Sunday, November 27, 2016

We Try Too Hard To Put It In A Delicate Way

This Trump-won-because-people-ignored-the-Heartland stuff is nonsense. No one has ever ignored the Heartland. Ever. There's a particularly stupid piece by Ben Stein in The Norton Reader, 5th ed, shorter, copyright 1980, using an episode of "The Rockford Files" to supposedly demonstrate how liberal Hollywood elites were out of touch with the paradise of rural America. I've never watched "The Rockford Files," but from the way Stein describes it, it sounds unusually in touch, for a network TV drama, with the way that you can be ripped off and abused in a small town for the sin of being a stranger who needs help. Not all small towns are like that, naturally, but a lot are.

But the crap about not understanding the Heartland wasn't new in 1980: it goes back at least as far as Nixon's "silent majority" in his 1968 Presidential campaign, which was not a majority and hardly silent, but just a bunch of rubes who were afraid of hippies for no good reason, often without even having met any hippies. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if it went back much further in time than that.

Not only has no-one ever ignored the Heartland for one minute: also, many people in the Heartland voted for Hillary, and a lot of people in non-Heartland areas voted for Trump.

Very often, Leftists are much too easily led into feeling guilty for no good reason. We didn't cause the rise of Trump by ignoring the Heartland. The real explanation of Trump's success is much simpler: he's the King of the idiots.

Fake news readers are dumb as dirt. Trump voters? Idiots, end of story. Nazis? The lights are on, nobody's home. ISIS? A few clowns short of a rodeo. France's National Front? An experiment in artificial stupidity. The Alliance for Germany? All foam, no beer. The Brexit movement? No grain in the silo. American militias? The elevator doesn't go all the way to the top.

This is not good news, because stupidity is extremely difficult to overcome. But it's the truth. We can't solve the problem without calling it what it is. Calling it what it is, of course, will greatly upset the readers of fake news and the supporters of Trump. Nobody hates being called stupid more than stupid people. But it's time to stop tiptoeing around the truth.

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