Wong's Article on the Rise of Trump

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Wong's Article on the Rise of Trump

Postby Matthew Notch » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:16 pm

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Re: Wong's Article on the Rise of Trump

Postby Tesseracts » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:19 pm

I haven't read even one word of the article but I already have a reaction to every Wong article prepared.
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Re: Wong's Article on the Rise of Trump

Postby Aquila89 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:35 pm

Well, the article argues that Trump represents the rebellion of the neglected rural population against the city elites. And my issue with this is well summed up in one of the high-rated comments:

the question is: why are they attracted to Trump? He's virtually the archetype of 'City' - he looks weird, he's rich, he's decadent, he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. I know he says the right things: more coal mines, city people are awful, etc., but do they not consider the messenger? I'm not going to step into the lion's cage just because it tells me it's vegetarian.
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Re: Wong's Article on the Rise of Trump

Postby Cordslash » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:49 pm

He does have a point about "city vs rural" though.
That's not just a US phenomenon either.

(OK everyone together: "he's going to use South Africa again")
Well yes, deal with it.

We had local elections 2 months ago, where we vote for councilors at city and municipal level. One party won most of the cities, and a different party won most of the rural areas. Liberal v conservative.

Like the article says cities and rural areas often have different values....
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Re: Wong's Article on the Rise of Trump

Postby Keato1 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:01 am

As someone who spent their first 18 years of life on a farm, I find it hard to believe anyone would find this surprising. Generally, the feeling has always been that 'them city folk' don't care about people outside of the city, and view rural folk as inbred, intolerant hicks. Obviously that in and of itself is a bit of a generalisation, but the sentiment is there.

Story time! Our farm has been in the family for around a century. We raised cattle, but with the BSE scare a decade or so ago, things kind of fell out for us. Cattle prices collapsed, and the government didn't really do much to help struggling farmers. My grandfather, who was still helping out into his 80s in farm work (which is goddamn insane when you consider we started calving season in February, where Manitoba winters regularly hit -40 Celsius), eventually just couldn't help anymore, and to be perfectly honest, continuing the farm was something neither me or my sister considered. I don't think my dad wanted that for us either, and shortly after I moved away to go to university, my dad sold all of our cattle. He took one of the last steers we had butchered and took the meat into the city to protest how the government did nothing to help cattle farmers, giving away his last cow to passersby. Quite a few people thought he was insane, though one lady started crying when he gave her some hamburger. The only thing that really came of it was a few articles in the newspaper.

One other story is that the major city in this province, Winnipeg, tends to flood. In order to keep the city from flooding, they built a diversion which, when used, coincidentally flooded my uncles land, amongst other peoples. Obviously there should be some measure to keep the city from flooding, but my uncle and other land owners were never adequately compensated for the loss of their crops/land. Eventually they had enough and protested at the diversion, and the provincial government threatened to arrest them if they didn't leave the area.

So, long story short, rural people do tend to get shit on a bit, at least in my experience. That they would look to an outsider like Trump in a desire to change things is unsurprising.
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Re: Wong's Article on the Rise of Trump

Postby Tesseracts » Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:26 am

I read the article, and it was actually pretty good. Wong is good at speaking from his own experience.

The issue I have is, his own experience, and the experience of others from a rural, traditionally conservative culture, is not the only factor behind the Trump phenomenon. I know some quite urban people who support Trump. People come to Trump for a variety of reasons. In the effort to sympathize with Trump supporters, some people downplay the quite significant white supremacist influence. For instance the alt right types on the internet are not disgruntled farmers, they're urbane, sophisticated, and prejudiced.

There are also those who only talk about the bigoted Trump supporters, or even generalize all conservatives to be bigots; excluding the people who choose Trump because they feel animosity towards Hillary Clinton, or who have reasons for supporting Trump which aren't relevant to Clinton or to any prejudices.

Like I said it's a pretty decent article, I just think in efforts to "understand" voters some people are just writing a "positive" stereotype for them instead. Like, can you imagine how annoyed everyone would get if someone wrote an article saying people support Hillary because they're programmed to hate country folk? I imagine there would be some truth to such an article, but it would come across as a bit condescending toward the voters the article is ostensibly trying to defend, and wouldn't capture the whole story.

I have seen a lot of liberals promote the narrative that people are voting for Trump because they're bitter about losing jobs. Michael Moore wrote an article from this perspective which went viral. This view of things is a little too convenient, because it fits into the liberal narrative that the poor are oppressed and will stop lashing out if they get help. The problem with this is, aside from the fact that you can't really demonstrate that Trump supporters have less money, is that if you actually speak to Trump supporters they don't talk about economics. Their concerns are with the actions of the left wing establishment. Many poor people do not see themselves as people who need government support either, if they did, they wouldn't be voting Republican.
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Re: Wong's Article on the Rise of Trump

Postby Keato1 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:40 am

Tesseracts wrote:
The issue I have is, his own experience, and the experience of others from a rural, traditionally conservative culture, is not the only factor behind the Trump phenomenon. I know some quite urban people who support Trump. People come to Trump for a variety of reasons. In the effort to sympathize with Trump supporters, some people downplay the quite significant white supremacist influence. For instance the alt right types on the internet are not disgruntled farmers, they're urbane, sophisticated, and prejudiced.


While I agree with your point that Trump's demographic is surprisingly widespread, I do have some issue with the bolded line. I won't deny that there are some white supremacists in Trump's camp, I find it hard to believe such an issue is as wide spread as the media would like to believe. Maybe it's the cynic in me, but if the last few years have taught me anything, it's that the media's claim to non-partisanship is completely gone.

I guess it's just easier to say that I've seen enough Clinton supporters (whether they were real or not is always a difficult issue on the internet) who have said horribly racist, sexist things to know neither side is pure in this fight.
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Re: Wong's Article on the Rise of Trump

Postby Matthew Notch » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:55 pm

Saw that comment, Aquila, and I totally get it. I agree even. But here's why that doesn't matter to the average (read: not incredibly racist, ignorant, awful person) Trump supporter.

Who, among the Republican party's recent batch of presidential hopefuls, most accurately represents what sort of sentiment you're probably expecting from them? Honestly the closest I can muster is Ted Cruz, who was the winner of the Republican primary here in Kansas. Guy represents old-fashioned, salt of the earth values, and I don't mean the "old ways" that just don't work anymore. I mean the old ways that have worked since forever and, now that they are being challenged, are leaving many families behind, economically and socially. For better or worse, mind you; notably, Bernie Sanders won the Democratic primary here because when you go blue in Kansas, you go blue hard as you can.

But that's not what the average Repub wants. Most of them actually are pretty well-educated. The media and denizens of the Internet like to point out, somewhat correctly, that they are less educated than liberals, but when you stop comparing them to the other party and start comparing them to ANYONE their age twenty years ago, then yes, shockingly, even they are more educated than their stereotype in popular culture suggests. They don't all sit about pining for the good old days when you could just be racist and sexist and gayist (I think I am also against the term "homophobic" because there are probably some people out there who actually do have a morbid fear of homosexuality, even if it doesn't bother their sensibilities personally). And if you wonder why being offended by the rise of social justice is such a big deal for conservatives, I'd like to direct your attention to a whole bunch of threads on this forum where social justice is offending the shit out of not-conservatives.

You either double down on the stupidity to save face or you risk being lumped in with the salt of the earth guys, who have somehow managed to remain the actual stupid ones in the eyes of society.

Trump, sometime back, made the statement, "Soon they will be calling me Mr. Brexit!" Did Trump already anticipate his fall from grace in the media? Did he somehow foresee that--regardless of what Clinton herself actually had to say about the matter--liberals would definitely buy into the "basket of deplorables" line, and that his more vocal supporters would lean into it because what have they got to lose anyway? Did he know that both he and his supporters would be portrayed as ineffective, flighty, ignorant, bigoted, impulsive creeps with an axe to grind against anyone who threatens their position, such as it is?

I posit that not only was he keenly aware of the trajectory of his campaign, but that his supporters, from DAY ONE, knew it too, and that's why they stand by their man. For them, the dressing down of their chosen candidate is just business as usual, the typical bias you can expect from "the liberal media". The difference between Ted Cruz, who makes more sense if you think rural=Republican=hayseed, and Donald Trump who frankly doesn't seem to make sense at all to me but whatever, is that Trunp might actually get something done, in their minds. They've seen it! On TV! He has a board game! His restaurant has the best taco bowls! He has success they don't feel they'll ever be able to access, even with better education and presumably better access to resources to be a success, and he says he's fighting for them. So I mean. Yeah. Who cares that he's one of them? He's "one of the good ones"!

And to be honest, for all his Christian posturing, Ted Cruz looks sort of ridiculous too. Actually it's hard for me to conjure up an image of any Republican candidate from the last ten years who has really made an impact on the party or seemingly represented the average conservative's wants and needs quite like Herr Trump.

So that's why. It's reductive of the commenter and anyone else to assume that the average Trump supporter doesn't understand that he's not in their club. Of course they do; you can't fake that level of city slickery. They just don't care. To them, it's not even about him not being Hillary, but rather that he's so the opposite of her that they can root for him.

Or at least, that's how it started. Granted, of late what I've heard the most from any Trump supporters around here is, "I mean at least he ain't Hillary, right?" And I suspect part of that is the right wing media has, as well, sort of cooled the hell off on Trump, since his campaign is now actively hurting other Republican hopefuls down-ballot. It's become such a tightrope walk with them, both the red media and the GOP, to know whether to disavow Trump and reap tribulation in the flesh, or to stand by him and honorably lose miserably for the next few elections. I suspect a lot of that has to do with whether the conservatives live in the city or not, deadly serious. So this election is as draining and exhausting for your average Trump guy as for any liberals, libertarians, or other politically oriented individuals green with envy.

On the one hand it seems preposterous that so many would still vouch support for Trump despite getting a feel for who he really is, as it were. On the other, barring a couple sorta culty approaches, just about everyone on this very forum who is voting for Clinton is doing so because "at least she ain't Trump, right?"
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Re: Wong's Article on the Rise of Trump

Postby Tesseracts » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:09 pm

What if there is no sophisticated reason behind the popularity of Trump? What if he's just getting votes because he's constantly in the media? We supposedly live in a cynical age, and yet I never see anyone propose this as a possibility.

I would have never guessed the pussy grabbing tapes would be the thing to permanently damage Trumps reputation. To me, they are utterly unsurprising. I have read what people say about him, and I have paid attention to his treatment of women. However, to everyone else, third party testimony is not enough. They are impacted by hearing his voice, clearly, and seeing him and the woman he was speaking of on video. Charts don't matter, policy doesn't matter, just seeing the guy on TV matters.

Trump is very good at manipulating the media to get attention. From day 1 he had controlled the conversation, by saying terrible things the media would have no choice but to report on. I have paid far more attention to him than any other candidate. Perhaps that's all people need to think of someone as president, they just need to see him on TV enough times.
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Re: Wong's Article on the Rise of Trump

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:11 pm

I think the internet also has quite a bit to do with it, at least as an explanation for the urban Trump supporters. I mean, alt-rightists are essentially the typical 12 year old on Call of Duty aged 10-15 years. They've essentially been socialized by Reddit and 4chan. They put screaming on a virtuous pedestal, and see culture as a zero sum game. Back when /r/TumblrInAction was still relatively sane, they often saw this kind of thing as a "Thou hadst calledst me a dog before thou hadst a cause, but, since I am a dog, beware my fangs!" sort of situation. The thing is though, that's a reactionary response to reactionaries responding to the former reactionaries.
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Re: Wong's Article on the Rise of Trump

Postby Aquila89 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:30 pm

Matthew Notch wrote:On the one hand it seems preposterous that so many would still vouch support for Trump despite getting a feel for who he really is, as it were. On the other, barring a couple sorta culty approaches, just about everyone on this very forum who is voting for Clinton is doing so because "at least she ain't Trump, right?"


This forum isn't representative of anything, let alone American voters. FiveThirtyEight just had an article about how the majority of Clinton supporters (56%) are voting for her and not against Trump. That's about average for a presidential candidate.

Sometimes voters really like the person they are voting for. President Obama won in 2008 and 2012 with at least 80 percent of his backers saying their support was mostly because they liked him. But that’s uncommon. George H.W. Bush in 1988 and Bill Clinton in 1992 were elected when 56 percent and 57 percent respectively of their backers said they were voting for the candidate.
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