In the broader pundisphere there’s some discussion of a class of white people that is getting let’s say culturally / economically ‘left behind’ (to mix metaphors). And they support Trump, right, because he addresses their concerns in a way establishment politics does not, or it’s because he affirms what they feel about their loss of white privilege, yada yada, trope trope.
There are both lefty and righty flavored riffs on said analysis, and one thing they share is a qualitative observation that this class of white people is kind of… pathetic. And that this is borne out by their income / age / work demographics intersecting with what is a curious epidemiological blip of rising morbidity among some white people (numerous references. Among others: Kevin Williamson at NRO, Lambo yesterday over at WWP)
I happen to agree or be sympathetic to all those notions, and even the assessment of patheticness. Now, I haven’t observed it to be true first hand…. I got 3 Trumpsters with no self awareness for what they say in my 200+ FB feed. One’s a woman cop, my age. One is one of my wife’s cousins, who has done 6 figure well as a commercial roofing contractor, pretty affluent. One’s a small business owner, has a personal services practice of sorts…. They’re not pathetic, not at all. But ya know there is a sample size / assortatative problem with where I can look for evidence…. I run with a crowd of suburbanites who work…. How many of them are going to be pathetic and then make the house payment? Anyway, I’m a Republican disgusted with the Trump nomination and the people who nominated him. Those people must have a deficiency that explains what they did right. Patheticness of sorts would explain it, and I can see the truth there though I don’t know anyone like that…
You get to this ‘2A people’ thing from Trump yesterday, I do want to speak to some things here with the truths and realities that I know.
First is, its crazy talk, and it ought to disqualify Trump from the ballot. I wish it would.
As a matter of it being ‘scary’ and ‘inciting’ among the pathetic Trumpsters who are apparently to be understood as some sort of social powderkeg ready to go off….I think that’s wrong or lacks for a confluence of the right Venn bubbles. Which is to say, there’s not a danger of incitement here.
You can’t really mobilize the pathetic for right wing revolution, right… they’re all broke 4 days after their monthly EFT from uncle sugar and waiting for the next one. And then there’s a matter of decorum, we just don’t see right wing social protests in the streets like we do left wing ones. Marxism is big on street revolution. Whatever righty-ism is, it’s about law and order….. And you can’t get a lumpen RW mob to the streets in the age of the welfare state. The things / ingredients / catalysts you need never come together for a volatile dynamic there.
The ‘2A people’ and their ‘2A solution’ thing…. yeah, this is kind of a sub-culture touchstone among the gunnies. But ya know, see above comment and think again how a populist, RW revolution actually comes about. It does not come about, this is not a volatile, revolutionary group. They work for a living. Other thing, such that the gunnies say they reserve their right to revolt, the fantasy is one of defense rather than offense…. Say kind of Alamo last stand-ish, firing away as the hordes coming over the walls or the jack-booted thugs coming in the door. Which is to say, it’s not an ‘offensive’ fantasy, it’s a defensive one. And this is compatible with the notion of ‘Molon Labe’, as the gunnies like to say. Which means ‘come and take it’. I’m not a guy who cocks off about Molon Labe but that’s its context. Defiance rather than say revolution and assassination. In their apocalyptic, paranoid dreams / nightmares, yeah the gunnies think of themselves fighting off the government…. but it’s a defensive / defiant fantasy, not a revolutionary one.
Whatever. Lambo over there at WWP says “It is also beyond obvious that this same, large, despairing group has a pathological relationship to guns, their precious Second Amendment rights being one of the very few means left to them to exert dominance in their lives. For all intents and purposes it is their primary religion.”
I don’t think that’s without some kind of truth in this age, but I don’t actually see the gunnie people as very substantial actors in the repugnant phenomena of Trumpism this year. Seems like there are quite a few conductors more prominent than the gunnie people on the Trump train.
So, the suggestion / worry is Trump is going to motivate one / some of the gunnies to political violence. It’s possible, of course it is… But I don’t think it’s likely, for reasons I’ve stated. And what I think is likelier to happen before that is say a dozen more Islamic mass shootings within this country’s borders. I am not trying to end this column with the dull thud of ham-fisted irony. I’m just saying whats reality is the gunny people are largely normal people whose lives preclude them from acts of fanaticism in contrast to other groups who actually do produce practicing fanatics.