Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Barack Obama, You Really Blew It!!

It seems as if Barack Obama has continued in the tradition of Howard Dean insofar as being unable to resist the impulse to insult the working class. Dean, some will recall, said he wanted to reach out to those folks with Confederate flags on their pick-up trucks, and then turned around and lambasted social conservatives for their supposed obsession with “guns, gays, and God” or something to that effect.

Now, Obama steps in with a similar gaffe, making derisive remarks about working class people and their attachment to guns and religion and their hostility to “those who are different” and to “trade”. Read all about it.

That a politician as otherwise savvy as Obama could fuck up so royally is indicative of the contempt that liberals and leftists secretly (and often not so secretly) hold for working class Americans, particularly those of the infamous “white” species. Some writers have wondered why the Republican scam of combining social populism and plutocracy could have lasted as long as it did (since Kevin Phillips designed Nixon’s “southern strategy” in 1968). In comments like these from the likes of Dean or Obama, we have our answer. The Republican scam works, because the Democratic scam of combining plutocracy and counterculturalism is even more ridiculous.

I’m sure the typical liberal politician views red state Americans as subhuman white trash, and privately considers it to be beneath his/her liberal dignity to even try to gain support from such people. They do so only out of a very grudging sense of political necessity. And then they end up with the proverbial foot in the mouth (or up the ass).

The ironic thing is they could probably have it both ways. A Democratic Party that reinvented itself as a virulent economic populist-nationalist party a la Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan or even Ralph Nader could no doubt secure a bright future for itself. A Democratic Party that sold itself to the average Joe as the party that will bring home the bacon by withdrawing from NAFTA and the WTO, closing the trade deficit, restoring the value of the dollar on the international currency market, shutting down the importation of cheap Third World labor by corporate America, cutting taxes from the bottom up, and reducing the cost of health care through specific, targeted reforms would dominate American elections for another few generations.

On social questions, they wouldn’t have to be backward-looking reactionaries like Buchanan (no abortions for rape victims, reinstate sodomy laws, etc.). They could just be slightly right-of-center moderates so far as their rhetoric and propaganda went. Then, once in power, they could start sneaking in every left-liberal pet cause through the back door or under the table. Simply appointing judges to the federal and state courts who will uphold abortion rights, gay rights, civil rights, animal rights, environmental rights, church/state separation and even more radical causes like vegans’ rights, transgendered rights, druggies’ rights, hookers’ rights, vagrants’ rights, prisoners’ rights, satanic cults’ rights, and even death row inmates’ rights. Just allow the red staters to keep their guns, go to church, start homeschools, raise their own children the way they want, and have peace in their own neighborhoods and everything should be fine. But it won’t happen because the Democrats are should as much a tool of the plutocracy as the Republicans.

This is the perfect season for a Democratic victory. An immensely unpopular sitting Republican President that’s losing two wars and running the economy into the ground is about as good as one could hope for. If the Democrats lose, then they should declare their party to be beyond hope and disband.

6 replies »

  1. A stupid comment inspired by Obama’s remark led me to make this GSS post. I also discuss the source of cultural attitudes and the underclass as a vanguard of libertarianism.

  2. I think that many Republicans will switch parties for this primary to defeat Obama by voting for Hillary. Their support can not be counted on for the general election. I am also curious as to how many will vote for a third party candidate this year as opposed to McCain.

  3. Truth, apparently, is no defense: “With all the pious noise over Obama’s “elitist” disdain for the unwashed and bitter, it’s necessary to emphasize what polite society plays down: there really are violent, bitter, stupid white working (and non-working) people who are not only alienated from the political process, but hold delusional ideas about what’s actually going on…. After moving away and becoming more politicized, I’d return for visits and hang with some of the old crowd. Most remained exactly where they were when I left, and were put off by my reasons for living in the big city. They were solidly pro-Reagan, despite his assaults on working people, and they didn’t want to hear that they were being lied to and used. Makes sense. If you have nothing save some hazy sense of patriotism, you sure as hell don’t want to lose the only thing that feeds your identity. Politicians play on this need, catering to redneck biases under a phony “populist” banner while serving those who actually finance their careers. The negative reaction to Obama’s rather tame comments shows just how strong this bullshit tactic is, though it appears that Obama will not be hurt by acknowledging reality. Still, I don’t see a lot of white working people voting for Obama — or for that matter, Hillary. John McCain is perfect for most of them, especially those who fly POW/MIA flags in their front yards or on their porches. The religion of militarism remains too intoxicating for many rednecks to resist. If they’re not enlisted, they wear the camo-gear in solidarity. I see this every day. It’s pretty fucking depressing.”

  4. You all seriously thought of Obama as a POTENTIALLY reliable person? Seriously? No really… stop. Serious?

    Compare Obama’s rhetoric with these:

    “If the people want to be free, if they want to lift themselves out from underneath a state apparatus that threatens their liberties, squanders their resources on needless wars, destroys the value of their dollar, and spews forth endless propaganda about how indispensable it is and how lost we would be without it, there is no force that can stop them. If freedom is what we want, it is ours for the taking.” [p. 167]

    – R.P. -rEVOLution A Manifesto

    “…I have never seen such a diverse coalition rallying to a single banner. Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Greens, constitutionalists, Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, antiwar activists, homeschoolers, religious conservatives, freethinkers- all were not only involved, but enthusiastically so. And despite their philosophical differences in some areas, these folks typically found, to their surprise, that they rather liked each other.

    The mainstream media had no idea what to make of it, since we were breaking all the rules and yet still attracting such a varied and passionate following. I began making this a central point of my public speeches: the reason that all these different groups are rallying to the same banner, I said, is that freedom has a unique power to unite us.

    In case that sounds like a cliché, it isn’t. It’s common sense. When we agree not to treat each other merely as means to our own selfish ends, but to respect each other as individuals with rights and goals of our own, cooperation and goodwill suddenly became possible for the first time.

    My message is one of freedom and individual rights. I believe individuals have a right to life and liberty and that physical aggression should only be used defensively. We should respect each other as rational beings by trying to achieve our goals through reason and persuasion rather then threats and coercion. That, and not a desire for “economic efficiency,” is the primary moral reason for opposing government intrusions into our lives: government is force, not reason.

    People seem to think that I am speaking of principles foreign to the Republican tradition. But listen to the words of Robert A. Taft, who in the old days of the Republican Party was once its standard bearer:

    ‘When I say liberty, I do not simply mean what is referred to as “free enterprise.” I mean liberty of the individual to think his own thoughts and live his own life as he desires to think and live; the liberty of the family to decide how they wish to live, what they want to eat for breakfast and for dinner, and how they wish to spend their time; liberty of a man to develop his ideas and get other people to teach those ideas, if he can convince them that they have some value to the world; liberty of every local community to decide how its children shall be educated, how its local services shall be run, and who its local leaders shall be; liberty of a man to choose his own occupation; and liberty of a man to run his own business as he thinks it ought to be run, as long as he does not interfere with the right of other people to do the same thing.’

    …Taft was also an opponent of needless wars and of unconstitutional presidential war making.

    THIS, is Republican tradition to which I belong…. ”

    – R.P. -rEVOLution A Manifesto- pg 6

  5. as for Dean:

    “Needless to say, I am also unimpressed with the Liberal Left. Although they posture as critical thinkers, their confidence in government is inexcusably naive, based as it is on civics-textbook platitudes that bear absolutely no resemblance to reality. Not even their position on unnecessary wars is consistent., as I noted above. Even Howard Dean was all in favor of Bill Clinton’s intervention in Bosnia, going so far as to urge the president to take unilateral military action beyond the multilateral activity already taking place. Liberals at teh grassroots, on the other hand, have been deeply alienated by the various betrayals by which a movement they once supported has made its peace with the establishment.

    No wonder frustrated Americans have begun referring to our two parties as The Republicrats. And no wonder the news networks would rather focus on $400 haircuts then matters of substance. There ARE no matters of substance.”

    – RP – The REVOLution – A manifesto (pg 4)

    But rather then work within this context and collectively ATTACK THE SYSTEM folks would rather bitch and say ‘you can’t change anything from within the system, so let’s make sure we don’t even try okay?’ Lame. Has anyone seen Talk about Beyond Left n Right and working together to attack the system.. So, why not help with such a project all?

    Bitching is so much easier, but accomplishes so much less.

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