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The [Monday] Papers

"Trump has many strengths," John Kass writes for the Tribune, "but without discipline, he will begin to lose support of the people who count:

"Those millions of Americans, many of them of the forgotten working class, who fled the Democratic Party and voted for his Republican candidacy after Hillary Clinton ridiculed them as 'deplorables.'"

This is just plain wrong on several levels - the most important of which comes last.

1. Trump has many strengths.

The man did win the presidency. But I wonder what Kass thinks Trump's strengths are - besides using vulgarity, hate, appeals to violence and all other manner of demagoguery to harness the misplaced anger, frustration, greed and prejudice of simmering and stoked by a parallel media universe where a child sex ring is run out of a Washington, D.C., pizza parlor.

Ooh, I've got one: inheriting enough money to manage several bankruptcies by being too indebted to fail.

2. " . . . without discipline, he will begin to lose support of the people who count . . . "

Trump won the presidency without possessing an ounce of discipline, so I'm not sure I buy this, though Kass acknowledges that it's Trump himself who needs discipline. But the administration is "undisciplined" partly by design as the likes of Steve Bannon seek to destroy the federal government from within. Anyway, a disciplined Trump is about as likely to happen as Trump actually reading a briefing book.

3. " . . . Those millions of Americans, many of them of the forgotten working class, who fled the Democratic Party and voted for his Republican candidacy . . . "

Almost three million more Americans (2.86 million) voted for Hillary Clinton, so let's not pretend Trump was America's choice.

Also, Trump's support did not come largely from the forgotten working class. That's a myth that's been debunked.

There also was not a huge defection of Democratic voters who pulled the lever for Trump. According to exit polls, 7% of those who identified themselves as Republicans voted for Clinton, while 9% of those who identified themselves as Democrats voted for Trump.

4. " . . . after Hillary Clinton ridiculed them as 'deplorables.'"

The data is clear: The Comey letter altered the course of a campaign that Clinton was winning. As Nate Silver reports, it's not the only reason Clinton lost, but it was the biggest factor.

And then, did millions of working-class voters abandon Clinton after she called them deplorables? Most assuredly not.

Here's what Clinton said:

"You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?" Clinton said. "The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic - you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up."

She said the other half of Trump's supporters "feel that the government has let them down" and are "desperate for change."

"Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well," she said.

Is she wrong? No. I don't know if "half" of Trump's voters are racist, sexist, homophobic xenophobic, and Islamaphobic, but I know that all of Trump's voters accepted and abetted his racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamaphobic campaign - a campaign enthusiastically supported by the neo-Nazi "alt-right."



"They stunned the Washington elites and the media in November by helping Trump win 30 states."

This is Kass's way of getting around the fact that Trump lost the popular vote. Trump won Wyoming, congatulations!


"They don't wring their hands when Trump hurts someone's feelings."

You mean the feelings of people being separated by their families or berated for their sexual preference or threatened with violence? No, they don't wring their hands. Correct.


"They know politics is nasty, often profane and vulgar."

This is Kass's way of normalizing the boundary-busting campaign (and governance) of Trump.


"And what's happened to them over the years has been profane and vulgar, too, from the loss of their jobs to the loss of their communities and way of life."

The higher one's income, the more likely one is to have voted for Trump. That's just a fact.


"They've been kicked to the margins and written off as deplorable for not liking what happened to them, and for opposing unfettered and illegal immigration."

If you read Clinton's remarks, that's not why she described some Trump voters as deplorable. That's also a fact.

She said the other half of Trump's supporters "feel that the government has let them down" and are "desperate for change . . . Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.

Also, immigration is hardly "unfettered." Those who come to this country legally have to wait through a process which includes caps on how many are allowed in. Those who come to this country illegally risk death trying to do so.

Besides that, every serious, rigorous and honest study shows that immigration greatly helps the economy - and is not responsible for job loss (but, in fact, job creation).


"I don't think they mind angry talk and a boss who yells. They understand bosses who yell."

Again, this is Kass trying to normalize Trump's behavior. Most bosses are awful, because most bosses are human, but I doubt most bosses yell. And I doubt even more that the blue-collar workers Kass so venerates don't mind bosses who yell. Now we're caricaturing the (white) working class, too.


"But they also know that when they've got a job to do, they do it. They don't talk or tweet, or blame this guy or that guy. They get the job done."

Trump voters don't blame this guy or that guy?! Are you kidding me? Trump's whole campaign was about blame.

And again, the veneration of the (white) working class who, again, weren't Trump's primary supporters, as virtuous souls who "get the job done." Unlike Clinton's coalition of shirkers. (And unlike Kass, they don't tweet!)

Enough with the dog whistles.


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A sampling.






The Beachwood Tronc Line: Trace.


Posted on July 31, 2017

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
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SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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