Archive for the ‘Elitism’ Category
Ian O’Doherty: A two fingers to a politically correct elite
Hillary Clinton has damned her party to irrelevance for at least the next four years in a stunningly self-inflicted defeat. People didn’t vote for Trump because of what he is, it’s what he’s not that appealed
Ian O’Doherty is a columnist who works for the Irish Independent. His “iSpy” column is published Monday –Thursday and contains news articles blended with comedy and shock-jock opinions. On Fridays O’Doherty publishes a rather more serious column containing his opinion on a chosen subject in “The World according to Ian O’Doherty”. He was formerly with the Evening Herald.
The Best of the Best–by a Poetic Irishman
November 13, 2016
Tuesday November 8, 2016 – a day that will live in infamy, or the moment when America was made great again?
The truth, as ever, will lie somewhere in the middle. After all, contrary to what both his supporters and detractors believe – and this is probably the only thing they agree on – Trump won’t be able to come into office and spend his first 100 days gleefully ripping up all the bits of the Constitution he doesn’t like.
But even if this week’s seismic shockwave doesn’t signal either the sky falling in or the start of a bright new American era, the result was, to use one of The Donald’s favourite phrases, huge. It is, in fact, a total game changer.
In decades to come, historians will still bicker about the most poisonous, toxic and stupid election in living memory.
They will also be bickering over the same vexed question – how did a man who was already unpopular with the public and who boasted precisely zero political experience beat a seasoned Washington insider who was married to one extremely popular president and who had worked closely with another?
The answer, ultimately, is in the question.
History will record this as a Trump victory, which of course it is. But it was also more than that, because this was the most stunning self-inflicted defeat in the history of Western democracy.
Hillary Clinton has damned her party to irrelevance for at least the next four years. She has also ensured that Obama’s legacy will now be a footnote rather than a chapter. Because the Affordable Care Act is now doomed under a Trump presidency and that was always meant to be his gift, of sorts, to America.
How did a candidate who had virtually all of the media, all of Hollywood, every celebrity you could think of, a couple of former presidents and apparently, the hopes of an entire gender resting on her shoulders, blow up her own campaign?
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Shining a Light on ‘Back Row’ America
Chris Arnade’s photos reveal an America that is battered but standing, atomized but holding on.
Dec. 29, 2016 7:10 p.m. ET
I want to end this dramatic year writing of a man whose great and constructive work I discovered in 2016. He is the photojournalist Chris Arnade. I follow him on Twitter, where he issues great tweet-storms containing pictures and commentary about America. (His work has also appeared in the Guardian and the Atlantic.) He has spent the past year traveling through much of the country taking pictures of regular people in challenging circumstances and writing of their lives. He is politically progressive and a week before the election angered his side, and some media folk, by foretelling the victory of Donald Trump. The people he met were voting for him. Many saw the America they’d grown up in slipping away. They wanted a country that was great again. They experienced elite disdain for Trump as evidence he might be the one to turn it around.
Mr. Arnade received a Ph.D. in physics from Johns Hopkins in 1993 and worked 20 years as a bond trader at Salomon Brothers, through its end as Citigroup. He left Wall Street in 2012 and started taking long treks through New York City, 10 miles and 20. “I was a numbers guy,” he said, a professional who lived on data. Now he wanted to seethings. “Eventually I started taking pictures and talking to people about their lives,” he said by phone from his home in upstate New York, where he lives now with his family. “Looking back, for me it was an evolution of trying to . . . stop being that arrogant Ph.D. kid who knew it all.” What he saw was “injustice.” He wanted to see “if what I found in the Bronx was true in other parts of the U.S.”
And so his 2016 trek. By this weekend he will have traveled 58,000 miles throughout America in his 2006 Honda Odyssey. He went to small towns and cities through the northeast and down South, through the Midwest and the Rust Belt, through forgotten places with boarded up town centers. He met retired welders and drug addicts and valorous families getting by with nothing. He saw modest and embittered people who’d seen the places they grew up in disappear. He met Minnie McDonald and her granddaughter, Madison Walton, visiting the graves of Minnie’s daughters in Montezuma, Ga. He met five little kids in Selma, Ala. “Do you like Selma?” he asked. All were quiet. The littlest said, “Noooo.” Why? “Too many shootings, too many deaths,” said another. Penny Springfield, a middle-aged white woman, met Mr. Arnade in the empty church where she’d buried her son Johny, who died from an overdose.
THE OBAMA ERA IS OVER
Trump and the Forgotten Man
The Republican’s victory was a blow for non-elites.
November 10, 2016
Politics and law
The following commentary from Troy Senik (vice president of policy and programs at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research) contains a couple of what I thought to be poignant observations (highlighted).
There was a moment during Tuesday’s election night coverage when, if you were consuming the right mix of cable news and Twitter feeds, you could watch the shock wave rolling in real time. Former Obama advisor Van Jones was near tears on CNN, as was Martha Raddatz on ABC. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was, with characteristic restraint, decrying the “deep hatred in a large segment of the population.” When Ezra Klein, purveyor of the invariably supercilious “explainer” site Vox, began tweeting links to a story making the case against the Electoral College, you knew it was over.
For a sizable number of Donald Trump’s supporters, those moments may have been justification enough for their vote. After years of being sneered at, they got a front-row seat for a collective nervous breakdown radiating out through the Acela Corridor and the West Coast’s Highway 101. They got to hit the elites—a term that, though promiscuously applied, does identify a distinct cultural phylum—right in their (glass, it turns out) jaws.
Trump’s victory may well have completed the transformation of partisan politics into cultural proxy war—a transformation that, it bears noting, began well before he arrived on the political scene. As the pundits observed ad nauseam on election night, the America that voted for Trump lives, in large measure, at both a physical and social remove from the one that voted for Hillary Clinton. They failed, however, to note an important asymmetry that explains why progressive America was so thunderstruck as Tuesday night passed into Wednesday morning: the Trump parts of the country understand the Clinton parts much better than vice versa.