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Mid-Morning Open Thread [CBD] | Main | "Culture Creep:" How Americans Became So Sensitive To So Many Harms
June 07, 2016

Upper Middle Class Exodus from GOP Begins

Shades of Andrew Sullivan.

With Jay Nordlinger, a guy who writes mental doodles, essentially tweets puckishly, then puts those tweets together into a kind of Blog About Nothing.

I'll take this as a kind of temporary provisional vindication -- we'll see if, per my prediction, this continues.

This isn't a wholesale attack on these people. They were always the most likely to flip liberal, as they share the most assumptions of what the "Good Life" consists of with liberals, and count far more liberals in their circle of micro-culture-making close relations than the average Republican.

There's a reason, after all, while the once GOP stalwart upper middle class counties around Philadelphia have been very, very liberal and Democratic for 15 years.

It's also a note to the Trump people, who pushed Trump, despite my repeated warnings that if you do this, you will lose this quarter of the party. I don't know how many times I cautioned that social status is incredibly important to people, and few will voluntarily undertake any action which results in a loss of social status.

Trump is unsophisticated and crude, and he pitches his appeal to the unsophisticated and crude. That doesn't mean you're necessarily unsophisticated and crude if you support him -- Scott Adams, for example, is perpetually finding sophisticated and finely-made machinations in Trump's unsophisticated and crude surface presentation -- but that is definitely the tone of Trump's appeal.

And people who consider themselves sophisticated -- people for whom a sense of sophistication is important to their self-evaluation -- aren't going to buy into this bozo.

The GOP is fracturing, alas, on class lines, permanently and irrevocably.

Neither side feels like much like compromising. Trump, of course, could not compromise and speak (and think!) in a more sophisticated fashion, because he doesn't know how.

This is going to be an extremely painful and emotional disaster -- worse than it is now, as the actual divorce comes.

We're right now in the constantly-finding-fault-and-denigrating-and-putting-down phase of the rapidly dissolving marriage. Seems awful, yes: But it will seem like "The Good Times" when the actual divorce comes.

At This Point... I'd bless the GOP just ignoring the voters and installing their own candidate as some kind of last-ditch attempt to keep the party intact with a compromise candidate of broad appeal.

But their are no compromise candidates of broad appeal.

If the GOP attempted to take Trump out, they'd do what they have long desired to do, just stick in a Comprehensive Amnesty Piece of Shit candidate over the protests of the voters.

Even if it were Mitt Romney -- a guy I've long liked and admired -- I couldn't get behind them just sticking in Mitt Romney. Because I know which version of Ideologically Flexible Mitt we'd get. We'd get the Pro-Amnesty Version that the Capital Class dreams of.

This is going to be a disaster. I think maybe it's the wisest, best course to not get too hung up on horserace/story of the day crap, and maybe start focusing on long-term positioning and hashing out actual philosophy -- what we'd like a party, optimally, to be.

This election is lost.

We can argue about who lost it -- indeed, most of the passive-aggressive kneecapping from the more liberal-leaning, Rubio-supporting Upper Middle Class is about arguing, in a cowardly fashion, who lost it -- and I imagine we will be arguing about that for quite a while.

Might as well stop being passive-aggressive about it and just come right out and say it. There is no party unity to pretend to be a part of any longer.

But more important than whose fault this is is what we'd actually like in a vehicle for ideological aspiration.

One thing I'd just love is if so-called conservatives weren't as joyously SJW in pushing politically correct speech codes on everyone.

I'd like to see that.

You know, you don't have to go full SJW to prove you're not Alt-Right, right? You can strike a more nuanced position than the liberal extreme.

I could feel this coming for a while, but it really crystallized last week, when Trump supporters were openly attacked in the street and the agents of the state permitted it, and conservative reaction was... muted to openly supportive of the attacks.

When you're that far gone emotionally -- when you can't even rouse a bit of fellow-feeling for people being attacked on the streets -- you have checked out of any kind of "relationship," be it personal or political.

People are still making excuses as to why they are talking nonstop about Trump's Judge and can't even talk about San Jose between breaths.

But they don't need to make excuses, really. The reality is clear enough: they just don't feel emotionally connected to the base of the party any longer.

Emotion is where all thought begins its life. And there's just none of it from the "elite" (and I use that word advisedly) of the party for the base anymore.

The hatred is palpable.

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posted by Ace at 12:16 PM

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