Sunday, August 07, 2016

Playing to Stereotype

Yet another piece about how Drumpfkins don't care about "facts." No surprise there, what's kinda fun is the accompanying photo:

Is it smug and mean and all that to poke a little observational humor at these folks, based strictly on how they look in the photo? Sure, but that's never stopped yours truly. The thing is, the most consistent pro-Drumpf argument the cultists have been able to muster is that he'll brings jobs back. (Though, of course, not his own signature line products.)

But -- and again, I'm being a dick here, but tell me I'm wrong -- none of the people in the photo look employable for much. I do like how Tattoo Woman, rather than making any effort to cover up her sleeves and leggings, simply threw on some jorts and a tie-dyed tank, with a jaunty ribbon in her hair. You know, like church.

The spiderweb on the elbow is a surefire indicator that she's likely done time, so you might not want her doing the books at your business. The three oldsters to her left are past retirement age, and the two guys behind her and to her right might have some marketable skills, but probably nothing beyond construction or mechanic work at best, neither of which are jobs that need to be "brought back," and in fact cannot be outsourced or (for now) obsolesced.

As stories of this type began proliferating last summer, at first you could make an argument that journalists were cherry-picking the rubiest of the rubes at any given event. But a clear pattern has emerged since then, and many of the rallies are available in their entirety on YouTube, so at the very least you can hear which Drumpf lines they respond to the loudest. That's the one benefit of sitting through viewing one of those damned things -- there is no editorial filter or bias whatsoever. What you see and hear is exactly what's going on.

To listen to a Drumpf speech in full, whether at a typical rally or at the convention a couple weeks ago, is to be immersed in a vision of America as a shattered dream, an apocalyptic hellscape out of Mad Max. I would submit to you, Tonstant Weader, that for people like the folks you see in the photo above, life pretty much is an unending vista of futility -- bleak, hopeless, inevitable in its outcome. But that's the case for them no matter who is president, or governor, or senator.

That's not to say that they're irredeemably stupid, or that their lives and concerns are worthless. But they clearly do not strike one as the sort who have mastered the business of life; their destinies seem contingent on some combination of luck, education, impulse control, and basic decision-making. You could probably bet large on there not being a single college degree in that group, and probably not more than four high school diplomas. Probably five or all six of them receive or have received some sort of public assistance.

There's a lot of derp in that photo, and it's not all Obama's fault. Maybe they should pay more attention to the mechanisms and people that influence the trajectories of their lives, I dunno. You can't fuck it off your whole life and expect someone to come in and save the day. No grown-ass adult should have to be told that life doesn't work that way, yet here we are. There is a sincere core belief underpinning the Drumpfkins' rationales that He, Drumpf is going to do exactly that. How do they know? Well, he told them, and he's a very smart, successful bidnessman. How do they know that? Well, he told them that as well, and besides, they spent the last decade watching him on his show, and you totally could never lie about something like that on a teevee show, right?

Consider, for a moment, the ramifications of a large swath of supposedly sentient humans engaging actively, passionately, in that type of recursive tautology. Consider that such process of thought probably extend to most other functions in their lives: relationships, child-rearing, developing job skills, problem solving, driving a car, and anything else you can think of. Multiply by untold millions, just in this country. That's how you end up with a cartoon character as a presidential nominee. Incompetent politicians are reflective of incompetent constituencies.

There are plenty of intelligent, highly educated people who are in such dire straits as well. This country has many serious challenges facing it, but if you dig deep and do the math, many if not most of those challenges are rooted in the pervasive problem of inequality of wealth and income, a problem that will unravel this nation if it remain unaddressed. It erupts in issues like cops shooting civilians (or vice versa), or overzealous concern about terrorism. Promising an authoritarian state presided over by an ignorant, dyspeptic man-child doesn't help any.


Brian M said...

"Maybe it's not the politicians that are the problem. Maybe it's the people."

-G. Carlin. R.I.P.

He would have been agog at the current election. I can only imagine the acerbic commentary George would have had in response to the Trumpkins. Because you can bet these folks "wear sneakers with lights on them".

Heywood J. said...

Yeah, I've been thinking about Carlin a lot this campaign season. He had us pegged, didn't he?