Probably the stupidest aspect of the mass ideological pants-shitting among self-described “liberals”/”Progressives”/”The Left” etc. – has to be the notion that failure to reflexively vote for Hillary Clinton necessarily means that the individual in question was motivated solely by sexism.
Same goes for anyone who had the temerity to even contemplate voting for someone other than Obama during his two presidential campaigns (2008/2012). OF COURSE you should vote Obama — because he’s the ‘black’ guy!
That’s the problem, right there: Leftists/”Progressives” — no matter how purportedly comitted to ethnic/religious/racial/gender “diversity” they might claim to be — are solidly embedded in a world-view (and conceptual vocabulary) which they inherited from Marxism.
To be fair, this is also true of the “Regressive” (IE: “Traditionalist”/nostalgic) wing of the “Conservative” movement: Quite frankly, both “sides” tacitly agree on everything genuinely fundamental. To the extent that they differ, it is only in terms of relatively minor shadings of emphasis.
For example: both “sides” implicitly (or explicitly) conceptualize society in Collectivist terms. On this premise, there are no such thing as distinct “individuals”. Rather, “individuals” are merely specific instances/reflections of some Collective, or other.
This is the root of the (so-called) “Culture wars”:
Marx did not invent Collectivism, but he — and his ideological progeny — did perfect the notion of “class struggle”. At root, both “Rightist” and “Leftist” variants of Neo-Marxists simply cannot view anything as anything other than the struggle of various demographic “classes”, for control of the existing social, political and economic “power”-structure.
So: support for Barrack Obama was essentially guaranteed among “The Left” — merely because he was a “PoC” (“Person of Color”). Moreover, any and all opposition to him, or his policies necessarily had to be “racist”, in origin.
Now, here’s the thing: it didn’t help that Ann Coulter and other RepubliCONS took to calling him “B. Hussein Obama” (in a brazen attempt to “cash in” on the pretty much ubiquitous Islamophobia of the post-9/11 U.S.) The thing about that was: anything short of reflexive adulatory ass-patting directed towards the Obama administration was quickly “framed” as a mere rationalization for racism – especially if such criticism originated from someone who happened to be both “White” and Male.
Quite frankly, “The Left” has actively done everything possible to alienate exactly the sort of people most likely to end up voting for something like Trump; “Cis” “Whites” (of all socioeconomic backgrounds), who have spent the last 8 years being told to “check their privilege”.
Guess what? “Affirmative action” (correctly) comes off as privileging Non-Whites/Women. Moreover, telling (for example) an impoverished family from “the Holler” that they have “White Privilege” isn’t going to actually help them at all — especially when self-described “Environmentalists” and “climate”-activists are intent on legislating their main livelihood (coal mining) out of existence.
Now, here’s the thing: They know they’re being exploited, oppressed and just generally fucked-over by the mining companies. The problem is: they ALSO know (at least on some dim, inarticulate level), that those companies are basically the only thing keeping them anywhere near the “mainstream” American economy (money, “status symbols”, etc.)
They can’t just retreat further into the hills, and “live off the land”. Hunting is relentlessly demonized by “environmentalists”.
Same thing goes for anybody from the “Rust Belt”: manufacturing of any kind is relentlessly demonized as not being “environmentally friendly”, and the “anti-corporate” left utterly fail to differentiate between between corporations which do better, or worse, with respect to whatever that specific Leftist’s “pet” issues happen to be. (LGBT rights, attempting to be “green”, employee compensation, corporate philanthropy, etc.)
So both Appalachia and the “Rust Belt” Midwest are stuck in essentially the same bind: they understand – at least on some level – that their corporate Overlords don’t give two liquidy shits about them. They ALSO understand that a gaggle of Latte-Liberals out on the coasts somewhere-or-other don’t give two liquidy shits about them, EITHER. The companies (often) see them as expendable meat-bots, and their pay/benefits as a (regrettable) “cost of doing business”. The Eco-tyrants would just as soon see them EXTINCT.
Quite frankly, any attempt to “explain White Privilege” to a “Broke White Person” would do well to start by going to the poorest, most squalid, MOST stereotypically-“backward” area, and trying to “explain” it to THEM.
Quite frankly, if you cannot “sell” your pet ideology to the absolute most desperate and despair-ridden segment of whichever demographic serves as your specific “Folk-Devil”, then your ideology will end up further victimizing those people.
So, yeah: both the “Deep South” and the “Rust Belt” Midwest were fertile ground for the horror-show put on by Trump, because the essence of Trump’s “campaign” consisted solely of inverting standard “Leftist” talking-points, and “cashing in” on the “Tea Party” movement.
THEY had already organized, and had a well-defined list of grievances. You can’t really say that about the “Occupy” movement — which has never itself articulated any kind of positive way forward, and instead serves primarily as a nest of “gadflies” intent on relentlessly buzzing around frantically, while live-streaming to one another.
(AT LEAST, the Green party manages to put forward some sort of coherent platform/policy statement.)
But back to my original point:
- Hillary Clinton happens to be female. moreover, the election of a Female president would have been “symbolic”. Never mind her policies. Never mind the fact that her husband’s administration back in the ’90s was EIGHT YEARS of tepid “Third Way” bullshit involving “Welfare Reform”, and what was euphemistically termed “Free Trade”. Let’s ignore ALL OF THAT, merely because Hilary Clinton’s genitals would have been a symbolic victory for feminism — or some shit.
For the Left, actual policies and performance tend to be secondary to “symbolism”. Obama was a victory for the “Black Community”, so we can just ignore what’s actually happening to blacks — until the Treyvon thing happened, and then everybody goes bat-shit insane.
I guess what I’m advocating is: less “symbolism” — more SUBSTANCE.
Which is not to say that Trump didn’t cash in on a hell of a lot of “symbolism”, himself. The “Build a wall” thing, for example.