RUSH: Now, before I share with you some of the highlights of the Angelo Codevilla piece, his piece is at TheFederalist.com. And Charles Murray’s piece is at the Wall Street Journal, back on February 12th. The Murray piece entitled, “Trump’s America: Why the White Working Class is Justifiably Angry.”
But I had a good question right before the break. “Hey, Rush, what I don’t understand is why none of this class frustration hasn’t manifested against the Democrats. I mean, they’re the primary cause of all these problems. Why do the unions never break with the Democrats? Why do blacks never break with the Democrats? What’s changed? Why the hell is it manifesting all this class anger? Why is it manifesting against the Republican Party only? I understand the angst versus the Republican Party. But why haven’t the Democrats been accountable all these years?”
That’s an interesting question to me. How come there isn’t any anger at the Democrat establishment like there is — well, for the people that are angry at the establishment, they’re angry at both. To them, the Democrats and Republicans are no different. So the fallout’s the same. But I know what the guy’s getting at. Why aren’t the Democrats having problems? Why isn’t there a Donald Trump out there screwing things up for Hillary? And there is. His name is Bernie Sanders. But, see, folks, the Democrats learned a lesson. When you’re gonna have an election, you don’t leave things up to voters.
“What did you say, Rush?” I said exactly what I meant to say. The Democrats have learned that when you’re going to have an election, you don’t leave things up to voters. Bernie Sanders is a placeholder. But try to answer the question seriously. Why isn’t there a bunch of fallout, class anger at the Democrats? Well, the Democrats already have succeeded in portraying themselves as for the little guy. The Democrats in truth are 99% of the problem. The Democrats are the ones that have created the vast majority of these messes. They are responsible for the cultural rot. But the Republicans get blamed ’cause they’re not doing anything to stop them.
No matter what angle you want to come at it from, there is a logical answer to it. As far as the Democrats are concerned, their voters think they’re great. They’re Santa Claus, they’re socialists, they’re advancing the liberal cause. Everything’s fine and dandy. The Republican Party doesn’t stand for anything. Conservatives have no home. The Republican Party is not a home for conservatism anymore. The Democrat Party is the home of liberalism, progressivism, socialism, whatever you want to call it. But the Republican Party is just taking up space. All of this is understandable to me.
Then you add Trump. See, people assume, incorrectly, that most of Trump’s supporters are angry conservatives. And the reason for that is that Trump’s running against government, it sounds like. And he’s running on the Republican ticket, so for people who are only marginally understanding of conservatism versus liberalism, Trump would be looked at and seen as conservative. But Trump’s support base covers every demographic you can think of. He’s got support from all ages, and he’s winning.
You look at the exit polls and entrance polls of all these elections, he’s winning every group. He’s winning every age-group. He’s winning religions — well, he’s getting his share of religious voters, evangelicals, as you know. Men, women, middle-age, old age, young age, doesn’t matter. But his coalition — I’m blue in the face on this — is exactly what the Republican Party’s always said they want to be. That’s exactly what has happened here with Trump’s base.
So to the extent that conservatives have joined Trump, it’s because they don’t think the GOP is a home. The GOP’s not interested in them. The GOP makes fun of them. The Democrats don’t make fun of their voters. The Democrats make fun of Republican voters. The Democrats make fun of the rich. The Democrats make fun of the upper class. Publicly, anyway. The Democrats are the biggest offenders of all of these problems, but they have succeeded in convincing people they stand for the little guy.
Now, let me get started with some of this stuff. This is Angelo Codevilla who wrote the original piece in the American Spectator on the ruling class that we highlighted here ’cause it was tremendous. He had a piece at The Federalist yesterday. Here are some excerpts.
“America is now ruled by a uniformly educated class of persons that occupies the commanding heights of bureaucracy, of the judiciary, education, the media, and of large corporations, and that wields political power through the Democratic Party.” Again, “America is now ruled by a uniformly educated –” meaning the education is the same. They’re trained to come out of school to assume all of these positions that they’re in, “– uniformly educated class of persons that occupies the commanding heights of bureaucracy, of the judiciary, education, the media, and of large corporations, and that wields political power through the Democratic Party. Its control of access to prestige, power, privilege, and wealth exerts a gravitational pull that has made the Republican PartyÂ’s elites into its satellites.”
Now, we’re talking about the Washington-New York-Boston corridor here, the Northeast power corridor, and his point here is that if you want prestige, if you want power, if you want to have perks, privilege, if you want to be in line to get rich, then you do what the Democrat power structure says. And to the extent that there are Republican elites, they’ve been converted into satellites, and depending on their behavior, they’re given access to some of this stuff. Mr. Codevilla continues.
“This classÂ’s fatal feature –” uniformly educated ruling class “– is its belief that ordinary Americans are a lesser intellectual and social breed. Its increasing self-absorption, its growing contempt for whoever wonÂ’t bow to it, its dependence for votes on sectors of society whose grievances it stokes –” Codevilla is such a brilliant writer. What that means is, the Democrat Party has succeeded in creating dependents among groups of people whose grievances it stokes. They created this grievance culture, they give them the reason to keep grieving and getting ticked off, claiming they’re gonna be the solution to it, which they never are.
All of this has led this ruling class “to break the most basic rule of republican life: deeming its opposition illegitimate.” Deeming its opposition illegitimate. Which is what’s happened to the conservative, slash, Republican political wing in this country, the left has succeeded in delegitimizing it. Without that, there cannot be a republic. We’re gonna end up with an authoritarian, tyrannical dictatorship or something along those lines when the opposition has been deemed illegitimate. And yet it’s the Democrats that run around talking about cooperation and a level playing field and bipartisanship and working together when they have ended any possibility of any of that. They have delegitimized the opposition.
And the opposition’s sat back and let it happen. “The ruling class insists on driving down the throats of its opponents the agendas of each its constituencies and on injuring persons who stand in the way. This has spawned a Newtonian reaction, a hunger, among what may be called the ‘country class’ for returning the favor.” In other words, all of this has created in average, ordinary, middle class America a desire to pay these people back for what they’ve done.
“Ordinary Americans have endured being insulted by the ruling classÂ’s favorite epitaphs — racist, sexist, etc., and, above all, stupid; they have had careers and reputations compromised by speaking the wrong word in front of the wrong person; endured dictates from the highest courts in the land that no means yes (King), that public means private (Kelo), that everyone is entitled to make up oneÂ’s meaning of life (Casey), but that whoever thinks marriage is exclusively between men and women is a bigot (Obergefell).” He’s citing Supreme Court decisions here that violate all tenets of common sense.
“Trying to stop the cycle of political payback with another round of it –” that’s Trumpism. Codevilla is not a Trumpist. “Trying to stop the cycle of political payback with another round of it, while not utterly impossible, is well-nigh beyond human capacity. … No wonder, then, that millions of Americans lose respect for a ruling class that disrespects them, that they identify with whomever promises some kind of turnabout against that class, and that they care less and less for the integrity of institutions that fail to protect them. … But not only do opposing sets of wrongs not make anything right. As I have argued (Sophocles did it a lot better), trying to stop the cycle of political payback with another round of it, while not utterly impossible, is well-nigh beyond human capacity.
“Neither Obama nor Trump seem to know or care that cycles of reciprocal resentment, of insults and injuries paid back with ever more interest and ever less concern for consequences, are the natural fuel of revolutions — easy to start and soon impossible to stop.”
He’s including Obama here. Obama’s done exactly what Trump’s doing. Everything Obama’s doing is based on resentment. His group of people resent the way the country was founded, resent the way the country grew, resent what the country became, resent how the country became structured, resented this, resented that, and Obama’s sole mission has been to pay everybody back, and he’s doing it. And Codevilla’s right about that.
I don’t even need to read it from Codevilla to understand and agree with it. Exactly what Obama’s all about. Giant chip on his shoulder. We’ve been it countless times. Codevilla’s point is that Trump comes along and is encouraging similar payback, and he said it’s totally understandable people want to do it but it never works. It doesn’t lead to reinstitutionalizing the greatness of the country. It just leads to more anger, disappointment, and he thinks eventual revolution.
“AmericaÂ’s founders, steeped in history as few of our contemporaries are, were acutely aware of how easily factional enmities deliver free peoples into the hands of emperors. America is already advanced in this vicious cycle. The only possible chance of returning it to republicanism lies in not taking the next turn, and in not following one imperial ruler with another.”
So that’s the excerpts from Codevilla’s piece in The Federalist in which he does two things. He makes the case for total understanding of the anger and frustration that exists, and then suggests that following somebody like Obama with something similar but from a different angle is not a solution. Now, many people disagree with that, but that’s Codevilla.
Now, here’s Charles Murray, and his piece, “Trump’s America: Why the White Working Class is Justifiably Angry.” Now, this a much longer piece, but I will excerpt enough of it to give you the flavor. It’s in the Wall Street Journal on February 12th. That means it’s behind a pay wall. We’ll still link to it at RushLimbaugh.com. Maybe it’s gone free side by now. We’ll find out. “If you are dismayed by Trumpism, don’t kid yourself that it will fade away if Donald Trump fails to win the Republican nomination.
“Trumpism is an expression of the legitimate anger that many Americans feel about the course that the country has taken, and its appearance was predictable. It is the endgame of a process that has been going on for [50 years]: America’s divestment of its historic national identity. For the eminent political scientist Samuel Huntington, writing in his last book, ‘Who Are We?’ (2004), two components of that national identity stand out. One is our Anglo-Protestant heritage, which has inevitably faded in an America that is now home to many cultural and religious traditions. The other is the very idea of America, something unique to us.”
Unique to us.
“As the historian Richard Hofstadter once said, ‘It has been our fate as a nation not to have ideologies but to be one.'” Americanism is an ideology. “What does this ideology — Huntington called it the ‘American creed’ — consist of? Its three core values may be summarized as egalitarianism, liberty and individualism. From these flow other familiar aspects of the national creed that observers have long identified: equality before the law, equality of opportunity, freedom of speech and association, self-reliance, limited government, free-market economics, decentralized and devolved political authority.
“As recently as 1960, the creed was our national consensus. Running that year for the Democratic nomination, candidates like John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Hubert Humphrey genuinely embraced the creed, differing from Republicans only in how its elements should be realized. Today, the creed has lost its authority and its substance. What happened? Many of the dynamics of the reversal can be found in developments across the whole of American society: in the emergence of a new upper class and a new lower class, and in the plight of the working class caught in between. …
“The new upper class consists of the people who shape the country’s economy, politics and culture. The new lower class consists of people who have dropped out of some of the most basic institutions of American civic culture, especially work and marriage. Both of these new classes have repudiated the American creed in practice, whatever lip service they may still pay to it. Trumpism is the voice of a beleaguered working class telling us that it too is falling away.” In the old days, “[s]uccessful Americans stubbornly refused to accept the mantle…”
“Even Marx and Engels” commented on it, and so did Tocqueville. “Successful Americans stubbornly refused to accept the mantle of an upper class, typically presenting themselves to their fellow countrymen as regular guys.” Can I illustrate this, show you what he means by this? I grew up in a small town, twenty-five or thirty thousand people, and even in that small town there were classes. There was the rich. There was the rich industrialist in town that owned the concrete company, paved all the highways and so forth.
And then there was this guy and that guy. But it they didn’t hold themselves out as separate and apart from the rest of the town, and they didn’t laud it over the rest of the neighborhood. They went to the places everybody in town went to eat. They went to the same churches. They were just… They were part and parcel of the community, and everybody knew they were the rich guys in town. But nobody hated them for it. They didn’t laud it over anybody, and they did not seek to separate themselves from the rest of the town.
RUSH: One more excerpt from Murray here explaining the differences in the upper class today versus long ago and not that far ago in America, particularly “white working class” versus current upper class. He says: “Another characteristic of the new upper class — and something new under the American sun — is their easy acceptance of being members of an upper class and their condescension toward ordinary Americans.” It used to not being the case, not nearly as the badly as it is today.
“Try using ‘redneck’ in a conversation with your highly educated friends and see if it triggers any of the nervousness that accompanies other ethnic slurs. Refer to ‘flyover country’ and consider the implications when no one asks, ‘What does that mean?’ Or I can send you to chat with a friend in Washington, DC, who bought a weekend place in West Virginia. He will tell you about the contempt for his new neighbors that he has encountered in the elite precincts of the nation’s capital.”
I told you this story earlier about how he told his buddies he was gonna buy a house in West Virginia and they said, “Why are you gonna go live next to people with no teeth that play the banjo on the front porch?” And they were serious! “Why are you doing this? Why are you gonna live among the schlubs?” Murray’s point was that these people in the white working class know exactly all of this. They know they’re being condescended to, they know they’re being laughed at, they know they’re looked down on, they know they’re being made fun of — and yet they think of themselves as the backbone of the country. They’re the ones that join the military. They’re the ones that lose family members in war. They are the ones that are making the country work. They are the backbone; they’re being laughed at, mocked, made fun of.
And they’re tired of it.
And they’re tired of being blamed for all the problems by the media.
And it’s that simple.
RUSH: Now, the Charles Murray piece delves into much deeper detail, such as this: “Work and marriage have been central to American civic culture since the founding. In the 1960s, almost all of the adult men were working or looking for work, and almost all were married.”
But then things started to change. For white working class men in their thirties and forties, the prime decades for working and raising a family, participation in the labor force dropped from 96% to 76% in 2015. Over that same period of time, the portion of these men who were married dropped from 86% to 52%. It may not sound big but they’re stunning changes, manifesting themselves throughout communities and neighborhoods. Half the children were born to unmarried women. All the problems that go with growing up without fathers, especially for boys. Drugs have become a major problem in small towns.
Anyway, he goes on to detail how all of these demographic and cultural shifts have led to the destruction of the families of the working middle class that is the backbone of the country, and he affixes claim to this, to the social architects and engineers in Washington, primarily liberal Democrats who brought about this destruction and then taken sides with the feminists and the other minorities in these arrangements. They’ve taken the side of everybody but the white male, essentially. So the anger out there in his estimation is justified, and it’s deeper than Trump, and it’ll survive Trump. It’s gonna exist long after this election is over.
Anyway, it’s a fascinating read, and it’s gotta be included in part of the mix to anybody trying to explain what seems to be the inexplicable here. Although it isn’t to me.