I talked to Christine, who made a very good connection with me and frankly made me regret not joining a bootcamp earlier.
Vance, the Yale Law School graduate who grew up in the poverty and chaos of an Appalachian clan. The book is an American classic, an extraordinary testimony to the brokenness of the white working class, but also its strengths. Donald Trump at least tries.
Heroin addiction is rampant. In my medium-sized Ohio county last year, deaths from drug addiction outnumbered deaths from natural causes. And on top of that is the economic struggle, from the factories shuttering their doors to the Main Streets with nothing but cash-for-gold stores and pawn shops. The two political parties have offered essentially nothing to these people for a few decades.
From the Left, they get some smug condescension, an exasperation that the white working class votes against their economic interests because of social issues, a la Thomas Frank more on that below. Whatever the merits of better tax policy and growth and I believe there are manythe simple fact is that these policies have done little to address a very real social crisis.
More importantly, these policies are culturally tone deaf: He criticizes the factories shipping jobs overseas. His apocalyptic tone matches their lived experiences on the ground. A big chunk of the white working class has deep roots in Appalachia, and the Scots-Irish honor culture is alive and well.
We were taught to raise our fists to anyone who insulted our mother. I probably got in a half dozen fights when I was six years old. Unsurprisingly, southern, rural whites enlist in the military at a disproportionate rate.
I wish we would have achieved some sort of lasting victory. No one touched that subject before Trump, especially not in the Republican Party. But I do come from poor rural white people in the South.
I have spent most of my life and career living among professional class urbanite, most of them on the East Coast, and the barely-banked contempt they — the professional-class whites, I mean — have for poor white people is visceral, and obvious to me.
Yet it is invisible to them. And what does it have to do with our politics today? I know exactly what you mean.
My grandma Mamaw recognized this instinctively. She said that most people were probably prejudiced, but they had to be secretive about it.
You just seem so nice. I thought that people in the military had to act a certain way. To this lady, to be in the military meant that you had to be some sort of barbarian.
By looking down on the hillbilly, you can get that high of self-righteousness and superiority without violating any of the moral norms of your own tribe. So your own prejudice is never revealed for what it is.
A bit of background: Yale Law takes well over half of its student body from very elite private schools.
Keep in mind that this guy was very progressive and cared a lot about income inequality and opportunity. If you removed that path from my life, there was nothing else to give me a shot at Yale. When I explained that to him, he was actually really receptive. He may have even changed his mind.Are you buried in Private Student Loan Debt and looking for information about forgiveness benefits, refunds and discharges?
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