What Anglachel said
Scary smart Anglachel:
The very real specter of racism is being used in a gratuitous and defamatory way towards Hillary and her supporters. It seeks to divide her constituency by peeling away voters who can be shamed or bullied by the “You racist bitches!” calumny. Sadly, it also provides cover for actual racists and anti-democrats through the sheer exaggeration of the claim, excusing them for acting on their worst impulses.
When the opposition to the ineffectual upper class Yankee of this round is another Democrat who has ties to the South and is irrationally hated by a certain powerful faction of the Party, we see the narrative being deployed against her, with the added spice of misogyny making it even more vile. Against this backdrop, where you can’t simply write off those voters as voting their worst impulses, the arrogance and disrespect is thrown into relief.
Which brings up the question, why have so many people in the Democratic Party been complacent about the crap thrown at Reagan Democrats? We get back to the “Oh, no, not me! I’m not an Archie Bunker! How dare you call me that?” reaction, where instead of defending the honor and integrity of fellow voters, we attempt to show that Hillary’s supporters aren’t Bunkers and Bubbas, that we’re nice, clean upper-middle class professionals thankyouverymuch. Commenters on this blog may be resisting that move, but be assured it is striking nerves among “creative class” Democrats. There’s a bigger problem going on with how the Democratic Party is failing to make itself relevant to working class voters such that a substantial portion of those voters feel more comfortable with the Republicans.
The Democratic Party has spent four decades demonizing working class whites as the stupid rubes who are a drag on the American Dream instead of taking seriously the need to assuage the hidden injuries of class. The immediate elite reaction to Hillary’s use of Rocky as a model for her campaign tells us all we need to know about their perspective on this portion of the Democratic Party – Rocky is a loser, har, har! He got beat by the black dude, snicker, nice choice of examples, bitch.
As Susie pointed out, that is not the point of Rocky’s story. He made something of himself, on his terms, and even in defeat, he retained his honor and rightful pride.
The reason why Bill Clinton endeared himself to that Democratic constituency is not because he is some crypto-white supremacist, but because he provided an honorable way out of the “lo-ser” narrative. Hillary is building upon that. “You are not invisible to me,” she says with refreshing directness. She offers policies and programs, such as universal health coverage, that will materially improve their lives. She talks about helping them stay in their homes. She speaks to them face to face about the nuts and bolts of how to make them more secure, talks that bore the Media Whores to death, and does not simply tell them to be inspired by her awesomeness.
Here is the challenge to the Democrats – how to cease treating working class whites the eternal “Other” of the party, the roadblock to fulfilling the promise of the nation, and seriously address the ways in which the party will help all Americans live their lives with dignity.
Give 'em a Unity Pony!