The Unwashed Masses, or No Longer a Political Snob

 

I’ll admit it. When it came to assessing our citizens’ knowledge of the issues and policies in this country, I secretly believed that most of our population—including Republicans and Democrats—were clueless. I was a political snob. These people would rant and rave on Twitter (where they got most of their “news”), share their politically correct ideas on Facebook, and line up at the ballot box to vote for the party that they had chosen for generations. When politicians (especially Republicans) would say that we had a smart and informed populace, I would snort and roll my eyes. Tell me honestly—didn’t you do the same?

But now I have just a glimmer of hope that our citizens might, just might, be waking up. Not because they have read up on the issues; not because they are reading more than the drivel from the mainstream media; not because they have suddenly become enlightened. But because of one major change: their own direct experience.

It’s like this: I can tell you to stand right in front of me, and I’m going to slug you with a sledgehammer, but it will only hurt for an instant—which technically is true. But it’s the aftereffects—the pain when you crash to the floor and the agony that travels through your jaw and the horror of being taken to the hospital to wire your jaw shut, while you drink through a straw for months on end. But I didn’t bother to tell you that part.

You trusted me. And now you’re learning that all I shared with you was one big lie.

And in real life, you know that I lied because your direct experience is showing up on your credit card. Your direct experience is revealing empty shelves at the grocery store. The gas you need to fill up your truck’s tank is stolen from your vacation road fund.  And everything you want to purchase is costing much, much more.

There are a number of questions that arise from the current situation: how bad will it get? Will the damage carry us through the mid-terms? Will Biden make any headway in blaming everyone and everything but the kitchen sink or Vladimir Putin or the oil refineries? Will people get even more curious to discover what else they haven’t been told? (Well, I can dream . . . )

Right now, people are angry at the party in power. They will want to get rid of as many of them as they can. But do they believe there are other Democrats that will serve them well? Or will they become convinced that they have to allow themselves to be completely transformed by a different agenda?

I’m not optimistic.

Republicans may have a chance to make a dent into the Democrat mindset if they can actually show that they are not clones of the Democrats and are prepared to take them in a completely different direction. They will have to convince all of us that the Democrats are not a party of “good faith,” but a party of misdirection and falsehoods. Are you listening John Cornyn?

I think that the time for compromise between Democrats and Republicans on any major issue is over for the foreseeable future. We have to educate our citizens that the Democrats will continue to mislead them and ignore them. The Democrat elite (and some of the Republicans, too) are operating from their own agenda, and we may have to vote for them in November, but they had better show their worthiness after that.

My message for Republicans: Don’t take anything for granted and stop pandering to the elite.

Your time in power may be short.

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  1. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    “because of one major change: their own direct experience.”

    Old saying: “He who will not listen will have to feel.”

    • #1
  2. DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Susan Quinn:

    Republicans may have a chance to make a dent into the Democrat mindset if they can actually show that they are not clones of the Democrats and are prepared to take them in a completely different direction. They will have to convince all of us that the Democrats are not a party of “good faith,” but a party of misdirection and falsehoods.

    In other words, they have no chance.

    • #2
  3. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I have no faith at all in the GOP to do anything differently. They stood against Trump and his changes. They stood against Reagan. 

     

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

    Republicans may have a chance to make a dent into the Democrat mindset if they can actually show that they are not clones of the Democrats and are prepared to take them in a completely different direction. They will have to convince all of us that the Democrats are not a party of “good faith,” but a party of misdirection and falsehoods.

    In other words, they have no chance.

    I knew I could count on you and Bryan, Drew, and I don’t blame you guys. Unless they can push Mitch out of the way, there’s little hope. But we can hope for changes in the short term at least. Sigh.

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    So how do we put a fire under Republicans? How do we get people who aren’t afraid to fight like Tom Cotton and even Rand Paul? There must be a way! How can we blow this opportunity again?

    • #5
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

    Republicans may have a chance to make a dent into the Democrat mindset if they can actually show that they are not clones of the Democrats and are prepared to take them in a completely different direction. They will have to convince all of us that the Democrats are not a party of “good faith,” but a party of misdirection and falsehoods.

    In other words, they have no chance.

    I knew I could count on you and Bryan, Drew, and I don’t blame you guys. Unless they can push Mitch out of the way, there’s little hope. But we can hope for changes in the short term at least. Sigh.

    I have been hit in the face with a sledgehammer by the GOP, to use your metaphor. 

     

    • #6
  7. DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    I wish it were different, but every Republican who tries to move things rightward gets kneecapped by the Party Machine.

    So I’m left with the impression that the Republican Party has outlived its usefulness to America, and we must replace it with an actual American party.

    • #7
  8. The Great Adventure Coolidge
    The Great Adventure
    @TGA

    My theory, perspective, narrative, or whatever term you choose (which I’ve yet to hear anyone honestly discredit) is that one’s party affiliation is exactly like sports fans.  “My team above all else, and if you don’t hate my rival, you’re evil.”  Does not matter in the least if my team lies, cheats, or commits any other heinous crimes – it is still my team above all else.  And it does not matter in the least if my rival’s team manages to solve world hunger and bring about eternal peace and tranquility.  They are still evil.

    Perhaps the best we can hope for is that people will become totally disillusioned with the sport (politics) in general and distrust all of them.

    • #8
  9. Brian Wyneken Member
    Brian Wyneken
    @BrianWyneken

    Susan Quinn:

    I’ll admit it. When it came to assessing our citizens’ knowledge of the issues and policies in this country, I secretly believed that most of our population—including Republicans and Democrats—were clueless. I was a political snob. These people would rant and rave on Twitter (where they got most of their “news”), share their politically correct ideas on Facebook, and line up at the ballot box to vote for the party that they had chosen for generations. When politicians (especially Republicans) would say that we had a smart and informed populace, I would snort and roll my eyes. Tell me honestly—didn’t you do the same?

    . . .

    I tried to avoid eye rolling and snorting, but that was part of a self deceit in faking geniality for the sake of a conceited belief that I was “of the people.” The candidacy of Donald Trump challenged that notion and I pretty much just fell on my stupid face and spent the post 2016 election years finding out just how completely clueless was my establishment orientation.

    • #9
  10. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

    Republicans may have a chance to make a dent into the Democrat mindset if they can actually show that they are not clones of the Democrats and are prepared to take them in a completely different direction. They will have to convince all of us that the Democrats are not a party of “good faith,” but a party of misdirection and falsehoods.

    In other words, they have no chance.

    I knew I could count on you and Bryan, Drew, and I don’t blame you guys. Unless they can push Mitch out of the way, there’s little hope. But we can hope for changes in the short term at least. Sigh.

    Until that is done nothing good for the average American will happen. At least that schlub kept Garland of the SCOTUS, so I guess it’s possible to say something good about almost anyone. 

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):
    So I’m left with the impression that the Republican Party has outlived its usefulness to America, and we must replace it with an actual American party.

    If we could figure out a way to make that happen without it requiring 20 years to do it, I’d seriously consider it. 

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Brian Wyneken (View Comment):
    I tried to avoid eye rolling and snorting, but that was part of a self deceit in faking geniality for the sake of a conceited belief that I was “of the people.” The candidacy of Donald Trump challenged that notion and I pretty much just fell on my stupid face and spent the post 2016 election years finding out just how completely clueless was my establishment orientation.

    Now there’s an honest man!! I totally get what you are saying. Now what?

    • #12
  13. DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):
    So I’m left with the impression that the Republican Party has outlived its usefulness to America, and we must replace it with an actual American party.

    If we could figure out a way to make that happen without it requiring 20 years to do it, I’d seriously consider it.

    I guess at some point we might have to just bite the bullet and let it take 20 years, if the alternative is the status quo.

    • #13
  14. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Brian Wyneken (View Comment):
    I tried to avoid eye rolling and snorting, but that was part of a self deceit in faking geniality for the sake of a conceited belief that I was “of the people.” The candidacy of Donald Trump challenged that notion and I pretty much just fell on my stupid face and spent the post 2016 election years finding out just how completely clueless was my establishment orientation.

    Now there’s an honest man!! I totally get what you are saying. Now what?

    Next? Critical mass. And then we find out if this is still America or if we’ll be at each other’s throats. I’ll bet on the latter because there is a large part of the population that has been taught to hate the country. 

    • #14
  15. DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Django (View Comment):

    Next? Critical mass. And then we find out if this is still America or if we’ll be at each other’s throats. I’ll bet on the latter because there is a large part of the population that has been taught to hate the country.

    And each other.

    Though at least out here in the hinterlands (relatively speaking) people still seem to like each other.

    Though of that this morning as I was out on my bike. Passed a few people on the trails and we all smiled and nodded at each other, and I thought “Yeah, people still do that here, and we all feel relatively safe walking or biking through any neighborhood in this city. We still have a sort of innate trust in the goodness of others. But in larger urban areas, I wonder if people walk around with their guard up 24/7? And what does that do to a person’s soul?”

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DrewInWisconsin, Unapologetic … (View Comment):
    I thought “Yeah, people still do that here, and we all feel relatively safe walking or biking through any neighborhood in this city. We still have a sort of innate trust in the goodness of others. But in larger urban areas, I wonder if people walk around with their guard up 24/7? And what does that do to a person’s soul?”

    It certainly challenges the soul. All the more reason that we find ways to lift ourselves up and try to affect those around us. When I take my morning walks, or when I’m at the gym, I greet every person’s whose eye I can catch. I know some of them by name. Maybe a key is to work at reminding people that there are relationships, both tenuous and strong, but all of them can be strengthened. The elite (including our own) are trying to separate us, to distance us from each other. We must defy them, every time we can: at the grocery store, with a waitress, in every moment where we make contact with others. This effort won’t be easy for me, because I am an introvert, so every interaction takes effort and energy. But I think it is one small step that, when the you-know-what hits the fan, we will remember that we connected with people beyond partisan issues. As you say, Drew, we have all kinds of people with whom we can make those contacts. We have to try harder!

    • #16
  17. Brian Wyneken Member
    Brian Wyneken
    @BrianWyneken

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Brian Wyneken (View Comment):
    I tried to avoid eye rolling and snorting, but that was part of a self deceit in faking geniality for the sake of a conceited belief that I was “of the people.” The candidacy of Donald Trump challenged that notion and I pretty much just fell on my stupid face and spent the post 2016 election years finding out just how completely clueless was my establishment orientation.

    Now there’s an honest man!! I totally get what you are saying. Now what?

    Having been “field” based (having successfully avoided headquarters assignments) during my federal career, I had not imagined the extent of the resistance within the D.C. based institutions (the most severe being “justice-F.B.I.” and the intelligence agencies) to the Trump administration combined with the obsequiousness to the current administration following 2020. My career experience, it seemed to me, was with people who “saluted smartly” and did their duty despite any personal disinclination towards the administration in power. Now, albeit from the perspective of a retiree,  even in the field offices I see too many indications of something more akin to ideological conformity.

    This has all been very disorienting and I mostly just observe and listen/read to those whose foretelling has been shown prescient.  Having been so wrong about the state of things I’ve become more shy about shaking my fist and blathering on. Instead I’ve been following (as in “follower”) a path roughly describe in the last two paragraphs of your OP:

    Republicans may have a chance to make a dent into the Democrat mindset if they can actually show that they are not clones of the Democrats and are prepared to take them in a completely different direction. They will have to convince all of us that the Democrats are not a party of “good faith,” but a party of misdirection and falsehoods. Are you listening John Cornyn?

    I think that the time for compromise between Democrats and Republicans on any major issue is over for the foreseeable future. We have to educate our citizens that the Democrats will continue to mislead them and ignore them. The Democrat elite (and some of the Republicans, too) are operating from their own agenda, and we may have to vote for them in November, but they had better show their worthiness after that.

     

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    McConnell is definitely not going to help us; he insisted on calling Jan 6 an insurrection. Whatever happened to the Freedom Caucus? We need to revamp it or transform it into something more influential. I would love to see someone challenge Mitch’s leadership. Ted Cruz? Tom Cotton? They don’t have to be perfect, but the person would need to be conservative and courageous. McConnell is going to be around  far longer than we can afford him. Someone, some small brave group needs to shake him up.

    BTW, did you know that Ron DeSantis joined the original Freedom Caucus?

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Brian Wyneken (View Comment):
    This has all been very disorienting and I mostly just observe and listen/read to those whose foretelling has been shown prescient.  Having been so wrong about the state of things I’ve become more shy about shaking my fist and blathering on.

    Based on your history and experience, Brian, we need you to blather more. You were inside, and most of us have not been. So shake off your reticence and tell us more about what you think!

    • #19
  20. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    McConnell is definitely not going to help us; he insisted on calling Jan 6 an insurrection. Whatever happened to the Freedom Caucus? We need to revamp it or transform it into something more influential. I would love to see someone challenge Mitch’s leadership. Ted Cruz? Tom Cotton? They don’t have to be perfect, but the person would need to be conservative and courageous. McConnell is going to be around far longer than we can afford him. Someone, some small brave group needs to shake him up.

    BTW, did you know that Ron DeSantis joined the original Freedom Caucus?

    The Turtle is the one who said of the original TEA Party, “We’ll crush them.”

    You should catch one of Mark Levin’s many rants about McConnell and the NRSC. 

    • #20
  21. Brian Wyneken Member
    Brian Wyneken
    @BrianWyneken

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Brian Wyneken (View Comment):
    This has all been very disorienting and I mostly just observe and listen/read to those whose foretelling has been shown prescient. Having been so wrong about the state of things I’ve become more shy about shaking my fist and blathering on.

    Based on your history and experience, Brian, we need you to blather more. You were inside, and most of us have not been. So shake off your reticence and tell us mor about what you think!

    My reticence is well deserved, but to what I think:  a piece published this morning by Abigail Shrier, “In Defense of Political Escalation”*, lately captures my attention. Nonetheless my inclinations are towards individual relationships in being approachable and gently asking those questions that might prompt some reflection. My (deteriorating) regard for our institutions still wants to point to a William Barr as the type of public servant for which we should hope. But those inclinations and that regard, that for so long were valuable and relevant to a federal career now seem enabling to so much that has gone amiss. As I look back at my agencies, I’m thinking to paraphrase Mr. Crockett : “You may all go to hell, I’m going to Texas learn to play the accordion“.

    I’ll write a post about it one of these days.

    *https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/abigail-shrier-in-defense-of-political

    • #21
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Brian Wyneken (View Comment):
    My reticence is well deserved, but to what I think:  a piece published this morning by Abigail Shrier, “In Defense of Political Escalation”*, lately captures my attention. Nonetheless my inclinations are towards individual relationships in being approachable and gently asking those questions that might prompt some reflection.

    I saw her article. But she pointed out that we can’t go back to some kind of a normal, and if I recall correctly, we may need to assume we will need to escalate. Also, I’m sure you have very good reason to be reticent. I think many of us, however, will need to consider moving out of our comfort zones (me included) to make a difference for this country. It will be very, very difficult.

    • #22
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Okay, this is probably not original, but I’m trying to step away from the tried-and-true. So I propose that Congressional leaders–maybe from both the Senate and House!–join up and form a New Conservative Caucus. “Conservative” should be in the name–no euphemisms–the real thing!! For starters, I suggest Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Marsha Blackburn, Mike Lee, Jim Jordan and Rand Paul. These are people who have shown (I believe–correct me if I’m wrong) their conservative credentials, and are courageous people, too. I’m not suggesting blowhards, but people who are not afraid of Mitch or at least would consider going after him. I think we need lots more of them, so that maybe Mitch will find it harder to push back by removing them from committees. Who are the Representatives and Senators who are willing to get their hands dirty and  fight?

    Edit: I refused to put the name of anyone supporting the gun legislation. Of course, half of them aren’t running for re-election. Real patriots, those.

    • #23
  24. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    The Great Adventure (View Comment):

    My theory, perspective, narrative, or whatever term you choose (which I’ve yet to hear anyone honestly discredit) is that one’s party affiliation is exactly like sports fans. “My team above all else, and if you don’t hate my rival, you’re evil.” Does not matter in the least if my team lies, cheats, or commits any other heinous crimes – it is still my team above all else. And it does not matter in the least if my rival’s team manages to solve world hunger and bring about eternal peace and tranquility. They are still evil.

    Perhaps the best we can hope for is that people will become totally disillusioned with the sport (politics) in general and distrust all of them.

    Made me think of an article by ole summers: https://ricochet.com/1273884/when-in-rome/

    • #24
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Somehow we need to figure out how to remove McCarthy and McConnell. McCarthy talks the talk but I doubt that he’ll walk the walk. And McConnell will do whatever he pleases, unless some people realize he’s a destructive force.

    • #25
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I’m still mulling my comment #23 above. Does anyone know if there is any reason why the House and Senate could not form a body/caucus? If they could join forces, this group could collaborate in turning over the leadership in both places. 

    • #26
  27. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I’m still mulling my comment #23 above. Does anyone know if there is any reason why the House and Senate could not form a body/caucus? If they could join forces, this group could collaborate in turning over the leadership in both places.

    Technically possible. But money and ambition create and control party animals until the people revolt.

    • #27
  28. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    This is what the elites want to do to the unwashed masses: National Popular Vote Interstate Compact – Wikipedia.

    The point here is to make certain that another Trump won’t get elected. 

    • #28
  29. Ole Summers Member
    Ole Summers
    @OleSummers

    I would hope that it would be standard fare for every candidate for either the House or Senate would be asked directly who they would or would not vote for in regard to either Speaker or party leader in Senate. It is our responsibility to get them openly on record in such important matters. I completely agree about McConnell. His interference in Senate races in the individual states has cost us some reliable people and gave us McConnell supporters out to get their share of the pie. 

    This should be a part of every primary process. 

    I believe your interesting thought of more coordinated effort between conservatives in both houses could only work when we have much, much better leadership in each of the houses.

    • #29
  30. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I’m still mulling my comment #23 above. Does anyone know if there is any reason why the House and Senate could not form a body/caucus? If they could join forces, this group could collaborate in turning over the leadership in both places.

    Technically possible. But money and ambition create and control party animals until the people revolt.

    So let’s get on the revolt–without violence.

    • #30
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