Sunday, April 23, 2017

Feeling Left Behind

"So how did she lose? asks NPR's Ron Elving, claiming

Providing that answer is the mission accepted by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes in "Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign." It is by no means the last word on 2016, but Allen and Parnes must be regarded as early front-runners in the race to make sense of it all.

No, they must not. They are the early front-runners in the race to trivialize the election by downplaying factors exogenous to the inner workings of the campaign. But Elving does understand

she had no answer to the populist appeal Trump enjoyed among white males and noncollege working people in general. Her extraordinary career prepared her to be president, but not to understand ordinary Americans.

Her extraordinary career- no quote marks necessary- in the end paled in importance to the efforts of Vladimir Putin and, more so, FBI director Jim Comey. Therefore, it is unlikely that Allen and Parnes can capture Clinton's inability to counter Trump's appeal as well as did author Hanna Rosin- assisted by Bill Maher- on Friday's Real Time.

After Maher contended men are failing "to navigate the modern world," the author of "The End of Man" explained

There's this yearning for that time when men were men and women were women, which I think is what Fox News is all about and the yearning is greater now because men are less traditionally men. The jobless rate is insane, the number of men who are not working who are of working age is huge, like sad, dismal, preposterous.

After Maher noted "working class men are not getting married, are getting divorced at astronomical rates," Rosin added

and not living with kids, so they don't have the provider role that they used to have so that kind of leaves them loose and then on top of that, there's like uppity women... you know, telling them that they have privilege and they're like "I don't feel I have privilege."

Ever-increasing numbers of women have run successful races for office below that of President. Three have spectacularly failed: Sarah Palin; Carly Fiorina; and Mrs. Clinton. And they all had something in common.

Carly Fiorina is odious, and the best thing about Barack Obama defeating John McCain in 2008 is that it did not leave Sarah Palin (who harmed the ticket) a heartbeat from the presidency.  (Palin never has seemed as smart as Fiorina or Clinton.)  But the Alaska governor famously compared herself to a pit bull and Fiorina, once described as an "ice cold shade queen debate princess," has been compared to Margaret Thatcher. Like Hillary Clinton, neither fits the traditional stereotype of a woman satisfied to stay quietly in her place.

That's one of the reasons there was a ring of truth to Maher's statement  "One reason that Hillary lost- let's be honest- a lot of those kind of men, they didn't want a woman smarter then they are telling them they have to change. They get enough of that home" (or from girlfriends, clarified Rosin).

Maher continued "I mean, men are really losing their place in the workplace... women have the skills of the 21st century more than men do- they cooperate better, they communicate better." In apparent agreement, Rosin remarked

So a lot of this has to do with school these days. It's hard to have a good, middle class life if you don't have a degree. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing- it's just a thing now. Women have gotten the memo on that and men have not... They do much better in college so they get more degrees and you know, the economy changes and they kind of make the change. So I did a lot of reporting in Alabama- the only jobs there- healthcare and government work- and American men don't like to work in health care and they definitely don't like to work for the government.

It got better as Rosin zeroed in with

The white- it feels like they're the only ones who are not allowed to want- it's like everybody else's pain counts but they'e not allowed to complain because they're the white man so the white man's got no problems even though the white man feels like he's got problems and then somebody comes and says "I feel your pain."

Similarly, Maher argued "white men never thought of themselves as a minority but they knd of were made to feel that way" because of emphasis by Democrats on "identity politics. " Tragically, they then chose to "turn to this C-list wrestling villain as their champion," allowing them to assert "man, oh, we're so strong and sturdy."

Notwithstanding that questionable bit of pop psychology, the sociology and political behavioralism were sound.   With encouragement from Bill Maher, Hanna Rosin put her finger on a critical American phenomenon, without so much as uttering "racist" or "racism," "sexist" or "sexism," and without the fanfare the lesser Allen and Parnes are getting.

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