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Observed outside a Circle K recently: two men approached on battered bicycles. One black, one white, they were both desert-lean and weathered. They knew long-term poverty.
Said the black man to the white: “They’re so stupid, they pull down a statue and throw it in the river!” Answered the white man: “Thousands of pounds of bronze!”
This conversation illustrates the Grand Canyon-sized gap between the leftist punks and the poor, those truly without “privilege.” A brief explanation for the perplexed: these were scrap men. They scavenge metal for cash and are acutely aware of the current local market value of every metal. When they see a bronze statue being pulled down by wealthy young whites LARPing* as revolutionaries, these men accurately estimate weight and dollars per pound.
We have all read plenty of denunciations of the historical, intellectual vandalism in the latest iconoclastic movement. The startling, wanton defacement, and destruction of our society’s public symbols is explained as following from a long process of miseducation and appropriation of the culture by a leftist elite. In all of this, we largely miss the chasm between the poor and working-class, on one side, and the new Blackshirts, the black bloc young men and now women who have been answering leftist cadres for decades, marching, chanting, and smashing property in the cause of the socialist revolution.
The chasm is not new, nor are observations of its existence. Indeed, leftists were criticizing middle-class feminism over 20 years ago for abandoning the concerns of working-class women. Barbara Ehrenreich wrote in 1999:
Between the ’70s and the ’90s, the percentage of female students in business, medical and law schools shot up from less than 10% to more than 40%.
There have been, however, no comparable gains for young women who cannot afford higher degrees, and most of these women remain in the same low-paid occupations that have been “women’s work” for decades. … While middle-class women gained MBAs, working-class women won the right not to be called “honey”—and not a whole lot more than that.
Kathleen Geier wrote in The Nation, immediately after the 2016 election:
White women, however, flocked to Trump by a substantial margin and were crucial to his victory. Yet not all white women supported Trump: There was a yawning class divide in their vote. One widely used proxy for the working class is adults who lack a college degree. And while white women who are college-educated supported Hillary over Trump by 6 points, their white, non–college educated counterparts chose Trump by a margin of 28 points. That added up to a cavernous class gap among this group—34 points, 10 points more than that record-setting gender gap.
Yes, those supposedly enlightened and oh-so-socially conscious suburban college-educated women were, and are, significantly opposed to poorer women. Indeed, they are opposed to disadvantaged people of color. They virtue signal for Black Lives Matter, but indicate in every poll that they are resolutely opposed to the presidential candidate who has a real record of actually delivering economic dignity and advancement to the poorest and least advantaged of Americans. Why should they really care, when they have theirs and believe they and theirs will be able to keep what they have?
There was a time when everyone understood something of the value of refined metals, turning cannons into bells, or bells into cannons, as the times required. The LARPing college-age leftists, and too many college-educated white women, don’t value history and don’t value law and order, because they come from a position of such privilege, of so many resources, that they feel their own lives will not be significantly disrupted. Senator Lisa Murkowski has given the game away in her announcement that she will not support Senate Majority Leader McConnell‘s plan to conduct and complete a Supreme Court nomination process before the next presidential term if a seat comes open.
Murkowski, who was first appointed to the seat by her daddy, falsely professes fair play. She, and likely McConnell, hope for President Biden to save them from actually delivering a lasting and solidly constitutional conservative court, that will reverse the Chamber of Commerce and Democrat desired secular supremacist re-write of the Constitution. As a fall-back position, they accept throwing away the Senate majority for what they believe will only be two years, to gut a second Trump term. They are horrified that President Reagan’s posturing and promises of support to cultural conservatives might actually be fulfilled.
This is ultimately about secular elites fighting over the levers of control, intending to be free from interference from people who actually vote their pocketbooks and who feel the negative effects of elite social values. The Trump campaign must make the case to enough people who have felt materially secure that their comfortable lives will likely be disrupted if they let Biden into the White House or Democrats into the majority in the Senate. Hence the very public suburban housing policy reversal. Hence the talk about TicTok being a spy tool for the Chinese communist government, a spy tool reaching into suburban women’s childrens’ lives. Will it be enough to win outside the margin of Democrats’ telegraphed cheating campaign?
* Live Action Role Playing. Contrast with role-playing on a board or video game.Published in