To my erstwhile friends on the Left: What you feel now about Donald Trump is pretty much what authoritarian populists, especially, and other conservatives felt about Barack Obama. Which, to me, is somewhat ridiculous: It isn’t like Obama was anything like what I would call a leftist. He did nothing to advance race relations, was slow to support same-sex marriage (some might remember that it was his vice president who came out in support first, in what some then thought might be a gaffe), was slow to support transgender rights, but he enthusiastically embraced and extended the neoconservative and neoliberal policies of his predecessors.
In supporting Hillary Clinton, the political left embraced neoconservatism and neoliberalism and the left’s lack of interest in economic justice is why I no longer identify with the left. Yes, Trump is abhorrent. But what the left refuses to recognize is that Clinton is also intolerable.
Both the left and right insist that they represent ‘Americans.’ Obviously, residents of the United States are not monolithic. But each side has decided that those they don’t represent don’t matter. And when the left decided white men who want jobs are the enemy, they discarded any pretense of believing that I am a human being entitled to dignity. Yes, I take this personally. Very personally. At least with the right, I always knew where I stood.
I will have a final chart on Barack Obama’s record on unemployment in April, after the final revisions are in.
David Ingold, “A Tale of Two Economies,” Bloomberg, January 19, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-obama-economic-legacy/
Barry Ritholtz, “Jobs: Gained and Lost Under Obama,” Big Picture, January 19, 2017, http://ritholtz.com/2017/01/jobs-gained-lost-obama/
Alexander Bolton, “Trump team prepares dramatic cuts,” Hill, January 19, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/finance/314991-trump-team-prepares-dramatic-cuts
When Larry Summers runs his mouth off about how “[c]lassic populism is invariably counterproductive for those in whose name it is offered as a policy regime,” all I can say is that history will also show that the elites got themselves into this mess by ignoring the basic human right to a decent job and if he is going to yammer about what policies are ‘counterproductive,’ then he needs to show me that he knows where my job is. Because sixteen years after the dot-com bust, having finished a Bachelor’s, a Master’s, and a Ph.D., and in all that time, still hearing only crickets in response to my job applications, I have absolutely no reason to believe he or anyone else spouting off similar bullshit has any idea what they’re talking about.
Max Ehrenfreund, “What it would take to really rethink capitalism,” Washington Post, January 19, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/01/19/what-it-would-take-to-really-rethink-capitalism/
- Andreas Becker, “Davos: The crisis of the middle class,” Deutschewelle, January 19, 2017, http://www.dw.com/en/davos-the-crisis-of-the-middle-class/a-37192939↩