I’ve heard and seen plenty, and I mean just about anything you can imagine. And I’ve done almost anything you can imagine.
What I’m really tired of, what really ticks me off, as listening to folks like Terry Moore complaining about being picked on! It just pisses me off! Because I remember the whites hanging/ murdering some of my family members! I’ve gone into detail before so I don’t think it’s necessary today. So spare me the woe-is-me garbage Terry, it’s not flying too well. You might believe your BS, but I know better! My wife’s parents both associated with Martin Luther King, my mother-in-law had marched with him and had gone to college to learn how to be civilly disobedient.
I’ve seen both sides, I’ve walked on both sides, and when I met my wife, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind, being 17 years old, yes, I knew what was right and what was wrong.
I’ve fought, and worse for my children and my wife and her folks and others. And I would not hesitate to do it now! I don’t know what kind of history you study Terry, but you better get your act together! And definitely don’t come around me with that garbage.
Terry, I’m not sure who the “average” white man even is anymore. That’s the problem with the whole made up category of “race”, it takes a group of people typically distributed on a normal bell curve in terms of any variable and declares them all the same.
Are there white supremacy advocates? Of course there are. Do they have political and economic and cultural power collectively? Of course they do. Do oligarchs recruit them as voters to increase the political power of wealth chasing more? Of course. The more they feel oppressed the easier they are to market to and otherwise manipulate on social/entertainment media advertising/fake news/propaganda/brainwashing.
Terry, settle down. Don’t be so angry, at least not at us. You made an interesting comment that might give some insight into why you are so angry; “ No one even knows truth any more. ”
You might look at some articles about the new tool of propaganda, “censorship through noise”.
Learning to understand what might a “fake news” and doing your own cross checking will get you out of the echo chamber and help build some trust in some media outlets. It might help to direct your anger into something more productive than name calling.
I am too prone to compare every movement through an economic lens. Sheila has corrected me with her “theory” that women are beginning to beat the male dominance story because of birth control, the use of which has allowed women to pursue their lives and careers. She is right and I am mistaken, and this may be what happens when males presume to write female history. I hereby adopt her “theory” and will treat mine not as causal but rather economic history.
I saw a poll today that was downright terrifying.
Biden was ahead of Trump by [iirc] 9 points. Ahead by 20 points among women. But Trump was ahead of Biden by 3 points among white men.
iow, a majority of white men in this country are aggrieved that women and minorities are finally, slowly, catching up to them and, obviously, without any of the stepping stones white men have enjoyed for centuries.
Certainly – Clinton was not a good candidate and that white women did not support her in part because of this. Certainly voter turnout was a problem! Both good points – as to why white women and perhaps to a lesser degree why white men did not vote for Clinton in 2016l
It seems peculiar though, that Always – it seems to be People of Color – who have to bail out white people for the mistakes that are made by white people!
Barack Obama had to bend over backwards to do things for white people and not be the “angry Black man”. At the same time he was the “reverse racist”. He was the “liberal”. He was the “anti-American” person.
Where did these myths come from? Obama’s foreign policy became strongly anti-immigrant (particularly with undocumented people). Obama did very little for People of Color. Obama was hardly liberal – yet he was demonized.
McConnell was clever – manipulating, manipulating, manipulating.
Who – though is going to get out the white vote? Who is going to get the Bernie supporters (white) to see the urgency of the election?
People of Color will turn out in 2020. They aren’t stupid!
Will white people see that if Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes it to 2021 that her seat on the Supreme Court is Very Important? Will white people see that the economic policies of Trump help only those with money?
We will see!
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