Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Mayor Pete and The Goblet of Fine

Pete Buttigieg and I have something in common--we're both Hufflepuffs. (I know this is absurd--obviously I should be Gryffindor owing to my foxy nature, but the sorting hat doesn't cater to personal style, AFAIK, so, Team Badger it is. Up with loyalty and service!)I like Mayor Pete, and his spouse and their dogs. I am not going to hate, exactly, on him for going on Bill Maher's show because I sort of hate watch it--I don't think Maher is a great liberal (he's so Boomerish and a little racist and ableist and misogynist in the jokes he does, and promotes the whole PC canard and generally treats conservative "D0rkw3b" people and their nods towards extremism differently from how he routinely characterizes Muslims for just being). Buttigieg has decided that he wants to go where the eyeballs are, and that makes sense. And he actually acquitted himself pretty well against some pretty dumb things:

Millennials aren't fragile and FWIW, Maher needs to get over using trans people using the bathroom as a gag or as some kind of example of SJW's going too far. They are just doing a normal function--why is that weird? What I think isn't really discussed enough, is that the fight over trigger warnings and for more inclusive language is a sign of people sticking up for themselves, when at an earlier time, they might have just gone home without asking for the respectful dialogue they needed. I could go so far as to say people who actually complain about other people being "PC" are mostly looking for a safe space where they won't be criticized for actually being shit towards other people and called out on their bullshit.

But there is a kind of live wire Buttigieg has triggered that is hard not to be zapped by--he's commented on Clinton 2016 in a way that touched some nerves. It's wrong to say Hillary Clinton didn't address problems of inequality and how to get people employed. But it is possible that by underestimating the pessimism in, say, the Midwest, and proclaiming America as already great, her campaign did miss a sentiment some people actually felt.

Trump's candidacy promised a shakeup of the status quo. I would be immune to this argument because I'm solidly middle class and saw Obama's presidency as meaning an advancement for civil rights and more progressive (relatively!) foreign policy than neocons gave us. Obama was my "shakeup of status quo" from the Bush years. But for someone whose politics is yet more local than mine, who isn't Extremely Online and Very Political, maybe my perspective isn't theirs. Maybe trying to tell people that things are fine just doesn't sound right to them, especially if they have a diet of Fox News and RW talk radio and experience localized economic depression because of factors the general economy uplift hasn't touched. They have a deep sense that something isn't right, and that politicians are full of shit.

I'm going to tell you I don't think it matters if that opinion is even wrong--it exists. These are people Buttigieg has spoken with--his folks. When he talks about "coastal elites" I rankle, obviously. WTF is that supposed to mean? I'm in Philadelphia, which is practically New Jersey (coastal), but "coastal elite" is sort of out because I'm desperately of the class of them that work and got no fancy education, and yes, people I know, live around, work with, are Trump voters. I can easily imagine them. There's millions of Trump voters on the coasts--the thing is--we're populous! Diverse!

So I guess the question is--is Buttigieg able to figure out how to work with Philadelphia? Because I would be comfortable saying that he might have a good grasp on Indiana politics, but what he's saying isn't exactly heartening for those of us who really have been turned off to the "economic desperation of the heartland" bullshit because we want to know why Trump's obvious racist bullshit doesn't turn them all the way the hell off the way it does us. And came up with the obvious reason why. Which was never about being PC, just aware that bigotry is real, and not to be dismissed. He isn't not talking about it, just not as explicitly as I think some of us would like.

I think he's got a good head on his shoulders, but I wish it were an older head. He speaks well, but I don't know that he addresses all we need a Democratic 2020 candidate to do.

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