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 Sanatra 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 to 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.

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alzaebo
alzaebo
4 years ago

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.

Graybeard
Member
Reply to  alzaebo
4 years ago

Agree. Stumbled here two weeks ago and it’s in my top 3

Dan
Dan
4 years ago

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… Read more »

Walt
Member
Reply to  Dan
4 years ago

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.… Read more »

Mr. Blank
Member
4 years ago

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… Read more »

Teri Pittman
Teri Pittman
Reply to  Mr. Blank
4 years ago

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… Read more »

whynot
whynot
Reply to  Teri Pittman
4 years ago

“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……..

Mr. Blank
Member
Reply to  Teri Pittman
4 years ago

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… Read more »

JimmyDeeOC
JimmyDeeOC
Reply to  thezman
4 years ago

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… Read more »

roger
roger
Reply to  thezman
4 years ago

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.

fodderwing
fodderwing
Reply to  Teri Pittman
4 years ago

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.

Walt
Member
Reply to  fodderwing
4 years ago

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.

Lulu
Lulu
Reply to  Mr. Blank
4 years ago

Go and read about Trump’s family – his immigrant grandfather, his father. Entrepreneurs all. And very, very hard workers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Trump

el baboso
Member
Reply to  Mr. Blank
4 years ago

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… Read more »

Mark S
Member
4 years ago

A very well written, truthful article. Thanks for what you do.

Peltast
Peltast
4 years ago

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.

ganderson9754
ganderson9754
4 years ago

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

chris muir
4 years ago

This is exactly right.

Steve
Steve
4 years ago

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.

guest
guest
4 years ago

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… Read more »

Peltast
Peltast
4 years ago

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

Pretty much this!

RobM
RobM
Member
4 years ago

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… Read more »

Dan
Dan
Reply to  RobM
4 years ago

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.

Mr. Blank
Member
Reply to  RobM
4 years ago

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.

Chris
Chris
Reply to  Mr. Blank
4 years ago

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.

UKer
4 years ago

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… Read more »

Tripletap
Member
4 years ago

“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.

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4 years ago

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Doug
Doug
4 years ago

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.

Graybeard
Member
4 years ago

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

Keep it up and thanks!

trackback
4 years ago

[…] 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.  Keep Reading…. […]

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4 years ago

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