The Harvard Business Review is trying to help Democrats to understand the Working Class, and they have provided some thoughts in an article by Joan C. Williams entitled “What so many don’t get about the U.S. Working Class.” The quick answer seems to be that they resent professionals and admire the rich.
It’s nice to meet them again although the liberals should be able to remember the people who made up their party in the past. Before it became the party of the professionals. Oops! Are we going to have to put up candidates who couldn’t get into an Ivy League Law School?
In an interview on Fox Paul Ryan has reassured his Conservative friends that he still is ready to do away with Medicare, one of the most successful programs operated by the US government. His idea is to issue vouchers that can be used to purchase medical insurance on the open market. Of course this makes no sense since it would cost more than Medicare for equal coverage. Medicare has consistently shown lower costs than private insurance.
If a government program is effective at meeting its objectives and is efficiently run it becomes a candidate for privatization by the right. Such programs counter their most cherished myths about the incompetence of government, The targets are not only Medicare, but the Veterans Administration Medical Centers, and the Post Office. Even the military forces have seen the influence of the privatizes. Medicare Advantage plans were a mechanism for cutting private insurers in on the profits and the Congress had to subsidize them to make them work.
It seems too much, with the orange grotesque sitting in the White House, to have to contend with Paul Ryan too.
A well researched article by Aaron Blake in the Washington Post shows that: 1) a significantly larger number of voters than usual only decided their vote in the last week before the election, 2) that these voters broke heavily for Trump, and 3) that this was sufficient to explain Trump’s success.
Others have made the same analysis and this is the basis for the argument that FBI Director Comey’s actions in that last week gave the election to Trump. The author of this article is skeptical of that but his reasoning is in a separate article that I don;t have access to. I haven’t heard any other explanation suggested. Had the overwhelming establishment condemnation of the Donald held many in doubt, only to have them revert to their gut feelings in the end? As they usually do.
A second of today’s analyses is another one by Thomas B. Edsall in the NY Times. Continuing a theme he has been developing lately he reviews the checkered history of the Democratic Party’s relationship over the decades with America’s working class. What was once the solid basis of the Dems has been captured by Trump! This is good stuff and deserves to be heard. A party should attempt to appeal to the righteous needs of any major bloc of voters, not because they will necessarily succeed in winning them all over but because a successful party must seek support widely.
I have two more very good reads on the election. The first is one I’ve been waiting for — Elizabeth Drew’s analysis of the election results. It’s in The New York Review of Books’ NYR Daily.
The second was actually published last March and is an interview with Thomas Frank on Moyers and Company. It’s a brief review of his (then) new book – Listen, Liberal: or, Whatever Happened to the Party of the People? This is Frank’s scathing analysis of the shift of the Democratic Party from the working class to identification with a meritocratic professioal class in its aspirations. The people the Democrats left behind seem to be the same ones that Trump capitalized on to win the election.
There are plenty of experts to explain our ghastly election. Here are two I found interesting. The first is my old favorite – Thomas B. Edsall – in the Times this morning. Lots of data.
The other is Eitan Hersb, a political scientist at Yale. His analysis makes several points that I haven’t heard elsewhere, especially about the nomination process.
LONDON (The Borowitz Report)—In an unexpected televised address on Saturday, Queen Elizabeth II offered to restore British rule over the United States of America.
Addressing the American people from her office in Buckingham Palace, the Queen said that she was making the offer “in recognition of the desperate situation you now find yourselves in.”
“This two-hundred-and-forty-year experiment in self-rule began with the best of intentions, but I think we can all agree that it didn’t end well,” she said.
The Queen urged Americans to write in her name on Election Day, after which the transition to British rule could begin “with a minimum of bother.”
Elizabeth acknowledged that, in the wake of Brexit, Americans might justifiably be alarmed about being governed by the British parliamentary system, but she reassured them, “Parliament would play no role in this deal. This would be an old-school monarchy. Just me, and then, assuming you’d rather not have Charles, we could go straight to William and those children of his who have mesmerized you so.”
Using the closing moments of her speech to tout her credentials, the Queen made it clear that she has never used e-mail and has only had sex with one person “very occasionally.”
Andy Borowitz is a New York Times best-selling author and a comedian who has written for The New Yorker since 1998. He writes the Borowitz Report for newyorker.com.