Trump and Farage might not be hillbillies, but they speak their language


Blackleaf
#1
The Left no longer looks or sounds like the folks they claim to represent, adopting policies that stand like a wall between themselves and the working-class. For Hillary Clinton’s Democrats it is the refusal to acknowledge that immigration affects wages and employment. For Labour it is the same, with a bit of Euroscepticism thrown in. Leadership contender Owen Smith's pledge to hold a second referendum is surely catnip for Ukip. If Farage were to reclaim his party’s leadership, he could be in Parliament by 2020...

Donald Trump and Nigel Farage might not be hillbillies, but they speak their language




Tim Stanley
25 August 2016
The Telegraph

Donald Trump introduced Nigel Farage at a rally in sweaty Mississippi and two worlds converged. Both men want immigration control, both speak for an alienated working-class. Farage called Brexit voters: “little people, real people, ordinary… people.” And yet Farage and Trump are none of these. A retired City trader and a Manhattan plutocrat, Nigel and Donald are products of the very establishment they condemn. The revolution is led by capitalists. How on earth did this happen?


Trump and Farage - members of the elite who appeal to left-behind communities Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

An answer is found in the bestselling Hillbilly Elegy, A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by JD Vance. Vance’s folks herald from the hills of Appalachia – a land of exhausted mines and shuttered mills. Little people, real people… difficult people. His grandmammy punished her husband for his adultery by dousing him in petrol while he slept and dropping a lit match on him. Her daughter, Vance’s mama, has five ex-husbands and a heroin problem. They live in a small, violent world where sex and addiction fill long, boring lives left empty by unemployment. Oh, and they’re probably all voting for Trump. What Trump offers, says Vance, is political opium – “an easy escape from the pain. To every complex problem, he promises a simple solution.”

Thanks to Trump and Vance there’s now a debate in the US about what to do about the marginalisation of poor whites. But those seeking a quick solution will struggle. As Vance acknowledges, the underclass has been around for a long time.


JD Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy Credit: Naomi McColloch


Hillbilly Elegy puts me in mind of Erskine Caldwell’s Tobacco Road, a 1932 novel about Georgia sharecroppers who fecklessly feed off false religion, booze and sex. Think Deliverance with laughs. I once set the book as a text for an undergraduate American Studies class in England and was fascinated by the different reactions. The younger students, all good liberals, found the characters repulsive and the authors of their own misfortune. One mature student, with the wisdom of a bit of living, felt sorry for them. Anyone with experience of poverty understands the temptation to deaden the humiliation with drink.


Family with 12 children in Appalachia Credit: Via mattsko.wordpress.com


Caldwell was often accused of being a communist. If he was, he has my sympathy – for the study of US history lends itself well to Marxist analysis. This was a country that wasn’t discovered so much as plundered and exploited. Control over both natives and the European migrants was exerted through violence. The absence of a serious socialist movement can be explained by the state’s willingness to beat up, arrest and deport union organisers, while passing labour laws openly designed to stop organisation.


A shack in a small coal mining town in 1950s Appalachia, home to seven family members Credit: via US Library of Congress

The easy movement of people and capital has a lot to answer for, too. People live in Appalachia because there was once well-paid manual employment. But industries rise and fall. Many jobs have gone to Mexico since the end of the Cold War. Many Mexicans have come to America to do the jobs that American citizens supposedly won’t do themselves – or rather won’t do for tiny wages that no one could reasonably raise kids, pay taxes and meet the rent on.

For Appalachia, you could read swathes of the north of England or south Wales. Or my own home of Kent, where manufacturing and mining were once common. These places used to vote solidly Labour, just as Appalachia once loved the Democrats. No more. The Left broke their electoral covenant in the Nineties when they embraced globalisation.


The miners' strike at Betteshanger, Kent, 1984 Credit: Peter Holden

But the bigger betrayal that people feel more deeply is cultural. The Left no longer looks or sounds like the folks they claim to represent, adopting policies that stand like a wall between themselves and the working-class. For Hillary Clinton’s Democrats it is the refusal to acknowledge that immigration affects wages and employment. For Labour it is the same, with a bit of Euroscepticism thrown in. Owen Smith’s pledge to hold a second referendum is surely catnip for Ukip. If Farage were to reclaim his party’s leadership, he could be in Parliament by 2020.

Vance’s family suffers from a cultural decline that the Left doesn’t have the language to comment on – the collapse of religious authority, broken homes – and the Left’s insistence that all ills are cured by an injection of state cash is tired. To make matters worse, many politicians on the Left label the folks who don’t vote for them racist and ill-educated.


The censorious Left won't act in the sectional interest of the poor Credit: Getty Images


The poor’s rejection of a censorious Left that won’t act in their sectional interest is perfectly rational. But Nigel and Donald also look like fun to get drunk with (although, yet another paradox, Trump doesn’t even drink) and there’s no hint that they’ll judge your inebriated melancholy. They blame foreigners, not you, for your problems. They ask not what you can do for your country but what your country can do for you.

The Left denounces their pitch as bigoted, selfish – but the voters who have been left behind while the liberals got rich are listening. When you have nothing, the kind words of a man who can afford a private jet with gold taps seem like something.


Donald Trump and Nigel Farage might not be hillbillies, but they speak their language
Last edited by Blackleaf; Aug 26th, 2016 at 05:46 AM..
 
mentalfloss
#2
Walter: 'merge please'
 
Blackleaf
+1
#3  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Walter: 'merge please'

We should merge Farage and Trump - Nonald Frump - and then clone the creation thousands of times and substitute all of the lefty-liberal politicians who are making our lives a misery with the clones.

The world would be a much better place then.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf View Post

We should merge Farage and Trump

Boy howdy, your closet door's just bulging today, ain't it? Don't know if the hinges can take the strain.

I think Danbones wants a date with you though. Might could relieve the pressure some.
 
Danbones
Free Thinker
#5
danbones like girly men like you
make insane arguement like post menstrual hag at boy friend
reminds dambones why he date younger women and not men

you should always check under the war paint to see what sex it really is
times being what they are with unisexuality being the rage down south an all