Sunday, November 13, 2016

Voting for Your Degrader

Day 5: Lesson learned. It is 100 percent sexist to assume that women, or even white women, are some kind of homogeneous voting bloc. That being said, 53 percent of white women voted for Trump? Really?

FDR was a known anti Semite, a fact that certainly led directly to the death of would-be Jewish immigrants from Europe in the late 1930s-early 1940s. Yet Jews in America voted for Roosevelt again and again, in numbers unprecedented and not repeated until Johnson ran against Goldwater.

During the primary season, we saw the appeal of Trump to aspirational Latinos, even when Trump was pitted against actual Cuban-American candidates. Lesson learned: Latinos aren't a homogeneous voting bloc.

It is reminiscent of a story I like to tell about my volunteer history at Harlem Hospital, where I worked for a while with gunshot children. One day I offered to bring a book for a 13-year-old artist kid I liked, thinking he might choose something about an African-American hero or an important artist. His choice: The Art of the Deal. "I love that Trump guy," he told me. "He's SO RICH." The girls on the ward wanted Sweet Valley High books, those super-saccharine romance/mysteries set in the whitest of suburban towns.

"They don't hate Trump; they want to be Trump."

In What's the Matter with Kansas, Thomas Frank tells about the way certain politicians and special interests used cultural issues to compel wage-earning Americans to vote against their own self-interest. Do we believe that millionaires Bush, Romney, or now Trump want to share a beer with working-class citizens from the hinterlands? Hardly. But they're happy to get their votes. And thanks to issues of gay rights, abortion, and "religious freedom," those hinterlanders happily vote for slates of candidates whose tax cuts benefit their bosses and whose trade policies eliminate their jobs.

Not all women want to work for a living—especially when the kind of work they might attain is low-wage drudgery. Not all women are offended by wolf whistles. At the same time, women seem just as likely as men to fall for Trump's dog whistles: taking your guns, rigged election, terrorism threatening our way of life. And those dog whistles managed to drown out pussy-grabbing and name-calling. I even heard women talk about "family values" when referring to a man who has five children by three women and is famous for his playboy wannabe ways.

Last night, DZ and family marched with 25,000 others in Manhattan. Meanwhile, the president-elect started to put together the worst-looking cabinet since I don't know when. More about those choices tomorrow.

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