Anger Fantasies

The Trump-a-palooza started little more than six months ago. His announcement was in June of last year so that’s roughly six months. At that time, the mass media was telling us that his appeal was limited to the angry weirdos in flyover country. Once his poll numbers started to climb, they stopped calling his voters weirdos, but stuck with the angry motif. Every discussion of Trump now includes at least a side bar on the “angry voter.”

Mass media still has to sell crap, so they try not to be too obvious when insulting their customers. The whole “angry voter” bit it just a polite version of “bitter white trash losers.” The reason the white trash losers are angry and bitter is they are stupid and did not go to college. Instead of having glorious self-actualizing careers like being wrong on TV, they are at home munching on oxy, watching Jerry Springer and bitching about foreigners. So, the theory goes, least-ways.

This made perfect sense as the mass media has always made its money off the middle-class. American news is 10% reporting and 90% proselytizing. That 90% gets old fast unless you have some bogeymen. For as long as I have been alive, working class whites have been treated as life’s losers. In a nutshell, the mass media is “buy this, say that, wear these, do this” so you are not one of those proletarian losers down at the Walmart.

There are loads of exceptions, because those proletarian losers have money to spend too. Back in the 70’s, All in The Family was a hit despite the fact the makers thought they were making sport of working class guys like Archie Bunker. Jerry Springer is celebrating 25 years on the air, living entirely off the welfare class that is home during the day watching TV.

The truth of the matter is there’s not much of a “working class” culture anymore. That died out in the 70’s when large scale factory work was replaced with service work. The people in my neighborhood are called the “working poor” but there’s not many of them working. In modern America, working class and working poor both mean not working. The life of a welder or car mechanic is nothing like what our betters imagine.

None of that matters as the point of painting the Trump vote as angry, toothless peasants pissed off about losing at life is to try and scare the middle-class into going along with the bipartisan fusion party candidate. It is not an attempt to explain; it is an effort to frighten and stigmatize. “You don’t want to be lumped in with those people, do you?” is what is supposed to be heard by the viewers, even when the presentation is less explicit.

You see this all over conservative media. This piece by Henry Olsen is better than most, but he still clings to the “disillusioned” and “blue-collar” motifs. The image that comes to mind reading this is of a medieval monk looking out at the Vikings sacking Paris, trying to imagine what’s really happening. Again, it is one of the better pieces of late from NR and it is clear Olsen is reading guys like me, but probably not me.

Conservative media has been the most prone to the “angry peasant” narrative because their job is to defend the right flank of the party. Many of them have convinced themselves they are tribunes of the people, the vanguard of the conservative movement. Justin Bieber convinced himself he was the next Frank Sinatra, so self-delusion is potent stuff. In both cases, reality has triggered a mad lashing out at the haters.

It turns out that the bitter clingers are the media people peddling the “angry peasant” narrative. Pollsters point out that the data shows Trump to be quite popular with the mellow elite, as well as the angry losers. In fact, his numbers are amazingly consistent for a primary candidate. Usually, we would see a different favorite for each economic, cultural and demographic group. Trump seems to be winning across the board.

Now, it’s possible that all economic and educational strata are populated with “angry” voters. Victor David Hansen has gone with a different angry motif and that is the “angry conservative” voter. The blame for Trump lies with Obama, for being too liberal. The fact that the Republicans did more to help Obama than his own party is conveniently left out of this argument. “Those Trump people are just really pissed at Obama, not us good thinkers in the chattering classes!”

I have a lot of Trump people commenting here and I see loads of it on other sites. The word “angry” is never what comes to mind. What I see is “bemused” and “subversive” more than anything. It’s become hip to be anti-establishment, with the establishment being the bipartisan fusion party. It’s what self-described intellectuals like to call Middle American Radicalism.

Trump is not tapping into anger. He’s tapping into the sensibility of the great majority. The people look up and see an endless parade of frivolous parasites who defend nothing but their own prerogatives at the expense of everyone else. What’s the point of voting for one party or the other when both sides are colluding against your interests? Why do we have these parties?

You don’t throw way something because it makes you angry. You discard that which you see has no value. That’s where the managerial class finds itself today. The people over whom they rule increasingly see no reason for that class to exist. Supporting a guy like Trump is not an act of anger. It is an act of disrespect. The Trump vote is the peasant who refuses to bow to his king. It’s the slave refusing an order from the master. The act is symbolic, not practical.

35 thoughts on “Anger Fantasies

  1. Pingback: The Useless Managerial Class | The Arts Mechanical

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  3. Once again, very few essays resonate with me like the ones written here. Fantastic read, as most posts here.

    Keep it up and thanks!

  4. I said it the moment Trump showed up on the radar, Trump is the great fuckyou. He is my great fuckyou.

    Instead of anger, think cold anger. The Russian’s have that cold anger thing down pat.
    Great piece by the way.
    Thanks for sticking up for us.

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  6. “The globalist wing is being sloughed off like a snake skin so a new improved snake can emerge”. And the bureaucracy will hold fast no matter which asp raises up its head.

  7. Trump appears to be your version of our Farage. All sorts of flaws — real and imagined — not acceptable in lots of ways and easy to laugh at if you think floppy hair or baggy eyes are laughable, but willing to talk about the important, life-changing things the dull, same-old-same-olds will not say.

    They may not have a solution but at least they are airing the issues, not blandly sweeping them under the carpet.

    Also, you know that people who like them in some way are on to something when the usually supine, establishment-kissing media rallies its pen-pushing and mealy-mouthed might against them. Maybe, just maybe, they are the first real cut in the stale cake we get continually offered.

    • That’s about right, I think. The differences in our system, however, allow Trump to be a serious candidate, while Farage remains on the fringe. In Britain, UKIP can be an anchor for the Tories and maybe, in time, drag them back to the center. In the US, parties have to go through a collapse and regeneration. That’s what’s happening to the GOP. The globalist wing is being sloughed off like a snake skin so a new improved snake can emerge.

  8. I’ve had it up to here with denigrating folks that didn’t finish college with a degree or that didn’t go… as inferior. I went three years before I left, having running out of money and in debt, went to the Army. Best thing I ever did and led to a 30 year career after I got out of the Army. Just because I never graduated it’s assumed I’m not book smart. I have a library of books. I read more than my peers. Most of my friends with degrees quit reading anything as soon as it wasn’t required for them to get their degree.

    I’m SICK of it. Too many generalizations. I support Trump and I am angry. I know full well what the dangers are of a populist non-politician presents and I’m all on board with taking the risk… because I disrespect the betters. I’m sick and tired of being told how what prism I’m supposed to view events through… even though I might have a much clearer vision… a more realistic vision.

    Time to blow the whole thing up. I’m tired. I’m tired of the lies and I’m tired of being segregated as a second class citizen worthy of scorn because I didn’t get a stupid degree from my University. All of my classmates were so focused on setting themselves apart… getting a degree meant they wouldn’t be a piece of crap dirt clod eater. Rubbish. I read more and can write better than many of my peers who stuck it out and got their degrees, but I will forever been seen as trashy to them and theirs.

    Class warfare. It’s whats for dinner. And it’s beneath this country. Shame on all that buy into it… and to the notion that a college education somehow grants a degree holder with a super smart badge to forever hold themselves above and beyond that of the common man who refused to play along. A degree means something and for many careers it is required. But too many use it as a bludgeon to pound their fellow citizens as mouth-breathing simpletons and that’s crap.

    • I hear you RobM. I had a friend who went on to become a public school teacher after graduating from college who told me that he had never read a book all the way through in his life.

    • No disagreement here, buddy. 🙂 I only went to college because all the authority figures in my life from the time I was a toddler told me I had to go or I’d be poor and worthless.

      They couldn’t have been more wrong. Most of the people I know without college degrees make a lot more than I do, and their lives and jobs are much more interesting than mine.

      If I had it to do over again, knowing what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have gone to college.

      • I went to college because that was what anyone with brains was supposed to do back then. I wish I had been a plumber or an electrician. I would be retired and living like a king in Patagonia.

  9. “Those Trump people are just really pissed at Obama, not us good thinkers in the chattering classes!”

    Pretty much this!

  10. Trump agrees and amplifies (that’s a game technique):

    “You’re damn right I’m angry. I’m angry about how this country is being run. And so are the American people. Anger is good. Anger is what this country needs.”

    But how dares a commoner like Trump even run, sacré bleu!

    And to quote this very Z Blog like comment:

    “Yes PC is just the latest incarnation of Puritanism: the same iconoclastic urge to tear down the ‘superstitions’ of the past and build a new moral order, the same self-righteous conviction of certainty – allied with rigid intolerance of dissent, the same ostentatious/competitive self-abnegation – even to the point of self-harm.

    This mentality is quintessentially American, and politically manifests itself again and again in U.S. history, though in different guises.”

    That’s really it in a nutshell.

  11. Trump, yes a symbol of disrespect. A middle finger to the way things are instead of the way they should be. As in government by the people and for the people.

  12. As Howie Carr often says- when the Progs talk about working families they are really talking about non-working families.

  13. It’s like you said before Zman, the Media is there to be the mouthpiece of the ruling political class, not to inform or be contrarian.

    The best thing about the Trump phenomenon is that exposed the Neocon establishment that took over the GOP, the Conservative prestige media is based in NYC and DC like the Liberal prestige media and there isn’t much difference between each other. They’re all run by the Tribe, for the Tribe interests.

  14. I am still, as Ace of Spades likes to put it, “Trump-curious.” I’m not a full-on Trump guy — I’m not full-on for anybody yet — but he continues to impress me.

    I got into an argument with my Dad this weekend about Trump. My Dad’s an interesting case. He grew up very poor but is now very rich. Politically, he’s the most establishment GOP guy you can imagine. He thinks Jeb Bush and John Kasich are the perfect candidates. Obviously, he hates Trump.

    I tried to draw out exactly why he thinks this way — why a guy who grew up the way he did would be so out of touch. I can see it from a guy who grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. But my dad grew up in a family that couldn’t afford shoes. (No joke — I’ve seen the house he grew up in. Calling his upbringing “working class” would be generous.)

    As best I am able to discern, his worldview was basically shaped and formed by late-20th-century mainstream corporate America. As I said, he’s very well-off, but he got that way not by being an entrepreneur, but by being a loyal company man, and it seems to me he still thinks that’s the way the world works today, even though he’s been retired for about a decade. Jeb and Bush appeal to him because they’re loyal company men, and (in his mind) loyal company men are supposed to get rewarded. That’s the way the system is supposed to work.

    When I kept bringing up immigration, he just took it as obvious that no American would ever want to do the jobs that illegal Mexicans do.

    “You never had to work in the fields, or work in a chicken plant, like I did. You don’t know how hard it is,” he kept saying. It was just self-evidently preposterous to him that any American could be expected to do these jobs.

    He didn’t put it this way, but it was clear from the way he talked about it that “immigrants” to him are something less than human, essentially a slave labor class doing jobs that self-respecting Americans can’t be expected to do. He didn’t say this, but I got the impression he thought a primary purpose of bringing in lots of immigrants was to ensure that his OWN sons would never have to work in a chicken plant like he did.

    That might make sense if there were oodles of well-paying, clean, dignified white collar or blue collar jobs available these days, but there aren’t. If I, God forbid, ever have to take a job in a chicken plant, I don’t want to be made to feel like an alien interloper in my own country, like I was when I briefly did landscaping work for a summer job in L.A. It was the only job I’ve ever walked off of, because my supervisor (a white guy, of course) continually insulted me and made it clear that he didn’t want anything other than dull, compliant Mexicans working on his crew.

    At the time, I was lucky enough to have the option to quit. I was a college-educated white guy in graduate school, and it was the middle of the housing boom, so I had other opportunities. But I wonder what it would be like if I was a high school dropout who *didn’t* have other opportunities. Hell, maybe I would have decided to go on welfare and smoke meth, too.

    Also, it never seemed to occur to my dad that this slave labor class might eventually decide that THEY’RE too good for field work, too, creating a whole host of other problems.

    I frankly don’t see how America’s going to make it another 50 years in the form in which it exists today. The divisions are just too stark, the chasms to wide to bridge. Something’s gotta give. I’m curious about Trump not because I think he’s all that great, but he might be the force which finally breaks the logjam and allows the country to resort itself into some more politically viable arrangement.

    • I’ve worked at an egg ranch. I tried to get on at a chicken place in CA but couldn’t get hired. And I’ve picked apples and sorted fruit. Frankly I like physical labor more than desk jobs. You have more time to think and there’s a rhythm to it. I couldn’t get a fruit job now even if I could still do the work. They discriminate against white workers

      I think societies go down hill quickly when they decide they won’t do “dirty” jobs. At that point, you’ve decided the work is beneath you and you need to bring people you consider to be inferior to do those jobs. And more and more jobs become beneath you and soon there’s no work left that you are willing to do.

      • “I think societies go down hill quickly when they decide they won’t do “dirty” jobs. At that point, you’ve decided the work is beneath you and you need to bring people you consider to be inferior to do those jobs. And more and more jobs become beneath you and soon there’s no work left that you are willing to do.”

        Money quote right there……..

      • Yeah, I’ve never had a problem with physical labor, either. It can actually be quite peaceful. I’d done landscaping work before, which is why I thought I’d be perfect for that landscaping job out in California. I walked away because the abuse from the supervisor was just too much.

        I wouldn’t say they *openly* discriminated against white applicants at that place, but they certainly did everything they could to make whites feel unwelcome. (I’ve heard that this is not unusual for many illegal-immigrant-dominated industries.) I mean, if I’d been a black guy and had a supervisor talk to me that way, I could have sued and won a million dollars, easy. Judging from my supervisor’s attitude, they would have discriminated openly if they thought they could get away with it.

      • I’ve always found physical work more mentally satisfying, generally speaking. It’s not that other types of work are unsatisfying. It’s just that they often lack a defined end point so you always feel like there’s stuff left undone. I think if I were starting all over, I’d be a welder. I always like metal work and I had a talent for welding. It pays well enough and it is satisfying work.

        • Telling how many degrees are held by Zman readers (No doubt very, very many) and yet how many of us find accomplishment and satisfaction from finishing the day sweat-stained. (It’s NOT the norm, btw)

          Having done the gamut you are all familiar with (Market and SWOT analysis, 10-yr DCF pro-formas, investment committees, etc etc………I derive more satisfaction pruning and trimming my trees in the backyard. Probably it’s seeing a tangible finished product at the end of the day.

          Zman readers are a unique flock.

          Because as I said, NOT the norm. Perhaps 20% of homeowners do their own yardwork here in my Orange County neighborhood (despite the lots averaging only about 5000 sf.). And NEVER Asian (despite Asians…….overwhelmingly Chinese….. making up half the population.) Maybe it’s cultural (either “we think of ourselves as Mandarins and are above that” or “my forbearers did rice paddy work for 4000 years, and never again”…….

          Either way, I don’t get the impression these first generation “immigrants” ( I use the term loosely…..mostly there are here to park themselves and their money outside the Mainland’s grasp) will ever be thought of as Renaissance people……..(my definition of a Renaissance person being one who can bake, weld, paint, code, mountain climb, improvise at a MacGyver level, etc.. These folks………….code. Anything else? Except for the medical arts………nope. The conversations I have with the older semi-retired types at Home Depot are quite amusing.

        • the lack of an end-point is really the cause of frustration in many “white collar” jobs. I spent 28 years in doing what can be called “rocket science” for a 4 letter agency and the number of times I reached an end point that was acknowledged with tangible effects was less than a dozen…
          On the other hand in my experiences with physical labor end was accomplished almost everyday.

      • Many in the U.S. would process chicken for $20 an hour and benefits. There are no jobs Americans are not willing to do, but as long as illegals flood the labor market and keep it at $7.50 an hour there won’t be many takers.

        • When enough illegals are at your command you can have psychopaths supervise them and treat them like garbage. The trash gets thrown out and more floods in to be ripped apart. The garbage barely notices because they don’t expect better coming where they are from. Americans (blacks too) expect better and that’s reason enough not to want to get mixed up in businesses with illegals – even when the money might be a necessity.

    • Great comment. The reality is that even an American teen is more productive and therefore can demand a higher salary than an illegal immigrant. I’ve always held out In-N-Out Burger as the proof. It pays suburban teens market wage, well above minimum, get many times the productivity of minimum wage illegals at their competitors and charge about the same for a burger and fries.

      Every job has a wage point where citizens will do it. That’s not the issue. The issue is that the managerial class wants 5500 sq ft homes and BMWs instead of the 2500 sq ft houses and Buicks their dads had. To do that, they need to keep costs way down so they can afford their largess. Not too different than Orwell’s O’Brien swilling wine served by a butler while the outer party and proles starve.

  15. Excellent piece!

    I am a Trump supporter, and I am somewhat angry. But the thing that makes me angry is not just Obama as Mr. Hansen suggests. I expect Obama to act like Obama.

    Republicans who are cowed by the Democrats are the real source of my anger. A perfect example is the Republican establishment pick, Mitt Romney, during the last election. When confronted by a lying Obama, backed up by a lying Candy Crowley, while debating the Benghazi debacle, Romney folded like a cheap suit. You could literally see his spine turns to jelly and his balls shrivel. I have always felt he sealed his defeat at that point in time.

    I can’t imagine that happening to the Donald. He may have his shortcomings, but a lack of grit is not one of them.

    • The Z Man once before wrote that when the Left loses they cry and point the finger of blame outside whereas when the Right loses they demand accountability from themselves. This perfectly echoes yours and my anger.

      How can we look at the TV or newspapers when we know we are being fed lies? We try to convince ourselves that it isn’t really what we think but we know it is. Why isn’t someone looking out for our interests? So along comes the Don.

      I honestly don’t care if he burns the place down because it will get rebuilt again. If Hillary wins though, the United States can kiss its ass goodbye and nobody will clean up the mess.

  16. You’ve become a daily must-read.
    Short, succinct, brilliant.

    If the white cells, the antibodies, can attack invaders, then they can attack the rulers who let them in.
    Thus, the rulers will focus on the antibodies.

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