Skip to main content

View Diary: Stand and Fight (348 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  You're right about Thomas Frank, but (none)
    you miss his central argument which is NOT that "Republicans vote against their own interests" but in whom he blames for this.  He blames Bill Clinton and the DLC for doing everything they can to push red-state Democrats away.  

    Red state Democrats were (and probably still are) predominantly union members, who vote Democratic at a rate about double that of their non-union brethren.  The money graphs of Frank are pg 242-248.  Do reread them.

    Frank writes "the movement" (the moralizing right)
    "speaks to those on society's bottom, addresses them on a daily basis.  From the left they hear nothing, but from the Cons they get an explanation for it all."

    The left's refusal to think about these people (on Kos, today there are hundreds of posts on Kos advocating "punishing" these people for their vote.)  Even the reddest of red states is more than 30 % blue.  Think about connecting with these people, Kossacks.  It's better than preaching to the choir.  

    I made 3 trips to Wisconsin for Kerry.  At every one, a union hall was the hosting building.  It was unionism that kept red-land from going all red.  Now that it's all but wiped out, see what happens.  Some way, some how, we've got to figure out how to get close to these people once again.

    •  Thanks for fleshing this out (none)
      (although I didn't "miss" this "central argument." I was simply crediting Frank instead of Kristof.)

      There's a great irony here: Kossacks are by turns as down on the DLC faction of the Party as they are on Red Staters. We can all agree that DLC "centrism" has not only lost us Congress, it's also distanced the Party from its natural base(s).

      But I really think this problem begins and ends with the "Leadership," the L in DLC. They're the ones who  don't know how to talk to the union people. Take me for example: I'm a typical Upper West Side leftist intellectual -- yet my roots are in a staunch Iowa union family. I have no problem bridging those worlds, and I think there are millions of other allegedly elitist Northeast Democrats who have an intuitive understanding of these people. We just have to make sure that DLC and DLCesque factions don't get in the way -- or, worse, drive us all into apathy and distrust.

      •  Linette's post is brilliant (none)
        and I wholeheartedly agree with the tactics we should employ to expose these snake oil salesmen for what they are.

        I've been preaching Frank all over the site today.

        I, myself, am a product of the working class, and although educated have still never made more than $30,000 a year. When talking to these Bushites it becomes apparant that they are ignorant of the facts on just about every issue. I share their economic struggle but relating to them is admittedly difficult.

        When I start talking economic policy their eyes glaze over. They interrupt often just to ask, "So, what you're saying is bad? Why shouldn't everybody pay the same tax rate? If people are rich it's because they worked hard and they should keep their money."

        They contend that millions scam the welfare system and everyone should learn to fend for themselves. When I counter with, "Fine, exactly how much money have you put aside for your retirement? Are you willing to give up your SS check?" They get very angry.

        Somtimes I think we need our own version of Ross Perot for just this purpose.

        •  Economics (none)
          Economic issues are hard to explain.  To add to this, the largest part of the science that the public sees is focused on apologism rather than study.  Finally, economics largely sees itself as a values-neutral study - economic models often emphasize "maximizing wealth" in lieu of looking at other factors like maldistribution.

          The GOP was given a great gift with Reagan's claim to be the party of "fiscal responsibility".  This should have been blown by Bush's feckless spending, but it seems not to be so.  Joe Sixpack still seems to think that the GOP is looking after his financial interests.

          -Fe Wm.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site